Shepherd’s Pie with Cauli Mash Topping

Hey quick question – are you aware how good shepherd’s pie is? It’s insanely good. On a comfort food scale of 1-10, it’s a 27.

As far as the one-pot comfort food meals go, shepherd’s pie cures what ails ya on every level – it’s savory, it’s good for you, and it’s fun to watch the people you make it for get happier with every bite.

Traditional shepherd’s pie has peas and corn and a potato topping. But since my goal is to pack as many good-for-you veggies in as possible, I subbed out those ingredients for spinach, broccoli and a mashed cauliflower top.

Also just a warning below, I make this recipe with my secret weapon – Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning. It adds a deeper savoriness to this dish but it’s NOT a deal breaker if you don’t have it. Just note you may want to add a bit more garlic powder and salt if, as you’re cooking, it needs a little flavor boost!

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (1/2 tsp umami seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cups (12 oz) frozen spinach (drained)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli (drained)
  • 3 cups (12 oz) sliced mushrooms (1 tsp umami seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups whipped cauliflower (I use frozen mash for this)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt for veggies (if you don’t have it, just use regular salt and combine with garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper for veggies
  • 1/2 tsp umami seasoning for veggies

 

 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook ground turkey in large, lightly oiled pan, mixing in the garlic salt, pepper, and umami seasoning if you have it.
  3. Once it’s almost done cooking, sprinkle with almond flour, stir until completely coated.
  4. Remove ground turkey and set aside.
  5. Lightly re-oil pan and cook diced onions until soft and translucent.
  6. Add chopped carrots and 3 tbs of water, stir and cover (this helps carrots soften. Cover for 4-5 minutes.)
  7. Stir in mushrooms mushrooms
  8. Mix in thawed and drained broccoli
  9. Add thawed and drained chopped spinach.
  10. As you stir, sprinkle in another 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  11. Add ground turkey back into pan and stir everything together.
  12. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire and stir together.
  13. Bring to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Sauce should thicken up a bit).
  15. Transfer mixture into oven-safe casserole dish. (The flour coating on the turkey should stop you from having excess moisture in the pan but if you do, drain off a bit before putting in casserole dish.)
  16. Spoon mashed cauliflower over the top of your mixture, making soft indentations with a fork.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes until mash indentations turn golden brown.
  18. (Finish off in the broiler If mash isn’t browning BUT depending on your broiler, check it every 20-30 seconds so you don’t burn the top.)
  19. Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve!

Notes

This meal is absolutely delicious but I feel that with all the moving parts, other aspects of it should be made as easy as possible – especially if it’s a weeknight. That’s why I recommend using frozen spinach, broccoli and especially mashed cauliflower when assembling your Shepard’s pie.

Don’t get me wrong…I make TONS of cauli mash and love it (and have included a great recipe below) but this dish doesn’t suffer at all by using a pre-mashed mash so consider making life easier on yourself with this one.

Cauli Mash Recipe

There are TONS of recipes for this online, but here’s the one I use over and over. The taste is simple, the texture is nice and it compliments any main dish!

This recipe is compliments of delish.com.

I follow it pretty closely but I add garlic powder, grated Parmesan and chives and  often double the recipe for big groups.

The Highlights:

Boil two bags of diced cauliflower (feel free to rice your own but the pre-riced is easy and it’s the perfect texture).

THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL SO LISTEN UP! After boiling the cauli, squeeze it out with cheesecloth. This veggie holds a LOT of water and you don’t want your mash runny! Do it in small batches and make sure not to burn your hand if the cauli is too hot! Ok. You’re welcome. ?

Fold in the cream cheese until everything is nice and blended (feel free to do it over a little heat on the stove if it needs to melt a bit.)

Toss in a splash of milk or cream while stirring.

I like to add grated Parmesan or cheddar while continuing to stir, stir, stir.

Salt and pepper to taste (which a little garlic and onion powder if you like).

Throw a dollop on the plate and serve with just about any meal!

9 Comments

  1. Doug Stevenson

    What temp do you bake!!!

  2. Darlene Cross

    Can’t wait to try this. Tried your mashed cauliflower after hearing it in eat your feelings. I make it all the time now.

  3. Hi there! Such a nice article, thanks!

  4. Jamie Allen

    Gina!!! Thanks so much for posting these! My 7yr old son is absolutely in love with the shepherd’s pie! Ate it for 3 days straight! I am so not a cauliflower fan but I love this one too!

    Thanks again!!

  5. Made this today using the frozen cauliflower mash, broccoli, and spinach and it turned out GREAT and it tastes amazing! Don’t be intimidated by the multiple steps, it’s actually a pretty easy recipe to make.

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