Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


Apr 20, 2020

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Turkey Shepard's Pie


Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Rachael Ray has a fabulous recipe for Smokey Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.  I love Rachael Ray and several of her recipes are staples in our house.   Like most recipes though, I like to make my own modifications that as a result, make it a better fit our family.

Add nutrition,  and keep the flavor

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is a great dish loaded with lots of vegetables and the lean meat of turkey.  It is both healthy and delicious.   Always a win in my book.  In this recipe I use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  Since learning you can substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, I don’t think I have ever used sour cream in a recipe.

I did a little research and found  that both  sour cream and plain Greek yogurt “provide a creamy, tangy taste to your favorite dishes, however,  sour cream is higher in fat and calories while Greek yogurt provides more protein and, for the most part, fewer calories.” according to The Weight of the Fox Valley (click for entire article).  Livestrong.com provides an even more in depth look the nutritional aspects of regular sour cream vs. plain Greek yogurt.

Turkey Shepard's Pie

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – extra-virgin olive oil – 2 turns of the pan
  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 1 1/3 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (usually in the spice aisle with the more gourmet spices)
  •       You may substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons each sweet paprika and cumin combined
  • Coarse black pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons, 5 or 6 sprigs, fresh thyme leaves  or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup or 1 single serve container plain Greek yogurt (a single serve container is about 5 oz and that’s fine)

For topping:

  • 8-10 russet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 stick butter
  • Milk or chicken broth


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat. Circle the skillet twice with a bit of olive oils.  Add bacon and brown it up,**  then add ground turkey to the pan and break it up. Season the turkey with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and thyme. When turkey browns up, add: onions, carrots, celery.  Cook 5 minutes, then add red pepper and peas cook another 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook flour 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and combine, bring to boil and 5-10 minutes until thickened and bubbly.  If sauce is not thickened after 5-10 minutes combine 1/4 c. cornstarch and cold milk or broth to make a thin paste.  Add to skillet and stir until thickened and bubbly.   Add Greek yogurt and stir to combine, heat over low heat until warmed through.

Preheat your broiler to high.  When potatoes are tender, drain potatoes and return to the warm pot to dry them out a little. Transfer to mixing bowl.  Add butter, salt well and a small splash of milk.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Adding milk and salt to taste and consistency.

Pour turkey mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Top turkey with an even layer of smashed potatoes and place casserole,5 inches from hot broiler. Broil the potatoes until golden at edges and remove the casserole from the oven. Garnish the casserole with chives and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, if desired.

Another option

**I’m terrible at browning bacon in a skillet.  I always get splattered by the hot grease!   I prefer to brown the bacon in the microwave and crumble into the turkey mixture with the Greek yogurt


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