I write down recipe ideas throughout the day in this little notebook. Inspiration seems to strike me at the oddest times (while driving, as I drift off to sleep…etc), so I keep this notebook handy in order to remember food combination or Paleo ideas. “Make a Paleo version of Shepherd’s Pie” has been on my to-do list for a while now, and St. Patrick’s Day was the perfect motivation to cross this off my list!
Well thank goodness that I finally decided to come up with a recipe because this is fantastic! The combination is so delicious…perfectly spiced ground turkey and carrots topped with garlic sweet potato and cauliflower mashed potatoes. Yum!
This Paleo Shepherd’s Pie is so good that my 100% Irish boyfriend said that it was just as good as traditional shepherd’s pie AND that it had the added bonus of not leaving him feeling heavy after eating it. Exactly what I wanted to hear!
As you can see, there’s some cheese on here. I put goat cheddar on top and let the cheese melt to a perfect crisp. I know that dairy isn’t “paleo”, but I’ve read a lot of information on how certain aged cheeses and clean cheeses made of goat’s milk are considered “primal” and that many choose to eat it from time to time on Paleo. If you don’t want the cheese, it will still taste great if you leave it off, but if you want a treat, I suggest using it :) The ground turkey meat is amazing here. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I had never really eaten ground turkey before now. I had my first turkey burger last week at a friend’s house and haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since! So I decided that I would use ground turkey in this recipe and it was perfect. I honestly think the flavor of turkey works better with sweet potato than ground beef does. And I like having a varied diet, so it’s a win-win.
My boyfriend also said that he thinks this is the best tasting Paleo recipe that I have made…I’m not sure if this is true or if he just reallllllly misses shepherd’s pie. haha But I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks. If you try this, let me know if it is as good as both he and I think!
I said that this recipe serves 4-6 because it depends on when/ how much one eats of it. It could serve up more or less though. For me, this was enough for two people for one dinner (we both had seconds), and for two people to have two (single serving) lunches. ( So it was good for 3 meals for two people– 6 meals total)
Happy Paleo St. Patrick’s Day
- 3 medium-large sweet potatoes
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp salt (divided)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- pepper to taste
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 4 garlic cloves
- ½ of a yellow onion
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2- 3 cups shredded carrots (depends on how much you want, I used 3 cups)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup of shredded goat cheddar (I used Ford Farm Billies English Goat Cheddar)
- Fill a large pan with water and a pinch of salt.
- Heat the water over high heat.
- Lay the sweet potatoes on their sides and slice them into one inch long pieces. Cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces.
- Put the sweet potato and cauliflower pieces into the water.
- Once the water boils, reduce it to a simmer and let the vegetables cook for 14 minutes. Drain the vegetables when they are done and set aside-- this will likely be done while cooking the meat based on the timing of how everything is cooking.
- While the water is boiling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In another large pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbs of olive oil.
- Mince the garlic cloves and onion in a food processor and put them into the pan with the olive oil.
- Mix the minced garlic and onion into the olive oil and let them cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the shredded carrots to the garlic and onion, mix well, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the pan and try to separate it into small pieces with a spatula.
- Put the thyme, 1 tsp of salt, pepper to taste, tomato paste, rosemary, and paprika on top of the ground turkey and mix well.
- Continue to mix the ground turkey with a spatula while it cooks, making sure that it breaks into small pieces. Let the turkey cook for 10 minutes ( or until it is no longer pink) and then evenly put it on the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.
- Then, place the sweet potatoes and cauliflower in a blender (I used a ninja) with the coconut milk, garlic powder, pepper to taste and 1 tsp of salt. This may need to be done in batches, if so- make sure everything is evenly mixed.
- For me, I put all the sweet potatoes and cauliflower in at once and needed to push down the sides of the blender with a spatula periodically until it was all mixed.
- Cover the turkey meat with the sweet potato and cauliflower mash, making sure to evenly spread it out on the pan.
- Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of shredded goat cheddar (if you are using it) on top of the potatoes.
- Cook for 35 minutes.
- Then set the oven to Broil and cook for 2½ minutes. Switch directions of the pan and cook for another 2. Check on it often to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Enjoy :)