Bison and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Original recipe courtesy Cooking Matters by Share Our Strength, adapted with support from the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan

A hearty dish packed with lean ground bison and vitamin-rich sweet potatoes.

Bison and sweet potato shepherd's pie

Number of Servings: 6 servings

Calories per Serving: 300


  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground bison
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen/or canned peas or green beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Scrub potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Place in a 9x13-inch baking pan and bake until soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool while you make the filling.Bison Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, wash and slice mushrooms. Peel and chop onion and garlic. 
  4. While the sweet potatoes are cooling, in a large skillet over medium-high, cook bison, mushrooms and onion, crumbling the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink, about 20 minutes.
  5. In a colander, drain off liquid and return to pan. Add thyme and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in peas, salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Peel the cooled sweet potatoes and place in a medium bowl. Add milk, butter, cinnamon (if using), salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until smooth. Spread over the filling.
  7. Bake until hot and bubbling at the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cooking tips: 

  • Bison typically takes less time to cook than beef because it is leaner.
  • Turkey is another leaner alternative to ground beef that you can use in this recipe. 

Photo credit: Erin Biehl, MSU Extension