One of our favorite cold weather meals is shepherd’s pie. In this version, I up the vegetable content a little bit and top the casserole with mashed sweet potato for a delicious spin on a classic favorite.
Is it Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie?
Shepherd’s pie is a classic casserole of ground meat and vegetables topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. Actually, shepherd’s pie is Irish in origin and is technically made with ground lamb. Cottage pie is British and made with ground beef.
However, most people don’t quibble over the small differences and use the terms interchangeably. (Read more fun shepherd’s pie facts here.)
Sweet Potato Topped Shepherd’s Pie
I’ve left the recipe for my shepherd’s pie pretty similar to most, but added kale for a little extra vegetable boost and swapped out the traditional with potatoes for sweet potatoes. This is actually a similar recipe to my meatloaf cupcakes, but with more vegetables.
To make the casserole, I brown the ground beef with seasonings, then stir in the diced vegetables, heat it up, and pour it into a casserole dish. (In all honesty though, I have this awesome deep skillet that is oven-proof that I use for both purposes and save myself a pan to wash.)
While the meat is cooking I mash the sweet potatoes with butter and salt and plop them on top of the meat and vegetable mixture when it is done. To save myself a little time, I usually make extra sweet potatoes with another meal earlier in the week then just pull them out of the fridge when I’m ready to use them.
Sweet Potatoes: Versatile, Healthy, and Delicious
My kids absolutely love sweet potatoes and happily eat them every way I fix them. Which is why I have such an extensive and creative collection of sweet potato recipes on my site. In addition to this recipe and the meatloaf cupcakes mentioned above I make:
- Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad
- Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
- Instant Pot “Baked” Sweet Potatoes
- Loaded Sweet Potato Soup
- Pakistani Kima
- Shrimp Carbonara with Sweet Potato “Pasta”
- Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes stuffed with sausage and spinach
- Sweet Potato Hash with eggs, apples, and sausage
- Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna
- Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole topped with meringue
If you love sweet potatoes as much as we do, give this recipe a try! It freezes and reheats well so it can be prepared ahead for busy nights.
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie Recipe
- 2 lbs ground beef (or ground turkey)
- 1½ tsp salt (divided)
- 1 tsp natural beef bouillon
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp basil
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small bunch kale
- 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (cooked)
- 1 egg
- 4 TBSP butter
- 8 oz cream cheese (optional)
- In a large skillet, brown the meat.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of the salt and all remaining seasonings and transfer to a large bowl.
- Dice the onions and tear the kale into small pieces.
- Saute the onion and kale in the skillet until slightly soft and add to the meat.
- Pour the mixed vegetables into the skillet and heat on low heat.
- While the vegetables are heating, mash the cooked sweet potatoes with butter and the remaining salt until smooth.
- Add the mixed vegetables and the egg to the meat and stir to combine.
- Pour the meat/vegetable mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the top.
- Bake at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes.
- When done, top with a small dollop of cream cheese if desired and enjoy.
- For sweet potatoes: either bake ahead for about an hour or until soft, or boil about 10 minutes in large pot of water until soft. Drain before using if boiled. I usually make extra when making a previous meal then just re-heat the night I make this.
- This recipe makes a 9x13 pan -- you can divide it and freeze part for another meal or double it to make a large one for the freezer!
Possible variation: Bake in pint-sized mason jars for easy packable lunches!
Ever make Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes? How’d it turn out? Share below!