A healthier version of Shepherd’s Pie

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – If you love eating comfort food like Shepherd’s Pie, but don’t want all the calories and fat, we have the recipe for you! Chef Bill Collins from chefbill.com showed us how to make a healthier version of the classic recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and minced
1 red pepper, minced
2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 cup cooked corn (frozen okay)
¼ cup peas (frozen okay)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
¼ teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)
2-3 sweet potatoes (approximately 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into large pieces
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into large pieces
2-3 tablespoons milk
salt and black pepper to taste

Set aside an ungreased 9″X13″ baking dish, or a cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 350°

1. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the oil, then add the pepper and onions. Sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, place all of the potatoes in a pot, covered with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 10-15 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes, and return the pot to the turned-off burner. Let it sit there, uncovered, for 5 minutes, to evaporate any remaining water.
4. Mash the potatoes, and add the milk, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Set this aside. You can also do this up to two days ahead, and refrigerate.
5. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, corn, peas, eggs, Worcestershire Sauce, oregano, thyme, and Tabasco with the cooked vegetables. Add one teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
6. Place the meat mixture in the 9″x13″, and spread it out until it fills the pan.
7. Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and drain any excess fat in the pan. A turkey/bulb baster works well for this.
8. Spread the potato mixture over the top of the meat, and return it to the oven. Bake until it’s done, approximately 30-40 minutes. The internal temperature should be 160°

Yield: Approximately 6-8 servings

-If you have a cast iron skillet, you can sauté the veg and cook the pie all in this one pan.
-To test the flavor of the meat before you cook it, preheat a small skillet, and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Then, sauté a small amount (1 or 2 tablespoons) of the meat mixture until it’s cooked through, approximately 2-4 minutes. Taste this once it’s cooked, and adjust the meat’s seasoning (salt, pepper, Tabasco) as needed.
-There are many types of ground meat that work well with this recipe. If you are using ground chicken or turkey, try to use dark meat for at least half of the recipe. This will help keep the meat moist.
-The amount of seasonings you use might vary, as it’s often hard to get exactly 2 pounds of meat. Sometimes there’s a bit more weight. This is why testing a sample of the meat in the skillet will give you the flavor that you’d like.