Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie: A Hearty and Healthy Comfort Food

Imagine sinking your fork into a warm, delicious dish that combines the heartiness of traditional Shepherd’s Pie with the wholesome goodness of sweet potatoes. That’s what you get with Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie – a family-favorite meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Let’s dive into this recipe and discover how you can make it a staple in your weekly menu.

Hearty Sweet Potato Shepherd

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a Recipe Worth Repeating

There’s something undeniably satisfying about a comforting meal made with real ingredients. Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie checks all the boxes. It’s bursting with flavor, packed with nutrient-rich ingredients, and can even be stored in the freezer for future convenience. In fact, why not double the recipe and have a ready-to-go meal waiting for you when you need it most? It’s the perfect solution for busy weeknights.

If you’re a stickler for tradition, feel free to use ground lamb and regular potatoes to create a more classic version of Shepherd’s Pie. But for a family-friendly twist, ground beef and sweet potatoes are a winning combination that won’t disappoint.


How Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Fits into Your Specialty Diet

BDK Restaurant is committed to providing nourishing recipes that cater to different dietary needs. This homemade Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potato topping is no exception. Here are just a few ways this recipe aligns with specialized diets:

  • Whole30: With no added sugars or white potatoes, this Shepherd’s Pie is Whole30 friendly. You can substitute butter with ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil to suit your preferences.
  • Dairy-Free: Say goodbye to cheese and sour cream – this recipe is 100% dairy-free. You can easily swap butter for olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Egg-Free: Unlike most Shepherd’s Pie recipes, this one doesn’t use any eggs.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe avoids gluten-containing ingredients like flour and certain seasonings.
  • Grain-Free: No corn, processed starches, flours, rice, or other grains here.
  • Nut-Free: No nuts are used in this recipe.
  • Paleo: This Shepherd’s Pie is paleo-friendly as it contains no beans, dairy, or processed ingredients.
  • Vegetarian & Vegan Option: Simply replace the ground beef with cooked lentils, and substitute butter with coconut oil or olive oil to make this recipe 100% plant-based and vegan. Cook 1 cup of dry lentils in 4 cups of simmering water for 30 minutes, then drain and add them to the sauteed vegetables.

Ingredients and Substitutions for Shepherd’s Pie

One of the great things about Shepherd’s Pie is its versatility. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand – you can easily adapt the recipe to fit what you do have. Here are the key ingredients and some possible substitutions:

  • Ground Beef: You can substitute ground lamb, bison, turkey, or lentils.
  • Carrots
  • Green Pepper: Any color of bell pepper will work.
  • Onion: Yellow, red, or white onion will all work.
  • Mushrooms: If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, feel free to omit them or use a different vegetable like chopped zucchini.
  • Garlic
  • Seasonings: If you don’t like chili powder and dried rosemary, try paprika and dried thyme instead.
  • Tomato Paste: You’ll need around 3 ounces or 6 tablespoons.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Regular potatoes can be substituted. If using white russet or yellow gold potatoes, be sure to mash them by hand to maintain texture.
  • Butter: Ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil can be used as substitutes.


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How to Make Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Follow these simple steps to create a delicious Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie:

  1. Start by baking the sweet potatoes using our Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, sauté the ground beef and vegetables. Meanwhile, prepare the sweet potato topping.
  3. Once the sweet potatoes are baked, blend all the topping ingredients in a food processor or blender for an extra creamy texture. If using regular potatoes, mash them by hand to avoid a pasty mess.
  4. Season the filling, spread the sweet potato topping over it, and bake for 10 minutes to heat the topping. The filling is already cooked, so this step is all about melding the flavors together.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Close-up view of shepherd

Make-Ahead Meal Prep: How to Freeze and Reheat Shepherd’s Pie

We’re big fans of freezer-friendly recipes that save time and effort. Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is no exception. You can easily double the recipe, make two 9×9 dishes, and freeze one for a future meal. Here’s how you can freeze and reheat it:

Freezing Instructions:

  1. Prepare the recipe as instructed, but stop before the final bake in the oven.
  2. Let the dish cool to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in foil and place it in the freezer. It will last for about two months.
  3. For even more convenience, you can portion out individual servings into containers. This makes for easy weeknight dinners or meal prep lunches.

Reheating Instructions:

Choose one of the following options based on your meal planning schedule:

  1. Thaw in the Refrigerator: Remove the dish from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge the day before serving. Reheat in a preheated oven set at 375℉ for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the center reaches a temperature of around 165℉.
  2. Reheat Directly from Frozen: If you’re in a hurry, you can reheat the dish directly from frozen. Cover it with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking, then remove the foil and continue baking until the center is hot (~165℉). Check the dish around the 60-minute mark to ensure thorough heating.

A large scoop of shepherd

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

To complete your meal and add a burst of freshness, serve Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie with a fresh mixed green salad or steamed green beans. It’s the perfect way to balance out the hearty flavors and add some extra veggies to your plate. If you’re looking for a homemade dressing, our Paleo Ranch or Citrus Vinaigrette with Thyme are excellent options.

Sweet potato-topped shepherd

Why Sweet Potatoes are Good for You

Sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. Here are just a few reasons why you should incorporate them into your diet:

  • Fiber: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, promoting healthy digestion and gut health.
  • Heart Health: By reducing homocysteine levels in the blood, sweet potatoes can help reduce the risk of heart disease and artery damage.
  • Vitamins and Antioxidants: Loaded with Vitamin C and carotenoids like beta-carotene, sweet potatoes boost immunity, improve digestion, enhance eye health, and deliver anti-aging benefits.
  • Happiness Booster: Thanks to their Vitamin D content, sweet potatoes can help elevate your mood and energy levels, keeping you feeling positive and vibrant.

Other Healthy Comfort-Food Recipes to Try

If you’re craving more wholesome meals, give these recipes a try:

  • Creamy Buffalo Chicken Casserole
  • Broccoli Cauliflower Cheddar Chicken Casserole
  • Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Healthy Taco Hot Dish


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.

This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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