Lean & Mean Shepherd’s Pie

Recipe and Food Styling by Michelle Rabin   Photo by Paul Buceta

When it comes to comfort foods, it doesn’t get more classic than shepherd’s pie. Those steamy layers and aromatic spices remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen, and warm your heart almost as much as they warm your tummy.

But the original version of your favorite homemade dish doesn’t always fit in with your goals, so we’ve taken this comfort food staple and given it a healthy twist, so you can enjoy it any day of the week. We’ve swapped the beef for lean ground turkey, which is still insanely high in protein but lower in fat and calories. We’ve also given the potato topping an overhaul, replacing it with a combo of celery root and chickpeas, for a lower carb and higher fiber version.

The result is a totally delicious, equally comforting alternative to the traditional recipe. And who knows, you may even love it more than the original.

Celeriac & Chickpea Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes  |  Makes 4 servings

• 1 large celeriac root, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 540 mL can low-sodium chickpeas, drained
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
• ¼ cup oil from sundried tomatoes packed in oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
• 3 cups lightly packed shredded kale
• ½ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped
• Fresh thyme (for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook celeriac chunks in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Strain celeriac and place into food processor with 1 cup of chickpeas, 3 Tbsp sundried tomato oil, and parmesan cheese. Pulse until a smooth, thick paste forms, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.

3. Heat remaining oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in garlic and onion, and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

4. Increase heat to high and add in ground turkey and salt. Break apart large chunks of meat with a wooden spoon. Cook meat until no pink remains, about 4 minutes.

5. Lower heat to medium and stir in kale, sundried tomatoes, and remaining chickpeas. Stir and cook until kale wilts and mixture is heated through, about 2 minutes.

6. Transfer turkey mixture into a large casserole dish. Spoon celeriac mixture over turkey mixture and spread from edge to edge using the back of a spoon. Bake in center rack until shepherd’s pie begins to turn golden, about 30 minutes.

7. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

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