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Lightened Up Chicken Shepherd’s Pie



5 to 6 Servings

A calorie smart Shepherd’s Pie – great for people who are counting calories – this has all of the great stuff – 176 calories a serving! Loved doing this one on The Chew for January and all of those diet resolutions.

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Total Time: 2 hrs 15 mins


Cauliflower Potato Puree :

1 head garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

2 pounds cauliflower (leaves removed, cut into florets)

1 medium yukon gold potato (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 8-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (thawed, squeezed of any excess moisture)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Shepherd’s Pie Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground chicken (50% white meat, 50% dark meat)

1 yellow onion (peeled, small dice)

2 carrots (peeled, small dice)

3 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons rice flour

1 cup low sodium chicken stock

2 teaspoons Worcestershire

2 teaspoons thyme (leaves only, chopped)

1 teaspoon rosemary (leaves only, chopped)

1 cup frozen peas (thawed, drained)

1 8-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (thawed, squeezed of any excess moisture)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


For the Cauliflower Potato Puree:

Preheat the broiler.

Remove the papery skin off the garlic, then cut 1/4-inch off the top of each head. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the garlic, then wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place in the oven and roast until tender and caramelized, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves into a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic into a paste.

Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and potato pieces and cook until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 of the cooked cauliflower and potato mixture, along with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and pulse until smooth, adding more of the cooking liquid if necessary. Remove mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower and potato mixture.

To the smooth cauliflower-potato mixture, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sour cream, and spinach. If the puree is too thick, loosen with more of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

For the Shepherd’s Pie Filling:

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ground chicken, break up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Push the chicken to the side and add the onion and carrots to the pan, cooking until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomato paste, cooking for 1 minute. Sprinkle the rice flour over the filling mixture, stirring to coat. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow liquid to reduce until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas and spinach, cooking long enough to warm through, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove the mixture to a large baking dish. (TK – SIZE?)

Using a rubber spatula, spoon the cauliflower-potato puree on top of the filling, smoothing out with the spatula. Place in broiler and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly. Scoop and serve!

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