Classic Shepherd’s Pie Made Skinny

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shepards pie

We all love comfort food and this casserole screams comfort! It’s a 
lightened-up version of a classic Shepherd’s pie. It really has it all with lean protein from ground turkey, lots of veggies and topped with low calorie hash browns.  Each serving has 356 calories, 8 grams of fat and 9 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.  I like to pack any leftovers in individual serving containers and freeze them.

Prep Time: 20 minutes (includes some cooking)
Bake Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients for Pie:

1 pound ground turkey

1½ teaspoon olive oil

1½ cups onions, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

½ cup red wine

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard

1 cup frozen green peas

Ingredients for Topping:

7 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, not thawed

3 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light, melted

Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Coat a 12 x 9 or 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

3. In a large nonstick pan, brown ground turkey over medium-high heat, about 8 minutes. Pour turkey into a colander and drain all the fat. Blot with paper towels. Set aside.

4. In same pan, heat 1½ teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute.

5. Stir in flour and tomato paste; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, broth, wine, Worcestershire and Dijon. Bring to a boil, reduced heat to medium-low and stir in cooked ground turkey and peas.

6. Pour filling into baking dish and place on baking sheet.

7. For the topping: arrange frozen hash browns on top of filling. Lightly press the potatoes down to keep them mounded. Drizzle melted butter all over top of potatoes. Coat with olive oil or canola oil cooking spray all over the top of potatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, to taste

8. Place casserole in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until potatoes are golden brown.

9. Let pie cool for 15 minutes to set before serving. Cut into 8 servings.

Serves 8 (each serving, ⅛ of recipe)

Food Fact

Shepherd’s Pie was originally created as an economical way to use leftovers from the Sunday roast. It’s usually made with some kind of ground or diced meat such as beef, lamb or mutton mixed with a gravy and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes.

Healthy Tips

Frozen hash browns are terrific. They’re just potatoes with no fat added. One cup has 70 calories, 0 fat and 0 trans fat.

Taking the time to drain the browned ground turkey before adding it back to the pan cuts the calories and fat way down.

Prep Tip

The best way to melt the reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance light is in the microwave. Be sure to cover it with a dish so it doesn’t get all over your microwave.  Heat for about 20 seconds.

Storage Tip

Wrap in individual portions and freeze any leftovers.

Weight Watchers
(old points)
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (each serving ⅛ of recipe)
356 calories, 8g fat, 25g protein, 46g carbs, 5g fiber, 473mg sodium, 4g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 serving using full fat ingredients
538 calories, 30g fat, 24g protein, 46g carbs, 6g fiber, 1048mg sodium, 4g sugar

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26 Responses to “Classic Shepherd’s Pie Made Skinny”

  1. Reena Anthony Says:

    Has anyone tried Shephards Pie w/ Mashed Cauliflower on top instead of a potato? I’m thinking of making this for dinner next week.

  2. admin Says:

    I never have but I bet it would taste yummy Reena. Please let us all know how it turned out!

  3. Shan Says:

    Question about the instructions – why place the baking dish on top of the baking sheet before placing in the oven? I want to use my pyrex and Im scared it will break if I do this.

  4. admin Says:

    Shan I recommend this because the casserole can sometimes leak from the top. This makes clean up a breeze. But, you don’t have to do this…Good luck. Hope you like it!

  5. Shan Says:

    Oh, ok makes sense :) Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Stella Nemeth Says:

    The recipe sounds good, but I prefer a very low fat ground beef. It has as little fat as the turkey does, and just tastes better.

  7. admin Says:

    Stella, I agree and I use extra lean ground beef in many of my recipes. I just like to vary my recipes. You can easily substitute this type of beef for this recipe.
    I hope you enjoy it!
    All the best,

  8. mila Says:

    How do I know how much one serving us? I’m not good with the 1/8 measurement?

  9. admin Says:

    Mila, the best thing to do is cut the casserole in half lengthwise. Next, cut in half from top to bottom. You should have 4 large servings. Finally cut each half in half again. Now you will have 8 equal servings!
    I hope this helps.

  10. Maggy Says:

    Another wonderful recipe! I made this with cauliflower mash instead or potatoes to cut down on the carbs. It was delicious. I bought a bottle of “two buck chuck” from Trader Joes. I wasn’t sure what would work best. I thought the Merlot I used was too overpowering with ground turkey. Next time I’m thinking something lighter such as a White Zinfandel. Or would there be a non alcoholic alternative?

  11. admin Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful feedback Maggy! You could use apple juice instead of wine, if desired.
    All the best,

  12. Maggy Says:

    Thank you for suggesting the apple juice. Tonight I made it again using apple juice instead of wine and it was perfect. I love that it’s much more kid friendly this way. =)

  13. admin Says:

    Fantastic Maggy!

  14. Cathy Chester Says:

    My family loves shepherd’s pie so I’ll have to try this, Nancy. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  15. admin Says:

    My pleasure Cathy. I hope your family really enjoys it!

  16. Ed M Says:

    Since I started eating healthy 3 years ago this is one food I’ve really missed. I like the idea of using the 98/2 ground beef, too. Cauliflower mash is also a great idea and since the wife wont eat vegetables it might be a way to sneak some by here AND lower carb. Anyway, a lot to play with. Thank you for the recipe.

  17. admin Says:

    Have fun with this recipe Ed. I hope you and your wife thoroughly enjoy it!
    My best,

  18. admin Says:

    Ed, I do have a yummy recipe for cauliflower mashers you might want to use. Here’s the link:

  19. Nettie Moore Says:

    I love shepherds pie! Looks delicious Nancy! Nettie <3

  20. admin Says:

    Thanks so much Nettie!

  21. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist Says:

    This looks wonderful. I was slow to start using ground turkey and now it’s one of my favorites.

  22. admin Says:

    It’s wonderful how interchangeable ground turkey is for beef Michelle.

  23. Linda (Meal Planning Maven) Says:

    I think my family would love this dish Nancy! Comfort food at its best!

  24. admin Says:

    Thanks Linda!

  25. Jody Says:

    Made this tonight. Made a vegetarian version with a package of Morningstar Farms crumbles instead of the turkey. Also made the mashed cauliflower referenced in previous comment as the topping. 1 recipe of cauliflower wasn’t enough. Might double the amount of cauliflower next time and keep the rest of the ingredients the same. Sprinkled cauliflower topping with paprika. Really yummy and I calculated 5 points!! These changes allowed me to splurge with a Bisquick biscuit made with the Heart Healthy Mix at 4 points.

  26. admin Says:

    I love your feedback Jody. Thanks for sharing the changes you made. Sounds really good!
    My best,

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