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French Onion Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

In this healthier version of a traditional recipe, I punch up the flavor of turkey with caramelized onions and brandy, cut saturated fat with heart-healthy canola oil, and save a few calories for a sprinkling of gooey cheese. Serve with a side of lemony green beans and everyone’s happy! —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2-1/4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or additional reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese


  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  • Drain potatoes. Mash with 1/4 cup broth and pepper; set aside and keep warm.
  • In a nonstick skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the flour, brandy, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and remaining broth and salt. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in peas and onion mixture.
  • Transfer to a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; spread with potato mixture. Bake, covered, at 375° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 360 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 803mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 37g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

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  • euge1
    Nov 17, 2014

    loved this recipe ...I added garlic turmeric and ginger and used a whole head of broccoli because my husband doesn't like peas

  • Katy728
    May 27, 2012

    This is a wonderful recipe. I have tried other shepherd's pies and have never found one as flavorable as this one. The Worchestershire sauce and stone-ground mustard gave is wonderful flavor as did the french onions. We love it and I will make it many times in the future. My son tropped in for dinner one night when we were having this and he couldn't get enough of it. Try it!

  • dfausnacht
    Mar 28, 2012

    I'm not a big fan of peas, so I substituted chopped frozen broccoli. The caramelized onions make this recipe really fantastic!

  • mjlouk
    Mar 25, 2012

    I thought my DH would love this b/c he is a real meat and potatoes type of guy, but he was not impressed. He thought it was bland and my kids wouldn't even try it. Disappointing b/c this took a fair amount of time to prepare.

  • mehalv
    Feb 12, 2012

    My husband and I loved this dish. I disagree with the reviewer stating that this dish was lacking flavor. In fact, I thought quite the contrary - that it indeed was VERY rich and flavorful. There are more seasonings beyond the broth. The caramelized onions add a rich, sweet flavor, the worcestershire sauce added an immense depth of flavor, and the grainy mustard also added a sharp tang to the dish. Aftering make the dish exactly as the recipe instructs, I absolutely loved this and would make it again. I totally respect playing around with recipes and making them your own, but I think it's difficult to rate a dish poorly when the main ingredients were totally different. Try this dish!

  • mweise
    Feb 5, 2012

    Just made this for dinner and my very picky family loved it. The flavor was wonderful and left us wishing for left-overs! This has been added to our make again list.

  • intlanne
    Feb 2, 2012

    I used meat from a whole chicken I had roasted rather than the ground turkey. Instead of beef broth I used giblet gravy made from the roast chicken. The gravy gave it a rich taste and overall the pie was very good. I gave it three stars though because I think with just broth it wouldn't have had as nice of a flavor and even so we thought the dish was a bit bland. I'll probably make it again with the gravy but I think I'll season it much more. Note, we like our food with a kick so this is just our preference; if you enjoy tasty but not very seasoned food then this'd probably have more stars from you.