If you love shepherd's pie, you are really going to love this Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with lean ground turkey. It's a healthier shepherd's pie, but it's every bit as delicious as the original.
Shepherd's pie (which some people spell as shepard's pie), is a classic Irish dish, usually made with a filling of cooked ground lamb and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.
If you make it with ground beef, it is actually a cottage pie. This recipe has ground turkey, like this Mexican Shepherd's Pie and I'm just going to call it shepherd's pie.
What's to Love?
- This sweet potato shepherd's pie is a delicious twist on the classic.
- This lean ground turkey shepherd's pie topped with sweet potatoes is much healthier version.
- It's a hearty and satisfying meal that's cooked and baked in one pan.
- This healthy shepherd's pie recipe is every bit as easy to make as the regular version.
- This recipe is perfect for using leftover sweet potatoes.
- It's great for meal prep and make ahead, and it freezes well, too.
- This recipe is gluten free and dairy free so everyone can enjoy it!
- Lean ground turkey Choose the package that's labeled "lean ground turkey", and not "ground turkey breast". The lean ground turkey is a mixture of breast and thigh meat and is juicier and more flavourful than ground turkey breast.
- Sweet potatoes You will need one large sweet potato, or two medium. (which I know isn't very helpful because they come in all kinds of sizes. So I'll just say that you need enough for 6 cups of cubed sweet potato.
- Peas and Carrots You can save time by using frozen peas & carrots. I used frozen peas and fresh carrots. If you do use frozen carrots, add them along with the peas.
- Celery and Onion Dice the onion finely. I like this little chopper for making short work of all the vegetable chopping.
- Chicken Stock or turkey stock, if you have it. If you have homemade stock on hand, use it. Otherwise you can use canned, or bullion.
- Cornstarch Cornstarch thickens the gravy without lumps and as a bonus, it means this recipe is gluten free.
- Rosemary & Thyme These add delicious flavour and you can use fresh or dried.
Here's How To Make It
- Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling, salted water, then drain.
- Mash them with a little olive oil until they're creamy and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, in an oven safe skillet, cook the vegetables (except peas) along with the garlic, until they begin to soften.
- Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper.
- Stir until everything is combined.
- Stir in the peas
- Smooth the mashed sweet potatoes evenly over the filling.
Finally, bake in the oven, allow to cool slightly and serve!
Tips and Recipe FAQs
Yes, you can assemble the whole dish up to a day ahead. Keep it refrigerated until you want to bake it.
You can reheat it in the microwave for individual portions, or you can reheat the whole dish in the oven at 350° 15-20 minutes.
Yes, this recipe freezes beautifully! There are a couple of ways to do it. First, you can freeze the whole pie without baking it, or, you can freeze it in individual portion sizes after it's baked and cooled. (It's a perfect recipe for meal prep).Use airtight freezer safe containers and use within 3 months.
Variations and Substitutions
- Change the meat. Use ground beef, ground lamb or ground chicken instead of ground turkey.
- Change the topping. Regular potatoes, mashed rutabaga, cauliflower mash, or even Parsnip Puree all are delicious substitutions for the sweet potato topping.
- Add more vegetables You can add just about any vegetable to the shepherd's pie filling, including spinach, green beans, chopped bell peppers, mushrooms and corn.
- Spice it up. Add some crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the filling.
- Make it vegan. Use lentils instead of ground turkey, and switch the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
Although shepherd's pie is a complete meal on it's own, you can also serve it with a vegetable side dish like Sautéed Green Beans, or a crisp salad. This fall salad would be perfect: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Apples.
Do You Love Sweet Potatoes?
More recipes to check out:
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie (With Ground Turkey)
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed (six cups)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots chopped (one cup)
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup chicken or turkey stock
- 1 cup peas
- Place the sweet potato cubes in a pot and add enough water to cover them
- Boil the sweet potatoes until they are fork tender, then drain and mash them with one tablespoon of olive oil.
- In an oven safe skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil
- Add the carrots, onion, and celery and cook
- Preheat oven to 400°
- In an oven safe skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add carrots, celery, and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes
- Stir in the cornstarch, rosemary and thyme
- Add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook, breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and stir to combine completely
- Stir in the peas and remove from heat
- Using a spatula, smooth the mashed sweet potatoes over the filling evenly to cover.
- Sprinkle with paprika (optional)
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes form a crust and the filling is bubbling
- Allow the shepherd's pie to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.
This is the perfect fall comfort food! I just love the complexity the sweet potato adds with all those savory flavors. Delicious!
Hi Amanda, it definitely is comfort food and delicious!
I love healthy turkey Shepard’s pie! And I how you’ve made it in a round pan. Great step by step instructions 😊
I had some sweet potatoes that I wanted to use up and so I tried this recipe. It turned out great. Very flavorful. I will make it again.
I'm thrilled to hear this, Katie! Thanks for letting me know!
This really hit the spot! It’s nice to come across a comfort food recipe that you can feel good about eating and tastes so good.
Hi Jessica! I'm so happy that you loved it!
You are speaking my language, we love sweet potatoes and using them on this recipe is genius! The sweetness of the potatoes go so well with the lean ground turkey.
They really do go so well, Silvia!
I'm just so impressed by your moderations in this classic recipe to make it healthier! So genius!!