I recently went out to lunch with my mom and all my sisters and my mom was telling all of us that she had the best dinner at her favorite restaurant the other day. She proceeded to tell us it was shephard’s pie and that I must experiment and come up with a “paleo healthy version” for my website because she wants to make it right away.
Yes ma’am, I’m on it! I love challenges and this was no exception. I went home that night and got to work. I was wondering what I was going to use for the topping when I spotted a beautiful butternut squash staring right at me begging to be used. I thought the slightly sweet squash would pair so well with the savory meat and vegetables and boy was I was right.
After a few experiments and taste tests from my mom, we came up with a healthier version of the traditional comfort food that I think you’ll love.
Now in full disclosure, I normally do not care for shephard’s pie. I mean, I’ll eat it, but it’s never been anything to get really excited about. But this version took me by surprise. The flavor was phenomenal and I loved it. I even had it for lunch and dinner the next day. I rarely eat leftovers so this is kind of a big deal.
My mom even said she now has a new favorite dinner and this healthy version is even better than the restaurant version. Mission accomplished!
Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie
1 ½ lbs grass-fed ground beef
1-2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil or other fat of choice
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
heaping ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 butternut squash or 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tsp additional minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
¼ teaspoon additional smoked paprika
sea salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Place your butternut squash chunks into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain and place back into the pot. Add butter, garlic, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Blend or mix until combined and creamy. Set aside.
Brown meat in a skillet over medium high heat. Try not to completely crumble the ground beef – you want to leave mostly larger, about 1 inch, chunks in there.Once browned, remove the beef from skillet, but leave in the beef fat. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter or fat of choice, if necessary and lower heat to medium. Saute onion for about a minute. Add in celery, carrots, turnip and garlic for 10 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Add in salt and pepper, smoked paprika, ketchup, worcestershire and browned beef and stir.
Mix the arrowroot powder and chicken stock together until combined. Pour the chicken stock mixture into the skillet with the beef and vegetables. Cook for 10 more minutes.
Pour the meat mixture into a baking pan or a 13×9 pan. Spread the butternut squash mash all over the meat mixture until the meat is fully covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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