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Healthy And Nutritious Shepherd’s Pie

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When I was growing up, one of my favorite meals was Shepherd’s Pie. With the vegetables mixed into the  meat, I barely noticed them and that nice thick layer of mashed potatoes on top kept me from thinking about them. Of course that was back before I knew or cared about fat, cholesterol, and the glycemic index.

Why It’s A Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

So, I played around in the kitchen until I came up with a version that still satisfied my taste buds without doing any harm to my health. In fact, the healthy shepherd’s pie I came up with is chock full of vitamins, phytonutrients, and glucosinolates (which help fight inflammation and aid in preventing cancer).

shepherd's pie in a red bowl with a spoon in it and title text reading Healthy Shepherds Pie

What I Changed To Make A Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

The biggest changes I made were to substitute lean ground turkey for the ground beef and to substitute mashed turnips for the mashed potatoes.

In order to significantly cut the fat and calories when making this switch, make sure you buy ground white meat turkey, otherwise you could simply use a leaner ground beef and achieve the same results.

As for the turnips, these are an often overlooked vegetable that have a subtle taste (so can be easily incorporated into recipes) but pack a nutritional punch.  If you’re worried that they won’t be well received, try a combination of half potatoes and half turnips as a compromise.

📋 Recipe

Healthified Shepherd’s Pie

Corinne Schmitt
A healthier version of a traditional family favorite.
4.45 from 9 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 110 kcal


  • 3-4 large turnips peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 14 oz bag mixed vegetables
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil turnips in large pot until tender.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • While turnips are boiling, brown ground turkey in skillet with diced onions. Add mixed vegetables and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Remove from heat and pour into a casserole dish.
  • When turnips are tender, remove from heat. Drain. Beat well with a mixer until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon mashed turnips over meat mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400°.


Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 18gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 398mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 27IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

31 thoughts on “Healthy And Nutritious Shepherd’s Pie”

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  5. I’ve done a recipe something like this before but I put mashed cooked cauliflower on top instead of the turnips, have to try the turnip variation, looks interesting.

    • Hi Curby, thanks for stopping by. I loved mashed cauliflower. I bet that version is very tasty as well.

  6. I love your twist of healthy to the traditional Shepherd’s pie. Turnip’s are such a great substitute.
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe at Tasty Tuesday. I am featuring it this week. Hope you’ll drop by this week and share some more fabulous recipes with us.

    Hope you have a great week. See you at the party.

  7. This sounds great! I’m not sure my hubby would like it… he’s a pretty traditional guy.. But I will definitely try it when its just the kids & I!

  8. This may sound crazy… but… I’VE NEVER HAD SHEPHERD’S PIE. I’ve always wanted to try it though, maybe on one of my cheat days I’ll have to try your healthier version.
    Thanks for sharing via Mommy Monday!

  9. I also love shepherd’s pie but most versions I see are so unhealthy! So happy to see this version that’s much better for me! Pinning to my dinner board now!

  10. I love shepherd’s pie! I’m excited to give this healthy version a try. Pinning!

  11. Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week!
    Have a terrific weekend!

  12. It has been years since I have made Shepherds Pie! Thanks for the reminder! I am Pinning

  13. This looks delicious! Ive always loved Shepherds pie, but my thighs and booty sure didnt!! We’d love it if you linked up with the Awesome Things Tuesday blog hop! http://vlittlebirds.blogspot.com/2014/02/awesome-things_18.html

  14. Oh this sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe and Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  15. You must have read my mind, the half potato half turnip suggestions is brilliance!

  16. Yum! that looks delish and healthy too! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  17. I have never made shepherds pie before but this looks like a great recipe to try for my first!

  18. 5 stars
    I haven’t made sheperd’s pie for ages. Really love the idea of substituting the potatoes with turnips. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  19. I cannot recall if I’ve had Shepard’s Pie before, but I am willing to try it! Of course, I will have to find a substitute for the onion, since I can’t have onions. But it sure looks yummy!

    • Hi Angela, you could just omit the onion. I don’t think the dish would suffer in its absence. Mushrooms also work well in it though if you want to use something else.

  20. 4 stars
    Ohhh, I’m going to try this, but make it when no one is home. See if they can tell that it’s not mashed potatoes. Wonder if cauliflower would work as well?

  21. this is one of our favorite meals, especially in the winter…gonna try it with turnips to see if anyone notices 😉 thanks for a great recipe!

  22. I used to love Shepards pie! I Love that you made it healthy! Will be making this one.

  23. This is one of the hubs fav meals. But with beef and potatoes. Im going to try it this was and see if he notices. I love comfort food, but its never figure friendly. This looks good.

  24. 5 stars
    Shepherd’s Pie is a favorite here in our house and I love that I can make it in so many different ways. I don’t think my family would eat the mashed turnips so I might use mashed Yam or Sweet Potatoes instead.

    • Hi Joie, thanks for stopping by. Mashed sweet potatoes are a great idea! That would completely transform the dish. We may have to try that version.

  25. Okay, reading comprehension fail. For a second, I read it as “chock full of cancer.” (I somehow missed two lines when I pressed page down.) But in all seriousness… we already use extra lean ground beef, and the mashed turnips is a compromise I can definitely live with! Thanks for the idea.

  26. How interesting to use turnips as a substitute for potatoes?! You’re right, that’s a vegetable I never think of using.

    • LOL. I’d never even bought a turnip before. The only reason I had them is because we had a “T” themed dinner week and vegetables that start with “T” are very limited. I was delighted and surprised that they stood in for potatoes so well.


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