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Veggie-Packed Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Healthy Veggie-Loaded Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a nutritious meal, complete with all your essential macronutrients and fiber! This balanced meal is easy to make, especially if you have leftover mashed sweet potatoes!

Bowl of mashed sweet potatoes and ground meat with vegetables

Packed with vegetables, delicious ground lamb (or ground beef), and topped with silky, rich mashed sweet potatoes, this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is your ticket to a comforting meal for us meat and potatoes lovers!

The best part about this simple recipe is you can use up all sorts of fresh produce in your refrigerator! For the vegetables, I use carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, and baby spinach, but you can toss in whatever you have on hand. 

Ideal for meal prep or for serving the whole family on any given weeknight, this family favorite is the ultimate comfort food. Use it as a refrigerator cleanout, or find the ingredients at all grocery stores!

While this is a very non traditional approach to Shepherd’s Pie, I love that it is filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. It’s just a win when it comes to healthy weeknight eating that is also satiating.

Vegetable Packed Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie in a large casserole dish

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this amazing Shepherd’s Pie!

Ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie:

For the Filling:

The beef mixture is a combination of ground lamb (or ground beef if you prefer), onion, fresh garlic (garlic powder works too), carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, fresh spinach, tomato sauce, chicken broth (or beef broth or water), coconut aminos (or soy sauce), and gluten-free all-purpose flour (for thickening the sauce).

This combination of ingredients makes a protein and fiber-packed concoction that is positively loaded with Vitamins. 

For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

The sweet potato mash includes sweet potatoes, garlic, canned coconut milk (heavy cream or milk works too) and salt. This brings us a sweet and savory potato mash that is a great source of complex carbohydrates, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, and more!

This balanced meal contains everything you need to keep you feeling full and energized.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Use your favorite type of ground meat including ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken. Note that if you use a leaner meat like lean ground turkey or ground chicken, the meat mixture won’t taste quite as rich and flavorful due to the lack of fat.
  • Make it AIP by replacing the tomato sauce with more chicken broth and swapping the GF flour for tapioca flour.
  • Replace the sweet potatoes with white potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes if you prefer.
  • Make it low-carb by following my Keto Cottage Pie.
  • Mix 1 to 2 cups of grated cheese in with the mashed potatoes, or 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter, or 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey.
  • Replace the tomato sauce with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste plus 1 cup of broth.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce if you have it on hand.
  • Toss in your favorite vegetables, such as bell pepper, green beans, peas, corn, cauliflower, frozen mixed vegetables, etc.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s make Shepherd’s Pie!

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie:

Make the Mashed Potatoes:

Chop the potatoes into chunks and boil in water on the stove top for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are very tender when poked with a fork.

Sweet potato chunks being boiled in a pot of water

Drain the water then place potatoes back into the pot you used for boiling and add the garlic, coconut milk, and sea salt. Use a potato masher to mash everything together until the sweet potato topping is well-combined.

Taste the mashed sweet potatoes for flavor and add more salt to taste. You can also add butter, pure maple syrup, or grated cheese depending on the flavor you’re going for.

While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the meat filling.

Prepare the Meat Filling:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the avocado oil in a thick-bottomed large pot (I use my Dutch oven) or a large skillet or large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with sea salt, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.

Onion sautéing in a soup pot to make curry soup.

Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, and broccoli to the pot, stir well, and replace the cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin turning brown, about 5 minutes.

Broccoli added in to the pot.

Add in the ground beef and use a spatula to break it into smaller pieces. Continue cooking until the beef has mostly browned and not much pink is left. 

Ground beef cooking with vegetables in a large stock pot.

Stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Tomato sauce on top of meat mixture, ready to be stirred in.

Add the baby spinach and cover the pot. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir the mixture well, then add in the gluten-free flour.

Spinach added into the meat mixture.

Transfer all of the meat mixture to a large casserole dish and spread it into an even layer.

Meat mixture in a large casserole dish.

Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the meat mixture evenly. If you’d like, drizzle the mashed sweet potatoes with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter for more delicious rich flavor.

Sweet potato mash on top of meat mixture, ready to go into the oven.

Bake Shepherd’s Pie on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly golden and the meat mixture is bubbly.

Sweet potato shepherd's pie fresh out of the oven.

Serve Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie with any additional side dishes, such as Cheese & Herb Irish Soda Bread, and enjoy!

White bowl with mashed sweet potatoes and ground beef mixed with vegetables. Sweet potato shepherd's pie served in a bowl.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

And that’s it! A simple easy Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe that gives you a big bang for your buck! This hearty meal will surely please the whole family whether you’re serving it on a weeknight or for a special occasion or holiday.

Big bowl of mashed sweet potatoes and meat with vegetables

If you love hearty casserole recipes like this, also check out these gems!

More Healthy Casserole Recipes:

Enjoy this veggie loaded healthy meal!

Big bowl of mashed sweet potatoes and meat with vegetables
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5 from 1 vote

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

A nutrient-dense vegetable-loaded sweet potato Shepherd's Pie that is easy to make using whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Beef Main Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 600kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 head broccoli chopped
  • 2 lbs ground lamb or ground beef
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour

For the Mashed Potatoes

Instructions

Make the Mashed Potatoes:

  • Chop the potatoes into chunks and boil in water on the stove top for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are very tender when poked with a fork.
    Sweet potato chunks being boiled in a pot of water
  • Drain the water then place potatoes back into the pot you used for boiling and add the garlic, coconut milk, and sea salt. Use a potato masher to mash everything together until the sweet potato topping is well-combined. Taste the mashed sweet potatoes for flavor and add more salt to taste. You can also add butter, pure maple syrup, or grated cheese depending on the flavor you’re going for.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the meat filling.

Prepare the Meat Filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large thick-bottomed pot (I use my Dutch oven) and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with sea salt, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
    Onion sautéing in a soup pot to make curry soup.
  • Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, and broccoli to the pot, stir well, and replace the cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin turning brown, about 5 minutes.
    Broccoli added in to the pot.
  • Add in the ground beef and use a spatula to break it into smaller pieces. Continue cooking until the beef has mostly browned and not much pink is left. 
    Ground beef cooking with vegetables in a large stock pot.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth then add the baby spinach and cover the pot.
    Tomato sauce on top of meat mixture, ready to be stirred in.
  • Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir the mixture well, then add in the gluten-free flour.
    Spinach added into the meat mixture.
  • Transfer all of the meat mixture to a large casserole dish and spread it into an even layer.
    Meat mixture in a large casserole dish.
  • Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the meat mixture evenly. If you’d like, drizzle the mashed sweet potatoes with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter for more delicious rich flavor.
    Sweet potato mash on top of meat mixture, ready to go into the oven.
  • Bake Shepherd’s Pie on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly golden and the meat mixture is bubbly.
    Sweet potato shepherd's pie fresh out of the oven.
  • Serve Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with any additional side dishes and enjoy!
    Horizontal photo of sweet potatoes and meat in a bowl.

Notes

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 5) | Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 32g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 17g

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Recipe Rating




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Cathy

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

I'm not able to eat tomatoes. Is there a substitute for tomato sauce?

Julia

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi Cathy! You can use more broth instead of tomato sauce! I would also add some coconut aminos or cider vinegar (1 to 2 tablespoons) to bring in some tangy flavor. You may need to cook the meat mixture for a few minutes longer until it thickens up. Hope you enjoy! xoxo

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