Classic Comfort Food: Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

I love comfort food. I grew up on stick-to-your rib dinners and homemade everything (homemade bread, oh my word the homemade bread). We were not the kind of family that ate many blue box dinners. Oh how I longed to be that kind of family when I was kid, but instead we were the kind of family that had rows of vegetable gardens. Super.

Unfortunately I’m no longer 10. I don’t ride my bike up and down the street anymore so I can’t eat like I used to. Especially now that I’m making a conscious effort to get rid of pounds not put them on (mmm pound cake).

Therefore my new mission is to transform my old favorites into healthy alternatives. Not the same, but similar.

This Shepherd’s pie recipe is a little heavy on ingredients and time, but oh so worth it! It’s the perfect thing to make for a weekend supper. I adapted it from a current issue of Rachael Ray magazine I “had to have” the other day.  I’m a sucker for impulse purchases.

Click “read more” for the full recipe!

Shepherd’s Pie
adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine


  • 1lb Red skinned baby potatoes, quarted
  • 3tsp EVOO
  • 5oz. Cremini mushroom slices
  • 1 large Carrot, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 8oz 93% lean ground beef (Turkey would work well here too)
  • 2tbsp Flour
  • 1c. Beef broth
  • 1/4c. Diced tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2c. Skim milk
  • 4c. baby spinach
  • Fresh thyme & chives


1. 1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot; cover.

2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1tsp. olive oil over high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Arrange in a greased 9-by- 13-inch baking dish in an even layer.

Make sure you use a good quality olive oil!

Layer on a greased pan

3. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add the carrots, parsnips and onion and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

5. Stir in the flour. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the meat mixture over the mushrooms. Reserve the skillet.

2 tbsp flour

Since Rachael inspired this recipe, I thought it was only fair to use her stock

Your mixture should look like this at this stage in the game (Oh yeah, add your thyme leaves now!)

6. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Add the milk to the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped chives to taste.

5. In the reserved skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, turning, until wilted, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a colander; press to extract any liquid.

6. Arrange the spinach over the meat mixture, then spoon the potatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1tsp olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

Assemble spinach on top

Cover with potato mixture and olive oil


I served this dish with 1% cottage cheese and it was divine! Next time I’m going to add a little corn. It felt weird without corn. It didn’t NEED it, but I did. I’m resistant to change.

Makes 6 servings

Approx 1 1/2c. each

4 PTS per serving!


10 thoughts on “Classic Comfort Food: Shepherd’s Pie

  1. There’s a WW recipe for Shepard’s Pie, have you ever made it? It’s surely not as good as Rachael Ray’s, but I think was a simpler recipe. Yours looks good!

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