Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

8 servings
50 min

Sweet potato shepherd’s pie is probably my favourite make-ahead meal because there’s enough to eat some the same day and also freeze for later! It’s always a tasty treat to grab an extra one out of the freezer on those days that you just don’t feel like cooking.

Another thing it has going for it is that it’s colourful inside and out; it helps you ‘eat the rainbow’!

On this occasion, we only had one pound of beef and I had a craving so I halved the printable recipe that’s linked below (it will make double what you see here).

Prep Work

Prep always goes faster with a helper. On this recipe, Hubs is my sous chef and he always get the honour of cutting the sweet potato. I find them challenging to cut ; they seem a lot denser than white potatoes. So here’s a time (and hand) saving tip: look for them pre-cut in the grocery store!

If you cube the potato into smaller pieces, it will cook much quicker!

Once all the prep work is done, it’s time brown the meat! Hubs always says you can taste the love that goes into a meal when you use a wooden spoon.

Do you ever think things are going great in the kitchen but then you look down and realize something’s missing? That ‘something’ this time was the onions still on the chopping board! My new motto now is never sweat the small stuff – just the onions. Since Hubs is always on perpetual clean up duty when I cook, it’s not a big deal to cook them separately and add them into the rest of the mixture 😉.

Pipe on the Potato Topping

Sometimes I like to make the presentation a little extra special, so I get out the piping bag.

Then I get all fancy with the creamy sweet potato layer; I love to pipe on the topping.

Portion into ramekins and/or a baking dish. Individual ramekins are great to serve right away; we freeze the rest for later.

I love the convenience of a glass dish with a lid! This food container is from IKEA.

I think piping the sweet potato is such a fun touch! And of course, we also eat with our eyes so it doesn’t hurt that it’s a pretty dish too.

Ready to dig in!

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • 2 lb 907 g extra-lean organic ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 sweet red pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt 3/4 tsp for meat mixture and remaining ½ tsp for the potatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp All purpose flour or brown rice flour We use gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup sodium-reduced beef broth Can also subsitute a bouillon cube if you don't have broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp coconut aminos
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 lb 1.8 kg sweet potatoes, (about 3) peeled and coarsely chopped so they cook faster
  • 1/3 cup milk (I use 3.8% goat milk, but regular is fine too)
  • 2 tbsp butter

In Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat, breaking up with spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in garlic, celery, onions, carrots, red pepper, bay leaves, 3/4 tsp of the salt, thyme, pepper and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Mix together beef broth, water, coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar. Stir in flour to make a slurry. Add it to the pan, stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in frozen peas and let mixture simmer for another 3 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Divide between two 8-inch (2 L) square baking dishes. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook sweet potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and return to pot over medium heat; cook, stirring, until dry, about 1 minute. Stir in goat milk, goat butter and remaining salt; and mash in the pot until smooth. Either spread sweet potatoes evenly with an offset spatula or pipe them over the beef mixture.
Bake 1 of the pies (or individual ramekins) in 350°F (180°C) oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes. If desired, put under the broiler for another 5 minutes to brown, making sure the potatoes don’t burn. (Make-ahead: Cover remaining pie with plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake, uncovered and frozen, in 350°F/180°C oven for 50 to 60 minutes.)
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  • Elyce Franks Elyce Franks on Mar 16, 2021

    I don’t see turnip in your ingredient list but in the instructions it says to add it in step 1. How much? Chopped how?

    • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Mar 16, 2021

      Sorry about that Elyce! I did originally have that in the recipe but didn't have one when I made it this time and found it didn't really make a difference. I'll remove that :)

  • MELODY MELODY on Mar 14, 2022

    I was looking at sweet potato shepherd pie. In the ingredients listed no mention of goat milk( how much?) Or goat cheese (how much). It sounds interesting to make

    • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Mar 15, 2022

      Hi Melody - milk is listed as the second last ingredient. I used goat milk, but regular is fine too. There is no goat cheese in the recipe so I'm not sure where you're seeing that.