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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

This healthy recipe for shepherd’s pie is sure to satisfy the whole family.

By Marianne D. Williams, RDN

The classic Irish dish shepherd’s pie, which dates back to the 18th century, almost certainly started as an attempt to use up leftovers in a tasty way.

In spite of shepherd’s pie’s humble origins, the results were delicious.

What’s in a shepherd’s pie?

Shepherd’s pie is filled with minced meat — usually lamb — that’s simmered in a gravy of onions and vegetables like celery, carrots and peas. This filling is baked under a crust of creamy mashed potatoes. (Using beef? You’re actually making shepherd’s pie’s “cousin,” cottage pie.)

Either way, the result is comforting, delicious and will warm you from the inside out. Irish cooks like to put their own spins on this dish, so once you’ve mastered the classic version, you might want to experiment with different seasonings and vegetables and make a dish that’s your very own, too.

Healthy recipe for shepherd’s pie


  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into uniform-size pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoon egg-substitute
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
  • Ground paprika 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. And the onions and saute over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. And the meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Strain the meat mixture into a colander to drain all the fat and liquid. Return to the skillet. Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile boil the potatoes with the garlic in lightly salted water until done. Drain the potatoes and remove the garlic. Mash the potatoes with the milk and egg substitute. If using, add the pepper.
  4. Place the meat mixture in the prepared casserole and top with the peas. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with Paprika. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until heated through and nicely browned. Serve immediately. 

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 240, fat 4.5g, protein 23g, carbohydrate 29g, fiber 3g, cholesterol 50 mg, sodium 210mg, potassium 466mg

Next steps:

Looking for more? Explore our dietitian-approved recipes
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