Shepherd Pie Light

This is a light shepherd pie, so don’t expect to see lamb as a main ingredient. It’s turkey! Not only is it much healthier than lamb or beef, but it is also much cheaper, so you get to cut both dollars and cholesterol – can’t go better than that. The orange potato topping is a combination of your Bubbe’s regular potatoes and sweet potatoes which are generally considered the healthiest food in the world. So you cut on carbs as well, but at the same time, you gain on all kinds of vitamins and minerals (

Contrary to what we all know as the easiest main dish for Shabbos when you expect a crowd – just throw ground beef with some onions and maybe garlic into a baking pan and cover with mashed potatoes! – it isn’t really a shepherd’s pie. First of all – surprise! – if it’s beef and not lamb, it’s called a cottage pie. The real shepherd’s pie is supposed to be made of lamb because in Scotland, shepherds took care of sheep, and cows did not climb mountains. But most importantly, it should also contain some vegetables, mixed with meat.

Shepherd Pie 1.jpgMy standard veggies for this dish are corn and sweet peas, but sometimes I add diced bell pepper (red looks very nice), string beans, even asparagus tips, whatever is in season. You also need to grate a carrot, chop an onion, and squeeze some garlic cloves. But before you do all this, crumble a couple of slices of last week’s leftover challah – I hope you’ve saved it! – and soak in soy, rice, or almond milk. If you don’t use any of those, water will do, but you’ll have to add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Remember, ground turkey practically has no fat of its own.

While the bread is soaking, you can use the time to grate, chop, squeeze, and check eggs, unless you buy eggs with Hecksher. Mash up the bread the way you would do potatoes, and throw everything else in.  I season it with cilantro, a dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of cumin, in addition to salt and pepper, but feel free to add your favorite flavours.

Meanwhile, your potatoes should be boiling.

Shepherd Pie 2.jpg

You can mash them up by hand, but if you use a mixer or blender, you get a lighter and fluffier “blanket.” This time, I also had a couple of parsnips left from Pesach that had been cooked in the soup, so I mashed them up as well.


Shepherd Pie 3.jpg A little secret to prevent it from sticking to the bottom when it sits in the oven or on the blecht for a while: in addition to oiling the pan, sprinkle some tomato juice on the bottom and sides. Spread the meat and veggies mixture evenly in the baking pan. I prefer to use the one I will already put on the table.

Shepherd Pie 4.jpg

Spread potato mixture in an even layer to cover the meat.

Shepherd Pie 5.jpg

You can make chevron-like designs on top with your spoon and then sprinkle some paprika. This is how it goes into the oven. Then forget about it for an hour, while you are doing something else – always lots of things to do before Shabbos! When your timer rings, remove the lid and bake it for 10 more minutes, to give it a nice crust.

Shepherd Pie 6.jpg

This is how it comes out of the oven, and I garnish  it with some more fresh cilantro on top before serving. Since you have a complex combination of sweet and spicy flavors, with Mediterranean notes of cinnamon and cumin, it is complemented very well by a full-bodied, but dry red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon. A heavier or a deeper wine, such as Burgundy, will definitely overwhelm the lightness of the dish.

Meatloaf 7.jpgOn Sunday, my husband is enjoying the ubiquitous Jewish dish that has not changed since Sorah Imeinu cooked and Avrohom Avinu welcomed guests, but it is not offered in any Jewish restaurant – Shabbos Leftovers!


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 slices of bread or Challah
  • 1 cup of frozen corn (you can use canned, but drain it real well)
  • 1 cup of frozen sweet peas (same as with corn)
  • Alternatively, diced bell pepper, string beans, or asparagus tips
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic (use more if you like), squezeed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of soy, rice, or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, if you use water instead of Pareve milk substitute
  • Diced fresh cilantro
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A pinch of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • Paprika to garnish


  • Crumble bread and soak in Pareve milk substitute or water
  • Peel and boil potatoes in salted water
  • Mash up soaked bread and add the rest of the ingredients, except potatoes. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Oil baking pan and spread meat mixture evenly on the bottom.
  • Mash or whip potatoes and cover the meat mixture.
  • Decorate, garnish, bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes.

Note: If left in the oven or on the blecht for several hours, it should be tightly covered.

Have a great Shabbos!


17 Comments Add yours

  1. kelleysdiy says:

    I am so glad you used turkey in this instead of lamb! I’m making this for sure! I love how you even suggested the wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would dearly love to use lamb, even though our combined cholesterol count will probably shoot up and off the scale, but kosher lamb is way out of my budget. I would love to make a lamb stew with wild rice and dry fruit stewed in wine, or a real Uzbekian lamb plov, or a Karski shashlik… Maybe when I win a lottery, which is never because I don’t play.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. kelleysdiy says:

        hahaa…I don’t either. What can I do with a chicken breast?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    I am repeating this post in response for Daily Word Prompt PIE.
    Those of you, Beautiful People, who are of Vegan persuasion, could easily replace turkey with plant-based ground meat substitute and whisk 1/4 cup of aquafaba instead of an egg. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    Shepherd’s pie with lamb, cottage pie with beef … mashed regular or sweet potatoes on top. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much; it really is, and I am so glad you concur! 😻


    1. Thank you so much for pingback.


  4. So nice to see a photo of your handsome husband! I’ve never cared for the “regular” Shepherds’ Pie – but I’m thinking I might like this one. Did the kitties send the Valentine’s Day card?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, the card depicts us, my husband and myself. You can figure out which one is which. I’ll relate the compliment to him!
      I still think little Pyshka looks like my husband, with her coloring and bright green eyes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only see the paws in the crop of the blog photo, but I’m guessing that the white-tipped ginger paw is your husband, based only on past comments about Pyshka.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, and I am black, with a white bib and socks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 🙂 – not literally, of course!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Existentially. 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ren says:

    Will share this one with my son.
    Thanx again for triggering my hunger

    Liked by 1 person

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