Make this hearty yet healthy lamb shepherd's pie fusion style with North African spiced filling and sweet potato topping. My sweet potato shepherd's pie recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and will fill and comfort you without making you feel weighed down. I've made it over and over for years and we can't get enough! Thank you Libby’s for sponsoring this post.
What is Fusion Shepherd's Pie?
Shepherd's pie is of Western European origin and typically has a ground meat and veggie filling topped with a mashed potato crust and is delicious in its traditional form. Lamb is actually the traditional meat used in Irish shepherd's pie. This twist on shepherd's pie uses sweet potatoes in the potato topping and fragrant North African spices in the meat filling.
And if you enjoy this recipe, you'll love my Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chili, too!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Simple & Customizable - This recipe uses simple quality ingredients and no fussy or fancy tools. And you can change up the ingredients to suit your taste.
Meal Prep Friendly - This sweet potato lamb shepherd's pie stays on rotation because it's easy to make ahead in full or in stages. For example, you can prep the sweet potatoes a couple of days before putting everything together. And it freezes well so make sure you peep my tips on that below!
What You'll Need for this Recipe
Ground Lamb adds hearty protein to this dish. I like to use an 80% lean blend to balance richness, flavor, and fat.
Spices like cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and coriander add Mediterranean or North African flavor that my family loves every single time! Use the best quality ground spices you can get.
Vegetables - I partnered with Libby's Vegetables to share my fusion sweet potato shepherd's pie recipe with you because their super fresh canned peas and carrots are my favorite shortcut! Add garlic, onion, and diced mushrooms and you're set.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Sweet Potatoes - Use jewel or garnet sweet potatoes to follow the recipe exactly or swap in purple sweet potatoes or even yellow or red potatoes.
Meat Filling - I use lamb here but you can substitute with your preferred ground meat, including beef, bison, turkey or chicken.
Shape and Size - You can bake shepherd's pie in a round or square pan or an oblong baking dish like a casserole. Even a cast iron skillet works. And mini sweet potato shepherd's pie is possible with a muffin pan!
Making a Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes
Step One: Roast the sweet potatoes for the topping.
Step Two: Mash the roasted sweet potato to desired consistency and mix in the remaining topping ingredients using a heavy duty spatula or a food processor.
Pro Tip: Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork or knife to release moisture and be sure to place a pan underneath to catch any drips!
Step Three: Meanwhile, cook down the onions and garlic then brown the ground lamb.
Step Four: Add peas and carrots and mushrooms and finish cooking the filling.
Pro Tip: Keep different Libby’s Vegetables stocked in your pantry and you’ll be ready to go whenever! Libby's Vegetables help me turn pantry staples into an amazing dish without a ton of prep work. And using them here adds something familiar to a somewhat adventurous internationally-inspired recipe.
Step Five: Transfer the cooked meat and veggie filling into an oven-safe dish then spread the sweet potato mixture over top.
Step Six: Bake uncovered to help firm up the crust but keep in mind that it will not brown except for around the edges.
Pro Tip: Use a fork or knife to make a design in the sweet potato top layer before baking, if desired. This adds a lil extra razzle dazzle!
Mashed sweet potatoes are a staple in so many of our favorite recipes, including Sweet Potato Oatmeal Cups and Jumbo Sweet Potato Gingerbread Muffins. And everybody goes wild for my Soul Food Sweet Potato Pie and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yep! Just tag in your favorite plant-based protein like soaked lentils or vegan meat crumbles for the filling.
Store leftover fusion shepherd's pie in an airtight container refrigerated. It will keep for up to six days.
Transfer the sweet potato & lamb shepherd's pie to an airtight container OR wrap the entire dish snugly in foil. It will keep for up to two months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
More Favorite Comfort Foods with Sweet Potatoes
Let me know what you think of this easy homemade shepherd's pie. I think you'll love it and I encourage you to recreate the recipe year-round and learn more about Libby's Vegetables. Also, sharing is caring so be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Shepherd's Pie with Lamb and Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie Topping
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes about 2 pounds in total
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Lamb Shepherd's Pie Filling
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ yellow onion diced
- 1 pound ground lamb ground beef or turkey would also work
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper depending on heat you preference
- 1 can Libby's Peas & Carrots drained
- 4 white mushrooms chopped
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- fresh mint leaves, chopped optional
- To prep sweet potatoes for topping, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in oven (on or over a piece of foil to catch any drippings) and roast for about 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high flame. Add onion and garlic then cook for about a minute.
- Add ground lamb to pan and break up with spoon then add spices, stir to mix, and cook until lamb is browned.
- Add peas & carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste, and water to pan then stir until the water and tomato paste combine into a sauce. Remove pan from flame and spread filling into a baking dish.
- To make the topping, peel and mash the roasted sweet potatoes. Add black pepper, garlic powder, and salt then mix well. This step should be easy to do with a fork or wooden spoon but can also be accomplished in a food processor or stand mixer.
- Spread sweet potato topping over filling in pan. If you want, you can make a design in the topping using a large fork, kabob skewer or something similar.
- Bake shepherd's pie, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Top will not brown much. Garnish with chopped mint leaves, if desired, and enjoy warm.