Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe (Made for St. Patty’s Day)

Healthy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

When you are looking for a quick and easy dinner idea from things you surely have on hand, you can almost always feel safe making a shepherd’s pie or a cottage pie. Traditionally, a shepherd’s pie is made with lamb or mutton, and a cottage pie is made with beef. The remaining ingredients include veggies (traditionally corn, peas, green beans, and carrots) with a potato topping to complete both dishes.

Hailing from Ireland, the recipe concept was birthed due to many struggling families needing to make use of easy-to-acquire (and fairly inexpensive) ingredients that would cover all the bases in terms of nutrition. This recipe is literally the definition of a well-rounded meal, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s delicious to boot.

Most often, you would cook your protein (i.e., meat of choice), then sauté the vegetables, and mash potatoes as the topping. Finally, you put it all together to bake in the oven.

I decided to kick up the elegance factor and put mine in a trifle dish. I still followed all the critical steps in that my protein was cooked, the veggies were sautéed, and the potatoes were cooked and mashed. I didn’t bake the pie to get the crisp on top, but I wrote out the recipe with this step included for those who prefer the traditional method.

In my effort to also kick up the health factor, I swapped out half of the potatoes for cauliflower (I mean, duh, this is one vegetable that is really claiming every bit of its 15 minutes of fame). I also swapped out half the lamb for turkey. There is nothing wrong with lamb. I just wanted to lighten the load a bit, as lamb has significantly more calories and fat than turkey.

I would love to hear your feedback and how you make your shepherd’s or cottage pie, as I know at some point in your life it’s highly likely you have either made or tried this dinner-time staple.

Healthy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Healthy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: irish
Keyword: shepherd's pie
Calories: 383kcal


Top Layer

  • 1.5 cups Russett potatoes
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Middle Layer

  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup green beans
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bottom Layer

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • ½ lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 cup stock or broth I used vegetable
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Boil potatoes and cauliflower in a big pot on the stovetop.
  • Once cooked and drained, add in cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and mash. Set aside.
  • Brown the lamb and turkey in a skillet over the stovetop.
  • Once the meat is browned, add tomato paste and stock/broth and reduce heat and let simmer.
  • In another skillet, sauté veggies over stovetop. Set aside.
  • Layer the meat, then the veggies, and then the potato mixture in a large baking dish.
  • Bake for roughly 30 minutes until the top layer is golden brown and crispy.
  • Add optional rosemary and thyme.
  • Enjoy!


Chef Note: For my pie, I omitted the baking step and layered it in a trifle bowl for a more elegant presentation. I then piped the potato mixture on top before garnishing. So fancy!


Fiber: 5g | Calories: 383kcal | Fat: 21g | Protein: 24g | Carbohydrates: 26g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!