It’s no secret that Fall is quickly approaching and I must say I’m a bit excited.   It’s not that I don’t love Summer…I do, but there comes a time when a girl wants to snuggle up in scarves and boots and watch the leaves change colors.   And it makes me all fuzzy and warm on the inside just thinking about it.   Now Winter could wait…to be honest it would be perfect if Spring followed Fall but that’s just wishful thinking.   I guess the brutal cold makes me appreciate Spring, Summer and Fall even more and every now and then I find myself cooking a few dishes that I would normally make during the colder months.

I had an insane craving for Shepherd’s Pie and decided to whip up a batch but I strayed a bit from the way it is traditionally made.   I used ground turkey instead of beef or lamb and covered it with mashed white sweet potatoes (boniatas) instead of the traditional potato and let me tell you, the results were amazing!!  Maybe it was the sweetness from the sweet potatoes or the well seasoned turkey or maybe it was the Parmesan crust…whatever the reason we gobbled it all up.   I know that white sweet potatoes can be a challenge to find but using regular potatoes will work just as well in the dish.   You can also use beef or lamb in place of turkey, whatever floats your boat.   Oh…on a final note, this makes a large batch of shepherd’s pie but we didn’t mind at all!  It took the 3 of us 3 days to gobble it up and we enjoyed every spoonful!

Shepherd’s Pie

Meat Layer

3 lbs ground turkey (80/20 mix)

1 tbsp canola oil

½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 whole onion, diced

1 tsp crushed garlic, about 3 cloves

1 tsp paprika

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, sweet peas, cut green bean and carrots)

1 ½ cup beef stock

2 tbsp ketchup


Sweet Potato Layer

3 lbs white sweet potatoes, boniatas

3 cloves whole garlic

1 sprig rosemary

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

3 tbsp butter

1/3 cup milk

½ cup sour cream

½ cup of grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the sweet potatoes:

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 2 inch pieces and add to a large pot.  Fill with enough water to cover the sweet potatoes.   Add 3 cloves whole garlic and 1 whole sprig rosemary.   Place on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.   Cook until sweet potato is tender.    Remove from heat and strain.

Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl with butter, milk, sour cream, salt and black pepper and mash until smooth.   Set aside.

To make the meat:

Heat canola oil in a large frying pan then add onion and cook until clear.  Next add ground turkey, crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, paprika, salt and black pepper then mix to combine and to break up the turkey into small pieces.  Cook until brown.  Next add ketchup, frozen mixed vegetables and beef broth; bring to a boil then cook for 5 minutes.

To assemble the dish:

Place ground turkey mixture in a large casserole dish then cover with mashed sweet potatoes.   Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top then place into preheated oven.   Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.   Cool for 15 minutes before serving.