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In honor of St. Paddy’s Day this week, I’m making shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s Pie, also known as cottage pie, is a layered casserole traditionally made with lamb or mutton (hence the reference to shepherds), topped with a crust made of mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty, comforting one-dish meal, with meat and vegetables deliciously buried under a topping of creamy mashed potatoes and melted cheese. Who wouldn’t love that for dinner?

This version uses ground turkey, but you could substitute ground beef. I usually make an easy gravy for the turkey using chicken broth, but you can use boxed gravy as well, available seasonally at Trader Joe’s. Other shortcuts like Trader Joe’s frozen vegetables and frozen mashed potatoes (genius!) make it a breeze to assemble this meal.

There are so many directions you could take this dish based on what you have in your fridge. I often toss mushrooms in with the turkey, or leftover broccoli or cauliflower florets in with the vegetables. It’s a great way to use up leftover meats and vegetables, so feel free to substitute at will!

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg ground turkey (approx 1.3-1.4 lbs) or ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Turkey Gravy, available in a box, or make your own with 2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup chicken broth (instructions below)
  • 1 (16 -oz) pkg frozen Organic Foursome, thawed, or other vegetable mixture of your choice
  • 1 (28 -oz) pkg frozen Mashed Potatoes, prepared, or make your own using 4 russet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-size fry pan. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. If using boxed Turkey Gravy, pour into the cooked turkey and stir until combined. If making your own sauce, add flour to turkey, and cook 1 minute longer, stirring frequently. Add milk and chicken broth, cooking for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens to the consistency of gravy. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour turkey mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Sizes that work well are 9″x9″ or 8″x10″. Top with a layer of vegetables, and then a layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.