Is Shepherd’s Pie Healthy
In my recipe for shepherd’s pie using ground turkey, we’re making some pretty healthy switches to a traditional recipe. Turkey is a nutritious form of protein that is heart-friendly. This shepherd’s pie is gluten-free and dairy-free, removing two big allergens that people have problems with nowadays. And rather than traditional white potatoes making up the mashed topping, I’ve switched them out for sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic starch choice, full of
- 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage
- 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano
- 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme
- 1, small 8-ounce container sliced mushrooms
What Youll Need To Make Turkey Shepherds Pie
For the turkey and vegetable filling, youll need:
- light butter
For the mashed potato topping, youll need:
- russet potatoes
- fat free half and half
- garlic salt
- onion salt
A shortcut I took when I first created this recipe was using these Ore-Ida Steam n Mash potatoes for the topping. It eliminates the need to peel, cut and boil potatoes. But, I will say I enjoy using the real potatoes here. I feel there is a bit of a difference in the taste! But, if youre in a pinch, you can totally use these frozen bagged ones as a shortcut.
Making Healthy Shepherd’s Pie With Ground Turkey
Your first step in creating a healthy shepherd’s pie is to gather all your ingredients. This recipe for shepherd’s pie with ground turkey doesn’t have a laundry list of ingredients, which is nice for those of us who don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen!
Next, prep your sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit, making sure it’s ready for your finished product to cook at the end. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, then rub with coconut oil. You don’t have to skin sweet potatoes — the skin will easily peel off after they’ve been roasted! Place the sweet potatoes with the flesh-side down on the cookie sheet, then place in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until you test them with a fork and find them tender.
While the sweet potatoes bake, it’s time to get the rest of your gluten-free and dairy-free shepherd’s pie ready. For this, you’re going to want an oven-safe pan, such as a cast iron. You’ll cook in this and then put it right into the oven to finish, which means less dishes to wash later!
Chop carrots, onion, and mushrooms . Add the carrots and onion to a medium-sized pan along with the ground turkey. Turn on medium-low heat, and use a spatula to break up the ground turkey as it cooks. Toss in your salt, sage, oregano, and thyme, and let it all simmer together.
The veggies will absorb flavor from the turkey and herbs as they cook and soften.
You’re in the home stretch now!
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Can I Prepare Shepherds Pie In Advance
Yes, this is a great make ahead dish! You cook it, assemble and leave it ready to bake, or freeze it to make another night.
To Make Ahead: This is a great dish to prep and make ahead a few days in advance. Assemble and cover with foil. Refrigerate up to 2 days ahead, then bake in a preheated oven 400F about 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Leftovers: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, transfer to a freezer safe containers for up to 1 month.
Can Shepherd’s Pie Be Made With Beef
Yes! I’ve created this recipe to take advantage of leftovers , but you can use the same recipe to prepare a beef shepherd’s pie. To do so, substitute 2-3 cups of cooked, drained ground beef for the turkey called for in the recipe. That would be about 2 lbs. of raw ground beef, browned in a skillet and drained. The rest of the instructions remain the same!
This is literally and dump-and-go meal! Simply stir together the turkey, vegetables, gravy, and thyme, and transfer to a baking dish.
I use store-bought mashed potatoes for the crust, but you can also substitute with homemade mashed potatoes !
Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the filling, starting around the edges to create a seal. This will prevent the filling from bubbling up over the top.
Smooth the top with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, and your job is done! So easy, right?!
Bake the pie in a 400-degree F oven for about 25 minutes, or just until the the potatoes get crusty and start to brown on top. Allow the dish to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
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Putting It All Together And Baking Turkey Shepherds Pie
Next, grab a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spray it with some cooking spray, and then pour the turkey and vegetable filling mixture in.
Next, plop those deliciously smooth mashed potatoes on top, and spread them out to cover the entire filling. I used an offset spatula to smooth it out.
Pop the pie in the oven at 400F and cook it for 20 minutes.
When its done, divide it into six equal portions and enjoy! I like to serve mine with green beans on the side.
Build The Shepherds Pie And Bake
Add the ground turkey mixture to a large, ovenproof casserole dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly on top of the meat. Arrange the mash so that it covers the entire top. Place the casserole dish on a large baking sheet just in case it bubbles over it doesnât make a mess out of your oven. Bake the turkey and mashed potato casserole for 30 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley or other fresh herbs if desired. Let the shepherdâs pie rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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All About Turkey Shepherds Pie
Truth be told, I had never eaten shepherds pie until I created this recipe, but I knew the general idea was appealing a mixture of ground meat and vegetables, slathered in mashed potatoes? Sign me up!
You might see a recipe like that and just assume it could never be healthy. I mean, mashed potatoes? Those arent healthy, right?
Wrong. As I always preach, everything in moderation. Just by making a few easy substitutions this recipe is easily lightened up. And let me tell you, it is certainly not lacking any flavor.
This recipe is so delicious and makes for a perfect meal prep. It stores really well in the fridge, and reheats so easily. My kids also really enjoy it, so its totally kid-friendly and approved for the family. You cant beat it.
So, lets get to cooking!
What Goes With Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
With meat, vegetables, and starch, this is already a complete meal! If you’d like to round out your supper with an additional option, try serving your Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with:
- fresh, crisp greens in a salad like this Tossed Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette or this Fall Harvest Salad
- or dinner rolls, French bread for soaking up the gravy, or homemade 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits.
Looking for even more leftover turkey recipes? Try these favorites:
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How To Make Turkey Shepherds Pie
This turkey shepherds pie recipe takes less than an hour to come together, including the prep, sautéing, and baking. Well start by softening the cauliflower, and then well move to the sautéing.
Finally, well brown the turkey and assemble and bake the dish, cooking it to golden brown deliciousness.
To begin, preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut the cauliflower into small florets and add them to a large saucepan.
Next, add 2 cups of water the pan and set the heat to medium-high. Cover with a lid.
Let the cauliflower cook until its fork tender, which should take about 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, dump the remaining water.
Add the cauliflower to a food processor with ghee, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.
Add avocado oil to a large sauce pan. Once hot, add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms.
Then, let the veggies sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined.
Next, add the ground turkey and cook it until its no longer pink.
Pour in the broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the peas and corn and stir. Turn off the heat.
Pour the filling into the bottom of the 9×13 dish.
Add the cauliflower mash evenly on top of the filling and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes.
Optionally, broil for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top.
Recipe Variations And Cook’s Tips:
- Swap out the diced turkey and use diced, cooked chicken or even cooked, ground beef, ground lamb, ground chicken or ground turkey .
- Pick your family’s favorite vegetables! I use a frozen mixed vegetable blend that includes corn, green beans, peas, and carrots. If your family prefers just peas, or just peas and carrots, for example, use those instead!
- If your kids love cheese, try sprinkling some grated cheese over top of the potatoes before the dish goes in the oven.
- Lighten Up! With a fat-free turkey gravy and chopped turkey breast, this is already a very healthy dinner. To make your healthy shepherd’s pie even healthier, feel free to swap out the mashed potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower mash. You’ll need about 3 ½ cups of cauliflower mash to replace the potatoes. For a shortcut, try using frozen mashed cauliflower that has been thawed .
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More Tips For Making A Quick And Easy Shepherds Pie With Ground Turkey
Potatoes: If you hate peeling potatoes when making this simple shepherds pie recipe, use red potatoes instead of Russets. No need to peel.
Just wash, cut them into big chunks, and cook them for the mash. The red peels add a bit more fiber to the mash.
Peas & Carrots: If you dont have time to defrost the peas and carrots on the countertop or microwave for this quick and easy shepherd pie.
Then add them as directed but cook until theyre heated through.
Mushrooms: Portobello mushrooms are just very large brown cremini.
Its just easier to chop up three large mushrooms than lots of smaller ones. And Portobello’s have a richer flavor!
Garlic: I find using the minced garlic in jars you buy at the store is such a time saver. I find Im no longer am throwing out dried and moldy garlic cloves, too.
Can You Cook Turkey Shepherd’s Pie From Frozen
Yes! It just takes a lot longer! You can thaw a frozen shepherd’s pie in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with baking the thawed casserole as instructed per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 1½ hrs. Increase oven to 425 degrees F, uncover and cook for about 20 more minutes, until golden and bubbling.
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Hello Leftover Turkey So Nice To See You Again
We hear that some kind Thanksgiving hosts send their guests home with leftovers. Sadly, we are not so generous. We wait all year for that leftover turkey goodness. We stock up on mayo for turkey sandwiches. We make stock with the turkey carcass. And this year, were hoping for enough leftover turkey to make this cozy turkey shepherds pie! In creating this comforting recipe, we leaned hard into classic Thanksgiving flavors and ingredientsgarlic, thyme, onion, green beans and butter . If you are really lucky and end up with lots of leftover mashed potatoesyoull need about 5-6 cups of mashed potatoesyou can use them for the topping rather than making the garlic mashed potatoes fresh.
Directions For Turkey Filling
Preheat oven to 400F. Heat butter in large oven-proof skillet set over medium heat cook turkey, salt and pepper for 5 to 8 minutes or slightly browned. Stir in onion, carrot and sage cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly softened.
Whisk together Classic Brown Gravy Mix and 2 cups water. Stir into skillet bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes stir in corn and peas. Remove from heat.
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A Healthier Option Yes
If youve ever had shepherds pie, you know its a potato fest. Its loaded up with rich and creamy mashed potatoes, and its to die for! Well, this recipe is just as mouth watering, but it actually doesnt use any potatoes. Instead, we achieve that mashed goodness by using cauliflower. Yep, its true! And its so good.
In addition to swapping the cauliflower, were using ground turkey rather than ground beef. This is a great lean protein option thats just as yummy but contains less fat!
Whats more, this dish is seriously loaded up with vegetables. Think carrots, onion, peas, corn were talking a nutrient powerhouse!
Finally, I included the option of using chicken broth in place of beef broth. This gives you the option to once again include a lower-fat ingredient.
Why Its So Good
- The potato topping has its own delicious flavors of butter, sour cream and a little garlic.
- Fresh rosemary lends amazing fresh flavor.
- Ground sage adds just a hint of holiday that goes perfect with the turkey.
- Red wine makes the filling deep and rich with flavor.
- Using beef broth instead of chicken broth gives the filling a robust flavor.
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Tips For Making A Gluten Free Shepherds Pie
Broth and stock: If youre gluten free or want to avoid ingredients like MSG, make sure to check the ingredient labels carefully on the vegetable stock or vegetable broth youre buying when making this recipe.
I love using Massel, Bouillon Stock Powder – No MSG, Gluten-Free, Vegetable Flavour to make a quick batch of vegetable stock, especially when I forgot to pick some up at the store or just need a small amount.
I also like using Massel Bouillon powders as a seasoning for sautéed vegetables or making some soup when you feel a cold coming on. Great stuff!
Steak sauce: Same thing goes for the steak sauce check those labels, especially those bargain store brands that tend to use fillers or cheaper ingredients.
A-1 Steak Sauce is gluten free and is safe to use in this shepherd pie recipe.
Worcestershire sauce:Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free. However, if you have a seafood allergy, you should avoid it as it has anchovies.
If thats the case for you, just add more A-1 sauce. Or you could use some tamari sauce .
I find that rice starch works just as well as corn starch if not better for thickening soups and gravies! But you can use corn starch if you prefer that.
How To Make The Turkey And Vegetable Filling
First, get your oven ready by preheating it to 400F.
Cooking the vegetables and turkey
While it preheats, chop your onion and get your carrots ready. In a large, deep frying pan, melt the light butter. Once its melted, add the onions and carrots to the pan. Sauté the vegetables for eight to ten minutes or until they become soft and start to caramelize.
Once the vegetables are cooked down, get the turkey ready to cook. Here, I used 2 lbs of lean ground turkey breast. You can use chicken breast, or you can even use lean ground beef.
Get your spices ready too thats your garlic salt, onion salt, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Add some olive oil spray to your pan.
Add the turkey to the frying pan along with the spices. Use a wooden spoon to break up the turkey meat. Cook for another ten minutes, or until the turkey is no longer pink.
After ten minutes, its time to add some more flavor! Get your tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce ready to go.
Adding more flavor to the turkey and vegetables
Once the turkey is fully cooked, add the tomato paste and Worcestershire. Stir the mixture so that everything is incorporated.
Then, sprinkle the flour on top of the mixture. Make sure the flour coats the turkey. Then, add the chicken stock. Cook for just a couple of minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed into the meat.
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Making A Shepherds Pie Recipe With Portobello Mushrooms
When I chose to make my healthy shepherd pie recipe with ground turkey, I knew the chopped Portobello mushrooms bulks up the ground turkey and make it go further.
The mushrooms also added a terrific umami flavor, which my family raved about.
My husband even said, Hun, you could sell that! after eating my shepherds pie dinner.
And my teenage son thanked me for making it! Can you believe it?
The added Portobello mushrooms generated more servings and stretched my simple shepherds pie recipe into more portions.
This made me happy, since I had leftovers to dine on the next day for lunch or an after school snack.
Winner, winner Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Turkey makes a delicious dinner!
Ground Turkey Shepherds Pie
This. This right here is why I am obsessed with cold weather food. I mean, is it LITERALLY possible to get more cozy and comforting than shepherds pie?? Hearty meat and veggies coated in a light gravy topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked?! Um, right. I didnt think so.
This is like the ultimate bring to your friend who just had a baby or bring to your coworker who just had surgery dish. Why? Well, first of all because its #BAE. Second of all, this will bring comfort and happiness to anyone in any situation. Food can totally lift your spirits. A steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold night, a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup, a homemade casserole those things are comforting and make you feel warm and fuzzy. If you dont know what I mean, then send me your address and Im going to come over and cook a cozy meal for you and youre going to have to look me in the eyes and tell me it doesnt make you feel the most comforted and warm and fuzziest of all time.
Basically my goal in life is cozy and warm. Its how I like to cook, its how I like to decorate my house , its how I like to dress its EVERYTHING. And this shepherds pie is the food equivalent of creams and grays and cable knit blankets catch my drift?
Awesome. Im so glad were on the same page.
We do take some lightening steps though:
YES shepherds pie forever. If cooking was a competition, dis baby comes in first pa-lace.
This recipe has 11 smart points per serving!
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