Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Vivian Howard’s Recipe from Deep Run Roots 
Sweet Potato Parmesan Topping

  • 4 -5 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 2/3 Cup of Grated Parmigiano Reggiano 

Turkey Filling

  • 3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions, Diced
  • 2 Tsp. Salt, Divided
  • 3 Cups of Quarted Button Mushrooms 
  • 3 Lbs. Ground Turkey 
  • 1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Chipotle Powder
  • 2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 Tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 8 Ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 8 Ounces Water
  • 10 Ounces Frozen Spinach

Jan’s Adaptations of Vivian’s Recipe

  • No Mushroom 
  • Added Bell Pepper 
  • Substitute Green Beans for Spinach 
  • Substitute Tomato Paste for Tomato Sauce




Vivian Howard’s Recipe from Deep Run Roots 

Make the Topping 

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 2 inch chunks
  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan
  3. Cover them with water and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer until potatoes are very tender.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Place the pan over low heat add brown sugar butter and salt. Using a fork or device of your choice, mash the potatoes so that they are nearly smooth and the butter and sugar are fully incorporated. Set aside.
Jan’s Adaptation
I did not cook down the sugar, butter and salt. 


Make the Filling 

  1. In a 12 inch saute pan or dutch oven, heat 1 tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onions and 1 tsp of salt.
  3. Sweat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. 
  4. Push the onions to the edge of the pan and force them into a tight mound.
  5. Add the remaining olive oil and the mushrooms.
  6. Allow them to sit and caramelize in the hot pot for about 1 minute. (resist the urge to shake the mushrooms around, as you are trying to develop flavor by letting them brown,
  7. after 2 minutes stir together the onions and the turkey and begin to break it up with a spatula.
  8. Season the turkey with the remaining salt, garlic, chipotle powder, paprika, turmeric and cumin. 
  9. Allow the turkey to brown and the spices to toast. This will take about 4 minutes. 
  10. Stir in the onion mixture, tomato sauce, water and spinach. Let this all cook down until it’s very thick and saucy.
  11. Remove from the heat
Jan’s Adaptation
I did not use the mushrooms or spinach


Assemble and Bake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. 
  2. Spread the turkey mixture onto the bottom of a 9×11 inch baking dish, a 12 inch cast iron skillet or 8 8oz. ramekins. 
  3. Spoon the sweet potato over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle the sweet potato with the Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese.
  4. Bake for 1 hour uncovered.
  5. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving
Jan’s Adaptation
I added a layer of canned green beans between the turkey and sweet potato

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