If you need to feed a crowd on St. Patrick’s Day (or just have a frozen casserole on hand) this hearty and healthy Shepherd’s Pie fits the bill! It boasts hearty meat and veggies topped with lightened up mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and smothered in cheese – how can you go wrong?
How do you lighten up Healthy Shepherd’s Pie without skimping on flavor? I opted for lean ground turkey and amped up the veggies. Instead of straight mashed potatoes, I snuck in cauliflower as well (which you can barely taste). I swapped in low-fat alternatives where possible, while keeping it hearty, creamy and cheesy. The result was a huge portion for just under 500 calories!
Now that’s a scoop! And you can tell what kind of meat to potato ratio I prefer. Speaking of potatoes, I have a few secrets I’d like to share. First thing’s first, mash your potatoes in a pot over low heat. This helps to cook off any excess moisture (no gloppy potatoes here). And yes, butter and milk are a must, but so is cream cheese! I think it really makes a delicious difference.
And there you have it – delicious Healthy Shepherd’s Pie for any day of the week or a great St. Patrick’s Day feast. I like to prep everything the night before and assemble the casserole. Then I can keep it in the fridge or freezer and pop it into the oven whenever I’m ready (just increase the cooking time accordingly).
If you need to feed a crowd on St. Patrick's Day (or just have a frozen casserole on hand) this hearty and healthy Shepherd's Pie fits the bill! It boasts hearty meat and veggies topped with lightened up mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and smothered in cheese - how can you go wrong?
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
- 1.5 pounds cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons light butter (I use Land o' Lakes w/ canola oil)
- 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon season salt
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup, chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey (or beef)
- 8 ounces baby bella or white mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock (or chicken stock)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups frozen vegetable medley (corn, peas, and carrots)
Place potatoes and cauliflower into a pot and fill with water until they are covered by at least an inch. Put the pot over high heat on the stove and bring to a boil. Stir in a teaspoon or two of salt. Boil uncovered for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
Drain potatoes and cauliflower and return to the pot over low heat. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and cauliflower until large lumps are gone and excess water has cooked out.
Turn the heat off and add light butter, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir until everything is combined and potato/cauliflower mash is creamy. If needed, add a little more milk to reach the desired consistency.
Stir in the garlic and season salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onion and cook 3-5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula, until browned. Add the mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes until they reduce in size and soften.
Stir in the thyme, oregano, salt and pepper until combined. Then, add the flour and stir until everything is coated nicely. Stir in the tomato paste, stock, Worcestershire sauce and frozen vegetables until everything is combined.
Bring mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until thickened slightly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Transfer the filling mixture to the prepared casserole dish in an even layer.
Top with the potato/cauliflower mash and spread with the back of a spoon until the meat mixture is fully covered.
Top with the reduced fat cheddar cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is browned*. Feel free to use the broiler for a minute or two for some extra crisp!
*You can prepare the casserole ahead of time and then freeze or refrigerate before baking. When ready to eat (defrost in the fridge, if frozen) bake for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes to finish.
For 1/8 of dish: Calories 490 ~ Total Fat 16 g ~ Saturated Fat 7 g ~ Trans Fat 0 g ~ Cholesterol 100 mg ~ Sodium 840 mg ~ Potassium 1261 mg ~ Total Carbohydrate 50 g ~ Dietary Fiber 6 g ~ Sugars 7 g ~ Protein 35 g