This One-Pan Skinny Shepherd’s Pie recipe has all of the flavors of the traditional dish without all of the fat and carbs. This healthier classic uses ground turkey and a delightful cauliflower-potato mash.
I do like to indulge in classic dishes, especially when the weather gets colder outside and the only thing on your mind is to have something comfy and warm to eat. One such dish is the classic Shepherd’s Pie. It’s a one-pot meal that incorporates everything: meat, potatoes, and vegetables. It’s cooked in the oven and the aroma is incredible.
However the classic version of this dish, with beef and loaded mashed potatoes, isn’t quiet the lightest version. So, as opposed to depriving yourself of this traditional classic, treat yourself with this healthier classic instead. With this recipe, I’m able to enjoy this winter classic, but without the guilt of eating a caloric bomb.
I love finding ways to enjoy lighter versions of my favorite dishes. One of my absolute favorite Polish recipes is Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, but they can get heavy with the mixture of pork and beef. I made my skinny version of these rolls using lean turkey, and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. If you are interested in other light spins, you definitely want to check out my recipe for Polish Stuffed Cabbed Rolls – Skinny ‘Golabki’ (that’s the Polish name for cabbage rolls).
How did I lighten up this Skinny Shepherd’s Pie?
- Lean turkey instead of beef.
- Use only one tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onions with garlic, thyme, and tomato paste. I added the turkey to this mixture, to cook through (this technique saved a lot of calories and added fat).
- Include a lot of vegetables like: onions, carrots, peas, and corn (the more vegetables you add, the more flavorful the dish will be).
- I only used about ½ of the potatoes that would normally be used in a classic dish, and replaced the remaining half with healthy and light cauliflower.
- By using only one tablespoon of butter and ¼ cup of skim milk for my mash.
Add extra flavor to this healthier classic:
Now the trick for making a skinny version of any dish, because you’re lowering the amount of fat in a dish, is that you’ll need to pump it up with extra flavor. Fat makes dishes rich and flavorful; so when you make a skinny version, you’ll need to give it a little bit more love with aromatics and spices. Here’s what I used:
- Dried thyme;
- Red wine;
- Tomato paste;
- Cayenne pepper;
- 4 teaspoon of grated Parmesan for a mash (this is just 40 calories, but added some nice flavor to the mash).
I used a few tablespoon of red wine with the meat mixture, as it needed a little bit of acid. You can use 1-2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce instead. I also only used just a pinch of cayenne, but according to my husband, it could be a little spicier, so feel free to add more cayenne if you so choose. Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy this One-Pan Skinny Shepherd’s Pie when you feel like having a nice, comfort food without all the heaviness.
- 1-1.3 pounds ground lean turkey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large Vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 1-2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables: peas, carrots, and corn
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 medium red skin potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
- ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons salt for boiling
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ - ½ cup skim milk
- 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Place potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and salt in a pot with water and boil until the vegetables are fork tender, for about 20-25 minutes.
- In an oven-proof skillet, heat up olive oil, add onion, and cook for about 3 minutes, until translucent.
- Add minced garlic, dried thyme, and tomato paste, and cook for another minute.
- Add ground turkey and cook until lightly browned, for about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the meat with flour, mix well, and let it cook for another minute.
- Add wine and 1 cup of chicken stock, mix well and let it thicken up.
- If the mixture is too thick, start adding more chicken stock.
- Add frozen vegetables and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- In the meantime, drain the potatoes and cauliflower.
- Add butter, milk, Parmesan cheese, and mash it using handheld blender.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Spread cauliflower-potato mash on top of the meat sauce and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!
Home Chef tip: Use 1-2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce instead of the red wine if you don’t like to add alcohol to your dishes.
We hope you love this One-Pan Skinny Shepherd’s Pie recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Edyta from Innocent Delight, as much as we do. If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our other Healthier Classics for more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!