* This recipe was originally published on my former site, Our Four Forks. Welcome!
Fun fact: before I started Loveleaf Co., I had another food blog called Our Four Forks. It was a total passion project that I worked on after work, nights and weekends because I was still working an office job. At the time, I was just getting into healthy eating and food photography was new to me, so it was the perfect platform to learn and experiment (… though looking back at the site now admittedly makes cringe a little. Some of those photos… yikes ;).
By FAR, the most popular recipe I created for Our Four Forks was this one: Moroccan shepherd’s pie with sweet potato. It has 82 glowing reviews on my old site and, if I do say so myself, really is worthy of the attention.
So! I’m finally bringing the recipe over to its new home, Loveleaf Co. With (much needed) updated photos and clearer instructions, but with the same great taste and flavor.
This Moroccan shepherd’s pie with sweet potato is slightly different than most Loveleaf Co. recipes because it takes a bit longer to make. It’s still easy (don’t worry), but there are a few more steps involved. I would file this recipe under “Sunday recipes” because it’s the perfect cozy dish to prepare (with a glass of red wine 😉 on a cold Sunday afternoon. The time it takes to make pays off: it serves 6-8, so you can enjoy it all week long (the leftovers are SO GOOD) or even freeze it and reheat in the oven.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie?
A shepherd’s pie is a traditional dish made with ground lamb and mashed potatoes. It is similar to a cottage pie, which is made with ground beef. Either beef or lamb will work in this recipe – the method is the same. The vegan version uses extra chickpeas, a classic Moroccan ingredient, instead of meat.
Both versions of this shepherd’s pie are full of Moroccan flavors: ginger, cumin, chili, garlic, hints of cinnamon and cilantro. The traditional white potato has been replaced with a creamy, whipped sweet potato mash; its slight sweetness goes perfectly with the Moroccan spices.
Is This Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie Healthy?
Yes! This Moroccan shepherd’s pie is gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo (if chickpeas are omitted). Sweet potatoes are super nutrient-dense because they’re high in vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, and magnesium. One serving of sweet potato contains double the amount of the recommended amount of vitamin A.
Because of the tomatoes, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes, this recipe is full of fiber.
The Importance of Quality Meat
There is a lot of information out there about whether or not eating red meat is healthy or not. Many studies will say “no.” Others will say “yes.” I believe that red meat can be a healthful, nutrient-dense addition to any diet (even a superfood!) with one huge caveat: it has to be grass-fed and organic. You can read all about the importance of quality meat here.
For purchasing quality meat, in terms of mission and convenience, ButcherBox is my favorite option. They deliver 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef directly to your door on a monthly basis. Each box comes with a curated selection of cuts, sourced from a collection of small grass-fed farms, flash-frozen at the peak of freshness.
If you’re interested, there’s a special offer exclusive for Loveleaf Co. readers: FREE bacon, FREE shipping, and $15 off. Just click here to claim the deal!
Can This Shepherd’s Pie Be Made Vegan or Paleo?
Make this Moroccan shepherd’s pie vegan by simply omitting the meat and adding an extra can of drained chickpeas to the recipe. Instructions are included below.
Make this recipe paleo by simply omitting the can of chickpeas in the meat version. Enjoy!Print
Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Healthy Moroccan shepherd’s pie with a creamy sweet potato mash, two ways: vegan with chickpeas or non-vegan with lamb or beef. Both full of flavor, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo.
Sweet Potato Mash
- 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons non-dariy milk (plus more if needed)
- 1 lb grass-fed ground lamb or beef (omit for vegan – for the meat version, I love the quality and convenience of ButcherBox)
- 1 or 2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained (see notes – omit for paleo)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
- 1/2 cup currants or raisins
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Boil the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.
Drain well and add the extra virgin olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, and non-dairy milk.
With an immersion hand blender or potato masher, blend until they reach a creamy consistency. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium high heat (skip to step 3 for vegan version).
Remove the meat from the skillet and set aside.
Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic, ginger, sea salt, and spices and cook for 8-10 minutes until the onions are softened.
Return the meat to the pan (if using) along with the honey (if using), plum tomatoes, and stock.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more.
Add chickpeas (1 can for meat version, 2 cans for vegan version, skip for paleo version), currants or raisins, and chopped cilantro. Stir and remove from heat.
Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Fill a 12 x 8-inch baking dish with the filling and spread the sweet potato mash evenly on top.
Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown.
Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.
Use 1 can of chickpeas for the beef/lamb version, 2 cans of chickpeas for the vegan version, and omit altogether for the paleo version.
Keywords: shepherd’s pie, sweet potato shepherd’s pie, moroccan shepherd’s pie
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It’s amazing. Lots of good modifications too like apricots as the dried fruit.
Yay! So happy to hear that. I need to try apricots instead of the currants!
This was absolutely amazing! I did halve the recipe and did the vegetarian option. The only sub I did was maple syrup instead of honey, because that’s what I had. Mine turned out pretty sweet, so I’ll probably cut out the syrup. Otherwise, it will definitely be put in my recipe box for fall.
Hi Caiti – so happy to hear you enjoyed it!
Paulette Perhach says
This recipe is a go-to for groups for me. I’ve made it so many times! I often find that I want more sweet potato mash, so I up the quantity.
So happy to hear that!
I have made this recipe since the “our four forks” days and it is still a go to. So hearty with a unique blend on a classic dish. Thank you for sharing!
So happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing!
Jackie Nordeman says
This was AMAZING! I searched for a recipe for Shepherds pie using sweet potatoes, and this recipe appeared (among others). I don’t usually follow a recipe to the letter but I did with this one and I’m so glad I did! The only thing I did was leave out the cilantro (not a fan). The recipe says to “salt & pepper to taste” but I didn’t add anymore than the recipe called for. Thank you for sharing this!
Hi Jackie – thank you so much for trying the recipe and sharing your review! Glad you enjoyed it, even without the cilantro – that’s always a controversial ingredient 😉
Love love love!
For our vegan version I do 50/50 soya mince & red lentils
Big hit in our house 👏🏻
Oh yay! So happy to hear that – and LOVE the idea of using lentils, I need to try!
Made this for the first time a few months ago, minus the chick peas and loved it so much, I’m making it for my fifth time today. I find I do not need the broth if I use the juice from the tomatoes. So, so good!
Hi Chris – so happy to hear that! I’ll have to try using the juice from the tomatoes instead of the broth. xx Ally
I used some leftover roast lamb, very finely shredded in the food processor, in place of ground lamb, i had to improvise the quantities of spices, because of the amount, but I used the same ratio. All things combined beautifully and it was a delicious meal. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Carrie – so happy to hear your enjoyed it! Thanks for your review! xo
Love this!! I used ground turkey and didn’t have chickpeas or tomatoes so left those out and it’s still great. Both sweet and savory. Thank you!
Hi Meredith – so happy to hear you enjoyed it! I need to try it with ground turkey now – sounds great!
Katelyn mohr says
Not a bad recipe but it did take longer than I expected to prep, and then it still needed to bake for 40 minutes. Sweet potatoes, even cut in small chunks, took a while to soften. Next time I will probably just put them in the microwave for a little bit to soften them.
Thanks so much for your review, Katelyn! As I mention in the post, this recipe does take a bit longer than most of my recipes 😉 – glad you enjoyed it overall! I’ve never had an issue with the sweet potatoes taking a long time to soften, but great advice re: the microwave for anyone needing a speedier process! – Ally
God Bless you for making this recipe. I had to make a few modifications for this because I can’t eat a lot of things, and holy cow this was still one of the best dishes I’ve had. For reference, I removed the tomatoes, chickpeas and chili powder (and added in celery), and I’m still obsessed with it. I can only imagine how good the original is! Thank you for this, this is so helpful for those of us with little dishes to choose from!
I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Love the celery addition – I’m going to have to try that! – Ally
I have made this recipe so many times, including for winter dinner parties and it’s always a hit. Ive been cooking it since the Our Four Forks website. It’s fantastic with lamb or beef (though I absolutely love lamb) and I always use a spoon of my mum’s honey from her hive. It’s just magic. On occasion I have mixed sweet and white potatoes and usually mash them with organic full cream milk. Thank you for making such a wonderful recipe.
Hi Jess -I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying the recipe! So cool that you can use the honey from your mom’s hive – thank you so much for your review.
I don’t know if I ever left a review for this recipe – but I have been making this for years now. I make both the meat and vegan versions – i’ve used beef and lamb. I’ve used different types of dried fruit, whatever I have on hand. Everyone loves it. It’s easy to make ahead for potlucks or bigger family gatherings. So so good!! A staple in our house.
So happy to hear this, Heather! And thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.my family loved it.will be sharing this recipe with my friends.they will like it.