Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie


I recently became enamored with sweet potatoes. I don’t know why I’ve been rejecting them for 32 years, but now I can’t seem to get enough of that low-calorie, fiber-filled, nutrient-rich goodness!  To break it down for the nutritionally challenged, sweet potatoes have almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, almost half the recommended vitamin C, four times the beta carotene and, when eaten with the skin on, they have more fiber than oatmeal. While we’re not cooking with the skins in this recipe, there’s no reason why you couldn’t buy a few more and bake them later in the week!

While I always kind of liked the idea of shepherd’s pie I never felt inclined to make it because the white, starchy, butter-laden mashed potatoes heaped on top clogged my arteries at the mere thought. But when I started cooking with sweet potatoes, using them in this dish seemed so logical.


½ pound lean ground beef

½ pound lean ground turkey or chicken

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3  cloves garlic, minced

4 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 bunch kale or spinach, chopped

4-5 medium/large sweet potatoes

¾ cup low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon butter

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil

Here’s what you do:

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into cubes. Place them in a pot of cold water and bring to boil. When potatoes are cooked (you can stick a fork through them and it comes out easily), drain and return them to the pot with butter and sour cream. Mash together. Set aside.

Sauté ground meat in 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat until mostly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil and sauté onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add kale and stir until wilted. Return meat to pan and mix together.

Pour meat mixture into rectangular casserole dish or Pyrex. Spread sweet potato mixture over top and smooth out. Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes.