Shepherds Pies are a staple in winter foods and Irish cuisine. When I started clean eating, I miss the stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals. So, I developed a recipe of a hardy turkey shepherds pie topped with a creamy, mashed cauliflower. This dish is a hardy, stew-like dish with earthy under-notes from the bay leaf and sage, also a warm savoriness from the smidgen of nutmeg.
I’m not much of a casserole person, even in the winter. I am more of a fresh, light, and vibrant meal kind of person. But at times on a cold, cloudy winter Sunday, I crave to have either a chunky stew over rice, or a casserole kind of dish like this one; and oh boy does this curb the winter craving!
This clean eating spin on the shepherds pie is not exact. It lacks the crusty, buttery top from the mashed potatoes. While it also misses the beefiness from the original beef. But the turkey, carrots, onions, peas, and garlic is a light, delicious, and healthy substitute for the beef and potatoes. This shepherds pie still fulfills cravings for a warm, hardy dish in the winter.
The turkey shepherds pies can either be served in cute, mini casserole dishes like the ones shown in the pictures, or you can serve it in a small-medium casserole dish. These shepherds pies re-heat and freeze fantastically! That means they’re great for meal panning;)
Turkey Shepherds Pie
Clean, Paleo, low carb
~for shepherds pie~
-1 ¼ cups chicken stock
-1lb ground Turkey
-4 medium carrots
-3 celery sticks, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 small yellow onion
-½ frozen peas, defrosted
-1 bay leaf
-1 tbsp olive oil
-½ tbsp arrowroot starch*
-¼ tsp ground sage
-½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
-½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
-a pinch of nutmeg
-Pinch of salt and pepper
~for mashed cauliflower topping~
-1 medium head of cauliflower
-¼ cup milk of choice
-¼ cup parmesan cheese
-1 medium garlic clove, minced
-½ tsp dried oregano
-salt and pepper to taste
- Clean, dry, then chopped all vegetables
- Using a medium to large saucepan, add enough water to fill the bottom of the pan and set your steam basket in the pan. Turn the heat on at medium, then add your chopped cauliflower to the steam basket and steam for about 10 minutes or until tender.
- Then, heat a large saucepan with the olive oil at medium to low heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the pan, cook until the onion is transparent and aromatic.
- Add the ground turkey to the pan, cook until almost all of the meat is brown. Add all the dried spices**: bay leaf; sage; nutmeg; salt; pepper.
- After, add the arrowroot starch, stir until it has stuck to all the veggies and meat, once it does that quickly, add the chicken stock and peas, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes until it thickens and reduces. Once it reduces, add the fresh herbs**.
- While the turkey-veggie mixture reduces, using a hand blender or regular blender, take your steamed cauliflower and blend along with the milk of choice,parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. In either a medium casserole dish, or cute ramekins, add the turkey and veggies to the casserole dish, or distribute the mixture among the ramekins evenly. Add the mashed cauliflower and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, bake until brown on top(about 12 minutes). Serve with fresh, chopped parsley.
*The arrowroot starch is a natural thickener, can be omitted or use corn starch(not recomended)
**Dried spices are put in first so they can rehydrate and have the flavor absorbed, fresh are last to have the color and flavor remain
***If you’re reheating from the freezer, pop in the over at 425 for about 10-15 minutes.