Moroccan-Style Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs

I’m on a huge comfort food kick, you guys, and this delicious & cozy Moroccan-style Shepherd’s pie with lamb lentil meatballs satisfies my comfort food craving every time.

Overhead shot of Moroccan-Style Shepherd's Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs on a white plate.

A cozy & comforting Moroccan-style meal

I just want all the cozy food, and all the things that are going to warm me up.  Usually that means soups, stews, casseroles or basically anything that goes in a Dutch oven. 

This recipe is no exception, because it’s basically all of those things wrapped into one dish.  It’s a Moroccan-inspired shepherd’s pie, which I realize sounds a little odd but you’re going to love all of the twists and turns I’ve taken throughout the dish, including the lamb lentil meatballs (YES).

So I want to tell you about each and every step, because the details are what make this so incredibly special (and don’t fret over the long(er) list of ingredients because most of them are spices and we don’t want to skimp on the spices). 


Raw potatoes on white marble counter and a knife.
Cooked lamb lentil meatballs on a wire rack in a sheet pan.

The details of this Shepherd’s pie

  1. Potatoes: The star of every shepherd’s pie is the thick, fluffy, pillowy layer of potatoes on top.  You can really use whatever potatoes you have at home, but my favorite are Yukon golds.  They’re bright and beautiful and have such a great texture.  Potatoes are really an amazing ingredient because they’re a blank slate with endless possibilities, a staple in many cuisines AND they are super convenient (most of us have some type of potato in the pantry).  100 gold stars for potatoes (no pun intended).
  2. Lamb Lentil Meatballs: If you’ve never added lentils to your meatballs, now is the time.  They pair so nicely with the flavors of lamb, and with all of the delicious spices (cumin, coriander, black pepper), and give the meatballs a perfect texture.  So amazing with our Moroccan stew.
  3. Moroccan-style stew: I don’t know if you call the base of a shepherd’s pie ‘stew’ but I am going with it.  It seems stewy to me.  Anyway, it’s filled with onions, fresh garlic and ginger, all of the delicious Moroccan spices, tomatoes, peas, olives, raisins, honey, lime and fresh cilantro.  Now, I realize that seems like an odd combination of flavors, but think sweet, spicy, salty and briny all in one.  It’s the perfect balance of flavors and has a superb texture. 

Now think of all of that in one dish… one harmonious, incredible dish. 

Spiced Moroccan meatballs swimming in a stew of flavors with a creamy potato topping. 

That is this Moroccan-style Shepherd’s pie with lamb lentil meatballs. Sign. Me. Up.

Finished recipe of Moroccan-Style Shepherd's Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs in a ceramic pot with wooden spoon.
Overhead shot of finished Moroccan-style Shepherd's Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs on a white plate with a silver fork.

If you happen to have any leftover cooked lentils from this recipe, you could try this recipe for Mini Curried Lentil Cakes!


Moroccan-Style Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top, Baking
  • Cuisine: Moroccan




  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • 1-pound ground lamb (or beef)
  • ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Mashed Potato Topping:

  • 33 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed (skin on)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs

Shepherd’s Pie:

  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ tablespoon each ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon each ground black pepper, ground cinnamon and ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon each cayenne and ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups unsalted beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ½ cup sliced green olives
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or flat-leaf Italian parsley, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, mash lentils using a potato masher. Add remaining meatball ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed. Form into 2-inch balls and line on the wire rack, about 1-2 inches apart. Roast for 15-18 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove and set aside.
  4. Place cubed potatoes in the boiling water and cook 8-12 minutes, until fork tender. Drain, then place back in the pot. Add milk, salt and egg to the pot and use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash until creamy and very few lumps remain. Set aside.
  5. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil at medium heat. Add onion and sauté 4-5 minutes, until soft. Stir in garlic and ginger and sauté 30-60 seconds. Stir in all of the spices and the tomato paste. Add crushed tomatoes, stock, green peas, olives and raisins and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir in honey, lemon/lime juice and half of the chopped fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Coat the top sides of the Dutch oven with cooking spray. Spoon mashed potato topping over the stew. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Let slightly cool, then top with chopped cilantro, mint and/or parsley to serve.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 509mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 143mg

Keywords: dutch oven recipe, best, tasty, easy, simple, comfort food

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Overhead shot of finished Moroccan-style Shepherd's pie with lamb lentil meatballs in a ceramic pot with a wooden spoon.

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3 thoughts on “Moroccan-Style Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb Lentil Meatballs”

  1. We cook from scratch three to four times a week. This is one of the BEST meals we have had in ages, either at home or in restaurants, and we are adding it to our “favorites” list. Thanks so much for sharing!

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