This Lighter Shepherd’s Pie recipe I had on the back burner for a while. In case you are wondering about my protein choice in the pie, I have nothing against red meat. I substituted the ground beef that is in traditional pies with ground turkey precisely because we had just had large steaks a couple days before. Because I subbed in poultry, I changed the broth in the recipe to chicken broth so that the flavors matched.
One last note: while this Lighter Shepherd’s Pie is not difficult, it does have a few steps to it. I modified the original a bit so that you could use one pan for most of the things, but if you are new to cooking, I would recommend doing this on a Sunday afternoon rather than a weeknight. Then you have lunch for the whole week!
Easy Lighter Shepherd's PiePrint Recipe
- FOR THE MASH TOPPING:
- 1.5 pounds white potatoes
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon softened cream cheese or sour cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 green onions, chopped
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1. Cut the cauliflower in half. Trim away the cauliflower florets from the base in the middle, like so.
2. Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in salted water in a large stainless steel pot until tender, for about 12 minutes or when a fork can easily pierce them.*
3. While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven** over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and brown the meat until mostly cooked through about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the carrot and onion to the meat, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to low.
5. When the veggies are done, drain them and then pour them back into the pot. Set aside while you get the gravy started.
6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour, then cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and Worcestershire sauce, and then let the gravy thicken for about a minute. Pour the mixture over the meat filling in the Dutch oven, add the peas, and mix together.
7. Then, add the cream cheese, egg yolk, chicken broth, and chopped green onions to the potatoes and cauliflower. Mash by hand, or use a hand mixer or immersion blender to blend until smooth.
8. Preheat the broiler to high, and set the highest rack to about 6-8 inches away from the broiler. While it is preheating, spoon the mash evenly over the meat. Sprinkle the top with paprika.
9. Put in the Dutch oven and broil until the potatoes are evenly browned for about 5-7 minutes.
*I wrote these directions with multi-tasking in mind. If you aren’t comfortable in the kitchen, I will finish the potatoes all the way through first (i.e., skip to step 7), and then go back and start with the meat (after having prepped your mise en place, of course).
**I used a Dutch oven so that I could go from stove-top to broiler with the meat. The original recipe calls for filling a rectangular oven-safe dish with meat and vegetables, but I didn’t want to dirty more dishes. Feel free to follow the original recipe if you don’t have a Dutch or French oven.