Hearty & Healthy Shepherd’s Pie (with vegan alternative)

by simla@delicioushealth on January 14, 2014

‘Tis the season for hearty winter foods and this recipe is no exception. Hearty can be heart-healthy, however, so don’t let old beliefs get in the way of enjoying this delectable, cozy dish with your entire family.

Enjoy this version of Shepherd’s Pie rich with veggies and flavor – and don’t be shy about adding even more veggies… get creative!

Hearty & Healthy Shepherd’s Pie à la Simla (with vegan alternative)

Serves 4 very hungry people (i.e. including 2 growing teenagers) or 6 people with regular appetites

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.


For the filling:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic, more if you like it garlic-y!
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef, lamb, or bison, or uncured organic bratwurst filling (which we used),
    or 2.5 cups of chopped portabello/shiitake/maitake mix for a vegan alternative
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin to start + more to taste as you’re cooking
  • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed and chopped (I don’t peel carrots so as to benefit from the added fiber)
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and chopped, with rough ends discarded
  • 1 cup peas, frozen ok
  • Splash of broth or filtered water, as needed, to facilitate cooking
  • 5 stalks of rainbow chard – wash and separate leaves and stalks; tear greens into bite-size pieces and chop up the colorful stems after discarding the stems’ rough ends
  • A large handful of parsley, de-stemmed and finely chopped
  • Optional: Gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste (don’t forget you’ll be salting the potatoes too – so keep it light)
  • black pepper, to taste (same here)

For the potato “crust”:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, yams, or white potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams are more nutritionally beneficial)
  • 3 TBS organic ghee (clarified butter) or butter, or coconut oil for a vegan alternative
  • 1/3 cup milk or milk alternative, or enough to achieve desired consistency
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the potatoes – Part I:

  1. Scrub and wash the potatoes. (Like the carrots, I don’t peel potatoes so as to benefit from the added fiber of the skin.)
  2. Cut potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes for faster cooking.
  3. Boil potatoes in filtered water until tender (where you can pierce them with a fork).
  4. Work on the filling until potatoes are cooked through.

For the filling:

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet for 1 minute over medium heat (do NOT overheat and let it smoke).
  2. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onions are translucent.
  3. Add your choice of meat or mushrooms and cumin, and sauté over medium/medium-high heat until meat is browned or mushrooms are beginning to soften.
  4. Add carrot, celery, peas, and rainbow chard stems. Stir periodically until veggies are tender. Add a splash of broth or filtered water to facilitate cooking if too dry.
  5. After all the veggies are tender, add the chard leaves, stir until greens are wilted.
  6. Optional: add gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce, to taste.
  7. Add parsley, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir, warm through, and turn off heat.
  8. Place filling in a large oven-safe dish (ideally glass or ceramic).

Back to the potatoes – Part II:

  1. Drain the cooked potatoes and place potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter or coconut oil, milk, salt, and pepper and mash to desired consistency.
  3. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the filling in the oven-safe dish.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then broil on high until desired browning is achieved on the potatoes.



Want to share this article? You may, as long as you include the following blurb in its entirety:

Simla Somturk, MBA, CHC, CNC, is the founder of Delicious Health®. Simla is a health, nutrition, and balanced living coach whose mission is to transform Busy Bodies into healthy, Balanced beings®. Simla loves working with women entrepreneurs, professionals, expats, and autoimmune clients world-wide to help them maximize their energy, tame their stress, and take back control of their health to live intensely pleasurable and impactful lives. Schedule your complimentary Delicious Discovery Session at http://enjoydelicioushealth.com/contact/

Leave a Comment

Previous post: