Joe Wicks adds curry powder and cumin to his traditional cottage pie recipe to add a spicy touch to the old favourite

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Joe Wicks was a busy boy last year (and this year, to be fair). As well as keeping the nation moving with daily  PE with Joe sessions  on YouTube and launching The Body Coach Fitness App, he also penned a new book, which came out at the tail end of 2020. The 30 Day Kickstart Plan aims to help us build healthy habits and daily routines centred around how exercising regularly and eating well makes us feel, rather than how it makes us look.

Alongside exercise motivation and sleep advice, the book is crammed with 100 tasty, easy to follow recipes. The recipes are broken down into reduced-carb meals, post-workout meals and snacks. This jazzed-up take on cottage pie sits in the reduced-carb section of the book and will be a hit with the whole family.

Joe Wicks' curried cottage pie recipe

Serves two


60g butter

1 leek, finely sliced

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1 veggie stock cube

2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped

Knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp medium curry powder

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 x 400g tin of green lentils, drained

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 handfuls of frozen peas

30g cheddar, grated


1. Melt 20g butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once bubbling, scrape in the chopped leek, carrots and celery along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes until veg is completely soft.

2. Meanwhile bring a kettle of water to the boil. Put the veggie stock cube into a jug, measure in 150ml of boiling water and whisk with a fork to dissolve.

3. Come back to the saucepan, add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute more, sprinkle in the curry powder and cumin seeds, spoon in the tomato puree. Give everything a good mix and cook for 2 minutes more, then tip in the drained green lentils and the veggie stock.

4. Bring the pie mix to a simmer, turn down the heat to low and leave to gently bubble away while you make the mash.

5. Pour the remaining water from the kettle into a saucepan and re-boil. Salt the water and drop in the cauliflower florets. Cook for 10 minutes until completely tender. Drain into a sieve and leave to steam for a few minutes - this will stop you from having watery mash.

6. Preheat the grill to maximum.

7. Tip the cooked cauliflower into a food processor, add the remaining butter and some seasoning, blitz to a smooth mash. You can also do this with a stick blender.

8. Come back to your pie mix. Add the frozen peas and season to taste. Once the peas have defrosted, spoon the filling into an ovenproof dish. Spread the mash on top, then grate over the cheddar cheese. Slide under the grill for s minutes or until bubbling and golden with a crispy top.