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Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey (Whole30, GF, DF)

A revamped and healthier version of a classic comfort food – Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers, this shepherd’s pie is Whole30 compliant, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Two plates of simple turkey shepherd's pie on a white board

Without a doubt, anytime I serve shepherd’s pie my husband Troy will say “made with 100% real shepherd”. Every.Single. Time.

He’s taken, ladies.

I’ll admit to not being the biggest fan of shepherd’s pie. I’m generally not super into that is heavily “meat-based”, and I can’t stand gravy. But, by using leftover turkey (post-Thanksgiving hollah) and totally ramping up the veg factor, this simple shepherd’s pie meets my very high standards.

Oh, and while I was at it, I went and made it dairy-free, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant. So you know, happiness in a cast iron skillet.

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie is a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes. In some cases, there may be a crust in place of the mashed potatoes.

But don’t worry because nary a shepherd has been harmed in the making of this dish.

What is in Shepherd’s Pie?

Traditionally you’ll find ground (also referred to as minced) beef or lamb in shepherd’s pie. Add in a mix of chopped veggies and gravy (firm nope from me) and then top it all with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese.

This version of a simple shepherd’s pie with turkey has:

Where Do You Get Affordable Organic Free-Range Turkey?

I’m blessed that we have a local butcher for buying organic meat, but we also have a monthly Butcher Box subscription. Butcher Box sources only organic and free-range meat for their customers and ships them to your home once a month.

The meat is super high-quality and we’ve always had an amazing selection sent each month. In addition to what they pick for you, you’re able to add specific cuts and types of meat to your box. They even have Whole30 compliant bacon!

Even with our local source, we still look forward to our monthly Butcher Box delivery.

Is This Whole30 Compliant? Paleo?

Yes, except for the peas. Double the green beans and you are good to go! Everything else has been adapted to be totally Whole30 compliant.

If you want to make this paleo, leave out the peas and sub in sweet potatoes for regular mashed spuds.

If you’re not Whole30/Paleo You Can:

  • Use cornstarch instead of arrowroot powder
  • Use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos
  • Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the mashed potatoes (I’d recommend a delicious extra sharp cheddar!)
  • Nutritional yeast isn’t mandatory but gives the dish an extra special hint of umami.

How Do You Make Simple Shepherd’s Pie?

*Detailed and printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the ghee (or butter/olive oil) and onions.  Add the arrowroot and stir to combine with the onion and ghee. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and stir.

onions being cooked in a cast iron skillet for simple shepherd's pie

Add the tomato paste, garlic, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a soft boil. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

A gravy being cooked in a cast iron skillet for simple turkey shepherd's pie

Add the veggies and then the turkey. Stir to combine. Top with mashed potatoes.

veggies and turkey for simple shepherd's pie topped with mashed potatoes in a cast iron skillet

Bake for 25 minutes.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Using frozen veggies makes this dish even easier to throw together for a weeknight or simple dinner.
  • Feel free to use whatever veggies you prefer. Add some mushrooms (gross) or whatever else you have on hand.
  • If you have leftover gravy feel free to sub it in for the seasonings called for in this recipe. Keep the thyme though!
  • No leftover mashed potatoes? Make your own by trying one of these recipes Whole30 Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Make Ahead Easy Mashed Potatoes.
  • Cooked chicken would work great for this recipe as well. Shred a whole chicken (related: How to Make a Perfect Roasted Chicken Every Time) or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

a plate of simple shepherd's pie on a green cloth with a fork and rosemary

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a plate of simple shepherd's pie on a green cloth with a fork and rosemary
Print
5 from 1 vote
Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey (Whole30, GF, DF)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

A healthier version of a classic comfort food - Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey shepherds pie, Uses for leftover turkey, whole30 shepherds pie
Servings: 8
Calories: 185 kcal
Author: Sarah Cook - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the ghee (or butter/olive oil) and onions. Cook down for five minutes.

  3. Add the arrowroot and stir to combine with the onion and ghee. Cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.

  4. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and stir. Add the tomato paste, garlic, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a soft boil. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

  5. Add the veggies and then the turkey. Stir to combine. Top with mashed potatoes.

  6. Bake for 25 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Using frozen veggies makes this dish even easier to throw together for a weeknight or simple dinner.

 

If you have leftover gravy feel free to sub it in for the seasonings called for in this recipe. But keep the thyme!

 

Cooked chicken would work great for this recipe as well. 

Nutrition Facts
Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey (Whole30, GF, DF)
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 185 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Potassium 434mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 56.8%
Vitamin C 22.8%
Calcium 2.2%
Iron 5.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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A revamped and healthier version of a classic comfort food - Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers, this shepherd's pie is Whole30 compliant, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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13 comments on “Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey (Whole30, GF, DF)”

  1. I just cooked up a whole chicken last night! Sadly I did not plan well enough to use your perfect roasted chicken recipe, but it was still yummy.

    But now I know what to make tonight!! Well, after I stop and get some broth.

    Side note: I ordered two turkeys from a farmer friend and I can not wait to make broth from the bones. Turkey bone broth is my absolute favorite!

    Thanks for the dinner inspiration!

    • My MIL LOVES turkey bone broth too! It has been the hardest part of her not hosting Thanksgiving anymore.

      • Well, turkey doesn’t just have to be cooked at Thanksgiving…

      • True. But it is just two of them so I’m not sure how much effort she is willing to put in a few times a year just for broth.

        And around here at least you can typically only find turkey in early Nov-Jan. It’s so weird!

  2. “DAD JOKES!” Every boyfriend (I have two daughters) worth keeping knows to at least smile at them.

    When I tell my guy, “you need a haircut,” he always says, “I’m gonna get them ALL cut.” Every.single.time. Whattayagonnado?

    I liked that you didn’t assume anyone had left over mashed potatoes, since, after doing all the Thanksgiving cleanup, I heat the leftover mashed potatoes up with an extra bit of cream and put my feet up and EAT THEM ALL. It’s one of the best parts of my Thanksgiving rituals.

    • Troy is the king of dad jokes! Glad to hear your daughter’s boyfriends know how to react appropriately.

      An old boss of mine said the haircut thing too. Every time! And I’m sure you’ve heard the “working hard or hardly working” a billion times?

      I love post-holiday rituals and I love that yours involves mashed taters! Mine is I reclean the house (bathrooms, vac/mop floors, and pick up) and then eat a piece of pie! Which um, is definitely my second or third piece of pie of the day. Any leftover mashed potatoes also get used to make potato pancakes the next day.

  3. This is one of those cultural/ language differences again! shepherds pie is made with lamb, cottage pie with beef. I’ve never seen it with a pastry crust, that would make it a lamb/beef/chicken pie. But never a mince pie because they are sweet nowadays and a Christmas thing! Writing it out makes it sound way more complicated than i thought it was! I’ve never seen a potato topped pie with poultry in it (stand by for someone from another part of the UK who’ll tell that it’s quite common where they’re from!) but cottage/shepherds pie was Monday night meal because it used the meat leftover from the Sunday roast, so I don’t know why…. 
    Ok now I’m going to leave pedants corner and ask if you buy a bigger turkey than you need for thanksgiving so you can have this for leftovers?

    • I don’t think turkey shepherd’s pie is an actual thing anywhere. But I made it one because it uses up a lot of leftover turkey. So it’s a thing NOW. Ha!

      The research I did showed there are distinct differences between English, Scottish, and Irish shepherd’s/cottage pie. So it appears to be very regional.

      We do a ham and turkey for Thanksgiving (I do the turkey and my MIL brings a ham) because Troy’s grandma can’t eat turkey. People tend to take a little of both. But Thanksgiving at least in this house is all about the side dishes. I don’t really care much about the bird! So we usually end up with a decent(ish) amount of leftover turkey.

      • There’s not really a definitive anything anywhere! I’m all for turkey shepherds pie being a thing now! Obvs no Thanksgiving here and Christmas dinner is usually turkey time but last year at my brother’s was the first time I had turkey for Christmas, I usually do beef but basically it’s just a roast dinner and I’m all about the roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding…

    • My half-British children would tell you the reason they love cottage pie more than shepherds pie is that, at least in the BBC recipe I use, you add cheese to the mashed potato topping.  What’s better than cheesy mashed potatoes?  Not much.

      I love both shepherds pie AND cottage pie but do not love how long it takes to make either, so I will have to give this version a try.

  4. Had this last night with gravy instead of the tomato based sauce. It was really yummy. Plus it saved my mom’s over cooked turkey breast from bring dry and useless