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instant pot sweet potato shepherd's pie on a white plate with a blue rim and a fork.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie (Paleo, Whole30, Lactose-Free)

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  • Author: Gail Gromaski
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Boasting a sweet potato topping instead of a traditional white potato topping, this Paleo and Whole30 compliant Instant Pot Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie adds some amazing sweet flavor to this traditionally savory, classic comfort food dish. This recipe is not low FODMAP (see notes below).


Units Scale

Sweet Potato Topping:

  • 1 cup cold water (1.5 cups if using an 8-quart Instant Pot)
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup ghee, or butter if not needing Paleo/Whole30
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Pour 1 cup of water into a 6-quart Instant Pot, (1.5 cups if using an 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 or spatula (I love my Instant Pot spatula), break up the ground beef into smaller pieces and sauté with the vegetables for 12 minutes or until carrots are tender, stirring frequently.
  4. Meanwhile, add almond or coconut milk, ghee or butter, and nutmeg to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Recover bowl and set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Preheat broiler and place 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!


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: English