Move over, traditional shepherd's pie! There's a new pie in town, and it's here to claim its rightful place atop the creamiest, dreamiest, nutritious shepherd's pie you've ever seen. We're talking about the sweet potato, folks. Roasty, toasty, and naturally sweet, it's pairs perfectly with our umami packed turkey mixture. The fill made with juicy ground turkey, simmered in a savory spices, with hidden pockets of earthy mushrooms and pops of frozen veggies for good measure.
I created this take on the classic shepherd's pie while completing my first Whole30 back in 2019 when I needed the ultimate comfort food after a rough day, but also needed a "healthy" shepherd's pie recipe that was Whole 30 friendly.
This recipe has since been adapted moving away from dietary restriction to a focus on nourishing comfort, quickly becoming a family favorite. I have found this is one of the best ways to meal prep for the week and a great way to get dinner on the table. Make it on a Sunday for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch.
I love to grab the poultry mix of fresh herbs from the grocery store, but have also used dried herbs in this shepherds pie recipe, they both work.
This ain't your grandma's shepherd's pie. This is a modernized recipe, bursting with flavor and guaranteed to leave your taste buds dancing. So grab your apron, crank up the tunes, and let's get cookin'!
- Pie Filling:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Yellow onion, finely diced
- Porcini mushrooms, finely diced
- Ground turkey or lean ground turkey (sub lean ground beef, lean ground meat, or plant-based crumbles)
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dried thyme (or ½ tablespoon fresh)
- Dried rosemary (or ½ tablespoon fresh)
- Dried sage (or ½ tablespoon fresh)
- Ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch)
- Chicken broth/chicken stock (or water)
- Frozen mixed veggies
- Sweet Potato Topping:
- 4 roasted sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds) - How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
- Ground black pepper
- 1 egg
See recipe card for quantities.
- Roast the sweet potatoes. While potatoes roast make the filling.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions. Add mushrooms. Cook down for about 10 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Turn down stove to medium heat
- Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Sprinkle in the flour and incorporate it thoroughly.
- Pour in the broth and stir until the meat mixture thickens up nicely.
- Fold in the frozen veggies and transfer everything to a greased 9x13 casserole dish. If your skillet's oven-proof, just leave it there—less cleaning for you!
Sweet Potato Topping
- Peel and mash the roasted sweet potatoes (I do this directly on the sheet pan - less dishes to clean). Check out How to Roast Sweet Potatoes for more information.
- Season the mashed sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the egg and mix it all up until it's well incorporated and smooth.
- Plop spoonfuls of the mashed sweet potato onto the turkey mixture, spreading it into an even layer. (optional: run fork tines over top to create a design)
- Place dish in a preheated 375°F oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Craving a golden-brown top? Broil it for 2-5 minutes, but keep a close eye on it!
- Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before digging in. Trust me, you need this in your life.
- Mushrooms: Don't have porcini mushrooms? No worries! Cremini, shiitake, or even button mushrooms will do just fine.
- More plants: Feeling veggie-powered? Swap the ground turkey for lentils, chickpeas, or your favorite plant-based crumbles.
- Nutmeg: Not a fan of nutmeg? Skip it altogether or try a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Mixed Veggies: you can use any combo of your favorite veggies here. Go all frozen peas, frozen peas and carrots, or other preferred frozen veggie combo
- Some like it hot: Spice things up with a pinch of cayenne pepper or a drizzle of hot sauce in the pie filling.
- Some like it cheesy: Feeling cheesy? Sprinkle some grated gruyere or Parmesan on top before baking.
- Some like it green: Add a layer of chopped spinach or kale to the filling for extra greens.
- Large skillet
- Baking dish (9x13)
- Potato masher (or fork)
- Wooden spoon
- Culinary torch (optional)
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This is the best option if you plan on eating them within the next few days.
- If you want to enjoy your Shepherd's Pie later, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Just let it cool completely before tightly wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and placing it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- You can reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven. If using the microwave, do it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.
- For the oven, preheat to 375°F and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and warmed through.
- To prevent the mashed potato topping from drying out when reheating, add a splash of milk or broth before placing it in the oven.
- You can also freeze individual portions of the Shepherd's Pie in muffin tins for easy grab-and-go meals.
Let the mushrooms cook down as much as possible. The longer they cook at a low to medium temp the more flavor you will get from them. This is due the removal of moisture (water) from the mushrooms, allowing the natural umami of the mushrooms to shine.
No, you don't! Roasting sweet potatoes with the skin on actually gives them a slightly smoky flavor and adds extra nutrients. Plus, it saves you time and effort. Just be sure to scrub them well before popping them in the oven. Head to our post on How to Roast Sweet Potatoes for more information.
Absolutely! Just make sure it's already been browned and crumbled before adding it to the pan. This will help prevent the mixture from becoming greasy.
My shepherd's pie is bubbling but the top isn't browned yet.
What do I do?
If you're short on time, you can skip the broiling and just let the pie bake for an extra 5-10 minutes. The top will eventually brown, and the filling will still be delicious. However, if you're determined to get that golden-brown crust, go ahead and broil it for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on it to avoid burning.
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie - Flavorful Turkey Recipe
- 1 Large skillet
- 1 Baking dish (9x13)
- 1 Potato masher (or fork)
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 Culinary torch (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups yellow onion finely diced
- 8 ounces porcini mushrooms finely diced
- 1 pound ground turkey or lean ground turkey sub lean ground beef, lean ground meat, or plant-based crumbles
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or ½ tablespoon fresh
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or ½ tablespoon fresh
- ½ teaspoon dried sage or ½ tablespoon fresh
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- ¼ cup chicken broth/chicken stock or water
- 1 cup frozen mixed veggies
Sweet Potato Topping
- 4 roasted sweet potatoes about 3 pounds - How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 egg
- In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the diced onion and saute for 2 minutes, until it begins to soften and become translucent. Add in the finely diced mushrooms and mix into the onion. Let the onions and mushrooms cook for 8 - 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have cooked down to about half the original amount.
- Add the ground turkey and let cook until it has browned and there is no longer any pink.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly into the turkey mixture
- Add the all purpose flour and mix into the turkey mixture until it is well combined.
- Add the broth or water and stir into turkey mixture until well combined and meat mixture begins to thicken.
- Add the frozen veggies and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into a 9x13 oiled baking dish. If your skillet is oven friendly leave the mixture in the pan. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Sweet Potato Topping
- Peal the skin off the roasted sweet potatoes. Place in a bowl, or directly on a sheet pan, smash potatoes with potato masher or fork.
- Add the salt, pepper and egg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Take the mashed sweet potatoes and plop spoonfuls on the top of the turkey mixture. Spread the sweet potatoes in an even layer on top of the turkey mixture.
- Bake in a preheated 375˚ oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want to brown the top of the pay, you can use a culinary torch or place the pie under your broiler for 2-5 minutes. If using boiler method, place shepherds pie on the top rack of the oven and leave the oven door slightly a jar. Check after 2 minutes, check every minute after until desired char is achieved. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Other good stuff
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before starting. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Use a clean cutting board and knife for chopping vegetables and meat. This prevents cross-contamination.
- Cook the ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F. Use a food thermometer to be sure.
- Don't let the cooked filling sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
- Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165°F before serving.