Savory Paleo Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

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This paleo sweet potato shepherd’s pie is what savory dreams are made of!

The filling alone is irresistible. Hearty and mouthwatering. And when you top it with garlicky, buttery sweet mashed potatoes – life just seems to make sense.

You know you’ve stumbled on a good recipe when you come into the kitchen and see your husband eating spoonfuls of said recipe straight from the pan. In fact, when I told him earlier that morning I was going to make a paleo shepherd’s pie with my mashed sweet potatoes he said,

“Oh. I never liked Shepherd’s Pie.”

Challenge accepted.

As he stood over the stove continuing to shovel this shepherd’s pie into his mouth, I took a moment to remind him about the time he told me when we first got married that he hated salmon.

First of all, I filed that piece of information under things that should have been discussed in premarital counseling. And then  I set out to change his mind about salmon with this recipe, the best salmon recipe for the fish haters. It turned him forever.

Do not come at me. I will turn you.

Watch the full video of me bringing this dish together 👇

Paleo Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

First, a life hack: make a double or triple batch of these savory sweet mashed potatoes at the beginning of the week!

This sweet potato recipe is one of my most popular on the blog. It is perfect as a side dish to pot roasts and weeknight meals. In fact, my all time favorite pot roast recipe is in my book, Come & Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace for the Everyday Table.

You all have been telling me you’re getting extra copies of this book as Christmas gifts. You make me smile so big! This book has 21 weeknight meal recipes in it – and they are all paleo optional and grain free! You can get your copy, or a copy for a friend today!

Ok, so enter another way to use savory mashed sweet potatoes: hearty paleo shepherd’s pie!

I love this recipe because it is veggie packed. In fact, if you wanted to skip the beef altogether, you can! Just add more veggies. For this one I used mushrooms, red onion and carrots. Lots of them!

This recipe is also amazing because it can all be cooked in a cast iron skillet. And then served straight from the skillet.

If you have leftover sweet mashed potatoes after Thanksgiving and you get tired of turkey – this is your go-to!




Savory Sweet Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme

Shepherd’s Pie Filling:

  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 LBS ground beef or ground lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes


Savory Sweet Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes (or until juice from the potatoes are oozing).
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. While sweet potatoes are cooking, saute minced garlic cloves in the olive oil over medium heat until fragrant and turning light brown. About 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and mash (in mixer or with a masher) to desired consistency.
  7. Add salt, pepper, butter, thyme and the garlic and oil mixture to the sweet potatoes.
  8. Mix until well combined.
  9. Set aside.

For Filling:

  1. Over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet (or oven safe pan) add the oil. Sauté the onion, carrots and mushrooms until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef to the pan. Use a spatula to break up the meat. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir to combine the mixture and until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Use the wine or broth to deglaze the pan, slowly pouring it in and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the can of diced tomatoes and mix. Allow to simmer on the stove on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off stove and remove pan from heat. Turn on broiler of oven.
  7. Spread the sweet potato mash on top of the meat mixture. Use a spatula to evenly spread, covering the top of the meat mixture.
  8. Place under broiler and cook until the top of the shepherd’s pie begins to brown – about 3 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, salt, and a crack of freshly ground pepper.
  10. Serve right out of the cast iron skillet!


To make the Savory Sweet Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot:

  1. Scrub two large sweet potatoes.
  2. Pour one cup water into Instant Pot. Add steamer basket.
  3. Place sweet potatoes on top of steamer basket.
  4. Close Instant Pot lid until it locks. Be sure to have the valve on “Sealing.”
  5. Select steam function and set timer to 13 minutes.
  6. When timer is done, let the Instant Pot depressurize for about 10 minutes. Move valve to vent and open Instant pot. Proceed to step 5 for the savory sweet mashed potatoes.

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  1. Patty Garvin says:

    What could I sub for the onions and garlic? Allergic to both!

    • Bri McKoy says:

      Hi Patty, there are lots of substitutes for onions – chives, leeks, shallots. Are you allergic to any of those? As for garlic, I would just omit that!

  2. Carole Hodgkiss says:

    what would be a good substitute for mushrooms?

    • Bri McKoy says:

      If you do not like mushrooms, you can just skip adding them. You can also add a veggie you love in its place! Like carrots or bell peppers.

  3. jennifer says:

    Pretty good!  but I  would use way less salt! 

  4. Julie says:

    Can I pre make this dish? If yes, what temp do I reheat at and do I cover and than uncover to broil at end ? Thank you 

    • Bri McKoy says:

      You can pre-make this! Pull it out of the fridge and heat in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, covered. Remove cover and broil it for 5 minutes or until cheese it bubbly.

  5. Gwyn says:

    Can this be frozen?

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