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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a fun and healthy twist on a classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe. It is made with ground lamb, onions, mushrooms, peas and topped with mashed sweet potatoes. This is an easy meal to prepare for your family on a busy weeknight. It also makes a hearty and delicious dish for a St. Partick’s Day Party or Pot Luck Dinner.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

It’s hard to believe it is almost March, which means St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! I do have a touch of Irish in my blood, so that might explain some of my love for Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness Stew and Corned Beef and Cabbage!These comfort food recipes are all family favorites as well! I decided to make a Shepherd’s Pie yesterday for Sunday Supper. I had everything I needed except regular potatoes, but I did happen to have sweet potatoes on hand, so I thought why not? You probably know where I am going with this… So, I decided to make a Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie. The results? Well, all I can say is that there were no leftovers!

Closeup of Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

So first off, let’s get down to basics. What exactly is a Shepherd’s Pie? It is a hearty dish traditionally made with ground lamb and vegetables, then it is topped with white mashed potatoes. In this version, I have changed out the white mashed potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes because that is what I had on hand. The sweet potatoes also add a nutritional boost to the dish!

Why use Sweet Potatoes?

As I mentioned above, I decided to try out sweet potatoes on top of the Shepherd’s Pie because that is all I had in the pantry. However, sweet potatoes have a number of nutritional benefits. They are high in fiber and antioxidants which can promote gut health. These beautiful orange fleshed potatoes are one of the best natural sources of beta-carotene, which is turned into immune boosting Vitamin A in the body. These are just a few of the numerous health benefits from consuming sweet potatoes. 

A slice of shepherd's pie on a white plate with a fork.

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Is there a difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie?

Yes, there is! I used to think they were the same thing. However, on our recent trip to England, I learned the difference after seeing both of the items on a Pub menu! Shepherd’s Pie is an Irish dish traditionally made with mutton (ground lamb) and topped with mashed potatoes. Cottage Pie is an English dish made with lean ground beef and topped with sliced potatoes to resemble the shingles of a cottage. 

What do I need to make the Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie?

There are 14 items needed to make this delicious twist on a favorite comfort food recipe. You will need:

Ingredients of Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.

How do I make the Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie?

There are just a few simple steps to make this delicious dish! First, peel the sweet potatoes and quarter them. Then, boil the sweet potatoes until tender. Drain the water, mash the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Add in the butter and milk and stir until combined and smooth.  Set the bowl aside.  Next, heat black iron skillet over medium heat and add in the ground lamb. Cook until lamb is browned, then removed to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any grease. Add the mushrooms and onion to pan and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Return the lamb to the skillet with the vegetables. 

Peas, spices and tomato paste.

Add in peas, all spices, tomato paste and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until tomato paste has melted and peas are cooked through. Then, remove from heat.

Peas, ground lamb, spices and tomato paste in a black cast iron skillet.

Now, spoon the sweet potatoes on top of the lamb and veggie mixture. Smooth the top, place on a baking sheet and put on middle rack in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until edges begin to lightly brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, garnish with fresh, chopped parsley (if desired) and serve hot!

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie in a black cast iron skillet on a white marble background.

I don’t have a black iron skillet, is there anything else I can use?

Yes, you could prepare the lamb in veggies in a regular skillet. Then, place them all in a glass or metal casserole dish and top with the sweet potatoes. However, if you do not have a black iron skillet, I highly recommend investing in one or adding it to your wish list! There are so many benefits to using them for cooking. They are nonstick, long lasting and free of chemicals. Like in this dish, they can easily go from stovetop to oven safely as well! My favorite brand of cast iron skillet is Lodge, which can be found at many different retail stores or on Amazon. They have a convenient silicone hot handle holder to use when taking it out of the oven or transferring the pan.

A spoon on top of Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.

How do I store any leftover Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie?

It can be stored in the refrigerator right in the skillet covered with tin foil or plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Of course, it could also be transferred to a smaller covered glass container or Tupperware. It can be frozen, but for best taste quality, I do not recommend it.

What should I serve with this dish?

The Shepherd’s Pie is a complete meal! This is one of the reasons I love it so much. It contains meat and veggies and makes a very hearty dinner all by itself. If you would like something to accompany it, I would suggest a side salad or baguette.

a white plate with sweet potatoes, ground lamb and peas with a fork on the side.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Shepherd's Pie, Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 421kcal

Equipment

  • Black Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb this may be susbstituted with ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 8 ounce package mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup water

For the sweet potato topping:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cooked
  • ½ cup 1 stick butter
  • ½ to ¾ cup milk depending on desired consistency

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into quarters. Boil until fork tender (about 15 minutes).
  • Drain the water and mash them, then place in a large bowl.
  • Add the butter and ½ cup milk to mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Stir until well combined and smooth.
  • Heat a large black iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the ground lamb and cook until browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove lamb from skillet and place it on a plate lined with papertowels to drain grease.
  • Add onions and mushrooms to skillet and saute until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Return the lamb to the skillet with vegetables.
  • Add in peas, all spices, tomato paste and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until tomato paste has melted and peas are cooked through.
  • Spoon mashed sweet potatoes over lamb mixture and smooth the top.
  • Place on a baking sheet and put on middle rack in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until edges begin to lightly brown and filling is bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley as a garnish if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9763IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg

Overhead shot of Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.

So Tell Me…

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What is your favorite Irish inspired recipe? Have you ever made a Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie?

Thank you so much for stopping by. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great week!

 

 

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Pin of Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.

Recipe Rating




Melissa W

Thursday 20th of October 2022

Making this tonight, hopefully it will let me add onto this later. Going through the steps I'm wondering if it should be a 10" or 12" skillet and if someone doesn't have a skillet what would be a good substitute to bake it in. A pie dish wouldn't be deep enough, average casserole would be too big.

Andy

Tuesday 25th of February 2020

We ate shepherds pie often growing up. Always with ground beef and mashed potatoes. This version sounds pretty good. I'll have to try it sometime.