Potluck Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie With Turkey and Sweet Potatoes

Potluck Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie With Turkey and Sweet Potatoes

Potluck Sunday is a weekly tradition my close friend Jodi started – bringing friends together to share their favorite dishes, laugh, eat and be merry every Sunday. I cover Potluck Sunday frequently and is a staple here on this blog. Follow the previous Potluck Sunday posts here.

Since I didn’t grow up eating meat, I never had the traditional comfort food of shepherd’s pie. Not to mention, I have a Sicilian/Irish father and an Italian mother in the house so our traditional meals were Italian favorites.

The man grew up eating shepherd’s pie. His family is a typical New England mixture of Irish, English and Eastern European variation.

To make a healthier spin, and to please my palate, we opted for sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes and a more lean turkey instead of lamb or beef for this week’s Potluck Sunday with our friends.

As a reference, just for backup, we used Rachael Ray’s recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie With Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
You Will Need:

  • 3-4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 4 pieces of celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • One 10-ounce box frozen peas
  • 1/3 ripe banana, sliced
  • A few dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)


In a large saucepan, combine the chopped sweet potatoes and water. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender. We used a variety of colored sweet potatoes for color and display. Drain and set aside, reserving the pot.

While the sweet potatoes cook, preheat the oven to 425°.

In a deep skillet heat the olive oil over high heat.  Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon.

Stir in the onion, carrots, celery and poultry seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and cook for ~5 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the turkey broth and season with salt, pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened, then stir into the turkey mixture. Stir in the peas and remove from the heat.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the sweet-potato pot and melt over medium-low heat. Add the sweet potatoes and banana; season with salt, pepper and the hot sauce and mash until combined.

Top the turkey with the sweet potato mixture and smooth the top. Cover the sweet potatoes with the cheddar and bake until the cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes. Be sure to use a deep casserole dish, the more layers and depth this can get, the better.

The meal was delicious and quite the hit. We had friends asking for the recipe the next day. I liked the hint of the banana.

Note: We added more than 1/3 banana, it was more like one full banana. We also mixed a variety of sweet potatoes for color. The middle picture above shows the lighter sweet potato (Japanese sweet potato) and to the right, underneath the cheddar is a red sweet potato. The banana made it a delicious savory and sweet mixture.