Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping


This unique combination of ingredients means serious nutrition all packed into a one-dish comfort meal. For a shortcut on the sweet potato topping, used plain canned organic sweet potato. More lentils means more folate—a cup of these legumes has 90 percent of your daily need. And more folate means more happiness, mental clarity, and relaxation. A vegetarian version is easy—just swap the beef for an additional 2 cups of dried lentils. Make it dairy free by using coconut, almond or another non-dairy milk instead of the buttermilk.


1⁄2 cup uncooked lentils
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 11⁄2 cups)
One 5-ounce container mushrooms, such as cremini, button, or shiitake, chopped
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or other seasoning of choice
2/3 cup buttermilk or whole milk, preferably from grass-fed cows
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Cook the lentils according to the package instructions and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F.
  2. Put the peeled and quartered potatoes in medium pot, cover with at least an inch of cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Push the vegetables to the side and add the beef. Cook the beef for 2 to 3 minutes without moving to allow the beef to brown. Continue to cook, breaking up the meat, for about 2 minute more.
  5. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and reserved lentils. Transfer the meat mixture to a 7 x 11-inch baking dish.
  6. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain them and transfer them to a food processor along with the buttermilk and the garlic powder. Process until smooth. Sprinkle the baking powder over the mixture and process again to incorporate. Using a spatula, spoon the potato mixture over the top of the meat mixture in the baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the shepherd’s pie is bubbling hot and the potato topping is golden. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

372 Calories ✤ 23g Protein ✤ 43g Carbohydrates ✤ 11g Fat (5g Saturated) ✤ 59mg Cholesterol ✤ 7g Sugars✤ 10g Fiber ✤ 396mg Sodium ✤ Vitamin A = 158% ✤ Vitamin B12 = 71% ✤ Zinc = 61% ✤ Protein = 50% ✤ Fiber = 40%



Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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