This pie is lovely and soft making it perfect for both spoon-fed and baby-led weaning babies. Of course, it isn't limited to just baby food, Lentil Shepherd's Pie is a delicious family meal for all ages.
What is Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's Pie, or Cottage Pie, is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. Shepherd’s Pie is generally made with lamb, and Cottage Pie usually applies to one made with beef.
So technically this isn't a Shepherds Pie at all. Often meat-free versions are named Shepherdless Pies but I've just stuck with Shepherd's Pie for this recipe!
The Lentil Base
The lentil base is something I make a version of regularly. I use it in Lentil Lasagne or serve it as an alternative to a meat bolognese. It is easy to make and very baby / child-friendly.
Do You Have to Use Sweet Potato?
I used sweet potato for this Lentil Shepherd's Pie recipe because Finn (and now Rory) are crazy over sweet potato. I have, however, also made this pie using standard mashed potato and have even made a version using a mixture of mashed potato with mashed carrot, like in this Five a Day Pie.
Use what you think your kids would like best. If they love the pie you can always try a different topping the next time you make it!
Finn (now 6) still enjoys this dish. It is a perfect meal solution for when I have no meat in the fridge. Lentils are a good source of protein and the whole dish is full of vegetables to help reach your five a day.
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Lentil Shepherd"s Pie
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 onions (finely chopped)
- 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 185g ( 1 cup) red split lentils
- 400g (1 can) tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 625ml 2 .5 cups Veg stock *SEE NOTE 1
- 750g Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into chunks) *SEE NOTE 2
- 50g (½ cup) Cheddar Cheese (grated) *SEE NOTE 3
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 10 mins or until softened
- Stir in the lentils
- Add tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf and 1 cup of stock.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for approx. 30 mins (until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened) (Keep adding more stock as needed)
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220c / 430F and place the sweet potato in a pan of boiling water. Boil until soft (approx. 15 mins)
- Thoroughly drain and mash the potatoes.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to a oven proof dish and top with the sweet potato.
- Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and cook in oven for approx. 15 mins.
- If serving to a baby use homemade, low sodium stock or replace with water.
- You can replace the sweet potato with white potatoes if you prefer.
- Cheese is optional.