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Shepherd’s Pie

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is one of my all time favorite recipes. This is actually one of the very first recipes I ever attempted to make “clean” and it was wildly successful back in 2016 on a cold night before THE big state championship football game (which my daughter’s boyfriend started in & we WON!) So lots of fond memories with this one! To me this is one of the best comfort foods and I’m so glad I didn’t have to give it up when I changed my lifestyle. And as always, it’s teenager- and man-approved. And even better: only 427 calories for one serving (about 1/8 of the recipe).

Chef’s Notes:

1. A great shortcut for the mashed potato topping is to use Steamables petit sweet potatoes. They save a lot of time so you don’t have to boil them separately. And they’re really easy to mash once cooked. You can leave the skins on or peel them easily. If you choose to use white sweet potatoes for a more traditional flavor then you need to make mashed potatoes the traditional way.

2. Feel free to replace bison with ground turkey or ground chicken. Or any combination of ground meats. Traditionally this is made with lamb which is another option because it’s pretty lean.

3. For those of you avoiding higher glycemic index veggies like peas and corn, you can omit them or just use chopped green beans instead. Also, carrots are traditionally in this recipe but I used finely diced butternut squash instead.

4. Lastly, one of favorite new spices to cook with is the new Umami Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe’s. It’s a wonderful spice blend of dried mushrooms, onions, mustard powder and other perfect umami flavors. It really makes this recipe shine.


For the filling-

• 1 1/2 pounds ground bison (or ground meat of your choice)

• 1 cup chopped onion

• 1 cup diced butternut squash (or carrots)

• 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

• 1 cup peas (or chopped green beans)

• 1 cup sweet corn (may omit)

• 1 cup vegetable broth/stock

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 small can tomato paste

• 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning Blend

• 1 tsp thyme

• 1 tsp onion powder

• 1 tsp each salt & pepper

• 1-2 Tbsp ground flax (for thickening)

For the topping-

• 3 large sweet potatoes or white sweet potatoes (or 2 bags Steamables petit sweet potatoes)

• clean oil (avocado or olive oil)

• salt, pepper,

• unsweetened almond or coconut milk.


1. Preheat oven to 375F. (If you need to boil potatoes, now’s the time to put on a pot of salted water and to peel & dice the potatoes into 1-2 inch chunks. If you’re using Steamables you have some time.)

2. In a large oven safe skillet (I use cast iron), cook the onions, squash, peas, mushrooms, & garlic in the vegetable stock until the squash is fork tender. (Save the corn for the end).

3. While the veggies are cooking, steam & peel the potatoes (if you’re using Steamables).

4. Add the ground meat to the veggie mixture once the squash is tender, cooking until browned.

5. Add the spices and the tomato paste. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Add the ground flax if you need to thicken the mixture so that it will hold together. (Another great thickening agent is cassava flour or tapioca flour. That's gluten free.)

7. While the meat mixture is simmering, mash the potatoes either by hand or with a hand mixer, adding clean oil, almond or coconut milk, salt and pepper to get your preferred consistency and taste.

8. Top the meat mixture in the oven-safe skillet with a layer of corn, if desired, and then with a layer of mashed sweet potatoes.

9. Bake in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes until the potatoes are just turning golden. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!!! (The photos show one version with orange sweet potatoes and another with white sweet potatoes).

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