Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

Fall is a time of comfort foods and what better comfort food than a hearty Shepherd’s Pie. This Irish casserole consisting of meat, potatoes, and veggies is a great healthy meal to make ahead and eat all week. I have added a little spin on the traditional variety and switched out some of the more classic ingredients with healthier substitutes.

This hearty casserole provides all the goodness of traditional Shepherd’s Pie, lightened up with stock and lean, flavorful ground meat. The addition of pumpkin and sweet potato give a delicate balance to the earthiness and heartiness of the meat filling and a subtle touch of sweetness.

Prep Time: 30 min |Bake Time: 30 min
What You Need:

1# lean ground buffalo/lamb/turkey (I usually use buffalo or lamb)
4 carrots
1/2 red onion
1.5c no-salt beef or chicken broth
1T Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic
2 medium sweet potatoes
12oz pureed pumpkin
1 can no-salt sweet peas, drained
Salt, pepper/white pepper to taste
Dill, ginger, and thyme to taste

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and begin boiling water in a large pot
2. Chop up sweet potatoes (you can leave the skins on or off, I left mine on) into small chunks and add to boiling water, cook for 30 minutes or until soft and tender
3. Cook garlic and onions until soft then add carrots, spices and 1/2c broth, continue cooking until broth is reduced and carrots are nearly tender
4. Using a baking dish (8×8 or 9×13 works best), pour the carrot mix into the pan and add the peas
5. With the same pan, cook the meat until no longer pink, season and if there is a lot of extra fat, drain, if not a little bit is fine to mix in and gives it a nice flavor.
6. Add the meat to the veggie mix then the Worcestershire sauce, mixing until well combined and evenly layering the mixture at the bottom of the baking dish
7. Drain the potatoes and add the broth, simple spices, and pumpkin, smashing until you achieve fluffy mashed potato goodness
8. Scoop the potato/pumpkin mash on top of the meat mixture and smooth it out or make a fun little pattern with a fork
9. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 30 min
10. OPTIONAL: for the last 5 minutes sprinkle some cheddar cheese over the top and allow to melt

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