Monday, October 1, 2012

Shepherd's Pie, With Sweet Potato Topping (FODMAPs Friendly)

Shepherd's pie is defined as " A meat pie baked in a crust of mashed potatoes". This recipe differs from a "true" shepherd's pie because the potatoes aren't mashed, but whatever, this is 2012, I can make a Shepherd's pie with potato slices if I want! :)

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
(Adapted from my low FODMAPs booklet)
Serves 6
Total time:
1 hour and 10 minutes


4 T garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 medium zucchini, grated
1.5 pounds extra-lean ground beef (I used 96% lean)
1 bay leaf
3 T bunch fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cups tomato paste
1 T Worcestershire sauce **
Dash of pepper
2 T chopped parsley

1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips

Potato Topping
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced **
1 t extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

**NOTE: Since I published this blog post, there have been updates to the low FODMAPS diet.  Sweet potatoes need to be limited in a low FODMAPs diet, to about 1/4-1/2 cup per sitting (which should  be about the amount you get in one serving of this recipe).  Some may be more sensitive than others.  Be warned. Also be careful because worchestershire sauce tends to contain garlic and/or onion, but there is only 1 T in this entire recipe so it didn't seem to cause me any problems.


1. Preheat oven to 425. Heat 3 T garlic olive oil in a large pan and add carrot and zucchini. Cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add ground beef, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook for about 8-10 minutes (or until beef is browned).

3. Add tomato, Worcestershire, and tomato paste and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from heat, and add parsley and pepper to taste.

5. In a separate pan, heat the remaining 1 T garlic olive oil and cook eggplant and yellow pepper until softened (eggplant will turn golden brown).

6. Next, place the sweet potato slices on a baking pan and lightly spread with the 1 t extra virgin olive oil. Bake the sliced potato in the oven for 20 minutes.

7. Assemble the pie; layer of the meat combination, next the eggplant, then the meat combination, then the yellow pepper, and the last layer will be the remaining meat combination, then top with the cooked sweet potato slices.

8. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the inside is nice and bubbly.

This is what the pie looks like before topping with potatoes.

This is what it looks like after topping with potatoes.

(for 1/6 of the pie)

Even though I was FULL after eating one serving of this, I wanted more because it was SO GOOD! I actually added zero salt to this recipe and as you can see above the sodium was pretty low. That being said, Nick complained that it wasn't salty enough. If you want to add some salt, be my guest, but personally I didn't think it needed it. Nick still loved the dish, and ate it without adding more salt :)

QUESTION: Have you ever made a Shepherd's pie? Do you find that you like salt more or less than your significant other?


  1. I love that you used sweet potato with this- looks great!

  2. Since I've been obsessed with Downton Abbey, I've been wanting to eat all sorts of food like this. SO glad to see a healthy version! =)))

  3. Yeah girl, you make Shepherd's pie with sliced style instead of mashed. This looks better anyways! I'm going to have to try this with some sort of bean/meat substitute.

  4. Do you ever find that sweet potatoes bother you? I gave up eating them since my stomach always seemed to blow up. I did a little poking around and found out they have some of the same sugar alcohols as apples do, which I know also bother me so I'm thinking that's the culprit.

    1. You may be right about those sweet potatoes being the culprit for those pesky symptoms!

      Dr Sue Shepherd (one of the developers of the low FODMAP diet) released an update to the original list of high/low FODMAP foods described in her co-authored book:
      Sweet potatoes are one of the foods found to be higher in polyols than previously thought.
      The book I refer to is Food Intolerance Management Plan, and I found it to be such a great resource after my diagnosis of IBS and in the commencement of my low FODMAP diet.)

      I find I also have to watch how much tomato I eat at one time, as they are considered a fruit with regard to the low FODMAP diet, and are recommended to be consumed in moderate amounts.

    2. Good call Bob! I updated the post and made a note about this update. Thank you!

  5. Your photos are so clear and crisp - pretty! I've never made...or had...a Shepherd's pie, but it sounds delicious! And those nutrition stats are impressive! What's also impressive is you making a dinner that clocks in at 1 hour and 10 minutes! I take it you didn't work that night...quite the task! :)

  6. Awesome, Gina! Can't wait to try this. Love that you utilized sweet potato in this recipe. Great work as always!

    -Anthony :)

  7. This looks so delicious, can't wait to give it a go! My mum always makes shepherd's pie with mashed regular potatoes, but I think I'd like this version much better. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. This recipe looks good. I've only had shepherd's pie a few times, but I have never tried to make it.

    I think I like salt just as much as my SO. I try to avoid it though so i don't retain water.

  9. I've never made Shepherd's pie but I'm pretty sure Cory would love it!

    Cory uses a lot less salt since we have been together than he use to.

  10. I love how this is loaded with veggies :) I've actually never made shepherd's pie, but I would definitely use sweet potatoes, yum! We both don't really like things that are too salty.

  11. i like the twist on shepherd's pie! also, i saw your facebook comment in the first few pages of this month's todays dietitian :)

  12. I will definitely have two ports of it right away!!!
    love beef and sweet potatoes combo, nutritious and delicious! :)

  13. This sounds (and looks) incredible! Anything containing sweet potatoes is an instant winner in my book!

  14. Yum, this looks good! Eric loves Shepherd's Pie, but I am usually not a fan. I think I'd like this version though!

  15. Thanks for your FODMAP advice, the post is up.