chipotle turkey shepherd’s pie

chipotle turkey shepherd's pie

This chipotle turkey shepherd’s pie with parmesan sweet potato topping is smoky, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious.

On a constant quest to create recipes that are lower in calories and high in protein and flavor, I find myself turning to lean meats like chicken and turkey. After three weeks of cooking my weeknight turkey meatloaf , I craved variety. Finding a bag of chipotle peppers in my freezer, I was inspired to create a smoky turkey shepherd’s pie. I swapped the traditional potato topping out for sweet potatoes, which pair well with turkey and boast more health benefits than their pale counterparts.

chipotle turkey shepherd's pie
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For this recipe, aromatics like onions and garlic team up with smoky spices to bring lots of flavor to otherwise bland turkey meat. The stew is cooked before the potatoes are prepared to allow a long slow simmer that intensifies the amazing flavors.

The sweet potato topping is simple and elevated with a modest amount of parmesan and cheddar cheeses. When combined with the turkey stew and placed under the broiler, the cheesy sweet potato topping develops a yummy crust and makes the entire dish irresistible.

This recipe is delicious the night it’s cooked and it makes for great leftovers as well!

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chipotle turkey shepherd's pie

chipotle turkey shepherd’s pie

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos


A smokey, sweet turkey shepherds pie covered with a sweet potato topping flavored with parmesan and cheddar cheese. 



Turkey mixture 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt 
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 8 ounces frozen sliced bell peppers (or 2 fresh bell peppers, any color, sliced)
  • 4 tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth 


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into similar sized chunks
  • 1 cup whole milk (can also use ¾ cup greek yogurt or 1 cup buttermilk)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated 
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or a few turns of a pepper mill with whole peppercorns)
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow dutch oven (or any large broiler-safe heavy bottom saucepan) over medium heat. 
  2. Add the diced onion along with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are translucent, 5-6 minutes. 
  3. Add the ground turkey, break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until the turkey meat is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. 
  4. Add the garlic, chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir the meat to distribute the spices, 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add the tomato paste, cook and stir until the meat is coated with the paste, 3 minutes. 
  6. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth. 
  7. Bring the mixture to a simmer then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer while you prepare the potatoes. 
  8. Simmer the sauce until it has thickened and the flavors have melded together, 40-50 minutes (or as long as your schedule allows). 
  9. To prepare the potatoes, place the peeled, cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot. 
  10. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes. 
  11. Add a healthy pinch of kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon) and cover the pot with its lid. 
  12. Bring the water and potatoes to a boil over high heat, cook until a fork easily pierces the potatoes, 8-10 minutes. 
  13. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return the hot potatoes to the now empty pot. 
  14. Add the milk, parmesan, and black pepper to the sweet potatoes and mash completely. 
  15. Taste the mixture and add kosher salt if necessary. 
  16. Preheat the broiler. 
  17. Spread the mashed sweet potatoes evenly over the pot of turkey. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and place under the broiler until the top is golden brown, 5-6 minutes (check the pie after 3 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn). 
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