/Indian-Inspired Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Indian-Inspired Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


Flavorful and comforting! This Indian-Inspired Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is from the new Skinnytaste Meal Prep cookbook. Rich in flavor and low in calories.
Scoop of shepherd's pie on a silver serving spoon. Casserole dish of shepherd's pie below.

Scoop of shepherd's pie on a silver serving spoon. Casserole dish of shepherd's pie below.

I’m never happier when I realize that I have a healthy dinner stashed away in the freezer, like this ground turkey shepherd’s pie. While I love a good classic, shepherd’s pie, the Indian spices in this version take the flavors to a whole new level!

One of the beauties of any shepherd’s pie recipe, whether it’s this one or my Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe, is the versatility. Assemble and bake right away, or wrap it up and tuck it into the freezer for one of those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.

This easy turkey shepherd’s pie recipe is straight from the pages of my friend, Gina Homolka’s, new cookbook Skinnytaste Meal Prep: Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Freezer Recipes to Simplify Your Life (affiliate link).

The cookbook is jam-packed with healthy recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor (just like on Gina’s site, Skinnytaste) and are fantastic for meal prep. Each recipe includes directions for prepping the dish ahead of time and/or freezer instructions, along with a really helpful chapter on the ins and outs of meal prepping.

Pick up a copy of two for friends and family…the perfect holiday gift!

Skinnytaste meal prep cookbook, surround by onion, potatoes, cilantro and white dishes with spices.

Skinnytaste meal prep cookbook, surround by onion, potatoes, cilantro and white dishes with spices.

What you need for this Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie:

These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):

  • Potatoes: The recipe calls for Yukon gold potatoes, which have a wonderful creamy texture when cooked. They’re a great option when you’re adding less fat to your mashed potatoes.
  • Ground turkey: Lean (93%) ground turkey is a good option for the filling. I highly recommend using lean rather than extra lean (99%) for extra flavor and moisture.
  • Spices: The spices are used in both the potatoes and the filling. Cumin, chili powder, turmeric and garam masala can be found in most grocery stores, online or at Indian markets.
  • Aromatics: The base of the filling a combination of sauteed yellow onion, fresh ginger and garlic.
  • Peas: The frozen peas are added in the last step of cooking the filling. They do not need to be thawed first.
  • Tomato sauce: One 10-ounce can of tomato sauce equals approximately ¾ cups.

Cubed cooked potatoes in a stainless steel sauce pan, with potato masher and spices.

Cubed cooked potatoes in a stainless steel sauce pan, with potato masher and spices.

How to make ground turkey shepherd’s pie:

Start with the mashed potatoes. Peel, cube and boil the potatoes until tender. In this recipe, they’re mashed with a little sour cream (or yogurt) and several spices, which gives them an amazing color!

While I used a potato masher, it definitely requires a little more elbow grease to make the potatoes lump-free. If you prefer, pull out a hand mixer.

If the potatoes are a little stiff, add in a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen them up.

Next, prepare the filling. Start by cooking the aromatics – onion, garlic and ginger. The goal is for the onions to be light golden brown (hello, flavor!)

When cooking the ground turkey, use a wooden spoon or wooden spatula to break the turkey into very small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the better the texture of the filling.

Once the spices and tomato sauce are added, cover and simmer the mixture. The recipe calls for the mixture to cook over low heat. However, on my stove, medium-low works better to maintain a gentle simmer. Just watch the mixture and adjust the heat accordingly.

Transfer the filling to the baking dish, top with the potatoes and bake. Or freeze if you’re stocking it away for later. More on that below.

Light blue pottery casserole dish filled with a spiced ground turkey, green pea and turmeric mixture.

Light blue pottery casserole dish filled with a spiced ground turkey, green pea and turmeric mixture.

What type of baking dish should I use?

I used a 1 ½-quart pottery baking dish that I’ve had forever, but a baking dish like this one (affiliate link) would work well, too. Alternatively, you could use an 8- by 8-inch baking dish or a deep pie dish.

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes! That’s the beauty of all of the recipes in the Skinnytaste Meal Prep cookbook.

You have a couple of options for making this ahead of time. The first option is assembling the shepherd’s pie, then storing it in the fridge (covered) until you’re read to bake it. If baking straight from the fridge, you’ll have to add some cooking time to make sure it heats through. If you have time, take the casserole out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.

Shepherd’s pie reheats well after baking. When serving up leftovers the next day, I either reheat the whole casserole (or what’s left of it), covered with foil, in a 350 degree F oven until it’s hot in the center. If just serving one or two people, microwave those servings for a few minutes, or until hot.

The other make-ahead option is to assemble the casserole, then freeze it. Keep reading for those directions.

How to freeze shepherd’s pie:

First, make sure to assemble the shepherd’s pie in a baking dish that can safely go from the freezer to the oven. A foil baking pan is a good option.

Cover the pie, then freeze. You can either use just heavy-duty aluminum foil or a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. If using plastic wrap, be sure to remove it before baking the casserole.

If baking the shepherd’s pie directly from frozen, it will take about 2 ½ hours in a 350 degree F oven. Start checking at about 2 hours to determine if it’s heated in the center.

Alternately, remove the shepherd’s pie from the freezer the day before and defrost it in the fridge. If defrosted, the pie should take just 30 to 35 minutes to heat in the oven.

Overhead photo of turmeric-tinted shepherd's pie in a casserole dish. Individual servings in two pottery bowls.

Overhead photo of turmeric-tinted shepherd's pie in a casserole dish. Individual servings in two pottery bowls.

Other healthy make-ahead dinner recipes:

Chicken & Rice Soup (Instant Pot) {Cookin’ Canuck}
Pesto Turkey Stuffed Shells {Cookin’ Canuck}
Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken {Sweet Peas & Saffron}
One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry {The Girl on Bloor}

Scoop of shepherd's pie on a silver serving spoon. Casserole dish of shepherd's pie below.Scoop of shepherd's pie on a silver serving spoon. Casserole dish of shepherd's pie below.

Indian-Inspired Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Flavorful and comforting! This Indian-Inspired Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is from the new Skinnytaste Meal Prep cookbook. Rich in flavor and low in calories.

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Course: Entrees

Cuisine: English, Indian

Keyword: Ground Turkey, Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Servings: 6 Servings

Calories: 271kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & diced into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or full-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala*
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder* plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound lean (93% lean) ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 red chile pepper seeded & minced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 16 to 18 minutes, until tender. Drain and return to the saucepan.

  • Add ½ teaspoon salt, the sour cream, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon cumin and ¼ teaspoon chili powder, and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

  • Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt the ghee. Add the onion and cook until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the ground turkey and 1 teaspoon to the skillet. Brown the meat, using a wooden spoon to break it until small pieces, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Add the tomato sauce, ¼ cup water, cilantro, chile pepper, remaining ¾ teaspoon garam masala, remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, remaining ½ teaspoon chili powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon turmeric, and stir well.

  • Cover and cook on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, then stir in the frozen peas and cook for about 3 minutes more, until the peas are warmed through.

  • Transfer the meat mixture to an 8- or 9-inch baking dish or deep pie plate, spreading it across in an even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, then run the tines of a fork across the top for texture. Dust with the chili powder for color.

Serve now:

  • Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until heated through. Adjust an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heating element and turn the broiler to high. Finish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve as is or sprinkled with cilantro, is using.

Freeze & serve later:

  • Assemble the unbaked pie in a foil or freezer-to-ovenproof baking dish or pie plate. Cover the pie with foil and freeze. When ready to bake, transfer the baking dish to a sheet pan and bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven until heated through in the center, about 2 ½ hours. (If you thawed it the night before, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.) Adjust an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heating element and turn the broiler to high. Finish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.

Notes

*Read the label to be sure this product is gluten-free.

This recipe is from the cookbook Skinnytaste: Meal Prep by Gina Homolka. This was recipe was -reprinted with permission from the author.

Weight Watchers Points: 6 (Blue – Freestyle SmartPoints), 6 (Green), 4 (Purple)

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 534mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 5g


Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: I received this cookbook at no cost to me. All opinions are my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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