Shepherd's pie right out of the oven. Shepherd's pie right out of the oven. Israeli Kitchen Shepherd's pie is an old favorite and a crowd pleaser for the meat-and-potatoes crowd. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Shepherd's pie

This old country classic brings together comfort food and savory spices for a fabulous, filling dinner.

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

The phrase “He’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy” describes a whole lot of people around here, both male and female. So making a savory dinner out of these two favorites is bound to please any crowd. This shepherd's pie recipe is very forgiving; you can use any combination of ground meat that you like, light or dark turkey, lean or not-so-lean ground beef. And have fun with the spices – using some of the more unusual spices in the ground meat will give your dish a slightly exotic flavor and an incredible aroma as it bakes in the oven.

To save time on busy nights, go ahead and use boxed mashed potatoes – they work beautifully in this recipe, and taste wonderful with the meat when seasoned with a few extra spices. You’ll want a yield of about 4 cups mashed potatoes to fully cover the meat in this dish.

Shepherd's pie.Who doesn't need a little comfort food every now and then? (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)


  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 Idaho potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rosemary leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound lean ground meat
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 jar tomato sauce or marinara, any flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Wash potatoes and place in small pot. Cover with water.

Place pot over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 20-30 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork. (Don’t overcook the potatoes or the starch cells will burst, resulting in gooey, overly starchy mashed potatoes.)

Heat oil in large frying pan. Chop onion into medium dice. Add onions and minced garlic to hot oil and sauté until golden. Add chopped mushrooms and sauté for three more minutes. Transfer to medium bowl, set aside.

Without washing the frying pan, place chopped meat into the oiled pan and cook until no longer pink. Use a fork to press down on chunks of chopped meat and stir to ensure it all gets cooked.

Add spices and marinara, stir and cook 5 more minutes. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Drain potatoes and peel off most of the skin. Mash. Add coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste. You may not need all of the milk; mash and add as needed to create a spreadable consistency.

Place cooked ground meat into bottom of casserole dish. Cover with mashed potatoes, spreading them all the way to the edge of the dish. Sprinkle with fresh or dried rosemary.

Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes, or until potato peaks start to crisp.

This dish freezes well. Once completely cooled, seal well and freeze. When ready to serve, transfer dish directly from freezer to oven to remove excess moisture created by freezing. It will need approximately 45 minutes in the oven, covered for the first half hour, then uncovered last 15 minutes.

shepherd's pie sliced to see the inside.Shepherd's pie is a filling dish that freezes well. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Related Topics: Meat and Poultry

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