Chicken Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

A comforting and satisfying take on the traditional Shepherd’s pie made with a combination of ground chicken and lentils instead of lamb for the filling.  This lightened up version of the traditional, hearty dish mixes turnips with potatoes for the topping uses olive oil and almond milk instead of butter and heavy cream and got the 100% taste-test approval from my Irish husband.

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie from Treble in the Kitchen

So there’s a bit of a story that goes along with this recipe.

Let’s rewind to last year St. Patrick’s Day when I whipped up a batch of delicious fish tacos with a homemade pineapple salsa.  Yes, I love holiday-themed meals and nodding to the cuisines of other cultures, but growing up my mom would make corned beef and cabbage on this Irish holiday and that dish has just never quite been my kind of thing.  So, I thought nothing of the yummy and fresh tacos, until my Irish husband wondered where the potatoes, meat and Irish stout were (oops!).

Of course we enjoyed the tacos, but he vowed to never let me “forget” to make some sort of an Irish something on St. Patrick’s Day.

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie from Treble in the Kitchen

This year, I was determined to make something very “meat and potatoes” without being too “meat and potatoes.”  What a challenge…right?

I based my recipe on Alton Brown’s traditional recipe because when it comes to tradition and flavor, Alton kind of rules.

Some of the tweaks I made were:

  • incorporating turnips in with the mashed potatoes on top for an added vitamin C boost
  • using olive oil and unsweetened original almond instead of butter and heavy cream
  • swapping the lamb for lean ground chicken and lentils (lentils are a great source of folate, fiber and a slew of other micronutrients)
  • adding in zucchini for more veggie power
  • I thickened it with a combination of almond and tapioca flour instead of traditional all-purpose wheat flour

While I clearly made several tweaks, the dish maintained it’s savory flavor profile in addition to the overall heartiness of the meal.

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie from Treble in the Kitchen

I’m really not sure WHY it took me so long to make a satisfying St. Patty’s Day meal that pleased both my palate along with my husband’s, but I’m so happy I finally did!

For those with dietary restrictions, this dish is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and mostly low FODMAP (watch out for the serving size on the lentils!).  It has tons of flavor thanks to the chives, coconut aminos, tomato paste, and rosemary.

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie from Treble in the Kitchen

I hope you enjoy my version of Shepherd’s Pie as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year! (You know that’s what we’ll be eating!)

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: low FODMAP, gluten free, grain free, dairy free
Cuisine: dinner, casserole, meal, St. Patrick's Day, holiday
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Topping:
  • ¾ lb russet potatoes (about 1 large potato or 2 medium sized)
  • ¾ lb turnips (about 1 large turnip)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced chives
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup zucchini, peeled and diced small
  • 1 celery rib, diced small
  • 11/2 cup cooked lentils*
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (I prefer homemade)
  • ½ lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca flour or starch
Instructions
  1. For the Potatoes: Peel the potatoes and turnips and cut into small cubes, about a ½ inch in size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover and bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat down to low. Allow the potatoes to boil until very tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the pan. Add the almond milk, olive oil, salt and pepper and mash until smooth in consistency. Stir in the egg yolk.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking: preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and get out a medium sized casserole dish (slightly larger than 8x8).
  3. For the Filling: Place 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the chives, carrot, celery, and zucchini and cook until fragrant. About 3-4 minutes. Add the ground chicken, salt and pepper and cook until browned, occasionally stirring. About 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1 cup vegetable stock, coconut aminos, rosemary, lentils and mix until combined. Sprinkle the almond flour and the tapioca starch over the filling and stir in thoroughly. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer this mixture for 10-12 minutes allowing it to thicken.
  4. Once the potatoes and filling are ready: Pour the chicken and lentil mixture into the baking dish and smooth so it evenly covers the bottom of the dish. Top the filling with the potato and turnip mixture and evenly smooth the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes prior to serving.
Notes
*May use store-bought cooked lentils, or make your own. To cook lentils, boil 1 part lentils with 4 parts water for 35 min or until soft, salt and pepper to taste.

Please note that ½ cup of canned lentils is low FODMAP. Please listen to your own body and eat the foods that make you feel the best.

Chicken Lentil Shepherd's Pie from Treble in the Kitchen

Question of the Day:

  • Do you make themed meals for specific holidays?
  • What Irish fare do you enjoy?

Comments

  1. I’m so lame and have never made shaperds pie!!
    I love that you used chicken (which I could eat!) and the lentils!! Perfect combo!

  2. What a great idea to mix in lentils with chicken and turnips with potatoes! Loving the sound of this “shepherd’s pie”!

  3. I’ve been craving some kind of shepherd’s pie like a mad woman lately. Love the idea of adding turnips! I’ve made a lentil version with mashed cauliflower before, but now that I’m back to eating meat I’ll have to try adding chicken to it!

    • Tara Deal Rochford says:

      You should totally try this out!! I think you would like it 🙂 (You could probably sub all lentils or all chicken if you prefer!)

  4. Erin Duffy says:

    Yum! That looks great, I would love to make this. I come from a very Irish family, so I can relate to the corned beef and cabbage tradition.

    My favorite Irish fare is a good irish coffee (with some jamison)!

  5. I’ve been making a vegan version of Shepherd’s Pie for St. Patrick’s Day for about six years! My mom makes corned beef and cabbage every year and I’m so excited to join her for dinner this year. Your recipe looks incredible. You can’t go wrong with Alton Brown 🙂

  6. That looks delish!

    Just an FYI, but it’s actually St. Paddy’s Day (or St. Patrick’s Day), not Patty! It’s because it’s short for Padraig, the Irish word for Patrick. The more you know 🙂

  7. I have actually never had Shepherd’s Pie, but your lightened up version looks soo good!!

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