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Recipe for Health: Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Ring in the holidays with this tasty version of a favorite comfort food.

’Tis the season of indulgence, and diets can get unsaddled as people face a dizzying array of fatty meats, calorie-bomb dips and tempting sweets. But healthy eating need not wait until New Year’s Day—it’s easy to rustle up meals that taste just as cheery but deliver a bigger nutritional windfall. This nutritious riff on iconic shepherd’s pie is sure to become a new favorite on the holiday table.

Makes six servings.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 lb sweet potato (about 3 large), peeled and diced in half-inch cubes
  • 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 C frozen green peas
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • salt to taste

Place sweet potato in a steamer basket set over 1 inch of water and steam until very tender, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, boil the potato cubes until tender. Mash potato with the cheese, butter, rosemary, cinnamon and a couple of pinches of salt. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 11- x 8-inch casserole pan. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion, carrot and mushrooms to pan; heat 10 minutes. Place green peas and garlic in pan; heat 1 minute. Stir in turkey, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Heat until turkey is browned.

Place turkey mixture in baking pan and spread mashed sweet-potato mixture over top. Sprinkle some additional Parmesan on top. Bake for 30 minutes.



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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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