Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food in a casserole dish. The very name just sounds like something that’s going to fill you up and make you feel good. It also can be extremely healthy and made in a number of different ways. This version is full of richness and elevated flavor. The bottom layer features ground turkey, broccoli, carrots, and a blend of spices that marries seamlessly with it’s sweet potato counterpart that is mixed with sautéed onion and freshened with rosemary.
First of all, I’m sorry if I haven’t been as present commenting on blogs and chatting over social media as I usually like to be, I’ve been very preoccupied this week. I had my routine TB skin test for work and had a weird reaction to it that the nurse deemed as positive. They wanted me to get a chest x-ray, but they couldn’t schedule it until the following week. So I spent this week a) thinking that I had Tuberculosis, b) not getting to see any of my patients, and c) trying to fight my company to pay for me to go to a more expensive place so I could get my results sooner. Long story short, I took the x-ray Wednesday and I finally got my results back yesterday and of course, I don’t have Tuberculosis. I really never thought it was a possibility but it’s easy to start worrying and losing sleep when you have a bunch of people treating you like you’re infected!
On a lighter note, has anyone ever seen the movie “Fired Up?” No? Well, it’s terrible so don’t, but if you have I desperately need you to be with me on this one. Every time I think of Shepherd’s Pie, I think of that part where they walk up to cheer camp and the monolog goes:
Mean Girl: “Truth hurts, doesn’t it?”
Nice Girl: “Your face is going to hurt.”
Mean Girl: “Does your face hurt when you shove it with Shepherd’s Pie?”
That probably doesn’t translate into a recipe blog post, but I just need to clear things up and say that I’ve been shoving my face with Shepherd’s Pie for weeks now and it really doesn’t hurt at all.
I don’t have a story about how I grew up on Shepherd’s Pie from a rendition passed down from generation to generation and I really never had it until I did my first Whole30. I feel like it’s one of those staple dishes that you MUST try in your 30 day challenge because first of all, it’s delicious and second of all, the “normal” Shepherd’s Pie isn’t all that different. You really don’t have to change too much to make it compliant.
Since I’ve tried it though, I’ve tested out a bunch of different ways and I think I’ve finally come up with THE perfect Shepherd’s Pie recipe. I love simple food, but when I’m eating something that sounds so hearty, I want it to be absolutely jam packed with flavor. I think another important thing with this dish is that the two parts need to mesh really well so you don’t feel like you’re just eating ground beef with a side of sweet potatoes.
So in my version of Paleo/Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie, I add onions to the sweet potato layer along with some savory spices to balance out that sweetness and make it feel more cohesive with the meaty layer. With the bottom layer, I add a good helping of tomato paste to make the dish even more rich and comforting. I’ve done it with purple sweet potatoes, but the think texture was a little overpowering and I thought about using Japanese, but I think they would just be too sweet. I’ve also done it with grass fed beef and it was delicious, but I enjoyed the ground turkey better because it holds together a little more.
Now I have to let you in on the absolute best part of this recipe. It is amazing for meal prep! Over the weekend, you can steam your potatoes and brown the turkey so in the middle of the week, all you have to do is sauté an onion, season everything, compile, and just pop it in the oven for a little bit. I know, almost too good to be true, right?
It honestly tastes like it needs to go with a pint of craft beer, but don’t tell the Whole30 police that I said that. If you’re not doing a Whole30 please drink a beer with it and pour one out for this homie.
- 3 large sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 lb ground turkey
- 5 tsp coconut oil or ghee
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ c broccoli, cut into small florets
- ½ c carrots, diced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3.5 tbsp tomato paste
- 1.5 tsp salt, divided
- 1.5 tsp pepper, divided
- ¼ c cream of full fat canned coconut milk
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos (soy sauce for non paleo)
- 2 tsp rosemary, divided
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
- Steam sweet potatoes for 15-20 until soft
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium head for 2 minutes, add 2 tsp coconut oil or ghee until melted, then add half of your onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until they are translucent then brown your turkey for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked all the way through
- Place into a large bowl and set aside
- In same pan, sauté your broccoli and carrots in 1 tsp of coconut oil and ghee for about 5 minutes or until soft
- Add to the bowl with the turkey along with tomato paste, coconut aminos, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, garlic powder, ½ tsp rosemary, and ½ tsp thyme
- Pack the mixture flat inside the greased baking dish
- When your potatoes are done, place them in a medium bowl
- Mash them using an immersion blender or masher
- Sauté the rest of the onion in 1 last tsp of coconut oil or ghee until translucent
- Add to the potatoes along with coconut milk, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ½ tsp rosemary
- Spread evenly over the meat later in the baking dish
- Cook in the oven for 15 minutes
Have you ever shoved your face with Shepherd’s pie?
Sweet potatoes or white potatoes?
What’s your least favorite movie of all time or one that you know is dumb, but still think is funny?