The Comforts of Sweet Potato Sheperd’s Pie Minus the Guilt

It’s raining, it’s pouring, my old man is snoring, and it’s colder than a you know what…. & frankly after being teased by mother nature this weekend with sunny spring days with highs in the mid 60’s, I need some serious comfort food.  I have come up with a delicious sweet potato shepherds pie that is healthy, nutritious, and a perfect option for St. Patty’s Day. With a delightful combination of  ground turkey, a mirepoix (classic french culinary term)  of onions, celery, and carrots; a middle layer of sliced mushrooms, mashed sweet potatoes with a slight hint of brown sugar and thyme, fresh lemon juice, all topped with low-fat shredded cheddar cheese., this comfort dish is sure to please and won’t go straight to the thighs or make you feel too guilty when you go back for seconds.   I’ve said it before but “Enough is enough!” I am done with winter and when I am taunted with a few spring days followed up by old rainy winter the only sane thing to do is cook some comfort food and indulge.  Can I get an Amen?

Savory Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey (93/7)
  • 2  yellow onions, diced
  • 3-4 medium carrots, diced or shredded
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and medium diced
  • 1 lb white whole mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
  • A handful of fresh parsley (rough chop)
  • 1 can low sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2-3 TBSP EVOO (to coat bottom of pan)
  • 2 TBSP Red wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 of lemon juice
  • S & P to taste
  • A few dashes of hot sauce (Franks Red Hot preferably)
  • 1-2 packages of sharp shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium sauce pan add quartered sweet potatoes and bring to a boil.  Cook until the potatoes will break apart by a fork.  (around 15-20 minutes )

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a dutch oven or large oven proof saute pan heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium to high heat.  Add 2/3 of the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes,  add garlic,  carrots, celery, and green peppers & cook for about 5 minutes.  Once vegetables are tender set aside. 

 Add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat on high, add the remaining onions and ground turkey and brown the meat.

While the meat is cooking, check the potatoes, when ready to mash, drain the water and with a potato masher gently mash the potatoes.  Add in the butter, brown sugar, and fresh thyme sprigs (chop and discard the stems), lemon juice, hot sauce,  and lastly season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  Back to the meat;  once the meat is thoroughly cooked add in the mirepoix mixture (celery, onion, carrots) and cook for just another minute to blend all the ingredients together,  add in the red wine vinegar, season with salt,  black pepper, chopped parsley, and cayenne pepper.   Remove from heat. 

In a seperate small sauce pan add the can of cream of mushroom soup with the milk and heat on medium heat.

Back to the dutch oven;  Spread the mixture to create an even layer on the bottom of the pan.  Add a middle layer of sliced mushrooms and pour the cream of mushroom soup all over the top.  Add the mashed sweet potatoes as the final layer and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Season with a bit of cracked black pepper and sprinkle some paprika over the top for added color.  ( Note: for a smaller family, you can make two or even three of these depending on the size casserole dish you wish to use, and store the other(s) for another night during the week like I did)

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Enough time to melt the cheese.  I like to turn the broiler on at the end and let the cheese blister just a bit for the last final minute before removing from the oven. 

If this isn’t a healthy comfort dish, I don’t know what is!  Enjoy and split up the rest for this week’s leftovers.  This dish is filling and makes for an excellent lunch, dinner, or even breakfast the next day!  

Cheers to Comfort!!

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