Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie

Holy moly, what a Friday, huh??  I had plans to post this recipe Friday morning but then when I woke up at like 4:45 AM for boot camp, and then, well, I guess you can probably imagine that I was a little distracted about the crisis that was unfolding in Watertown.  My brother was staying in Watertown Thursday night and was awoken in the middle of the night to the sound of gunfire and what sounded like a full fireworks show.  Before I left for boot camp I tried to “quietly” tell Tom while he was sleeping that he probably shouldn’t go into work for the day since his office was right in the middle of the chaos in Watertown.  I guess my “whispers” about shoot outs and bombs weren’t done subtly enough to let him sleep longer so we were both up early in the morning watching the madness unfold.

I was glued to the news, police scanners and twitter all day, trying to follow every step and every development while also trying to have a productive work day. I really couldn’t believe that a 19-year-old had shut down an entire city and eluded 9,000 police officers, it just didn’t seem possible.  I can only imagine how exhausted all of the police and first-responders were since I was completely exhausted from watching TV and sitting on my ass.

Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie

Those poor news reporters too!! This one guy on Channel 7 was so exhausted by the end of the night he could barely hold his head up, he had been reporting and chasing the story around for 30 hours straight.  I can’t even tell you how amazing it was when we found out that they got him and he was alive!

We went out to a local bar right after they captured him and you could just feel the stress melting off of people’s shoulders.  Smiles were finally emerging again and deep breaths were being taken by all.

I don’t want to get too much into the politics of it all but I do want to make one statement based on some of the incredibly hateful and ignorant statements I’ve seen on Twitter & Facebook.  Yes, I do believe that these men did terrible, unspeakable things. Yes, of course I want him to pay for what he’s done and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  No, I am not going to let this feeling turn into hate and start saying things about how he should be tortured and killed and making generalizations about his religion and ethnicity.  I couldn’t believe some of the things people were saying about what we should do to him.  I don’t know if it’s just me but I don’t think I’m physically capable of ever thinking those things about another human being, no matter how “evil” they may be.  It just doesn’t make sense to me. Didn’t we just say that killing people is wrong? Oh, but it’s ok when we kill someone who killed someone? If killing is wrong. It’s wrong. Period.

Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie

Not only did this all unfold outside of the window of my husband’s office, but this terrorist attended Cambridge Rindge Latin School, which is school where I sit on the advisory board. On top of all of that, he was currently attending UMass Dartmouth which is where I went to school, and was living in the dorm building right next to the building I lived in for two years.  I spent a lot of time visiting friends in Pine Dale so its very possible I’ve spent time in the same room he was living in.  This was all just a little too close to home.  Did this really happen or was it just a movie and some big dream I’m going to wake up from?

I could probably talk for hours about what the people of Boston endured last week but I’d like to move forward and allow the week from hell to make its place in the past.  I’d like to take a deep breath and try to think about happier things like the sunny weekend we had full of fun with friends, golf, running a 5 mile race & lots of good eats.

Let’s talk about this shepherds pie, shall we?


I had some reservations naming this “shepherds pie” since it conjures up memories of mounds of disgusting grey “beef” and fake mashed potatoes they used to serve at the school cafeteria.  This is NOTHING like that.  It’s a blend of spiced grass-fed beef, fresh sautéed vegetables topped with creamy sweet potatoes and salsa.  See? NOTHING like the shepherd’s pie of your past.

Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie

I added a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese and milk to the sweet potatoes in this one but if you took that out, this dish would be paleo, and actually pretty healthy despite the amazing decadent flavors.  This is a great one if you’re looking to feed quite a few mouths for not much money.  Just a pound of ground beef, a few sweet potatoes and vegetables and you’ve got yourself a meal that serves 6-8.

Here’s to hoping we are starting a MUCH better week!

Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherd Pie

Serves 6-8
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 3 Large sweet potatoes (peeled & diced)
  • 1lb grass fed ground beef
  • 2 Large bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange) (diced)
  • 1 Medium onion (diced)
  • 4oz fire roasted green chilis
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Steam sweet potatoes in a steamer basket until soft or wrap whole potatoes in a paper towel and microwave each for 5-6 minutes until soft.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray lightly with olive oil. Add ground beef and cook until cooked through and nicely browned. Season well with salt & pepper. Transfer cooked beef to a bowl and set aside.
4. Add the onions and peppers to the skillet and cook for 5-10 minutes until nicely browned. Add beef, tomatoes, green chilis, garlic powder, chili powder & smoked paprika and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, mash sweet potatoes with milk, salsa and cheese. Season with salt & pepper.
6. Pour the meat mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. Spread sweet potato mixture on top.
7. Bake for 20 minutes and then finish off by broiling for 5-10 minutes until top is nicely browned.



9 Responses to Mexican Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

  1. So glad it’s all over. Glad to hear you’re all ok.

  2. lindsay says:

    I dislike shepherd’s pie and this looks nothing like it. I absolutely love sweet potatoes and mexican food. I’m going to have to try mixing the two by making this recipe. Looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I live no where near Boston, so I can only imagine the relief you are all feeling right now that it’s over. I had just arrived to the gym Friday morning about 4:30am and we all stared in utter disbelief at the TV’s at what was going on.

  4. lindsay says:

    Just wanted to say that I finally got around to making this and it was absolutely delish!!! Thanks for a great recipe.

  5. Marry says:

    I too just made this, delish! I added a carton of black beans at the last minute on a whim and it worked well. Love how easy it was to make too. Thanks for the recipe.

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