Simple Supper Friday: Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's pie with a squash topping.

There’s something so comforting about one-dish meals — maybe because they tend to be hearty and are often served during the winter months. Casseroles, stews, soups … they’re all good for sticking to your ribs and keeping your body warm and satisfied.

I’ve made shepherd’s pie with mashed cauliflower on top many times, and it’s always delicious, but I thought I’d switch it up and try it with winter squash. I knew it would work just fine and taste great, in addition to being heartier (since squash is more filling than cauliflower). This recipe is a great way to use up leftover squash, but alternatively, you can cook one in the oven earlier in the day or while prepping everything else. If you’re really pressed for time and don’t have leftover squash, you can cook your squash in the microwave. Canned pumpkin or butternut squash puree would probably work too. What I’m telling you, is that you have options!

By the way, this recipe proved to be much more filling with squash, as I suspected.


  • 2 cups cooked winter squash (buttercup, butternut, red kuri, kabocha, pumpkin)
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, plus more for dotting the pie
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed tallow or fat of choice
  • 1-4 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade

Ha, look at that pile o' squash!


  1. Melt tallow over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and celery and sautรฉ for a couple minutes. Then, add the ground turkey and break up the meat with a spatula. Cook for about five minutes.
  2. Add carrots and broccoli and cook another five minutes. Next, add the thyme, oregano, sea salt, pepper and peas. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and coconut flour, and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and let cook for about five minutes.
  4. While mixture is simmering, mash the cooked squash with 2 Tbsp butter and 1-4 Tbsp coconut milk. Add a pinch of sea salt, if desired.
  5. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and add meat/veggie mixture. Spread mashed squash evenly over the top. Dot some butter on top of the squash, if desired.
  6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Yields: 4-5 servings

One-dish meals, like this one, are Jesse's absolute favorite.

As if this wasn't hearty enough, I ate it with some avocado slices on top. Why not?


14 thoughts on “Simple Supper Friday: Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Kristen Bridge December 7, 2012 / 5:36 am

    Yummy!!! I will have to make this next week…the temperatures here in Michigan finally are December like temps ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • paleoinpdx December 7, 2012 / 10:01 am

      Thanks, Kristen! I think you’ll enjoy this, especially with the cold winter temps setting in. Luckily, it hasn’t been too bad here. The coldest it’s been is in the 40s, but with rain and dampness it sometimes feels colder.

  2. girlmeetspaleo December 7, 2012 / 10:58 am

    Yum!! I make a big pan of this every week! I usually use cauliflower and sweet potato mash for the topping, but I bet it’s divine with butternut!

    • paleoinpdx December 7, 2012 / 11:03 am

      It is! A nice change of pace too.

  3. Primal Smoke December 7, 2012 / 2:01 pm

    I tried to make something like this last february, a pot pie topped with mashed sweet potato but I put way too much liquid in and it was a delicious disaster. You inspired me to give it another try ๐Ÿ™‚

    • paleoinpdx December 7, 2012 / 2:22 pm

      Glad I could be a source of inspiration for you! Just go easy when adding the coconut milk to the squash (or sweet potato if you’re using that). Try 1 Tbsp at a time, so you don’t overdo it!

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