Moroccan Spiced Shepherdess Pie Recipe | Abel & Cole

Moroccan Spiced Shepherdess Pie

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Moroccan Spiced Shepherdess Pie

A hearty veggie version of shepherd’s pie with a North African twist: adding spicy harissa and fragrant ras al hanut to the rich cherry tomato sauce. Brimming with lentils, pepper and spinach, topped with sweet potato mash and baked till golden.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 500g sweet potatoes
  • 400g tin of green lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ras al hanut
  • ½-1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 400g tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 200g spinach
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 200ml cold water

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 45 mins

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1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 6. Fill and boil your kettle, then fill a large pan with the hot water. Top up if needed and add a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to the boil.
2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the pepper, scoop out the white bits, and finely chop it. Put a deep, ovenproof frying pan or shallow casserole dish on a medium heat and add the chopped veg with ½ tbsp olive oil. Season and fry, stirring, for 6-8 mins till glossy. No ovenproof pan? See our tip.
3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Add them to the pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 mins till tender when pierced with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the lentils. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Stir the garlic into the veg with 2 tsp ras al hanut and ½ -1 tsp harissa paste (it's hot, so use as much or as little as you prefer). Cook and stir for 1 min.
5. Tip the lentils into the pan. Add 1 tbsp honey and the tinned cherry tomatoes. Half-fill the tin with around 200ml water and pour into the pan. Stir, pop on a lid (or use a baking tray) and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 mins, stirring often, till the sauce has thickened.
6. Meanwhile, rinse the spinach well with cold water. Trim off any dry ends and finely slice the spinach leaves and stalks.
7. Stir the spinach into the lentils and simmer for 2-3 mins to wilt it. Taste and add a pinch of salt or pepper if needed. Take the pan off the heat.
8. The sweet potatoes should be cooked. Drain them, tip back into the pan and add 1/2tbsp olive oil. Season, then crush with a fork or masher.
9. If your frying pan is ovenproof, top the lentils with the mash. If not, follow our tip. Slide into oven and bake for 20 mins till browned and bubbling. Serve in warm bowls.
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