If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of red meat you eat then why not swap the mince in your favourite cottage pie for lentils? They taste surprisingly meaty and count towards your 5-a-day. This recipe is also packed full of vegetables – a great way to sneak a few more into your little one’s diet! The pie is topped with deliciously crispy and cheesy mash. We’ve used tinned lentils to speed up the cooking times and help you get this in the oven in time for dinner. Serve portions of your lentil cottage pie with a nice big squirt of brown sauce.
- 1kg potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2x 400g tins of green lentils, drained
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- ½red chilli, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- Sprig of rosemary, chopped
- 1 glass red wine
- Splash of milk
- 50g cheese, grated
- 1tsp smoked paprika
Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, fill with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, chilli, celery, carrots, parsnip, rosemary and bay leaves. Stir over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until soft.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Turn up the heat and add the lentils and the wine. Stir until the alcohol has burnt off, season and remove from the heat.
Add the milk and paprika to the potatoes and mash. Transfer the lentils to a large pie dish and then spread the mash over the top. Score the mash with a fork so ensure it gets nice and crispy and then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
When the dish is hot and bubbling and browning on top, transfer to the grill for a couple of minutes to crisp up before serving.
Top tip for making Cheesy lentil cottage pie
Make this pie in smaller portions and freeze. Don't add the cheese or oven bake. Wrap in cling film and then defrost, add cheese and bake.