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This sweet potato shepherd’s pie is a healthier twist on the classic version. Instead of using regular mashed potatoes, I made this shepherd’s pie with sweet potato instead — but with the same savory meat and vegetables baked underneath. For a low carb version, try my cauliflower shepherd’s pie.
Why You’ll Love This Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- Tender, savory meat and veggies
- Sweet, creamy sweet potato topping – healthier than regular potatoes!
- Simple ingredients and simple prep
- Oven to table in less than an hour
- Naturally gluten-free
- Freezer friendly
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for shepherd’s pie with sweet potato, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
You can make sweet potato mash any way you like, but my favorite mashed sweet potato recipe includes:
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes up the flavor and nutrition compared to regular potatoes. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving.
- Unsalted Butter – For flavor. You can substitute avocado oil or olive oil if you need a dairy-free version.
- Garlic – Or garlic powder.
- Milk – Makes the mash more creamy, but you can omit it if you prefer a firmer texture.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Olive Oil – For sauteing. Avocado oil works as well.
- Aromatics – Including onions and garlic. I used 3 cloves of minced garlic, but you can also substitute 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder instead.
- Ground Beef – I use 85/15 ground beef, but any kind works. Ground turkey or chicken can also be used.
- Vegetables – I used classic peas and carrots. Fresh or frozen both work great.
- Sauce – Mine is super simple, with just beef broth (or you can use bone broth) and tomato paste. You can also add a couple teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor if you like.
- Seasonings – including Italian seasoning (I use homemade Italian seasoning, but you can also use store-bought), sea salt, and black pepper. You can also add fresh herbs if you like — rosemary and thyme work well.
How To Make Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
This section shows how to make shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make sweet potato mash. Prepare the mashed sweet potatoes according to the instructions here. You’ll boil the potatoes until soft, drain and pat dry. Melt butter, saute garlic in it, then add the sweet potatoes and mash with some milk added.
- Saute aromatics. In a large skillet, cook onions in olive oil until they are slightly browned. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and saute for another minute.
- Cook beef. Brown the ground beef with salt and pepper, until almost cooked through.
- Make sauce. Add carrots, beef broth, and tomato paste. Simmer until the beef is fully cooked and the mixture is thickened.
- Add peas. Stir in the peas and cook for a couple of minutes. Adjust seasonings, if desired.
- Assemble. Spread the meat mixture into a casserole dish and cover with mashed sweet potatoes.
- Bake. Bake for until hot, or until the edges are golden if desired.
- Cool. Let sweet potato shepherd’s pie cool for 5 minutes before serving, to let the filling settle.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that it can be adapted to so many different dietary preferences, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
- Extra Vegetables – Make a heartier sweet potato shepherd’s pie by adding celery, corn, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, or any leftover vegetables from the fridge. You may need to increase the amount of broth and tomato paste to have enough sauce.
- Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie – This version uses mashed cauliflower instead of sweet potatoes and bell peppers instead of carrots.
- Vegetarian – Same recipe, but switch out the ground beef for black beans, lentils, tofu, or your favorite plant-based meat alternative.
- Save on dishes – Bake the sweet potato shepherd’s pie right in the skillet, so you only have one pan to wash. I recommend a large stainless skillet like this one, or use cast iron. After cooking the filling, spread on the mash right in the skillet and bake.
- Store: Keep leftover sweet potato shepherd’s pie in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Meal prep: Assemble the casserole up to 2 days ahead. You can let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking, or bake straight from the fridge at 350 degrees F for 10-15 longer than the recipe states.(You can also just make the mashed sweet potatoes in advance.)
- Reheat: For best results, reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. Or reheat individual portions in the microwave.
- Freeze: I love to double up this recipe and freeze for later! Once fully cooled, wrap with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and reheat in the oven.
What To Serve With Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- Salads – Cucumber salad, a fall-themed butternut squash salad, or broccoli bacon salad.
- Sides – Sauteed eggplant, oven roasted brussel sprouts, or roasted asparagus.
More Easy Sweet Potato Recipes
If you like sweet potatoes, here are more simple ways to prepare them:
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (Healthy & Easy!)
Sweet potato shepherd's pie is a comforting dish with ground beef, peas, & carrots in a rich tomato broth, topped with mashed sweet potatoes.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven the 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent and slightly browned.
Add the garlic and Italian seasoning. Saute for 1 minute.
Add ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking apart with a spatula, for 7-8 minutes, until the beef is almost cooked through.
Stir in the carrots, beef broth, and tomato paste. Simmer for 2-4 minutes, until the beef is cooked through and absorbs the extra liquid.
Stir in the peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
Transfer the meat mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread the mashed sweet potatoes on top with a spoon. If desired, you can make patterns on the surface with a fork.
Bake sweet potato shepherd’s pie for 15 minutes, or longer if you want golden edges.
Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes to let the filling settle.
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Serving size: 1/6 entire casserole
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