Easy ground turkey shepherd's pie is the best! It's so delicious, healthy, hearty and comforting. Truly the perfect, hot meal to warm you up on a chilly evening. Start by browning your ground turkey and combine it with an assortment of veggies, spices and broth. Cook it all together to create a pie filling and cover with a layer creamy mashed potatoes. You can't beat that!
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Classic shepherd's pie, also commonly thought of as cottage pie, is made with minced or ground Lamb. And, Cottage pie is essentially the same thing, but it's known to be made using ground beef. (source: quora)
Here, we're going with a healthy twist on a traditional recipe and using lean ground turkey! Don't worry, you won't even be able to taste the difference.
You can't go wrong with any of these nice, hot dinners.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Potatoes: I typically use russet potatoes, though gold potatoes would also work well. You can even use sweet potatoes for this recipe and instant potatoes are a good option if you need to save some time!
- Unsalted butter: salted butter will also work in a pinch. I would recommend reducing added salt a bit if you go this route.
- Nonfat milk: or milk or choice (dairy and non-dairy options will both work fine).
- Salt: just a touch for some extra flavor! Feel free to add some other herbs and seasonings to your mashed potato mix if you'd like.
- Note: for a lower carb, keto-friendly pie, you can make Mashed Cauliflower instead of potatoes!
- Lean ground turkey: I use 93/7%. You can also substitute lean ground beef or ground chicken.
- Onion: yellow or white.
- Carrots: 3 whole, large carrots (peeled & diced).
- Minced garlic: you can mince up 2-3 fresh cloves, but I always keep a jar of minced garlic on hand. It's just so convenient! Another option? Use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Canned diced tomatoes: with juices.
- Frozen veggies: corn and peas.
- Worcestershire sauce: adds fantastic flavor!
- Beef broth: veggie or chicken broth can be substituted.
- Red wine: or sub extra broth if desired.
- Herbs and spices: bay leaf, Italian seasonings, salt, ground black pepper.
- Corn starch & water: for thickening.
How To Make Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Keep scrolling down to find the full recipe card and measurements. We'll start here with a quick overview!
- Peel and dice potatoes, carrots and onion.
- If you're using fresh garlic cloves (rather than a jar or minced garlic ), I would go ahead and get them chopped up at this point.
Boil potatoes and make filling:
- Simmer potatoes in a large pot of salted water for about 20 minutes.
- While potatoes simmer, brown ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and carrots to the cooked meat and sauté together until onions soften (about 5 minutes). Add minced garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer.
- Mix in veggies, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, broth, wine, and seasonings. Bring ingredients to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Whisk corn starch and cold water together. Stir into filling to thicken and remove from heat.
Assemble the pie:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Spread turkey mixture into the bottom of a baking dish.
- Drain your cooked potatoes with a colander and place them in a large bowl with milk, butter and salt.
- Use a potato masher or an electric mixer to combine until smooth and creamy.
- Top filling with an even layer of mashed potatoes.
Bake and serve:
- Bake 20-30 minutes, and then broil for 2-3.
- Allow pie to cool slightly, serve warm with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Broiling: To get those beautiful brown marks on the top of your shepherds pie, you'll need to broil it briefly. Be careful during this step, don't burn the top of your pie (speaking from experience).
When you turn the oven to broil, keep a close eye on the pie, check it every 30 seconds. Once brown marks start to form, pull it out of oven.
If you make the same mistake I did and accidentally burn your pie, you can save it by scraping off the very top layer of mashed potatoes.
Baking dish: I use a 2.5 quart baking dish for this recipe. It's plenty big enough and I actually have some leftover space after layering filling and potatoes into the dish.
I would recommend using at least a 2 quart baking dish. An 8x8x2 inch dish should do the trick (9x13" will also work, but your pie will be quite thin).
Save time: Looking to save some time? Use instant potatoes instead of making your own! You can also use mixed frozen veggies.
What To Serve With Shepherd's Pie
- Garlic bread
- Rolls and butter
- Roasted green beans
- Roasted Broccoli And Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
- Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Whipped Cream Fruit Salad
- Simple Roasted Asparagus
- Simple Garden Side Salad
How To Store Leftovers
Allow leftover turkey shepherd's pie to cool and cover your casserole dish with plastic wrap. Or, you can opt to transfer extras to a smaller, airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and reheat in the microwave until warmed through completely.
More Cozy Recipes
- Ground Turkey Swedish Meatballs
- Easy Butternut Squash Casserole
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- The Best, Easy Tailgate Crockpot Chili
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- Hamburger & Potato Soup
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Best Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Mashed Potatoes *see note below
- 2 & ½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup nonfat milk *or non-dairy milk of choice *see note below
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb lean ground turkey *I use 93/7 *see note below
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 large carrots *peeled & diced *see note below
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic *see note below
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn *see note below
- 1 cup frozen peas *see note below
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef broth *chicken or veggie broth will work in a pinch
- ½ cup red wine *sub extra broth if desired
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon salt *see note below
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Chopped parsley *optional
Recipe notes:Mashed potatoes: to save some time, you can use instant potatoes! Milk: if you have trouble spreading mashed potatoes atop filling, add a little more milk. This will make them a little easier to work with. Ground turkey: feel free to sub ground beef or chicken if desired. Minced garlic: I always keep a jar of minced garlic in my refrigerator. It's a huge time saver. I love garlic but I don't always want to mince by hand, this is a great alternative. Carrots, peas & corn: if you prefer, use a frozen veggie mix to save time. Salt: I use 1 teaspoon of salt in this recipe, but I recommend adding the salt slowly and taste testing to see if you need more. Canned broth & tomatoes have different levels of sodium (depending on the brand) so you may need less!
- Place a large pot of salted water on the stovetop and turn heat to high. While waiting for water a boil, peel and cube potatoes. Carefully and gently add cubes to boiling water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Once soft, drain potatoes and set aside.2 & ½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
- Peel and dice onion and carrots.
- Place a large sauté pan on the stove top and turn heat to medium. Add ground turkey and allow it to fully brown. (Tip *I recommend using a 2.5 quart sauté pan, or larger. You'll be adding all other ingredients to this pan so you need adequate space. You can also use a large pot instead of a sauté pan.)1 lb lean ground turkey
- Once your meat has completely browned, drain excess fat (if necessary) and return it to the sauté pan. Place pan back on the stovetop and reduce heat to medium low.
- Add diced onions and carrots. Allow onions, carrots and turkey to cook together for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer.1 medium yellow onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 3 large carrots
- Add frozen corn, frozen peas, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, red wine, bay leaf, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.1 15oz can diced tomatoes, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup beef broth, ½ cup red wine, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Increase heat to medium high. Once filling mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While filling simmers, finish making your mashed potatoes. Combine boiled potatoes, butter, milk and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mash potatoes until smooth.2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup nonfat milk, ½ teaspoon salt
- Measure corn starch and cold water into a small bowl and whisk. Add this mixture to the simmering pie filling on the stovetop. Stir and allow the mixture to continue simmering for 5-10 more minutes, it will begin to thicken. Remove from heat.2 teaspoons corn starch, 2 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Transfer pie filling to a 2 - 3 quart baking dish and cover with a layer of mashed potatoes about an inch thick.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until filling begins to bubble. Turn oven to the high broil setting and allow the top of the pie to brown slightly (this will not take long at all, keep a close eye on the pie during broiling).
- Remove pie from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Add dried or fresh parsley flakes on top, if desired.Chopped parsley
- Serve and enjoy!
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