Portuguese Mains, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Lentil Empadão

Empadão is basically a Portuguese version of a shepherd’s pie. A layer of mash, a layer of a ‘meaty’ filling and a second layer of mash, oven et voila! I replaced the meat by lentils and veggies and some vegan sausages and I am very happy with this version. Will be making this a few times this winter!

Time: 1h approx

Type: main dish

Difficulty: 2 pans

Serves: about 3/4 people

What you need:


1 can cooked green lentils

5 white mushrooms

half a red pepper

1 small onion finely chopped

2 tsp garlic granules

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney) cooked and shredded (optional)

2 tsp paprika

salt to taste

vegan parmesan (optional)

4 big potatoes and 1 big carrot, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 tbsp vegetable spread

nutmeg and pepper to taste

soya milk (enough to make the mash- depends how runny you like it)


1 big pan for the mash and another one to make the lentil mix

baking tray

food processor

knife, chopping board, fork

potato masher


Boil potatoes and carrot for about 20min until tender when pricking with a fork- discard water;

Meanwhile, cook the sausages too;

Cut mushrooms and pepper into small chunks and transfer into a food processor- blend for a few seconds so all the veggies turn into very small pieces (if you don’t have a blender you can use a knife, but it does take a lot longer);

Put onions, bay leaf and a little olive oil into a large frying pan and let it cook for a few minutes in low heat (you can also use a little water instead of olive oil);

Add mushrooms and pepper, garlic granules and paprika, mix and let it cook for 3 minutes;

Add lentils and tomato puree, mixing well; Add salt to taste and let it cook for about 5 minutes- remove from heat when the combined ingredients present little moist;

To make the mash: using a potato masher, puree the potatoes and carrot, adding the vegetable spread, nutmeg, pepper and soya milk- add as much or as little you want to get the preferable consistency (I usuallty put about 1/3 cup of soya milk)- combine well so there’s no lumps;

Spread half of the mash into a baking tray, followed by all the lentil mix and topped with shredded sausages; Finish with remaining mash and a little parmesan (if using). I like to smooth the top layer with a fork, running it over the mash in both directions (see picture)- place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes until golden brown- it’s ready!

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