Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious and hearty dinner recipe that’s great for St. Patrick’s Day or any time of year. It’s gluten free and super easy to make in a cast iron skillet.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie being served from a cast iron skillet with a metal spoon.

Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food even though it uses simple ingredients. It has always been one of my family’s favorite dinners.

If you haven’t tried it, using sweet potatoes gives Shepherd’s Pie a whole different flavor. It’s sweeter, so I’d venture to say it’s even more kid-friendly than the original.

I love how this Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe combines yummy ground beef, hearty vegetables and fluffy sweet potatoes for a next level, delicious meal. The next time you need an easy dinner recipe for a busy weeknight, make this yummy skillet!

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 peeled and diced carrots
  • ½ diced onion
  • ½ cup of frozen green peas
  • 3 ounces of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ cup of filtered water
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Topping Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Spatula
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowl

By the Numbers: How to Make Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Follow these simple steps to learn how to make this comforting meal in a large skillet, and it’ll quickly become a family favorite dinner.

Step 1: Roast Sweet Potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then place them face down on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled, then bake for 30 minutes.

Sweet potatoes roasting on baking sheet.

Step 2: Prepare Vegetables.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, it’s time to prepare your vegetables. Peel and dice the carrots into bite-sized pieces then dice the onion.

Chopped carrot, diced onion and frozen peas on a cutting board with a Chef's Knife.

Step 3: Cook Beef & Vegetables.

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add ground beef, carrots, onions and peas. Use a wooden spoon to break up ground beef as it browns and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes.

Once the ground beef is browned and the carrots are tender, add the tomato paste, water and spices to the pan. Stir until well combined, then allow the veggie and beef mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add additional water as needed to keep it from drying out. Taste and adjust the spices if necessary.

Ground beef, carrot, onions and peas cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Step 4: Make Sweet Potato Mash.

After your sweet potatoes are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and use a spoon to scoop the sweet potato insides from the skins into a bowl and smash with a fork or potato masher until it’s smooth and there are no more chunks. Add olive oil, chili powder and salt to the bowl of sweet potatoes and stir to combine.

Remove the cast iron skillet from the heat. Spoon the mashed sweet potato mixture onto the meat and veggie filling in your cast iron skillet. Smooth it over the top to completely cover.

Sweet potatoes scooped into the cast iron skillet with the ground beef, carrots, onions and peas.

Step 5: Broil & Serve Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.

Turn your oven to broil on high and place the skillet into the broiler. Remove the pan after 3-5 minutes, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for garnish (if you’d like) and serve warm.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie in cast iron skillet being served with spoon.

Tips for Making the Best Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Answers to all of your questions about about making this classic meal with a sweet potato twist.

1. Can other types of meat be used?

Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb. When it’s made with ground beef, it’s usually referred to as Cottage Pie. You can really use any type of ground meat you like though, including lean ground turkey, chicken or pork.

2. Can other types of potatoes be used?

Yes, you can use any type of mashed potatoes for Shepherd’s Pie, including regular potatoes like white or russet. I’ll often make one with leftover Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes because I always make a huge batch.

I’ve even seen Shepherd’s Pie topped with Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes). But I love the flavor of roasted sweet potatoes in this recipe!

If you like sweet potatoes, be sure to try my Sweet Potato & Black Been Tacos recipe as well.

3. Can this be made in a casserole dish?

Yes, if you prefer, you can put everything into a large casserole dish instead of a cast iron skillet. I find this method works great if you’re bringing the dish to a party or get together.

4. Can this be made in a pie crust?

While Shepherd’s Pie traditionally doesn’t have a crust, you can add a pie crust to this recipe to make yours more like a chicken pot pie. Just take my gluten free pie crust recipe and omit the sugar.

5. How to store leftovers?

Leftover sweet potato shepherd’s pie should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 3-4 days. I find that Shepherd’s Pie also freezes well, so I will often double this recipe and make two – one for dinner and one for the freezer.

The one for the freezer goes in a casserole dish and gets sealed up well. Use the frozen casserole within 2-3 months.

To use, allow the casserole to defrost, then cook at 350˚ F for 30 minutes or until heated through.

6. More hearty dinner ideas?

If you like classic meals like Shepherd’s Pie recipes, give my Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie Casserole recipe a try. It’s easy to make and super flavorful.

7. Make meal prep easier.

I find planning out the week’s (and month’s) meals makes our household flow easier. If you want to be more organized with your grocery shopping and meal planning, pick up my Printable Meal Planner Bundle on Etsy. It has everything you need to make meal planning easier and more fun.

Ad for floral meal planner on Etsy.
Sweet potato shepherd's pie being served with a spoon.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Learn how to make the best Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie in this easy dinner recipe.
4.45 from 9 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Recipe Servings: 4

Ingredients

Shepherd’s Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 carrots - peeled and diced
  • ½ onion - diced
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup filtered water - or beef broth
  • Fresh parsley - for garnish, optional

Sweet Potato Mash Topping Ingredients

Equipment

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Place sweet potatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet (face down) and bake for 30 minutes.
    Sweet potatoes roasting on baking sheet.
  • When the sweet potatoes are in the oven, peel and dice your carrots and onion.
    Chopped carrot, diced onion and frozen peas on a cutting board with a Chef's Knife.
  • On the stove top over medium-high heat, add beef, carrots, onions and peas to your cast iron skillet. Break up the ground beef with a spoon as it cooks. Once the ground beef is browned and the carrots are tender (12-15 minutes), add water, tomato paste and spices to the pan. Stir to combine, then simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes. Add water or beef broth if needed so the mixture doesn’t dry out. Taste and adjust spices.
    Ground beef, carrot, onions and peas cooking in a cast iron skillet.
  • After your sweet potatoes are cooked, scoop the insides into a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add olive oil, chili powder and salt and mix well. Spoon the mashed sweet potato topping onto the veggie and meat mixture. Smooth it out to completely cover over the top.
    Sweet potatoes scooped into the cast iron skillet with the ground beef, carrots, onions and peas.
  • Place pan in the broiler on high for 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve warm.
    Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie in cast iron skillet being served with spoon.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 1277mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 29835IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg

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