My husband and I make a fine family of nerds. Yes, we bought tickets to the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Monday (eeeeee!). And on the way home from work today, our conversation went something like this:
Me: I have to do a blog post when we get home.
Zach: What are you going to write about?
Me: Sweet potato shepherd’s pie!
Zach: Yum! SPSP!
Me: SP squared!
Him: Actually, it would be parentheses SP parentheses squared.
Can you tell we are both high school teachers?
And so, I present to you, Sweet Potato (and ground turkey) Shepherd’s Pie. AKA SPSP. AKA (SP)². You don’t have to be a nerd like us to enjoy this easy to make, delicious, comforting, simple, and healthy casserole!
Every time I crave warm comfort food, I always make the same thing: shepherd’s pie. Oh goodness, it’s good. Good in that really, simple way that comfort food is known for.
A while ago, when Bowl of Delicious was still very young, I posted about Simple Shepherd’s Pie. This is a lighter, healthier take on the same recipe with sweet potatoes instead of white (which have more nutrients and fewer carbs) and ground turkey instead of ground beef (which is a leaner meat). Plus, some fresh thyme thrown in the mix to add deeper flavor.
It’s simple, delicious, healthy, and oh so comforting. And the best part? It’s a make-ahead meal, meaning you can assemble it on the weekend and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes when you are ready to eat. Or better yet: make two on the weekend, freeze one, and cook the other that week! You’ll just have to defrost the frozen one in the fridge overnight before cooking it at a later date.
Now. The way I make it is a bit non-traditional: it does not include gravy.
Right now you are probably thinking: Gasp! No gravy?! You must be crazy! And you know what? Maybe I am. Because gravy is potentially the most amazing substance on the face of this great earth. But I’ve never made shepherd’s pie any other way. This is the way my mom made it when I was growing up, and the way I’ll continue to make it. Because even though it doesn’t have gravy, it’s still DELICIOUS, uses fewer ingredients than a traditional shepherd’s pie, and is easier to make.
So, I hope you’ll forgive the lack of gravy.
Recipe below! Enjoy :-)
Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- 2 cups chopped carrots corn, and peas mixture (frozen or fresh)
- 2 large sweet potatoes cubed*
- Steam sweet potatoes until tender.
- Meanwhile, saute onions and turkey in a skillet in 1 tablespoon butter until browned and cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.
- Transfer cooked turkey and onions to a casserole dish. Add to the skillet the carrots, peas, and corn and saute until slightly browned and starting to cook through (about 3 minutes). Transfer vegetables to casserole dish and spread out on top of turkey/onion mixture.
- When sweet potatoes are done steaming, remove from steamer and mash in a medium bowl with a potato masher with 2 tablespoons butter, salt, pepper, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of thyme. Spread mashed sweet potatoes on top of vegetables in casserole dish.
- Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (add more if you want to!) and extra thyme leaves.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until beginning to brown on top and heated completely through.