This easy sweet potato shepherd's pie has all the delicious flavors of a traditional cottage pie, but the mashed potatoes are replaced with a creamy sweet potato mash. It's a really simple recipe, and the dish is perfect for weeknight dinners.
This healthy sweet potato shepherd's pie is perfect comfort food if you love sweet potatoes. It's really easy to make, and a tasty, healthy alternative to traditional cottage pie.
A flavorful meat filling is covered with creamy mashed sweet potatoes, and baked to perfection in the oven. This is an excellent weeknight dinner alternative, which also stores and freezes well.
Why you'll love it
- Delicious twist on traditional shepherd's pie
- Easy to make casserole for weeknight dinners
- A healthy family pie made from scratch
- Only 15 minutes of preparation required
- Great if you prefer sweet potatoes over regular potatoes
- Customize the recipe to suit your preferences
Sweet potatoes: Used to make the sweet potato mash.
Thyme + cinnamon: Dried spices and herbs are great for adding flavor to the dish.
Butter: Makes the mashed sweet potatoes buttery smooth. Can be omitted, or replaced with milk instead.
Milk: Makes the mash extra fluffy and airy. Optional.
Onion: Use a white, red, brown or yellow onion.
Frozen peas: Add flavor to the pie. You can omit these, or use canned peas if you prefer.
Carrots: I use fresh carrots, but you can also use canned carrots or frozen sliced carrots. Omit these if you prefer.
Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves, garlic powder or garlic paste add amazing flavor to the shepherds pie.
Ground turkey: I like to use turkey as it's quite lean, but you can also use lean ground beef, lamb or pork instead.
Chicken broth: Use premade chicken stock, or a bouillon cube and water. You can also use beef broth or vegetable stock if you prefer. This is the liquid base of the sauce.
All-purpose flour: Thickens the sauce. You can also use cornstarch if preferred.
Seasoning: Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning or mixed dried herbs and paprika add fantastic flavor to the meat filling. You can substitute these with any spices or herbs that you like.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Warm up a little olive oil or vegetable oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, and sauté until it's browned.
Two: Add diced onion and garlic to the ground turkey, and sauté for a few more minutes until the onion is soft. Sprinkle flour over the meat, and stir to coat evenly.
Three: Then, add peeled and diced carrots, frozen peas and the seasoning for the meat filling. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken broth. Leave this to simmer for a few minutes, while the liquid thickens and reduces.
Four: Pour the pie filling into a pie dish.
Five: Make your mashed sweet potatoes. Peel and dice sweet potatoes, and boil in water until they are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. Drain the sweet potato cubes, and mash them with a potato masher. Add thyme, cinnamon, butter and milk, and stir until the mash is smooth and fluffy.
Six: Add the sweet potato mash on top of the meat filling in the pie dish. Spread it across with a spatula, and make sure to cover the filling completely. Bake the sweet potato shepherd's pie at 375 F / 180 C for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato topping is starting to turn golden brown on top.
💡 TIP! Feel free to use store bought mashed potatoes, or your favorite sweet potato mash recipe instead. For example, try my Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes!
- Start boiling the sweet potatoes for the mash while you're cooking the meat sauce. The mash and filling should then be ready at the same time.
- Allow enough time to sauté the meat and onions to increase their flavors.
- If you think the meat filling looks too liquid, you can add some more flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken it. You can also simply cook the filling a little longer to achieve the same result.
- Feel free to change the ingredients in the meat filling. You can add other vegetables, or change the seasoning however you like.
Sweet potato cottage pie is best served as an entree for lunch or dinner. It can be served on its own, or paired with tasty side dishes.
Here are some of my favorite sides to serve with this easy dish:
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Steamed Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Beetroot and Feta Salad
- Instant Pot Asparagus
Change the flavor: Feel free to change the seasoning, or add other ingredients to the pie filling. For example, try adding tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, any dried herbs that you like, soy sauce, or a stew spice mix.
Change the mashed potatoes: Substitute the milk and butter with for example Greek yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche or olive oil if you prefer. You can also change the seasoning however you want.
Dairy free version: Use a dairy free alternative to milk and butter. Oat milk and soy based butter alternatives can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets.
Gluten free: Use a gluten free alternative to flour, like sweet rice flour or gluten free all-purpose flour. Make sure that your chicken broth, and any other ingredients used are certified gluten free.
Vegan sweet potato dinner pie: Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock, and the ground turkey with a vegetarian ground meat alternative.
To make this recipe, you will need a large pot or skillet with tall edges. Additionally, you will need a pie dish.
I tend to use a 8x13 inch pie dish, but any family sized casserole dish or baking dish can work. You can also use two smaller pie dishes, or double the recipe to use a large square dish.
A wooden spoon or spatula is also helpful. I like to use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots and sweet potatoes, and a potato masher to make the sweet potato mash.
Store any leftover sweet potato shepherd's pie in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in an oven or microwave, and serve it warm.
This easy pie dinner is also suitable for freezing! Freeze it for up to 6 months, then defrost it in a refrigerator and reheat it in an oven. I like to double the recipe whenever I cook pies, and make 2 separate pies at the same time. Then I'll have one to serve for dinner, and the other goes into the freezer.
Frequently asked questions
Traditionally, shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb, and cottage pie is made with ground beef. These days however, the names tend to be used interchangeably.
You can make dinner pies in any oven safe baking dish. For example, use a pie dish, a casserole dish, a baking dish, a cake pan, or even a cast iron skillet.
You might also like these recipes
- Sausage and Mash Pie
- Mince Beef Pie
- Chicken and Chorizo Pie
- Turkey Sweet Potato Chili
- Vegetarian Cottage Pie
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
- Casserole Dish
- Peel and dice the carrots, onion and sweet potatoes. Grate or finely mince the garlic.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F / 180 C.
Mashed sweet potatoes
- Boil the sweet potato chunks in a large pot of water until they are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. Then, drain off any excess water.
- Add milk, butter, dried thyme and cinnamon to the sweet potatoes, and mash them with a potato masher. Set aside.
Ground turkey pie filling
- Warm up the olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, and sautee until it's browned thoroughly.
- Add diced onion and garlic to the ground turkey, and sautee for a few more minutes until the onion is soft. Sprinkle flour over the meat, and stir to coat evenly.
- Then, add peeled and diced carrots, frozen peas and the seasoning for the meat filling. Sautee for a couple minutes, then add the chicken broth. Leave this to simmer for a few minutes, while the liquid thickens and reduces.
- Add the sweet potato mash on top of the meat filling in the pie dish. Spread it across with a spatula, and make sure to cover the filling completely.
- Bake the sweet potato shepherd's pie for about 20 minutes, or until the potato topping is starting to turn golden brown on top.
- Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat the pie in an oven or microwave for a few minutes, and serve it warm.
- Feel free to replace the ground turkey, peas and carrots with any meat and vegetables that you like. You can also substitute the seasoning however you like.
- I use a 8x13 inch family sized pie dish, but any oven safe casserole or baking dish can be used. Just make sure that the filling fits comfortably, and avoid overfilling the dish to prevent spillage.
Food safety tips
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove