That Sugar Movement


Sweet Shepherd’s Pie

  • Sweet Shepherd’s Pie - Serves Serves: 4-6
  • Sweet Shepherd’s Pie - Prep Time Prep Time: 40
  • Sweet Shepherd’s Pie - Cook Time Cook Time: 30

Contains dairy

Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort meal, and here we’ve given you two versions – one with beef (technically a cottage pie) and a plant-based version with green lentils. If you’re weaning yourself off sugar, the sweet potato and the tomatoes will give this a natural sweetness to help calm any cravings.

It’s also a great way to get extra vegetables into children. My son won’t eat any of these veggies on their own, but he happily wolfed down the lentil version without flinching – success! I’ve given you the weight of the peeled and chopped sweet potatoes as there’s nothing worse than discovering you haven’t got enough potato for the topping.


  • 1tbsp - olive oil
  • 1 - medium brown onion, roughly diced
  • 2 - cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 - small (or 1 large) carrots, roughly diced
  • 2 - stalks celery, roughly sliced
  • 0.5cup - vegetables of choice, such as sliced mushrooms, diced red capsicum or finely chopped kale
  • 500g - beef mince OR 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 tbsp - tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp - soy sauce
  • 400g - tinned tomatoes
  • 2cup - vegetable stock
  • For the topping:
  • 2 large - sweet potato, peeled and diced (yield 800 grams)
  • 20g - butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Fry the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften. Add other vegetables, frying for another minute.
  4. For the beef version: add the mince and break it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to separate and brown. Once all the mince is well-browned, add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool and proceed to step 6.
  5. For the vegetarian version: add the lentils, and stir well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are softened. They should have just a little bite left to them. Don’t let them turn to mush! Set aside to cool and proceed to step 6.
  6. For the topping: Boil the sweet potato for 10-15 minutes until a knife pierces the flesh easily. Drain and return to the saucepan.
  7. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and mash using a potato masher or just a fork if that’s what you’ve got on hand!
  8. To assemble: Use an oven dish with a volume of around 1 litre. Tip your base mixture into the dish and even out.
  9. Drop the sweet potato topping on in big lumps, then use the back of a fork to gently spread. The ridges created by the fork will help the topping crisp up in the oven.
  10. At this point you can freeze the pie for future meals, otherwise, cook in the oven for 20 minutes until the topping starts to brown.
  11. Serve with a crisp salad or some steamed green beans tossed in olive oil and minced garlic.

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