It's a Keeper: Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

What to do when ground turkey is on sale? Buy, buy, buy! Then make this recipe for Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie. I've always avoided Shepherd's Pie because we eat mashed potatoes sparingly in my house (a remnant of our South Beach days). So, when I saw a sweet potato version of the dish, I knew it was time to give it a try.

This recipe might not win any beauty awards, but it is definitely a keeper for its flavor and its ease of preparation. The whole thing took me about 30 minutes and I thought it was pretty darn good. Other reviewers on the Food Network site don't agree with me, since this recipe only got three stars. I just find that surprising since I didn't run into any of the issues other people had. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! It's also a great recipe for any leftovers sitting around the house (well, hopefully in your fridge or pantry). Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey or chopped leftover turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and grated
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics brand)
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas
1 very ripe banana
A few dashes hot sauce
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add meat and break up with a wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning.

Place sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover pot, bring to a boil, salt and cook 15 minutes until tender.

Grate onions and carrots into the turkey. [See, before RR, I would never have though to grate it into the pan. Wait, before RR I wasn't even cooking. Nevermind.] Add the celery and stir, cook 5 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and whisk 1 minute then whisk in stock and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Thicken a few minutes.

Stir the gravy into the turkey mixture. Stir peas into meat and turn heat off. [You don't need to thaw the peas first.]

Drain potatoes and return pot to heat. Add remaining butter and melt over medium heat. Peel and slice banana and add potatoes to the pot. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and a few dashes hot sauce. Mash potatoes and banana to combine, adjust seasoning. Top the meat with the potatoes. Cover potatoes with cheese and set in oven. Bake to melt cheese, 5 minutes.


  1. I LOVED this recipe ( so much that I think I wrote it in for Roundup once! I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels the same way! I feel so virtuous every time I eat it, too! Hope you're having a great week! Is it boiling hot up in Sacramento? I'm SUFFERING down here in San Jose!

  2. This is actually one of my favorite casseroles. I make it at least once a month (I skip the whole banana thing though).

  3. It is ridiculously hot here! It was 106 yesterday.


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