Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

A twist on traditional shepherd’s pie with ground turkey and North Carolina sweet potatoes.

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Last weekend, my hometown in Massachusetts got about three feet of snow. Yesterday it was our turn, except we only got an inch, if that. Big fluffy flakes fell throughout the morning and afternoon, but it took a while for them to stick. Today, you’d hardly know we were living in a winter wonderland yesterday. A few shrubs in the shade are still dusted with white, and parts of our deck are still covered, but most of the snow is gone. So sad.

It was still snowing when I went to the supermarket. The street and store were strangely quiet for a Saturday afternoon. The Girl Scouts were packing up their cookie stand when I arrived, so I dodged yet another box. I made a promise that I would buy a box each time I saw them. I don’t mind getting a break from that promise.

Yesterday morning, one of my friends posted a recipe for shepherd’s pie on Facebook. I remembered I had pinned a shepherd’s pie recipe that used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes — a Skinny Taste recipe. I’ve made a few of her recipes – Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy is one of my favorites – and knew that shepherd’s pie would be perfect cozy food for a cold night.

I only made a slight change to the recipe: I used frozen corn and peas, and added carrots to the onion mixture. I also used smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. The shepherd’s pie was delicious. I’m looking forward to having the leftovers for dinner on Tuesday, my next night to cook.

Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherds Pie | Grabbing the Gusto

Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherds Pie | Grabbing the Gusto

Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

You’ll need a large pot, colander, large skillet and casserole dish.

For the potatoes:

  • 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smooshed
  • 1/2 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup fat free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 10 ounces frozen peas and corn 
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika or smoked paprika

Boil sweet potatoes and garlic in a pot of salted water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with milk, chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper.  

While the sweet potatoes are boiling, brown the turkey in a large pan. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked, remove to a plate. Add olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, celery, parsnip, carrot, salt and pepper, cook about 12 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened.

Add garlic and mushrooms, and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add peas, corn, chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, cooked turkey, and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spread meat mixture on the bottom of a casserole. Top with mashed sweet potatoes. Use a fork to scrape the top of the potatoes to make ridges. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let it cool 10 minutes before serving.

Original recipe: Sweet Potato Turkey Shepard’s Pie, Skinny Taste

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1 year ago on Gusto: Coq au Vin

2 years ago: Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

3 years ago: Spicy Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

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