A Healthier Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a St. Patrick’s Day favorite. While many recipes pack in unhealthy ingredients like a whole stick of butter, this lighter version packs in more veggies, cuts some of the fat and substitutes mashed potatoes for cauliflower.

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Meat Filling

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground lamb or turkey
  • 1 yellow onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir (optional)
  • 1 cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 5 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Making Shepherd's Pie

Cauliflower Mash Topping

  • 2 12-ounce bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish — chives, chopped
  • Spray oil

A healthier Shepherd's Pie

Meat filling

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add ground meat and separate while cooking. Add olive oil, then add onions and garlic. Stir until cooked and fragrant.

2. Sprinkle flour on top and stir. This should thicken the mixture. Pour over broth, add tomato paste, Worcestershire, wine if using, and thyme. Stir until well-combined.

3. Add frozen veggies and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower Mash Topping

1. Boil the cauliflower in a pot, with enough water to cover it, until soft throughout, about 10 minutes. 

2. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil to medium-low. Once the oil is hot, add garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

3. Drain the water from the pot of cauliflower. Remove as much water as possible using pressing motions as this will make the topping denser and creamier.

4. Pour the oil mixture of shallot, garlic and thyme over the cauliflower in the pot. Add parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend with an immersion blender. Stir in butter.

5. If using a blender or food processor, add cauliflower, oil mixture, parmesan, salt and pepper, and blend.

6 Garnish with fresh chopped chives and thyme.

Assembling the Pie

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Transfer meat mixture to a deep pie dish or casserole dish. On top, scoop the mashed cauliflower. Spray with spray oil then bake for 30 minutes, until top is golden.

3. Garnish with chopped chives and thyme. Serve with asparagus or broccoli for a full meal.

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