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Lightened Up Shepherd's Pie

shepherd's pie

Since we will be out of the country for St. Patrick's Day, I figured we'd get in the spirit and make Shepherd's Pie a little early. We are also trying to be healthy, so I made a few modifications to your normal shepherd's pie to make it lighter. The only thing I'd change is that next go around, I think I'll stick to lean ground beef instead of using lean ground turkey - it got a little dry in my opinion and was a bit crumbly. Still tasty, but just my lessons learned!


Cauliflower + Potato Topping

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1-2 yukon gold potatoes (you can also omit this and just use cauliflower - I just figured I'd throw a few in for creaminess)

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup low fat sour cream (optional)

dash of salt and pepper

splash of skim milk


2 tb olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 celery ribs, diced (approx.)

1 cup peas (approx.)

2 carrots, diced (approx.)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey (or you can use lean ground beef)

1/4 cup homemade beef broth

splash of worcestershire sauce

1 tb tomato paste (or ketchup would do)

1-2 tb chopped fresh rosemary

1-2 tb chopped fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste

shredded cheese to top the cauliflower (use one that melts well)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside. You can use 3 quart, but it will be pretty thin. In a large pot, steam or boil the potatoes and cauliflower until tender. I steamed them separately and set aside. Heat 2 tb of olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook until beginning to soften, around 5 minutes. Add the peas once they've softened. Add the ground meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, rosemary, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer while you prepare the topping.

Add 2 tb of butter, the sour cream and skim milk. Season with salt and pepper. Mash the potato and cauliflower mixture until smooth. To assemble, spread the filling on the bottom of the dish. Top with the cauliflower and potato mixture and smooth with a spoon. Cover with shredded cheese, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.

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