Instant Pot Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

October 7, 2018

You can make this easy vegan shepherd’s pie with lentils and mashed cauliflower in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker in about 30 minutes!

Amazing Instant Pot Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

If you’re looking for healthy Instant Pot recipes this vegan shepherd’s pie is for you! This lentil shepherd’s pie with mashed cauliflower is loaded with protein, is lower in carbs than conventional shepherd’s pie, and is gluten-free and vegan. This recipe is also so much quicker than conventional vegan shepherd’s pie recipes.

Conventional shepherd’s pie recipes typically take a long time to make and often require having two posts on the stove at the same time to cook the base and the topping.

This Instant Pot lentil shepherd’s pie with a mashed cauliflower topping all gets cooked in the Instant Pot together making it a super easy one-pot dish that you can get onto the table in less than 40 minutes including prep time.

This vegan shepherd’s pie recipe contains protein-packed lentils and nutrient-dense vegetables, and is topped with fluffy mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes for a lighter meal. The red lentils cook in 5 minutes in the Instant Pot and dissolve quickly to naturally thicken the gravy of the base so that you don’t need to add flour or butter.

The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot cookbook

This delicious vegan shepherd’s pie recipe comes from The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore, founder of Detoxinista and author of Everyday Detox and No Excuses Detox.

Megan is certified nutritionist and health coach, and she makes healthy living easy and accessible. Her recipes are always very simple (containing not a lot of ingredients) and are full of flavor.

This latest cookbook contains 75 quick easy recipes to make in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. All of the recipes are gluten-free and refined sugar-free, and utilize whole foods ingredients. Not all of the recipes are vegetarian and vegan, but Megan gives a fantastic vegan option for every recipe. A lot of the recipes are free of the most common allergens or have allergy-free options. There are also recipes that cater for low-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie diets.

The recipes all have nutrition data for calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein) and also contain the times for prep, coming to pressure, main cooking, and release time. So, you know exactly how long each recipe takes.

There are recipes for easy breakfasts, healthy side dishes, soups and stews, salads and bowls, comfort-food dinners, protein-packed family favorites, and desserts.

Instant Pot Recipes include:
  • Instant Strawberry Jam
  • Peanut Butter Crunch Granola Bars
  • Cozy Spiced Fruit
  • Peaches & Cream Steel-Cut Oatmeal
  • Cinnamon Applesauce
  • Healthy Hummus
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Thai Coconut Carrot Soup
  • Two-Bean Chili
  • Wild Rice and Mushroom Stew
  • Curried Broccoli & White Bean Salad
  • Kung Pao Chickpeas
  • Spicy Lentil Burgers
  • Pad Thai Stir-Fry
  • Lazy Falafel Wraps
  • Speedy Sweet Potato Curry
  • Brown Rice Pudding
  • One-Pot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
How To Use Your Instant Pot

Besides the delicious healthy recipes, Megan also shares her go-to pantry staples for Instant Pot cooking, common ingredient substitutions, and a handful of kitchen tools such as a handled trivet so you can easily lift things in and out of the Instant Pot and also cook two things at once like in this lentil shepherd’s pie recipe.

Megan also includes an Instant Pot Resource Guide giving you the complete lowdown on how to use your Instant Pot and trouble-shoot the most common issues. And it’s a quick five-page read, and you’re off on the road to success! If you’re feeling intimidated about using a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot watch the Facebook Live I did with Megan where she runs through these basic tips.

Get your copy of The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and let me know what you think of this vegan shepherd’s pie.

Watch Megan Make This Recipe

I did a Facebook Live at Megan’s house where we made this lentil shepherd’s pie in real time and Megan gave a quick Instant Pot tutorial and answered questions.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Garlic Baby Potatoes


Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie

You can make this super easy vegan shepherd's pie with lentils and mashed cauliflower in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker in about 30 minutes! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce), plus more to taste
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound cauliflower cut into florets


  1. Combine the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, red lentils, water, chickpeas, thyme, rosemary, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper in the Instant Pot and give it a stir. 

  2. Arrange a 2.5-inch trivet over the vegetables and place a 7-inch oven-safe bowl on top. Add the cauliflower to the bowl. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. 

  3. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the bowl out of the pot. 

  4. Stir the filling at the bottom of the pot. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The lentils should dissolve into the sauce as you stir, thickening it. Pour the cooked cauliflower into a large bowl and use a fork or potato masher to mash it until smooth. Generously season the mash with salt and pepper. 

  5. To serve, spoon the warm filling into bowls and top each with mashed cauliflower. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs and a final grind of pepper. Store leftovers in two separate airtight containers—for the filling and the cauliflower mash—in the fridge for 5 days. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe and photo from The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore, copyright © 2018. Reprinted with permission of Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.