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Easy Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

The easiest one-pan recipe for chicken shepherd’s pie you’ll come across. A rich and hearty ground chicken filling is topped with time-saving premade mashed potatoes and baked to crispy golden brown perfection. Whether you’re new to shepherd’s pie or herding your flock in the English countryside, I think you’ll enjoy this Kinda Healthy spin.

Shepherd’s Pie with Chicken?

While traditional shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, and cottage pie is made with beef, you can toss tradition aside and use ground chicken if you need a red meat alternative. Sure, lamb has its own unique flavor, but I can hardly tell a difference once everything comes together. The longer bake time on the shepherd’s pie gives the meat filling a lot of time to develop rich and complex flavors that overshadow the meat selection.

ground chicken, mashed potatoes, and ingredients for chicken shepherd's pie

Meat aside, the rest of this chicken shepherd’s pie filling is pretty standard. A classic mirepoix of celery, onion, and carrots are cooked down with the ground chicken before adding flour, seasoning, and tomato paste to create the base for a thick meat sauce filling.

cooking ground chicken with onion, celery, carrot, tomato paste, flour, and spices

A combination of broth, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar is then added and reduced over the course of 10-15 minutes to completely soften the vegetables and concentrate flavors. If you’ve made a meat sauce of any kind, this process is essentially the same.

cooking down the shepherd's pie filling

If you’d rather use red wine instead of vinegar, that works fine. We just rarely have wine or cooking wine on hand, and I’ve found red wine vinegar works great for flavor development in dishes like my smoked pot roast. And as you might have learned from my Instant Pot vegetable beef soup, another great addition to a sauce like this is soy sauce. It adds that umami factor that we all know and love.

The Easy Shepherd’s Pie Crust Solution

Hey, you’re more than welcome to make your homemade healthy mashed potatoes, but the recipe calls for the fancy stuff—premade Bob Evans. If you’re comparing mashed potatoes nutrition info of other products, the Bob Evans potatoes have 150 calories, 3g of protein, 20g of carbs, and 7g of fat per 1/2 cup serving.

finished pie filling beside microwaved mashed potatoes

The 32 oz family size pack of mashed potatoes has around 3.25 cups, which is just the right amount for covering your chicken shepherd’s pie in a 12″ skillet. If you’re making your own, you’ll want to use the same amount of mashed potatoes.

assembled shepherd's pie before baking

Making shepherd’s pie in a skillet like this creates a very even ratio of crust to filling, which I quite like. If you prefer more filling to crust, you can reduce the amount of potatoes or double the filling portion.

My keto cottage pie recipe uses a smaller baking dish to get away with using only 2.25 cups of mashed potatoes (or frozen mashed cauliflower in its case). So if you’d like to reduce the amount of potatoes used or don’t have an oven safe skillet, that’s an option.

keto cottage pie in a smaller baking dish

You can also make low carb mashed potatoes out of tons of vegetables. Check out my low carb potatoes substitution guide for a look at how to make mashed faux potatoes in all kinds of ways.

As for the parmesan cheese on the crust, it helps with browning, especially in the center of the crust. It’s totally optional, though. I’ll also caution against using too much parmesan. That could lead to too much browning before your chicken shepherd’s pie has time to fully bake.

What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie

You’re likely making shepherd’s pie in the fall and winter months, so I say keep it seasonal. And if not seasonal, keep it light to balance out the richness of the meat pie.

Irish soda bread is also a great pairing for shepherd’s pie.

However you end up serving your ground chicken shepherd’s pie, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in a recipe review or comment below. And if you have a question about the recipe or anything else in this post, drop that in the comments as well. Enjoy!

Chicken Shepherd's Pie

Chicken Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A rich ground chicken and vegetable filling topped with a golden brown crust of premade mashed potatoes and parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Chicken (97/3)
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 large (3oz) Carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon (16g) Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup (30g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Tomato Paste
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves

For the Topping

  • 32 oz Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon (7g) Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (8g) Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Flip and push to one side of the skillet. Add the olive oil and onion, celery, and carrot. Stir everything together, breaking the chicken apart.
  2. Once fully cooked, add the flour, salt garlic powder, and pepper. Stir until no flour is visible. Add the tomato paste and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring up to a boil before reducing the heat to a medium-low simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat mixture thickens to resemble a gravy or meat sauce.
  4. Turn off the heat and set aside while you microwave the mashed potatoes. Add the potatoes on top of the meat mixture, followed by the grated parmesan. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over the top.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. For best results, let the pie cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: about 9.5 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 16gCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 26g

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Debbie

Thursday 14th of July 2022

I doubled the recipe and made this for two of my adult children so we all could have leftovers. I left out flour, tomato paste and all of step 3. I wanted this more like a New England Shepherds Pie but with chicken. I steamed green beans and carrots and put them over the chicken mixture then made homemade mashed potatoes and put them on top. I layered fresh shaved Parmesan cheese on top of potatoes. It was really good. My daughter wanted a little but then dug in for more. That was a huge compliment. Thank you.

Elizabeth

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Made a few alterations to the recipe, I didn't have any celery or large carrots so I added frozen mixed veggies. Also didn't have any parmesan cheese, so I ripped up some sliced American to put on top. Once the skillet was in the oven, I realized I forgot to add the tomato paste. But it turned out absolutely delicious! Definitely will be making this again!

Caitlin

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Made this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it! I used ground beef instead because it's what the store had ha. But this will definitely become a staple! Thanks!

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