Veggie-Laden Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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Veggie Laden Shepherds Pie

“Shepherd me, O Pie…” Sing it with me?

I’m not much for corned beef and wilted cabbage in a heap on a plate, but bring on St. Patty’s Day so I have an excuse to make my Shepherd’s Pie recipe!

I’d make this dish any time of year, to be honest, but when red potatoes go on sale in honor of the Irish this month, it always reminds me of one of my family’s never-fail meals, which I tweaked using a Kraft Food & Family recipe and one from Rachel Ray. Put them together, stir, and you get a load of vegetable goodness, some nourishing chicken stock, and the creamiest most flavorful smashed potatoes I’ve ever met.

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Veggie-Laden Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Yield: Serves: many! 8-10 people perhaps?

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, chunked
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder), divided
  • 46 slices bacon, optional but yummy
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • (note: a great chance to sneak in liver or heart…)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 24 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 12 c. chopped broccoli, including stems
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 4 Tbs. flour (or arrowroot starch)
  • 1 c. chicken or beef stock or broth
  • 1 c. plain yogurt, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 c. cottage cheese
  • 1/21 tsp. Real Salt, to taste (or other unrefined sea salt)
  • 1/2 c.+ shredded cheddar cheese, divided (sharp is best)


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes with a clove or two of crushed garlic and some sea salt and cook on medium-low until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, get busy in another medium-large pot.
  3. Cook the bacon, drain grease, chop bacon and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, brown the ground meat.
  5. Drain grease if necessary. (If you’re low on time, you could have the bacon going in a frying pan next to the big pot to speed things up. Or better yet, maybe you are smart and have some already cooked bacon in your freezer!)
  6. Season meat with paprika, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper.
  7. Add onions, carrots, and celery.
  8. Cook about 5 minutes to soften veggies, then add red pepper, broccoli, peas, and remaining crushed garlic.
  9. Cook 2 minutes.
  10. Put the bacon back in.
  11. Stir in flour (or starch), and cook and stir 2 minutes (to get rid of the flour taste).
  12. Add broth and 1/2 c. yogurt and bring to a low simmer.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  14. When the potatoes are tender, stir a ladle of the cooking water into one beaten egg in a small bowl.
  15. Drain the potatoes. You can leave them in the pot a few minutes to dry out a bit if you’re still working on all those veggies in the other pot!
  16. Smash the potatoes with butter, 1/2 c. yogurt (or sour cream), salt, pepper, and cottage cheese plus 1/4 c. of the shredded cheddar.
  17. Add the egg mixture and stir well.
  18. Pour the meat mixture into an oval or 9×13 casserole dish (usually both, this recipe tends to grow like the loaves and fishes!).
  19. Top with potatoes and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c. cheddar cheese on top.
  20. You’ll likely need extra if you divided the meal into two pans.
  21. Bake 20 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Notes

This recipe freezes great once in the pan.

To reheat a frozen casserole, thaw completely and bake at 350F 30-40 minutes until bubbly. You may want to leave the shredded cheese off before you freeze, then add it the last 10 minutes of baking. It’s helpful to cover the casserole with an inverted cookie sheet for the first 20-30 minutes so you don’t burn the potatoes.

Where to Find High Quality Meat

Having trouble finding good quality meat locally? Would you like to fill your freezer with local and pastured options?

If you’re in Canada, check out TruLocal.ca

If you’re in the US Midwest, Chicago to Milwaukee to Detroit to New York, and select cities across the country, check out TruLocalUsa.

If you’re west of the Mississippi, check out Wild Pastures

If you live in any of the 48 contiguous states, I recommend US Wellness Meats and Butcher Box! 

I’m grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A subscription from Butcher Box includes grass fed, organic, pastured, and free range = all the labels important to your family’s health! And I’ve got a special deal for you!

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Everyone who’s ever tasted my Shepherd’s Pie loves it, except my poor friend who made a huge batch of it with me for freezer cooking day. Her family was not a fan, so I got the second meal’s worth when Leah was born! They must have something against cumin. And potatoes.

RELATED: Is Eating Lamb Good For You? 

Bring on the veggies.

I’m always amazed at how many vegetables I can cram into a casserole dish. The balance of colors is beautiful, and that also means you’re getting a nice blend of nutrients.

Veggie Laden Shepherds Pie

The seasonings are out of this world, and the creamy, cheesy smashed potatoes may not be your friend if you want low-carb, but your palate will thank you for indulging! I always secretly hope I overdid the potatoes so that there’s extra that won’t fit on the casserole and I have to eat them for lunch the next day. (Yes, I lick the spoon and potato masher with abandon.)

The recipe is so huge that I always fill more than one 9×13 pan, which means an 8×8 or oval casserole dish goes into the freezer for an easy meal later.

But the best thing about this meal? It comes with a song. My husband and I always bust out with a rendition of “Shepherd me O Pie, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into liiiiiiiiife!” If you’re Catholic, you’ve probably heard the original at church before. Go on, just try making this meal without getting that one in your head! I dare ya.

Veggie Laden Shepherds Pie

Are you ready for Lent? I actually decorate for Lent to make the whole house get into the season. Don’t forget to look up Mass times for tomorrow and get your ashes and dose of humility (You are dust!).

Check it out! I’m the guest lecturer (or “star of the show,” whichever you prefer) at GNOWFGLINS eCourse today with my ultimate favorite real food technique: making homemade yogurt. If you’ve been scared to try it in the past, just watch and see how totally easy it is. You can do this! I’m also getting in on the conference call this month (week of March 21st), so if you want the opportunity to ask me anything about anything (yikes) in person, you can consider the premium membership for that opportunity!

Disclosure: The mention of Real Salt is part of a paid advertising campaign…but you know what? It’s what I really use in my kitchen anyway. You can use whatever salt floats your boat, but unrefined sea salt is the healthiest. I work with GNOWFGLINS and do receive a portion of payments from my readers. See my full disclosure statement here.

41 thoughts on “Veggie-Laden Shepherd’s Pie Recipe”

  1. This was delicious. Broccoli isn’t in season here so I left it out and I subbed a cauliflower mash for the topping. My husband and preschooler loved it too. Leftovers will be for breakfast tomorrow and this will be added to our meal rotation. Thanks for a great recipe!

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  3. I just made this for the first time and the whole family loved it…my 2 year old ate two plates full! It was also quite simple to prepare and I love how versatile it is.

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  7. Chris via Facebook

    I might try this tomorrow to use up some of our leftover pot roast. Looks yummy & I have everything else already!

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  9. I just made this tonight to bring for potluck lunch tomorrow and also for my husband’s lunch. I had my husband make the mashed potatoes and he couldn’t stop eating it. I didn’t have cottage cheese but it was still sooo good.
    I also love the colorful veggies! I didn’t have red bell peppers and broccoli so I added green beans and corn, yummmmmm. My regret is I think I put too much thyme, hopefully the yummy potatoes will distract folks from noticing the thyme.

  10. Jessica Moore

    We added cabbage to ours the other day. It was in the fridge and needed to be used, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was awesome! Still slightly crunchy and just perfect.

  11. I have made this twice so far. The first time I made as written and it was delicious! My family inhaled it! 🙂
    Last night I made it again but using sweet potatoes as the topping with mozzarella cheese. I also added a bit of sage to the meat/veggie mix. It was so good!
    Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to thaw the leftovers from the freezer and have it again! 🙂

    1. Angie,
      Oh, sweet potatoes – that sounds wonderful! Too bad my husband won’t eat anything mushy and orange… 😉 Katie

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  13. Kate from Kinda Crunchy Kate blog

    I made this tonight for the first time and it was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Kal,
      Welllllll…I never worry about calories, actually, and the veggies are always a bit different. Eat whole foods, lots of veggies, and don’t count calories. Your life will be happier and your waistline no bigger! 😉 Katie

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  15. Now that you are going corn free, what kind of bacon and peas are you using? I have the worst time finding corn-free versions of this!

    I have a child that is allergic to nightshades (yes, this is *really* wrecking havoc on my cooking!) so I like the cauliflower substitution!

    1. Kristina,
      We’re going grain-free but not counting corn this time. I get bacon from local farmers when I splurge for it. Peas? I thought frozen peas were just peas. ??? 🙂 Katie

      1. Well, the frozen peas that I find all have salt in them, so you have to ask if it is iodized salt, or if they use a free-flowing agent, both of which have corn in them.

        Thanks for the answer though! I need to find corn-free bacon. I do miss bacon for special occasions. 🙂

  16. Thanks for this, I make a delicious “cottage” pie already, but your recipe gives me a great new twist to try. I gave a child who hates mashed potatoes , so I may try the variations mentioned for him.

    P.S. Shepard’s Pie is typically made with lamb/mutton hence the word Shepard. When made with ground beef the proper name is “cottage pie”. Just some fun trivia I learned from a favorite cookbook.

    1. I was gonna say the same thing. Most of us Americans get that mixed up. I’m of Irish decent and my grandfather explained the difference to me years ago. My Nanny was Cherokee and baked like a dream but wasn’t a great cook. Her background taught her to not waste a single thing, so most of her meals were a hodge podge of things. That made her make a great Cottage Pie and potpie for that matter. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be giving this a try very soon.

  17. So where does the bacon go? It says to chop it and set it aside and then I can’t find it mentioned again. Mix it in with the meat? Sprinkle it on top?
    Thanks!
    Jessica

  18. Looks delicious! I make shepherds’ pie about once a week; it’s my husband’s absolute favorite thing — as in, before we got married, he told me I would have to learn to make it! My recipe is a little different; I’m thinking I’ll add a few of the ideas (like more veggies) from yours.

  19. This looks delicious! I’m having a party on the 19th and need to cook for a crowd, now I know what I’m making!

  20. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

    Katie, this looks absolutely delicious and much more kid-friendly than cornbeef and cabbage (hee hee) – I am definitely making this for St. Patty’s Day! I love Adrienne’s idea of using mashed steamed cauliflower in place of the potatoes. I have a garlic mock mashed potato recipe that is so yummy. Will have to post it to my FB page soon! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings, Kelly

  21. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    I love Shepard’s Pie. I’m part Irish, so this was a staple growing up, but I id have to adapt when we got rid of the grains and potatoes. I have a potato free version here, http://wellnessmama.com/1452/healthy-shepard-or-cottage-pie-potato-free/ if anyone else doesn’t do potatoes. I love the seasoning ideas though… going to try cumin next time!

  22. Matt @ FaveDiets

    This might be the most delicious looking Shepherd’s Pie I’ve ever seen, and I love how it’s loaded with vegetables. This recipe would be perfect for the next Healthy Hop if you’re interested!

  23. Do you put the extra casserole in the freezer without baking it? Then bake it after it’s thawed? Or bake it both before freezing and again after it’s thawed to reheat?

  24. Your Veggie Shepherd’s Pie looks delicious. I would like to invite you to bring a dish to my Full Plate Thursday Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

  25. Where can I find your yogurt video? I hunted and hunted, but to no avail … couldn’t even find the listing of “thank you” videos. I know they are exclusive to those taking the course, but I still couldn’t find it. Boo.

    1. Bethany,
      It’s not a thank-you video, but actually lesson 6 in the Cultured Dairy eCourse. Called “Just-Like-the-Store” yogurt. You do have to be at least a basic member to view it: https://rl102.infusionsoft.com/go/dairyecourse/ks/
      Enjoy! 🙂 Katie

  26. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom.com

    Katie,
    This may sound ridiculous, but I was so excited when I saw the title of your post! I started making Shepherd’s Pie this past year, but I did not have a great recipe for it seeing as we are reforming vegetarians! Now I have a great new meal for my family – and I am 50% Irish too, so I am doubly excited!

    I have a tip to add…if any of your readers are trying to eat low carb (which I have to for health reasons), you can substitute mashed cauliflower w/ some grain (I use millet) and coconut oil and spices (we use just chives and salt and pepper) as a substitute for the typical potato topping. I plan to post a recipe for it soon, of course linking back to your recipe.

    Thanks again!

    1. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

      Love your idea of using mashed steamed cauliflower. Hope to see you post it soon! I make a garlic mock mashed potato recipe using steamed cauliflower that is so yummy! Going to try it with Katie’s Shepherd’s Pie for St. Patty’s Day! Can’t wait! Thanks to you both for the great ideas/inspiration! Blessings, Kelly

    1. Just made it for dinner this week– we loved it! I cut it in half and used lots of broccoli and carrots, omitting the peas and red pepper. Also, instead of sour cream I just dumped in more butter and cheese. Can’t go wrong there.

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