Clean Eating Shepherds Pie Recipe

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This clean eating shepherds pie is a healthy twist on a family classic!

This is the first time I’ve ever made or even eaten shepherd’s pie. I have to admit that the name conjured up images of me tending my flocks of sheep in the meadows somewhere.

I was never really 100% sure about what went in to a shepherd’s pie and to be honest, it didn’t appeal to me based on the name alone.

But I’ve gotten several emails from you all asking for a clean version. So I finally bit the bullet and made my first ever shepherd’s pie.

A slice of this Clean Eating Shepherds Pie sits on a light brown plate, ready to eat.

All I can say is…. DANG I’ve been missing out!!! The flavors are simple, but it’s one of those dishes that grows on your with every bite.

In fact, I made a casserole dish full that was 9X13 inches, and my husband ate HALF of it for dinner! He just could not stop eating it!

Needless to say, he had to pack something different for lunch the next day because there was just none of it left when dinner was done.

An overhead view of a white casserole dish sitting on a marble counter top with this just-baked Clean Eating Shepherds Pie cooling, untouched, in the dish.

So ya, this was yummy, in my humble opinion. I hope you’ll like it too!


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Clean Eating Shepherds Pie Recipe

Clean Eating Shepherd's Pie

A family classic gets a clean eating upgrade!
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Course: Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Irish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 198kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 large shallot (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lb. sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • Place your sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are cooked all the way through.
  • While the potatoes cook, saute the garlic, shallot and onions together in the oil.
  • When the onions are translucent, add in the turkey meat, carrots, celery, zucchini, and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until the veggies are cooked most of the way. They don't have to be completely cooked because they will bake more in the oven. Just a bit tender is good.
  • When that is finished cooking, transfer everything to a casserole dish. (Mine was 9x13).
  • Using a thick towel so you don't burn yourself, peel the potatoes while they are still hot.
  • Place them in a mixing bowl with the chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. A food processor or regular blender will work too.
  • Smooth the potatoes over the meat in the casserole dish. Drag a fork lightly across the top to "rough up" the surface a bit for baking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 30 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly (you'll see that if your casserole dish is clear glass).
  • Cut into 12 sections and allow to cool a bit before serving. The potatoes really hold onto their heat, so be careful.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 19705IU | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted, 10/4/11.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    PP – Nice! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sgslong – Wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Miriam – Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kim – Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Natalie Collins says:

    I make my shepherd’s pie a lot like this. A traditional Canadian Shepherd’s Pie uses creamed corn, which I hate, so I adapted my recipe. In the meat layer, I like a bit of rosemary, and Worchestershire sauce. I’m not sure if Worchestershire sauce is considered clean or not. The last time I made it, I did it with sweet potatoes, like you did here, and LOVED it!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Natalie – Yes! The sweet potatoes are fabulous in this dish. Loved them! There are a couple of brands of Worcestershire sauce that I’ve found that are clean. One is “The Wizards Vegan Worcestershire Sauce” and the other is by Bourbon Barrel. If you can find them, they are both clean and both excellent. Thanks for sharing your fav!

  6. Lisa Ullrich says:

    Can’t wait to try this. When we make Shepard’s Pie, we turn the broiler on for about 10 minutes at the end to brown the top of the potatoes a little.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Lisa – Fantastic tip! Thanks!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Irene – No, you didn’t miss it. I forgot it. It’s there now, thanks for letting me know. 350 F.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Andree – Wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Leftovers are a beautiful thing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alicia – Haha!! Oh how I wish!!

  10. Trudefaith says:

    making this tonight for dinner!!! thanks for the recipe Tiffany!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Trude – You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

      1. Trudefaith says:

        well I made this for dinner!! LOVED IT!!! had to make a few changes,(no zucchini in the house used green beans, no balsamic- used worchestershire, and cornstarch to thicken gravy) my family really liked it too. I will make this again.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Trude – Fantastic! Glad everyone enjoyed it!

  11. Anonymous says:

    TLSC – Thanks! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

  12. can you freeze this? if so how? cant wait to try this!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Missy – I don’t see why not! If you’re worried about it, try cutting the recipe in half for the first run and freeze a small portion to see how it does. Honestly, it just didn’t last long enough around here for me to try it. Sorry, wish I could be more help!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Kelly – Fantastic!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sue – Fantastic! I hope you’ll try more of my recipes in the future!

  15. Do you think you could use Textured Vegetable Protein for this instead of ground turkey??

    1. Anonymous says:

      You could, but the meat gives a lot of flavor here. You would have to season it a lot more.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Ashley – Sorry you didn’t care for it! Perhaps the mexican shepherd’s pie would be more up your alley?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Amy – Yay! Glad you enjoyed it!

  19. Jennifer Craver says:

    I love garlic, but this was a lot maybe even for me. I used minced and substituted as stated on the jar….do you think that makes a difference or are you all just bigger garlic lovers than me? Thanks for your amazing recipes, I do love this and will just cut that down a bit next time. Love your site!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Jennifer – The substitution may have been a bit much. Just cut back on it as you said and it should be fine. Glad you liked it!

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  21. Kiwigurl21 says:

    I was wondering if you could use mashed cauliflower instead of sweet potatos? Also did you use yams or sweet potatos? The color in the picture looks more like yams. Thank you so much. So excited to try some of you recipes. New to the site and its amazing!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Welcome! Yes, you could use cauliflower too. I did use sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

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  24. graciouspantry says:

    You could try. The meat would certainly cook. Then you just have to layer everything.

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  26. graciouspantry says:

    Haha! Thanks for pointing that out! Had no idea!

  27. graciouspantry says:

    My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed them!

  28. I’m new to this clean eating thing (although most lf my meals i make from scratch). Shepherds Pie is a staple in our house. Never thought of topping it with sweet potato rather than regular potato mash. One quick question from the novice – is there any reason why you chose turkey mince over lamb mince? That is how the dish got it’s name after all…

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Personally, I can’t stand lamb. So I never use it. Feel free to if that’s your preference.

  29. I finally got around to making this with my own spin on it and it was delicious! OMG the sweet potato I am gonna also make them this way for other dishes too. I used only half and onion and 4 cloves of garlic because it seemed like too much and I am glad I did because hubby made a comment on it was too oniony. I didn’t have any shallots or zucchini so I omitted those and added peas instead.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janel – Glad it worked out! 🙂

  30. Jessica Kearney says:

    Just made this dish for my husband and I. Really enjoyed it. Very fresh/flavorful. love your website

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

  31. Patti Harrington says:

    My friend made this casserole and shared it with me! Yummy Now I must make this myself ! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful and healthy recipes.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Patti – My pleasure! Enjoy! 😀

  32. JenniferSheppard says:

    Just popped this in the oven, tasted all the components before sticking it in the oven and it was “DA’ BOMB”. Surely cannot wait until that timmer beeps and we can eat this fantastic meal.
    P.S. When I try to check the box to notify me when you reply it won’t check.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      JenniferSheppard – Awesome! I hope you enjoy it! And thanks for letting me know about the box. I’ll look into it.

  33. I made this tonight for dinner and it was tasty but didn’t turn out well. My husband is really sensitive to garlic so i only used 3 cloves and then added some salt and pepper to the meat mixture to help add some more flavour. Once baked, it ended up really watery, probably from the zucchini. It ended up in mushy piles on everyone’s plates. Next time, I’ll stick to green beans. I’ll also stick turn the broiler on for the last few minutes so the sweet potatoes dry out a little and brown on top. The flavours were good though.

    BTW, in the ingredients list, you have black pepper but don’t actually say where to add it. Since its listed with the potato ingredients, i assumed thats where it was supposed to go.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melanie – I’m sorry you didn’t care for it. It is possible that it was the zucchini. Some are more watery than others.

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