A traditional shepherd’s pie recipe gets a makeover, with a twist. Flavorful bison and nutrient packed sweet potatoes make this comfort food irresistibly good. 310 calories and 8 Weight Watcher Freestyle SP. Thank you to Kroger for helping me share this recipe with you.
I can't tell you how many times I reach for chicken or ground turkey when I'm making dinner, which often produces some of our favorites, such as Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken and Greek Turkey, Rice & Feta Casserole. That's all well and good until my kids' shoulders start to slump when I tell them that dinner is "something with chicken". That's always a sure sign that I need to switch things up.
And all of that fits in nicely with our Week 3 challenge for the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge:
To recap, in Week 1 Liz and I focused on Boosting Protein at Breakfast to Fuel Your Day and in Week 2 we added in the challenge of Go Ethnic at Dinner.
THIS WEEK'S GOAL IS...TRY A NEW LEAN PROTEIN
If you're like me, you probably get stuck in a rut, cooking with the same ol' proteins week after week. Not only is it important to switch things up for the sake of our taste buds, but trying new lean proteins is also a great way to fuel our bodies with a range of nutrients.
Some examples? Vitamin D in shrimp; omega-3s in salmon; antioxidants, fiber, iron, potassium (and more) in beans; lean protein in pork; iron in lean beef; and so on.
I remember when bison burgers became all the rage about 10 years ago, introducing all of us to a lean protein that is rich in omega-3s. In our house, we started using bison in chili, burger and Lean Bison & Barley Soup. And then we discovered that we could buy bison steaks, which eventually replaced beef tenderloin in our annual New Year's Eve meat fondues. Leaner on the hips and the wallet. A win-win!
We've started buying the bison products at Kroger groceries. Over the past couple of years, I've noticed that the amount of natural/organic products in Kroger stores has grown exponentially. There is everything from meat (pork, beef, bison) and poultry (chicken, turkey) to dairy, fresh produce and canned goods. Just look for the Simple Truth products on the shelves throughout the stores. All Simple Truth products are Free From 101, which means that they don't contain the 101 additives and preservatives on this list. And, quite honestly, they're usually cheaper than comparable products at other stores, which is exactly why we buy our fondue bison there!
I grew up eating my grandmother's shepherd's pie, filled with ground lamb and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes. For this recipe, I took inspiration from her recipe and switched things up by using ground bison and topping the shepherd's pie with sweet potatoes. The flavors are so complementary - a little mix of sweet and savory - and the dish reaches a 10 on the comfort scale. I think my grandmother would approve.
Be sure to check out Liz's comforting, healthy Bison Chili this week!
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I'll be sure to find it.
Sweet Potato Bison Shepherd's Pie Recipe
The Sweet Potatoes:
- 1 ¼ pound sweet potatoes peeled & cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup nonfat milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 ½ pounds Kroger Simple Truth ground bison
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 cup frozen peas defrosted
The Sweet Potatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 1 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan.
- Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until they are starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add the ground bison. Cook, crumbling with a fork, until the meat is cooked through.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the broth, reduce heat slightly and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Stir in the peas.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish.
- Dollop the sweet potatoes on top of the filling and, using a rubber spatula, spread the potatoes evenly on top, all the way to the sides. Be sure that the potatoes are sealed at the sides of the baking dish so that the filling doesn’t bubble through while cooking. Using a fork, make hatch marks on the potatoes, if desired.
- Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet.
- Bake until the potatoes are just starting to brown, about 30 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kroger. All opinions are my own. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Wow I was trying to come up with something out of the box for bison and this was perfect!
I plan to make this for dinner tonight. What size baking dish do you recommend for this? 9x9?
Hi Samantha, a 9x9 should work perfectly! I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Never have had bison before but just found it in the store. This is is great recipe! Very tasty and love the sweet potatoes. I’m happy it was so flavorful!! Thanks for sharing!
That's so great to hear!
This was so delicious!! I made it on a whim because we had bison and sweet potatoes, and I’m SO GLAD I did! It is definitely a keeper to add to the family dinner arsenal.
Only change I made is that I used tomato sauce as I didn’t have tomato paste on hand, and left out the broth to make up for the extra liquid from the sauce. Again, this was so tasty! Thank you!
This recipe was a GREAT find! We eat bison fairly regularly in place of ground beef and we love sweet potatoes, so this was the perfect recipe to add to our regular dinner menus.
So I tried this and this called for too much of the beef broth to wear it was flowing over the sweet potato and ruined it... Maybe half a cup would've been better but now its a job disappointment. Might was to suggest half a cup to 1 cup of the broth. The flavors are great but the recommendation for the broth amount wasn't accurate.
Hi Erika, I'm a bit confused because there shouldn't have been any liquid left by the time you transferred the bison mixture to the baking dish. In step 5, the directions read, "Stir in the broth, reduce heat slightly and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes." Be sure to simmer long enough so that the liquid is absorbed, then there shouldn't be any issues.
I actually didnt even use beef broth and it was still a great success! even our picky eaters loved it
So great to hear!
I’ve made this before and it’s wonderful and a big hit with my family. One question, could you make this in advance and prep it to cook in the oven a few hours later? Will it become mushy if I do this? Thanks in advance!
Hi Tiffany, I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! Prepping a few hours ahead should be fine. I have specifically tried it with this recipe, but have done so with several other more traditional shepherd's pie recipes.