By Betty J. Kekse
This is a heart friendly twist on the traditional Shepard’s Pie recipe. I have always enjoyed sweet potatoes in savory settings, and this recipe lets them shine and play with others. By adding the orange bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes, you get a hearty vegetable-filled dish with plenty of sweet and savory flavors. I like to pair this dish with my three-ingredient Kale Caesar Salad. If you roast the sweet potatoes an hour or so ahead of the cook time, they are cool and very easy to peel when you need them. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember, if the meal doesn’t work out tonight, you will have tomorrow to cook again. Cheers!
Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie Recipe
- 5 lbs sweet potatoes
- 3 TB avocado oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 lb ground chicken (I like using Keller’s Farm Stores all white meat ground chicken.)
- 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced (Any type of tomato is fin., I just think Romas have the best taste unless you have garden-grown produce.)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 TB chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes until soft and fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, chop veggies and collect other ingredients needed.
- In a large sauté pan with high sides, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes until onions are soft and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the ground chicken and cook for 5 minutes, and then add the bell pepper and cook until chicken is fully browned; 8-10 minutes total.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken stock, paprika, oregano, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
- Reduce stock by half, then add fresh spinach and cover for 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
- Remove lid, add tomatoes, and cook until all liquid has been reduced. Turn off heat and let the chicken mixture rest.
- Peel the skin off the sweet potatoes and mash the potatoes with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley.
- In a deep pie dish or square baking pan, fill the bottom with the chicken mixture, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parmesan and 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley over the top of the chicken mixture. Spread the sweet potato over the top in an even layer, and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then place under the broiler on high for 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
- Top with remaining parsley and serve with kale Caesar salad. Yum!
Quick & Easy Kale Caesar Salad
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Grated or shredded parmesan
- Store-bought Caesar dressing (I prefer Newman’s Cesar, regular not creamy.)
- In a large bowl, add half of the kale, a few splashes of dressing, and some parmesan. Using tongs, mix all ingredients together until well coated.
- Add the rest of the kale, dressing, and parmesan to taste, and mix well with tongs.