I have no idea how I came to the decision to make Shepherd’s Pie. I don’t know if I have ever made it before, and I don’t think of it as something that sounds amazing. I do know that when I made the decision, I decided to make Potato-free Shepherd’s Pie. I think that determination was mostly because I didn’t have potatoes, but also because I had turnips and cauliflower that I wanted to use in place of potatoes for the topping. I looked around for recipes and found this pin that I based it on. This recipe is especially easy because you can use leftover veggies or a bag of frozen mixed veggies. I cooked the ground turkey and roasted all of the vegetables (except carrots, peppers, and tomatoes) the night before and put it together and cooked it the next day. As always, use your preferred seasoning profile. I tend to use Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper in many recipes, but if you have others that you prefer, use those instead.
Potato-Free Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 lb. cooked ground turkey (or ground beef leftover roast beef or shredded chicken)\
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups leftover veggies (or 1 pound mixed frozen vegetables) I used roasted broccoli, brussel sprouts, red peppers, and carrots
- favorite seasonings, to taste (I used 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes and crushed red pepper flakes)
- 1 cup gravy (or use recipe below)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 head of cauliflower florets
- 2-3 large turnips, cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons butter or favorite oil
- salt, pepper, and/or favorite seasonings
- real bacon pieces, optional
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Roast or steam the cauliflower florets and turnip chunks until very tender. Mash or blend cauliflower and turnips with butter until creamy like potatoes, leaving some chunks so it’s not pureed like baby food. I used an immersion blender. Add salt, pepper, and/or seasonings to taste. Stir in bacon pieces, if using, along with 1/4 cup cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine turkey, onion, and vegetables in a 9×13 casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix gravy, diced tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour gravy mixture over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with preferred seasonings or just salt and pepper.
Spread cauliflower and turnip mash over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the cauliflower and turnip mash. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
The results? We loved this recipe – it was our favorite out of the three meals that I made that week (Spicy Asian Chicken and Tuscan Pot Roast). Lo didn’t mind at all that the topping wasn’t potatoes (he often does appreciate it when I try to trick him), and I kept forgetting that they weren’t as I was eating the leftovers. I even ate it for breakfast a couple of times. I intended to freeze half of it, but we liked it enough that we ate all but one serving that I froze.
If you don’t have a favorite gravy recipe or premade gravy to use in the Potato-Free Shepherd’s Pie recipe, this will work in a pinch.
- 1 1/2 cup beef, chicken, or turkey broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sage or rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk while cooking over a medium-high heat until the gravy becomes thick and smooth. Add more cornstarch, a half of teaspoon at a time if it’s not thick enough, or a little broth at a time if it’s too thick.