Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a tasty one-pan meal! This recipe is packed with veggies & topped with a creamy sweet potato crust!
Put a flavorful fall spin on a traditional comfort food meal with this Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie! It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas, just like my traditional Sweet Potato Casserole!
TURKEY & SWEET POTATO SHEPHERD’S PIE
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Growing up I wasn’t a fan of sweet potatoes. I think the orange color and the sweet and savory taste kept me away. Now, my love of sweet and savory has grown. I make sweet potato dishes constantly, including this Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.
This turkey shepherd’s pie is a great twist on the original and fantastic comfort food for cold nights. Plus, the colors are amazing!
What is Shepherd’s Pie?
Popular for St. Patrick’s Day parties, shepherd’s pie has been on European menus for centuries. The term shepherd’s pie dates back to 1854 and was a synonym for cottage pie, which has been around since the late 1700s.
In early recipes, shepherd’s pie was a great way to use leftover roasted meat. The pie dish was lined and topped with mashed potatoes, like a potato pie crust. Now, most recipes have no bottom crust.
There are only a few required ingredients for a traditional shepherd’s pie. With the many alternatives around, you can add or swap ingredients to make it your own!
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
There are a million ways to make this English comfort dish.
The basic ingredients of a shepherd’s pie are ground beef or lamb, cooked in gravy with onions, and topped with mashed potatoes.
In this recipe, I swapped the red meat for turkey to make it a little healthier and add more veggies. I also love the contrast in this shepherd’s pie with sweet potato.
Many shepherd’s pies have additional vegetables, such as peas, corn, celery, and carrots. Some are even topped with melted cheese!
Sweet potatoes are such a tasty way to satisfy your sweet and savory craving and add some healthy color to your diet. The color is just beautiful and there is so much that you can do with them. They’re so versatile. You can roast them, fry them, mash them, or sauté them to go with any dish.
This sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe is topped with creamy sweet potatoes, It’s a great Thanksgiving main dish That doesn’t require you to roast a whole bird.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
- First, preheat your oven, grease your baking pan, and boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot of water.
- Time to make the filling! Sauté the carrots, celery, and onion until soft in a large skillet with some olive oil. Then, season and add the ground turkey and cook until browned.
- Next, add the tomato paste, flour, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth and simmer.
- Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain the water and mash by hand or with a mixer until super smooth. Then, add your butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Now, beat the egg in a small bowl and add a little mashed sweet potato to keep the eggs from scrambling. Then add the egg and sweet potatoes back to the pot of potatoes and beat together.
- Once the turkey mixture has reduced some, add the frozen peas. Put the gravy and meat mixture in the baking pan and cover it with a layer of sweet potatoes.
- Finally, bake your ground turkey shepherd’s pie for about 35 minutes or until there’s a golden crust on the potatoes. Serve warm and enjoy!
This is a great make-ahead dish for a busy holiday! Make the turkey mixture and sweet potato mixture separately as early as the night before and refrigerate until time to assemble. You may want to reheat the potatoes slightly before layering to make them more spreadable.
If you want to cut down on dishes, you can make the turkey and gravy in a cast iron skillet. Then spread the sweet potato mash on top and bake it right in the skillet!
Other Comforting Dinner Recipes
- Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
- Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Easy Sloppy Joe Casserole
- More MAIN DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe
Vegetable peeler: You can leave the skin on for your mashed sweet potatoes or peel them before boiling. This vegetable is great for potatoes, carrots, apples, and more.
Baking dish: I love a clear baking dish for this shepherd’s pie recipe because it shows the beautiful layers of filling and sweet potatoes.
Skillet: Every kitchen needs a top-notch skillet to sauté vegetables and brown meat. This one has a heavy bottom and a lid for easy simmering.
*This post originally posted on 10/07/2013.
- 2.5 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 2.5 pounds ground turkey
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg beaten
- 12 ounces frozen peas
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Put sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until soft and onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and ground turkey. Cook until turkey is browned, being sure to break up turkey as it cooks.
- Add the tomato paste, flour, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pot - keep off the heat. Smash until smooth with a potato masher. Once smooth, add in butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until cream cheese is melted and combined.
- Beat egg in a small dish. Add a couple of tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture to the egg and mix to temper. Add egg mixture into the pot of sweet potatoes and mix for a couple of minutes.
- Add frozen peas to the ground turkey mixture in the skillet and stir. Pour turkey mixture into your prepared pan. Cover turkey and vegetables with the sweet potatoes, spreading them into an even layer.
- Bake for 35 minutes until casserole is bubbling and potato crust is set. Remove from oven and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm sprinkled with extra chopped thyme, if desired.
Pam Fiore says
This was a big hit with my family. I used ground turkey and added some cayenne pepper. Will definitely make this again.
Thalia Moshos says
How long do you simmer for ? Also, what size pan do you bake it in?
thank you for sharing your recipe! I made it and served it with cranberry sauce, it was seriously amazing! Everyone loved it. The house smelled like Thanksgiving 😉
Oooooo, what a great idea Pam. My mouth is watering just thinking of that cranberry sauce.
Ohhhhhh myyyy goodness…. This is the best recipe ever. Aubrey makes it easy to follow and it took everything I had in me not up sneak in bites throughout the cooking process. 😉 My husband was in the other room doing some work on the house & he kept yelling how good the house smelled. Needless to say, this “serves 8” dish will not last long between the two of us. :)) Thanks Aubrey!!<3
I’m so glad to hear that Kaitlin!!! Thanks.
Made this for dinner tonight and just had to stop by and tell you how much we loved it! It will be in my regular rotation throughout the Fall and Winter. Delicious and it made my kitchen smell like Thanksgiving!
Yay! Thanks Heather, I’m so glad you guys liked it! 🙂
Chrystal M says
Stopping by from the “Wednesdays Whatsits.” Think I just died and went to heaven. I love my traditional Irish Shepherds Pie and Scotts Pies. I love sweet potatoes but no one else in my house likes them. 🙁 Bummer.
Oh that is a bummer! I have a lot left because it’s just my husband and I that will eat it. I think it’ll freeze good so I was going to freeze it in individual portions for hot lunches later. Maybe that way you could eat it and save it for later.