Health & Wellness

Healthier Mini Shepherd

Shepherd’s pie is one of those dishes that feels like a hug. It’s comfort food at its finest, and it’s also one of those dishes that make you wonder how many calories you’re consuming in one sitting. This healthier version of shepherd’s pie uses squash puree instead of mashed potatoes. And the mini size helps keep overeating at bay.

Healthier Mini Shepherds Pies


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 12-ounce packages frozen winter squash puree, thawed
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


Position oven rack in upper third of oven. Preheat broiler. Place oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When heated, add onion to skillet; cook and stir for about 2 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add flour, beef, and tomato paste; reduce heat and cook and stir until beef is browned. Add broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broth has thickened to the consistency of gravy. Add spinach, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt; cook for about 1 minute, until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat; set aside. Gently press squash puree through a fine-mesh sieve to extract excess liquid. Transfer squash puree to a bowl. Add in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Evenly divide the meat mixture into four 10-ounce broiler-safe ramekins. Evenly divide the squash puree atop the meat mixture in each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes, until heated through and bubbling around the edges. Sprinkle with cheese and broil for about 3 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. SERVES 4