If you like traditional shepherd's pie, you should try this easy twist on this classic comfort food dish! Boasting a sweet potato topping instead of a traditional white potato topping, this Paleo and Whole30 (but not low FODMAP) compliant Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie adds some amazing sweet flavor to a traditionally savory dish. If you're looking for a more traditional or a low FODMAP shepherd's pie, try this easy, traditional Low FODMAP Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe.
Why Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie?
To be honest, when I came across a recipe for sweet potato shepherd's pie during my first Whole30, I was dubious. I'm not a huge fan of sweet food in general and didn't think I would like a sweet-flavored shepherd's pie.
Boy, was I wrong.
The play on sweet and savory that sweet potatoes bring to a shepherd's pie adds some flavor-packed variety to this dish that's traditionally savory. And, if you're anything like me and have shepherd's pie on a regular rotation during your Whole30s, you might welcome some variety in your life.
Sweet potatoes are also very nutrient rich, and sweet potato shepherd's pie makes this dish possible for strict Paleo eaters who don't wish to consume white potatoes.
Paleo & Whole30, but not Low FODMAP
While this recipe is Paleo and Whole30 compliant, it is not low FODMAP as it contains too much sweet potato per serving in addition to onion and garlic. However, if you have found that you can tolerate sweet potato, you could substitute the filling ingredients of my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie for the ingredients listed below and simply use the sweet potato topping ingredients for this recipe. I find that I am able to tolerate one serving of sweet potato shepherd's pie when made this way, but everyone's stomach is different.
The equipment I use make Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie includes:
- 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker
- Trivet that comes with the Instant Pot
- Sharp chopping knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Large bowl
- Plastic spatula or spoon for sautéing
- Potato masher
- 8-inch x 11-inch glass baking dish (2-quarts)
- 2 large spoons for scooping
- Spatula for spreading the potatoes
- Spatula (preferably with a square edge) for serving
- Hot pads / pot holders
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie: Ingredients and Success Tips
If you've made my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie recipe (yay you!), the process for this sweet potato version is almost exactly the same. It's also super easy and ready in about 45 minutes!
Sweet Potato Topping
Sweet Potatoes: We start this recipe by pressure cooking the sweet potatoes after washing, peeling, and chopping them into large pieces (about 2-inches in width). For me, two pounds of sweet potatoes typically comes to two large sweet potatoes. Pour a cup of cold water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside. Put the sweet potato pieces on top of the trivet, close the lid, set valve to sealing and pressure cook on "Manual" for 8 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure, carefully transfer the sweet potatoes to a large bowl and cover with a plate. I use the trivet to do this, but there is always danger of a potato falling into the hot water, so be careful if you use this method. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to scoop the potatoes to a bowl, which is a safer option.
Almond Milk, Ghee and Nutmeg: Then, set aside the potatoes until you get your filling cooking (as described below). Once the filling is cooking, you can add almond milk, ghee and nutmeg to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Coconut milk can be substituted for almond milk. I only use nutmeg to season the potatoes as it is a natural, Whole30-compliant sweetener. During my testing, I found that salt and pepper make the sweet potatoes too savory, eliminating the sweet-on-savory magic that this recipe brings.
Shepherd's Pie Filling
Meat and Produce: The filling features ground beef as well as carrots, green beans, onion and garlic. Using the Instant Pot's Sauté function, we sauté these ingredients together for about 12 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender. I use extra fine frozen green beans and chop them into small pieces. Alternatively, you could use pre-cut frozen green beans or fresh green beans.
Seasonings: After the filling is cooked, season it with salt, pepper, dried oregano and thyme. Stir the mixture and then scoop it into a casserole dish. I use an 8-inch x 11-inch 2-quart glass baking dish, but you could potentially use a slightly smaller or larger one with success. Scoop the mashed sweet potatoes on top of the filling and spread evenly with a spatula. Stick under a preheated broiler for about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning. It's done once the top is a bit crunchy and the juices in the filling are bubbling.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie (Paleo, Whole30, Lactose-Free)
Sweet Potato Topping:
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces (about 2-inches in width)
- ½ cup almond milk or coconut milk
- ¼ cup ghee
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Shepherd's Pie Filling:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen green beans, chopped into small pieces
- ½ medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Pour 1 cup of water into a 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker. Place trivet inside and put the sweet potato pieces on top of the trivet. Close the lid and set pressure release valve to sealing. Press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button and set timer for 8 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure. Open the lid, and carefully transfer the cooked sweet potatoes to a large bowl, cover with a lid or plate, and set aside. Pour the water out of the inner pot and dry completely with a paper towel.
- Put the inner pot back into the Instant Pot and press the "Sauté" button. Once the display reads "Hot," add the ground beef, carrots, green beans, onion and garlic. Using a plastic spoon, break up the ground beef into smaller pieces and sauté with the vegetables for 12 minutes or until carrots are tender, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, add almond/coconut milk, ghee and nutmeg to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Recover bowl and set aside.
- Once the filling mixture has finished cooking, press the "Cancel" button on the Instant Pot and using hot pads, carefully remove the inner pot and place on a pot holder. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and thyme to the inner pot and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Preheat broiler and plate oven rack to the top position. While the broiler preheats, using a slotted spoon, spoon the filling mixture into a casserole dish (I use an 8-inch x 11-inch glass baking dish) and spread evenly in the dish. Scoop the potatoes onto the filling and spread evenly with a spatula. Broil for 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Remove from the oven once the potatoes are a bit crusty on the top and the juices in the meat mixture are bubbling. Serve and enjoy!
- This recipe is not low FODMAP; however, this classic Low FODMAP Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie is low FODMAP and has a very similar process.
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