Recipe: Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie

February 4, 2022

I'm excited to share another recipe with everyone: shepherd's pie with ground turkey!

It's a great choice for dinner, and pretty simple to make.

Shepherd's pie is a classic dish from England. It's also commonly referred to as cottage pie, though there are slight differences in the original recipes for each. So if you've had either before and enjoyed it, then this recipe is going to be perfect for you. If you're searching for a savory sweet potato pie-type recipe, then you're in luck. The sweet potato topping in this recipe substitutes for what is traditionally a white potato topping -- giving this healthy shepherd's pie an extra nutritional bang for your buck.

Unlike your typical shepherd's pie recipe, this is a ground turkey shepherd's pie recipe. Most shepherd's pie recipes are made with ground beef. When you want to switch it up with a different meat to get in your protein, this shepherd's pie with ground turkey will be perfect.

So, let's get into it!

Making Healthy Shepherd's Pie With Ground Turkey

Your first step in creating a healthy shepherd's pie is to gather all your ingredients. This recipe for shepherd's pie with ground turkey doesn't have a laundry list of ingredients, which is nice for those of us who don't want to spend too long in the kitchen!

ingredients for ground turkey shepherd's pie


Next, prep your sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit, making sure it's ready for your finished product to cook at the end. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, then rub with coconut oil. You don't have to skin sweet potatoes -- the skin will easily peel off after they've been roasted! Place the sweet potatoes with the flesh-side down on the cookie sheet, then place in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until you test them with a fork and find them tender.


sweet potatoes for shepherd's pie


While the sweet potatoes bake, it's time to get the rest of your gluten-free and dairy-free shepherd's pie ready. For this, you're going to want an oven-safe pan, such as a cast iron. You'll cook in this and then put it right into the oven to finish, which means less dishes to wash later!

Chop carrots, onion, and mushrooms (or you can even buy sliced mushrooms, as I did for my version, which cuts down on your prep time!). Add the carrots and onion to a medium-sized pan along with the ground turkey. Turn on medium-low heat, and use a spatula to break up the ground turkey as it cooks. Toss in your salt, sage, oregano, and thyme, and let it all simmer together.

The veggies will absorb flavor from the turkey and herbs as they cook and soften.



You'll cook this wonderful combination of ingredients for about 10 minutes in total. Then, throw in your sliced mushrooms, allowing them to soften up for about 5 more minutes.

At this point, it's time for a taste test. Make sure you like all the balance of flavors and seasoning in your shepherd's pie with ground turkey, adding any more as to your preferences.

Now, it's time to take your sweet potatoes out of the oven. When you do, crank the heat up to 425° Fahrenheit, because that's the heat level you'll need when it's time to bake your ground turkey shepherd's pie.

When sweet potatoes are cooked, the skin becomes pretty easy to remove. Place all the peeled sweet potatoes in a bowl. Use a fork or mixer to whip the potatoes up, adding salt to your taste.


sweet potatoes roasted


You're in the home stretch now!

Gently spread your mashed sweet potatoes over the mixture that's in your skillet. Don't worry too much about getting it perfectly even, but spread it as well as you can. You can think of the sweet potato as a top that will keep everything under it tender and juicy as it bakes in the oven, letting all the flavors meld together.

Bake for 10 minutes at your new, higher oven temperature, then remove and serve!


sweet potato shepherd's pie


Is this ground turkey shepherd's pie gluten-free?

Yes! Though I can't speak to all recipes, this recipe for ground turkey shepherd's pie is gluten-free. If you find you're sensitive to gluten (and far too many people are these days, trust me) then this is a safe recipe to follow.

Is this healthy shepherd's pie dairy-free?

Yes! This recipe for shepherd's pie with ground turkey is dairy-free. It's also a paleo shepherd's pie, so it's a great choice for those of you who follow the paleo style of eating.

Can I use leftover turkey for this recipe?

Leftover turkey sweet potato shepherd's pie sounds tasty, doesn't it? And I get it -- when you make a turkey, you've got tons of leftovers you need to use. You can definitely switch out the ground turkey for some turkey leftovers in this recipe. You'll want to change things up slightly, however: don't add the turkey to the skillet of vegetables until the very end, because you wouldn't want your turkey to dry out. Be sure you add some coconut or avocado oil to the pan before you put the vegetables in, so they have something to soften in while you cook them.

Is shepherd's pie healthy?

In my recipe for shepherd's pie using ground turkey, we're making some pretty healthy switches to a traditional recipe. Turkey is a nutritious form of protein that is heart-friendly. This shepherd's pie is gluten-free and dairy-free, removing two big allergens that people have problems with nowadays. And rather than traditional white potatoes making up the mashed topping, I've switched them out for sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic starch choice, full of

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants

Cottage Pie Vs. Shepherd's Pie

A lot of people wonder, what's the difference between cottage pie and shepherd's pie? With shepherd's pie, the meat involved in the recipe is typically made with ground lamb or mutton. Cottage pie, however, uses ground beef. So, this recipe could be considered a version of either of these -- but with a healthier, more nutrient-dense twist!

The Full Recipe: Shepherd's Pie With Ground Turkey

See below for the full details!


  • 5-6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme
  • 1, small 8-ounce container sliced mushrooms


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Rub the sweet potatoes with coconut oil and place them on the baking sheet. One the oven is preheated, bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are fork tender.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, add the remainder of the ingredients, minus the mushrooms, to a medium-sized pan over medium low heat, using a spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks.
  4. Cook for 10-12 minutes, then add the mushrooms, cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the turkey is fully cooked through. Taste and adjust spices and herbs as needed.
  5. Turn up the oven temperature to 425 F. 
  6. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, remove the skins, and place sweet potatoes in a large bowl.
  7. Use a fork or stand mixer to whip the sweet potatoes, add salt to taste.
  8. Gently spoon the potatoes onto the turkey mixture until it completely covers the mixture.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool for five minutes before serving.

Happy eating!





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