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This recipe is Shepherd’s Pie lightened up! No guilty feeling about going back for seconds on this one! Crowd pleaser! 

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes that really confuse people! They say, “There is no way this dish can be light!” oh but it is my friends… it is! By simply swapping the traditional heavy mashed potato topping for a light puree, you are taking huge strides towards healthy. I take it one more step by swapping the rich lamb meat for a very light and healthy 99% fat free ground turkey. These are easy, easy swaps that you can make not only in this dish, but many of your other favorites!

When I saw celery root at my favorite farmers market stand, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, I knew I had to try a faux mashed potato recipe with them! My go to is always a cauliflower puree, but I love the sharpness the celery root adds. The combination of the two is actually the closest I’ve gotten to the puree really tasting like actual potatoes! I don’t know the scientific chemistry behind it, but somehow these two come together with a little bit of garlic, to completely fool the biggest potato lovers out there! Use this celery root/cauliflower puree as a swap for a mashed potato side dish any time. It’s awesome!

Faux Shepherd’s Pie

Time: 1.5 hrs Serves: 4

-1 lb ground turkey

-1 onion, diced

-6 small (or 3 large) carrots, peeled and diced

-3 celery ribs, diced

-salt & pepper

-1/2 tbls red pepper flakes

-1/2 tbls garlic powder

-2 tbls unsalted butter

-4 tbls olive oil

-2 tbls all purpose flour

-2 cups of low-sodium chicken stock

-3 celery roots, peeled and diced into ½ in pieces

-1/2 cauliflower head, cut into florets

-3 garlic cloves, smashed

-1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


Melt the butter with 2 tbls of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the onions, a sprinkle of salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Cook until the onions are softened and translucent.

Add the carrots, cook for 3 minutes.

Add the celery, cook for another 2 minutes.

Remove the veggies, and set aside.


Meanwhile, in a medium saucepot, cover the cauliflower, celery root, and garlic cloves with ½ in of water.


Bring to a boil. Cook until the veggies are very soft. Drain. Return the veggies to pot, and blend with a hand blender. You can do this step in a stand blender as well. Blend until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste.


Up the heat on the Dutch oven to medium-high, add 2 tbls of olive oil. Add the ground turkey, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is browned.

Add the veggies back into the pot with the meat. Stir well to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes.


Add the flour, stir well to coat the veggies. Cook for 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

Slowly, add the chicken stock while stirring. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir often. Allow the “gravy” to thicken slightly.   About 7-8 minutes.


Add the mixture to a greased 9×9 baking dish. Level it out.

One spoonful at a time, gently layer the celery root/cauliflower puree on top of the turkey & veggie mixture. Make sure to do this evenly, so the puree will cover all of the mixture, and gently, so you can keep the layers separate.


Sprinkle the top with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Then crank the oven up to broil, and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the cheese layer is bubbly and beginning to brown.


Allow the “pie” to cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy! It’s SO good!