Individual Shepherd’s Pies

Shepherd’s pie is comfort food that is always welcome at the dinner table; especially so when the winter temperatures dip below freezing. Individual servings of my version of the classic dish can be served for dinner tonight or stored in the freezer for a dinner at the ready any night of the week.

The origin of shepherd’s pie also known as cottage pie is from the English and Irish kitchens of the late 1800s. It was a hearty meat pie casserole with a rich lamb or beef and vegetable filling hidden under a generous portion of creamy mashed potatoes. Taking culinary liberties, I altered the original recipe with a few time saving steps on the stovetop and lightened up the ingredients.

Traditionally made with leftovers including roasted lamb or beef, steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes, I streamlined the recipe with some shortcuts. Ground turkey stands in as the meat filling. It is seasoned with red wine and Worcestershire sauce to add to its depth of flavor. A bag of frozen organic mixed vegetables including green beans, carrots, and corn eliminates much of the peeling and chopping.  The original topping of mashed potatoes is replaced with a flavorful mash of garlic and Parmesan cauliflower.

Instead of serving the casserole family style, I portioned the savory filling and creamy topping into individual ovenproof dishes. Not only do the single size meals fit into today’s busy lifestyle but, they are fun to eat. If you don’t have enough individual dishes, pick up some mini foil pie pans in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

The individual shepherd’s pies can be baked as soon as they are made, stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or stashed in the freezer for up to 2 months. There is no need to thaw the single serve portions.  Just bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes.

nj herald sheperd's pies 2.16.16 3


Individual Shepherd's Pies
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • For the cauliflower topping ~
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the filling ~
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and garlic and cook for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and return to the pot. Add the butter and Parmesan cheese and mash the cauliflower. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 6 - 8 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms begin to lose their moisture and soften.
  4. Add the ground turkey, salt and pepper and cook until the turkey is browned and crumbled or about 5 – 6 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.
  5. Sprinkle the ground turkey with the flour and stir to incorporate. Add the red wine and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in the mixed vegetables and parsley.
  6. Divide the ground turkey and vegetable filling between eight 2-cup oven safe dishes. Top with the mashed cauliflower and sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until piping hot. Remove from the oven and serve.
Recipe by Amy Casey

© amycaseycooks ~ 2016


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