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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

I changed up the traditional shepherd's pie recipe and swapped out the white mash for sweet potato mash. This wholesome nourishing dish is the ultimate crowd pleaser.
Nov 29, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

Shepherd's Pie is one of those recipes you can't mess up, making it very dependable and one that I hope you'll come back to again and again for years to come. My recipe will warm you from the inside out, nourish your soul and keep your belly satisfied for hours.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

I grew up eating shepherd's pie because it was one of those recipes my mom would make on the weekend so we could have yummy leftovers for the week. I always loved the smell of it baking.

Shepherd's Pie is a great recipe to make on the weekend to make your busy weeknights less stressful! Just heat it up in your oven at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy.


I changed up the traditional recipe and swapped out the white mashed potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes. Just like most of my recipes on Joyous Health, you can find all the ingredients at your neighbourhood grocery store. This recipe is proof that if you've got really good quality ingredients, you can make great tasting food. 

Sweet potato pie ingredients

If you wanted to make this shepherd's pie totally plant-based, you could easily swap out the ground chicken or beef for lentils instead. I would recommend 2-2.5 cups of dry lentils and double the water. 

The sweet potato mash on top is so flavourful because I added cinnamon and nutmeg. You could also add cloves too, but use a very small amount (/8 of a tsp) because the flavour is very intense – a little goes a long way!

Sweet potato


Sweet potato shepherd's pie

This shepherd's pie is also packed with colourful veggies. I mean, just look at that little rainbow of colours. Colour, as I've always said, is a cue for health. The more variety of colours in your food, the greater the nutritional value because the colour is provided by plant chemicals called phytonutrients. These plant chemicals have a variety of benefits for our health from digestive wellness , to brain health and immune system health

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

Even canned tomato paste is an excellent source of lycopene, which has been found in research to be cancer preventative.

Even though this recipe isn't as quick as another dinner recipe like Chickpea Savoury Pancakes or Paprika Chicken , it's equally as good for you and as delicious.

It's worth the effort because depending on how many people are in your household, you may get a few meals out of it. If you're making it for 4 people I would suggest doubling the recipe so you have leftovers for easy weeknight meals or lunches. 

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

As I'm putting this post together, I'm literally getting hungry all over again. We've eaten the most recent shepherd's pie we made but I think it's time to make another one!

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

This Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie is ...

  • Paleo-friendly because it's grain-free and gluten-free
  • Packed with colourful plant-foods
  • Dairy-free (I used ghee in the mash sweet potato, however, ghee is free from dairy proteins)
  • Kid-friendly. If you've got a baby, you could easily put the shepherd's pie into a food processor and blend it up for super nourishing baby food

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Here's my recipe for this glorious Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.

Mains & Sides
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  • 5 small or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp organic ghee or butter
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 0.5 kg grass fed ground beef or ground organic chicken
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (156mL/5.5fl oz) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken or veggie stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Fill a large pot with water. Place sweet potato into water and bring to a boil. Cook for 12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a food processor if you want the top nice and smooth or use an immersion blender and keep potatoes in pot. Or get your potato masher ready!
  4. To the potatoes, add cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, ghee or butter and non-dairy milk of your choice. Get blending or mashing! Set aside once done.
  5. Now it's time to make the bottom pie part. In a large pan, on medium heat cook ground beef or chicken until no pink parts remain. Once done, set aside on a plate.
  6. In the same pan with heat on medium, cook onions. After a few minutes, add carrots and cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Next add the yellow pepper and cook for 2 more minutes and then the thawed peas, garlic, fresh herbs and finally ground beef. Mix until combined.
  8. Next add the tomato paste and veggie stock and mix in to ground beef mixture.
  9. Remove from heat and spoon evenly into an 8" x 10" baking dish.
  10. Spoon sweet potato mixture on top and smooth out with a spatula.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy warm!


This serves 4 generously or 6 modestly.

You could enjoy this with my Creamy Broccoli Salad from my new Joyous Cookbook or if you want a big salad to go with this, try my Kale Salad with Creamy Dressing

This recipe is featured in my Be Merry & Joyous Holiday Guide with 15 recipes for you to enjoy over the holidays. You can download it here.


I hope this Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie keeps you warm through the chilly winter months. Happy Holidays!

Joy xo

Elaine   •   December 6, 2019

I always like to try new recipes but I'm sorry to say this one wasn't popular last night. Hubby is very fussy and didn't approuve so I'll have to share it with family and friends instead. Don't worry I will try some more that's for sure ! I

Joy McCarthy   •   December 6, 2019

Leslie   •   December 14, 2019

Made this tonight but had to use edamame instead as no peas in the house! I also only had one sweet potato so I supplemented it with some purple potatoes we grew in our garden. It’s still in the oven but I know its going to be scrumptious - thanks Joy!

Joy McCarthy   •   December 16, 2019

Brittany   •   January 6, 2020

Interested in making the switch to the lentils.. You say 'dry lentils and double the water'. Do you mean add the dry lentils with the veggies and double the veggie stock (not water?) so the lentils can cook in that liquid? Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 6, 2020

Michelle   •   January 6, 2020

Hi Joy! I really want to make this for this week but I was wondering, I don't see any salt in this recipe. Are you supposed to add any or is it meant to be without it? Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 8, 2020

Janet   •   January 16, 2020

I made this shepherd's pie for dinner tonight. The only changes I made were using red pepper instead of yellow (it's what I had on hand) and dried herbs instead of fresh. It was delicious! I will make this again.

Joy McCarthy   •   January 19, 2020

Kaylee   •   February 19, 2020

Hello, I’m definitely interested in making this, do you know if it is freezer friendly?

Joy McCarthy   •   February 20, 2020

Connie Leung   •   March 20, 2020

Bookmarked this!! Cannot wait to try it!! I think I will try crushing up tempeh, since I don't have lentils in my pantry right now.Hope it works 😅.

Joy McCarthy   •   March 20, 2020
Connie Leung   •   March 21, 2020
Joy McCarthy   •   March 22, 2020

Lynn Duchesne   •   April 7, 2020



Janiece Nelson   •   April 13, 2020

This sounds good. Do you know if pumpkin would work instead of tomato? I don't do well with tomatoes.

Joy McCarthy   •   April 14, 2020

Lori   •   October 11, 2020

Made it with veggie ground and half sweet and half white potatoes. Added a bit of dried seasoning in addition to fresh and voila - it was a hit with young and old. Thank you!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 13, 2020

Laura C.   •   May 13, 2021

This was really good. I had made it before with ground chicken, but lean grass fed beef was much tastier this time. I used yams and purple sweet potatoes for the mash, which made it a lovely deep purple colour. I seasoned the beef, added some chilli flakes and used 1 and a half times the amount of herbs (dried). Tastes great!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 13, 2021

jenniferpetrie   •   September 12, 2022

I made this lovley dish last night. I really enjoyed it. I havn't had sweet potato on top before but Ireally loved it. Thanks so much Joy.

Joy McCarthy   •   September 12, 2022

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