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This healthy, hearty Sweet Potato Cottage Pie recipe makes the perfect comforting family dinner. Make a double batch of this British classic for the double win – one for now, one for the freezer!
These kinds of family classic dishes will always stand the test of time for the number of boxes they tick, without fail.
This Sweet Potato Cottage Pie is another family crowd pleaser that’s not just healthy and delicious, it’s convenient too.
I love love LOVE it when a dinner can be prepped in advance, makes a spare for the freezer AND squeezes in a pile of extra vegetables. Top it with melted cheese and everyone is winning.
Why you’ll love this Sweet Potato Cottage Pie recipe
⭐️ The ideal batch cook healthy dinner
⭐️ Full of flavour and comforting
⭐️ Packed with veggies
How we came up with this recipe
I wanted to make a version of this traditional British favourite that kept everything that was great about it but also had a little twist and an extra dose of nutrition.
I love to make my cottage pies with sweet potato not only for the healthy benefits though. I think the sweetness alongside the richness of the beef mince base tastes simply divine.
I still use a bit of white potato in this recipe to help dry out the sweet potato mash a little, but feel free to only use one or the other.
This recipe makes enough for 8 people, so you can use it to make one for this evening and another for the freezer for another day.
Of course, if you don’t want to do this you can either halve it or make one huge one!
Cottage Pie vs Shepherd’s Pie
Do you have this debate a lot in your house? I feel maybe it’s a universal conversation in homes?!
They’re similar dishes but a Shepherd’s Pie uses minced lamb (hence the name) and Cottage Pie is made with minced beef, with its name coming from its Victorian-era heritage as a low-cost meal that was popular for farm workers at the time.
Also, don’t worry if you get the name wrong, it’s easily done. They were both Shepherd’s Pie in our house growing up and my Mum can’t be wrong!
Sweet Potato Cottage Pie Ingredients
- Minced beef – I use about 10% fat for this but it’s personal choice
- Large onions – Fresh or pre-chopped frozen is fine. Or Soffrito (see notes)
- Carrots – Chopped finely
- Celery – This adds a savoury depth of flavour
- Garlic – Fresh or jarred is OK
- Fresh thyme – Just the leaves
- Plain flour – Substitute for cornflour to make gluten-free
- Red wine – See notes below
- Beef stock – From a cube is fine
- Tomato puree – Buy good quality if you can
- Worcestershire sauce – Or Henderson’s Relish
- Salt and pepper
- Sweet potatoes
- White potatoes – Go for something floury and fluffy in texture like King Edward or Maris Piper
- Cheddar cheese
How to make Sweet Potato Cottage Pie
1. Make your beef base with all of the sauce ingredients in a pan on the hob. This will take about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make up your mash. Add the meat and potatoes into a baking dish, sprinkle some cheese over and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.
- Red wine – If you prefer not to use red wine, just replace it with the same volume of beef stock.
- Vegetables – You can use anything you like in this, but any veggies that will stay intact (like root veg) while it’s cooking is ideal. Peas work well, as does swede, leeks or sweetcorn.
How to reheat Cottage Pie
Make ahead for the fridge Cook up to step 9 in the recipe below, cover well and you can keep this recipe in the fridge for 2 days. Then bake as normal.
Make ahead for the freezer Once your pie is assembled (step 9 in the recipe below) you can chill and then freeze for up to one month. When you are ready to use the pie, defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake as normal (step 10). It may take a little longer than normal to bake, as always, check it is piping hot inside before serving.
Cooked leftovers You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or oven before serving. You can also freeze cooked leftovers. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.
Hack: Frozen mixed vegetable base
You can replace the individual carrots, celery and onion ingredients for a frozen bag of ‘soffritto’, which comes already pre-chopped and all together in one bag. (I love this cheat for lots of recipes!)
It might be called ‘vegetable base mix’ or something similar in some supermarkets.
If you’re batch cooking this and you don’t want a pie dish out of action in the freezer, or you’re cooking a few batches, you can use foil trays with lids, like these ones from Amazon.
This lovely enamelware baking dish is what I use to cook the pies in. I swear by these!
Easy creamy mashed potato
To make life easier, use a ricer-style potato masher to get your mash just right. I think this one is brilliant and makes it so much easier.
You can have this on its own as a whole meal, or you could add some extras like onion gravy (with vegetable stock), steamed cabbage, broccoli or braised red cabbage.
It would be easier to follow the recipe for my Vegetarian Cottage Pie here, as this has been modified specifically for veggie ingredients. Enjoy!
Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.
Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).
Sweet Potato Cottage Pie
- 1 kg Minced beef, About 10% fat
- 200 g Onion, Peeled and chopped. About 2 large onions. See notes
- 300 g Carrots, Peeled and chopped
- 300 g Celery, Peeled and chopped
- 4 Cloves garlic, Peeled and crushed
- 10 g Fresh thyme, Leaves taken off of the stalks
- 4 tbsp Plain flour
- 250 ml Red wine, See notes
- 750 ml Beef stock
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp Tomato puree
- Salt and pepper
- 2 kg Sweet potatoes, Peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 500 g White potatoes, Peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 100 g Cheddar cheese, Grated
- Fry the beef mince in batches until brown all over. (You shouldn’t need any oil as fat will be released from the mince.) As it cooks, spoon it out into a dish.
- In the same pan, in the fat left in the pan, fry off the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme gently for about 10 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the meat back into the pan with the vegetables and stir in the flour and mix well so it's disbursed through.
- Pour in the red wine (if using) and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes.
- Add in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and plenty of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook gently over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes and white potatoes in a pan of boiling water for about 20 minutes until soft and tender.
- Drain and mash well.
- When the mince is cooked, transfer to one large or two smaller shallow dishes. Top with the mashed potatoes, sprinkle on the cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.