Indian shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping recipe

(36 ratings)

This Indian shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping is a spicy twist on a classic recipe. It may take a while to make but is definitely worth the wait

Indian Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 20 mins
Total Time1 hours 35 mins
Cost RangeCheap

This Indian shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping is inspired by our love of Indian spices, and makes a great family supper.

This is quite different from our traditional shepherd's pie, not only because it's topped with sweet potato but also because the meaty sauce is spiced up to make it much more exciting. The combination of chillies, curry powder and garam masala is lovely against the sweetness of the potatoes. We like to use a hot curry powder but that does give quite a kick to the pie, so we've left it up to you in the ingredients - go medium or mild if you prefer. 


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 long green chillies, deseeded and finely choppped
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500ml water

For the topping:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 tsp spiced salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish




  1. Make the filling. Add a little olive oil to a large frying pan and brown the mince for around 5 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. Wipe the pan clean and add a little oil. Gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until very soft, approx. 10 mins. Add the spices and salt and cook for a further 1 min.
  3. Return the mince to the pan and stir through. Add the tomatoes and stir through. Add a 400ml water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 mins until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  4. For the topping. Cook the sweet potato chunks in boiling water for around 10 mins, until very tender. Drain and return to the pan with a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.
  5. Spread the cooked filling out in a shallow baking dish, then spread the sweet potato mash over the top. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and bake the shepherd’s pie for around 20 mins, until piping hot and the topping has become dry and slightly crusty. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with wilted spinach.

Top tip for making Indian shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping

The spicy mince mixture can also be used to fill samosas, made with parcels of filo pastry.

How can I make the Indian shepherd's pie healthier?

Try using turkey mince for a healthier, lower-fat option or Quorn mince for a vegetarian option. This dish is perfect for the whole family and well worth the wait.

How do I stop the sweet potato mash sinking into the meat?

Make sure you allow the meat to cool before adding the topping, so that you get the best consistency to your pie.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.