Saturday, 21 September 2013

Vegetarian Cottage Pie for all of the family

Sometimes you just need vegetables.  My son loved this!  He'd had a week of nothing really home made and was a touch bunged up if you don't mind me being crude so I was determined to get him a full on meal of delicious vegetables without either of us noticing we had no meat.

Vegetarian Cottage Pie - Serves 3-4


1 Onion
1 tsp Oil
1 Clove of garlic
1 Carrot, chopped
150g, 5oz Butternut squash, peeled and chopped
400g, 14oz Tin of tomatoes
125ml, half a cup Red wine
A couple of sprigs of rosemary
Black pepper
100g, 3.5oz Green lentils
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 Potato
2 Sweet potatoes
50g, 1.5oz Extra mature (sharp) cheddar - miss out or use vegan cheese substitute if avoiding dairy


Cook the lentils following pack instructions until pretty much cooked (although keep an eye on them, they often cook a little quicker than the pack suggests).

In the meantime, chop the onion finely and fry in oil.  Add the squash, carrot, tomatoes, rosemary (chopped) and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are softening.  Add the lentils, simmer for a further 10 minutes.

While everything is simmering, peel and chop the potato and sweet potato.  Simmer until cooked.

Preheat an oven to 200oC / 400F.

Once the vegetables and lentils are cooked.  Take three different spoons and put into a food processor.  Return to the saucepan.  Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and mix in with the hot vegetable mixture.  Stir to thicken.

Put into a baking dish.

Drain the potatoes.  Mash them (a ricer is great for this).  Top the vegetables with the mash then top with the cheddar.  You can let it all cool down then chill until ready to cook if liked.

Bake in an oven for approx 25-40 minutes (shorter time if cooking directly from hot).

This would be great even for babies on soft lump stage upwards.  So many veggies you gotta love it!  I've linked this up to the wellness weekend.

Make it Thrifty:
The ingredients of this area already very thrifty but if you like you could just use regular potatoes for the topping.  Bake directly from hot and you'll reduce the cooking time.
Even if you prefer meat cottage pies, include some cooked lentils in the sauce and you will not notice while reducing the fat, the calories, reducing the cost and increasing the fibre.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I can honestly say I really didn't miss the meat, it was lovely!

  2. Love the idea of using lentils for this. I've had versions with just creamed vegetables and this sounds more substantial. New follower from Creative Mondays :)

    1. It is. I think it's the blending of some of the lentils makes it a bit thicker and holds it all together.

  3. I am always looking for a great vegetarian recipe! Love the use of lentils in this.

  4. This one's a keeper - made it last night as your recipe popped into my Inbox just as I was receiving a box of veggies from a friend with an allotment! Left out the lentils as my son tends to throw them back in my face every time I give them to him and I really didn't feel like having that happen last night (it was Monday after all), but next time I will add them I think... Otherwise, perhaps Quorn would be an alternative??? Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thank you! Yes, quorn would probably work well, maybe chop up some mushrooms too? Probably wouldn't need to puree any of the mix though. This is one of those dishes though I'm not 100% convinced you could tell was lentils unless you know!

    2. You're right - I just need to try it as I'm a big lentil fan and am gutted that, so far, my little one isn't. Thanks for the extra advice :)

  5. Sounds a great recipe :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...


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