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Butternut Squash Lentil Pie

You might think that the bottom of the pie is the most memorable part, while it is indeed incredibly delicious, the butternut squash topping and spices are truly wonderful.
Jan 6, 2020 | Joy McCarthy

After creating my Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie I realized that many of you wanted to try a totally plant-based version, which is why I created this Butternut Squash Lentil Pie. It's not exactly a shepherd's pie, since it contains lentils, but interestingly enough, the lentils hold the flavour even better than the meat version. 

butternut squash and spices

This also really surprised Walker who was positive he'd like it better with meat, but he likes the plant-based version even more! Admittedly, I don't cook with a ton of lentils outside of soups (have you tried my Butternut Squash Lentil Soup from The Joyous Cookbook yet?). But, I was so pleasantly surprised by how this lentil pie turned out. The lentils really soaked up all the wonderful spices magically!

ingredients in butternut pie

If you did the Joyous Kitchen Challenge, you may have already tried this recipe because I included it in the guide, but it received rave reviews that I had to share it on the blog with all of you. If you missed JKC this year, it will be back again in January 2021!


You might think that the bottom of the pie is the most memorable part, and while it is indeed incredibly delicious, the butternut squash topping and spices are just as wonderful! I highly recommend you take the time to roast the butternut squash for the topping. It really brings out the squash's natural sweetness makes it oh-so-memorable.

butternut squash

The colours of the bottom of this pie are also so beautiful! We couldn't stop taking photos as you can probably tell!

lentil pie

Once you have the bottom of the pie made, pack it down into a pie plate and then top it with the butternut squash topping. Be sure to take photos because this is a moment for the gram, ha!

lentil pie

Oh yaaaaaah!

lentil squash pie

And now for the recipe...

lentil squash pie

Mains & Sides
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  • 4-5 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp melted ghee or coconut oil*
  • 1 can (400mL) full fat coconut milk**
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (156mL / 5.5 fl oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Rinse lentils under water. Bring pot of 2.5 cups of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook lentils until soft (about 25 minutes). All the water should have absorbed or evaporated. If the lentils are cooked and there's still more water to be absorbed, just drain out water and then set aside.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, place butternut squash evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes or until tender. Once done, set aside.
  4. Transfer butternut squash to a high power blender and add cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, ghee or coconut oil, coconut milk and sea salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. Give a taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
  5. Now it's time to make the bottom, pie part. In a large fry pan on the stove, heat olive oil and saute onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, red pepper, peas, seasoning, rosemary and garlic. Add more olive oil if needed.
  6. Next add the lentils, tomato paste and veggie stock. You should have a somewhat pasty texture -- this is normal. Give it a taste test!
  7. Using a 9 inch pie plate, spread bottom mixture on to pan. Then spoon butternut squash topping mixture on top. Place in oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven and garnish fresh parsley.
  9. This will freeze well so cover it and freeze for up to 2 months or refrigerate for 1 week and reheat in oven as needed. Enjoy!


Serves 6

NOTE: I have labelled this vegan because I want you guys to be able to easily find this recipe if you're searching "vegan" recipes on my blog. You will see that you can easily use coconut oil in place of ghee -- up to you!

*I prefer the richness of ghee for this recipe but if you want this to be vegan then use coconut oil.

**I used Cha's Organic full fat coconut milk. Make sure you buy "FULL FAT" and if it's mostly liquid, the topping will be too watery. Do not sub in liquid coconut milk from a carton, it's too liquidy because you want the creamy fat from the full fat coconut milk for a nice and creamy topping.

lentil pie

This is a whole meal on its own, but you could whip up a quick Dreamy & Creamy Kale Salad to go with this because that would be the perfect side dish to pair with this.


Just before serving this pie, sprinkle from fresh parsley on top because it looks super pretty!

butternut squash lentil pie

Enjoy friends,

Joy xo

Leah Key   •   February 2, 2020

I made this today and it exceeded my expectations. I was eating the squash right from the vitamix before pouring it over the bottom because it was seasoned to perfection and so delicious. Thank you, Joy for another amazing

Joy McCarthy   •   February 2, 2020

Cheryl Chaffey   •   February 3, 2020

Made this today


Debra   •   February 4, 2020

Is it gluten free?

Joy McCarthy   •   February 4, 2020

Eileen   •   September 15, 2020

Do you have any suggested substitute for the tomato paste? Tomatoes are a no-go for me. Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   September 16, 2020

Linda   •   October 8, 2020

Hi Joy - do you have any suggestions what do to with the leftover coconut milk from the can?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 9, 2020

Lindsey   •   October 10, 2020

Could you substitute red lentils for green?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 11, 2020

Laurie   •   October 11, 2020

Yummy πŸ˜‹ surprisingly good!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 13, 2020

Laurie S.   •   October 11, 2020

Does it matter what type of squash I use?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 13, 2020

Laurie S.   •   October 12, 2020

Or are there certain types of squash that are not recommended? There are so varieties!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 13, 2020

Robert Campbell   •   October 20, 2020

Just made this tonight - I'm no chef and hardly a cook, really an engineer! Tasting along the way gave me good feedback that this was tasty. I was not disappointed. Worth the effort to make and I'm glad to have it tomorrow for lunch! I did add about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of dried Thyme, because I like it. Even the wife was pleased with this one! Thanks for sharing this one!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 21, 2020

Marian   •   November 6, 2020

Absolutely the very best recipe ever. Will make again and again. Thank you Joy.

Joy McCarthy   •   November 9, 2020

Azza A.   •   November 25, 2020

Hello, there is a mention of 2.5 cups of water along with the green lentils in the ingredient list (for the bottom part of the pie). But no mention of adding the water as you add the green lentils in step 6 of the recipe. I am assuming the lentil would cook with the water and would need a simmer to soften and absorb the water. Also no mention of that in step 6. Unless the lentils are just meant to be sauteed (and not simmering with water) ahead of placing in oven? No one has asked this question here. i am just so literal and have no knack for cooking so I look out for details (which may not be important :( ! ) ahead of making a meal as I wouldn't know how to wing it sigh/hehe. Many many thank

Joy McCarthy   •   November 25, 2020

Jen Stanton   •   February 23, 2021

Just made this recipe and it’s 10/10 delicious!

Joy McCarthy   •   February 24, 2021

Rhonda   •   February 18, 2022

Autoimmune with an intolerance to nightshades. While I could leave out the red pepper, is there a substitute for the tomato paste?

Joy McCarthy   •   February 22, 2022

Margaret J.   •   February 28, 2022

Such a great recipe! Although to be honest I haven't tried a recipe of yours I haven't liked! So tasty! Will be making this again.Thank you.

Joy McCarthy   •   March 2, 2022

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