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Lentil and beef cottage pie recipe

This recipe uses a small amount of meat, which is partnered with lentils. Lentils are a good alternative source of protein and are cheaper and lower in saturated fat than meat.

The 4 portions can be divided into individual dishes and extra portions can be frozen to save cooking time and fuel costs on other days.

With the meat/lentils for protein, potatoes for energy release and carrots and tomatoes for vitamins and minerals all in one dish, there is no need to add anything else to have a completely balanced meal.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 65 minutes
  • Serves: 4



  • 110g/4oz lean minced beef
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 large tin of tomatoes
  • 50g/2oz red lentils (if they need pre-soaking, follow instructions for soaking before starting the recipe)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 vegetable or beef stock cube or 1 tsp yeast extract dissolved in a cup of boiling water
  • 900g/2lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Place the minced beef in a saucepan and add a little water or oil. Cook until brown, then pour off the fat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, tomatoes, pepper and lentils.
  3. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and mash them with a splash of milk.
  5. Transfer the mince mixture to a large, ovenproof dish or individual ones if you're going to freeze portions.
  6. Spread the potato on top.
  7. Bake in the oven at gas mark 4/200°C/400°F for 30 minutes, or until the potato is light brown in colour.
  8. For frozen portions, defrost thoroughly first and then reheat for 30 minutes in the oven.

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Last updated: Jul 21 2020

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