The Minx: Coco-Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

TAGS: frugal friday, Coco-Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie, high protein, recipes, hannah johnson, meal, pumpkin, dinner, low carb, Nutrition

This recipe is one that I've been playing around with for the last few months. I've loved traditional Shepherd's Pie since I was a kid, but I got out of the habit of making it because it’s such a calorie and carb heavy meal. Very recently, however, I got the idea to omit the white potatoes and corn and to use a topping of sweet potatoes. That worked well, but something was still off...

My next idea was to use coconut milk instead of cream of mushroom soup.


This alteration increased the dimension of the savory/sweet flavor to ridiculous levels—to the point where my taste testers absolutely raved about it...but still, the total dish just wasn't perfect. Therefore, I finally hit upon using canned pumpkin for the topping instead of sweet potatoes. Nailed it.

SheperdsPie11Just in case y’all didn't know, check out the nutritional powerhouse that is pumpkin.

Pumpkin has nearly half the calories and carbs of sweet potatoes, plus twice the fiber. I've used it in everything from smoothies to pancakes to puddings. (Try it, and Send Me Your Creative Ideas For Pumpkin!)

The flavor of this is probably the best I've ever had—hands down—of any Shepherd's Pie. Plus, this recipe makes a full 9x13 pan for around $12. And every time I've made it, it’s gotten better and better. That's why this week Booby finally said, “I think it’s time to post it.”

So, without further ado, here is our “Frugal Friday” Recipe: Coco-Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie*Bonus: This recipe is also Gluten Free*



You Will Need:

  • 1 bunch celery
  • 10 large peeled carrots
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • Sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Let Me Draw You A Pie Chart:

First, wash and roughly chop your carrots, celery, and yellow onion. I like big chunks of veggies—this lets the vegetables stay crisp and adds plenty of texture. Next, in a large nonstick pan, brown your ground beef until it’s about medium-well (in other words, some pink is still visible) and drain it. We won’t be draining again and you don’t want your pie to be soupy, so be sure to drain the beef well.

Note: Add plenty of garlic salt here. Don’t be afraid of over-seasoning. This is going to contrast the sweetness of the coconut milk and pumpkin, and nothing else we’re adding will have salt in it. On second thought…I mean, use your common sense. We’re not making Salt Herring. You can always add salt later, but as for now, we want the meat to be well seasoned.

Now, add in your chopped veggies and pop a lid over everything, letting it sweat for about five minutes as the beef finishes cooking.


After three to five minutes the beef should be done and the veggies should still be very crisp. So add in your can of coconut milk and bring everything to a boil.


Quickly mix your two tablespoons of cornstarch with a dash of cold water.


Whisk it with a fork and pour it into your beef mix. Boiling activates the thickening properties of cornstarch, so let it boil for about a minute while you stir constantly. This will turn the coconut milk into a rich, gravy-like consistency.


Now it's time to spread your pie mix evenly into a 9x13 baking dish.


Top the goodness with your canned pumpkin. Just so you know, the easiest way to do this is by “Globbing.” Using a big spoon, drop big globs of pumpkin (evenly spaced) on your meat and veggie filling. Then, smear the globs together with the back of the spoon.

Finally, sprinkle just a bit of Parmesan cheese on top to balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin.


Now, unless you’re wasting time, the pie mix should still be piping hot. The only thing room temperature is the pumpkin topping, so we do NOT want to overcook the vegetables to the point that they get mushy. I recommend baking at:


For about:


Then, crack the oven door and broil the Parmesan cheese for an additional five minutes. Your finished product should be lightly crisped:


The end result: an ultra-low carb, high fiber, high protein meal that has plenty of satisfying good fat. The only problem you’ll run into is with portion control...Matt and I ate half of the pan as soon as it came out of the oven!


Anytime you see this, it means a kitchen job well done:


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