Sweet Potato Chicken Cottage Pie is a healthier version of one of the most popular British comfort foods - Ready in 30 min and veggie-loaded!
British Shepherd's pie or classic cottage pie is basically a meat pie topped with a crust of fluffy mashed potato.
As good as it is the traditional version, I've completely fallen in love with this healthier version.
Plus, it's awesomely gluten-free, in case you have dietary requirements you need to follow.
This heart-warming sweet potato cottage pie is super easy to put together.
It takes less than 30 minutes to make start to finish, and only requires a few simple ingredients such as:
- chicken breast
- sweet potato
- gluten-free flour
- vegetable stock
- fresh aromatic herbs
How to Make a Healthy Cottage Pie
Instead of using minced beef/lamb, I opted for lighter chicken breast bites, which add a great chunky texture to the mix (you can go for chicken mince too).
I used mushrooms and peas for the filling, however, feel free to use your favourite veggies. Don't like mushrooms & peas?
Opt for broccoli, carrots, green beans, or all three.
Don't fancy leeks? Switch for onions or shallots. Just use as many veggies as you like - the sky is the limit!
I added a creamy healthier white sauce into the filling, however, if you want to keep it more traditional, you can completely omit it.
For the lighten-up white sauce, I've opted for vegetable stock and just a tiny bit of milk (which you can omit completely if you want), instead of using just milk.
- Use turkey or chicken mince instead of chicken breast. Reduce the cooking time on the stove by 10 minutes.
- Add different veggies if you like: broccoli, corn, green beans, sweet potato chunks, they all work great.
What to serve it with
The best part about this classic comforting recipe is that it incorporates most of the typical items for a balanced meal into one dish!
The chicken, vegetables, and mashed sweet potatoes are combined to make a full-filling dish. With that said, I often like to add some extra veggies on the side, here are a few ideas:
- sauteed spinach/ broccoli/zucchini/pumpkin
- a simple colourful salad
- a comforting winter salad (this Winter Quinoa Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate and Pecans is a family favorite!)
How to store and reheat
To store your leftovers, transfer them in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then transfer them into an oven-friendly dish, cover with foil and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Alternatively, leave it in the pan and simply cover with foil and store in the fridge until needed- this makes reheating the dish so much easier.
Keep the pie covered with foil and warm it up in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it’s heated all the way through.
This pie also freezes beautifully after baking it, simply transfer your leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the freezer up to 1 month.
More British Recipes To Try
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment and/or a rating below, and share a picture and tag @thepetitecook on Instagram! Reading your feedback and looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Sweet Potato Chicken Cottage Pie
For the filling:
- a glug of extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 150 g fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 1 leek, finely sliced
- ½ tablespoon homemade butter
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 1+½ tablespoon rice flour
- 100 ml semi-skimmed fresh milk, warmed
- 100 g frozen peas
- handful fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- sea salt and pepper
For the topping:
- 750 g sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon semi-skimmed fresh milk, warmed
- sea salt and pepper
- Heat the oven to 180C / 350F.
- Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Fold in chopped leek and mushrooms and cook until slightly soften, about 2-3 min. Add in the chicken breast chunks, and brown the meat for a further 2 min on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in butter and frozen peas, and sprinkle the flour all over the mixture. Gently pour in the stock while mixing, then pour the milk in too. Add thyme leaves, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 min, until the sauce has thickened and reaches a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the sauce cooks, steam the sweet potato chunks for about 10 min, until soften. Transfer into a large bowl, and mash with a potato masher, slowing incorporating the milk in. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the chicken filling is cooked through, transfer to an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and ruffle with a fork.
- Bake the sweet potato and chicken cottage pie for 10 mins, until slightly browned and crunchy on top ( you may also put it under the grill to brown if you like).
- Serve nicely hot straight from the oven.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Lucy Pryor says
Hi Andrea, what size dish did you use for this? I'm hoping to make it for a dinner party this weekend! I wanted an interesting way to serve chicken and sweet potato and this looks like the one!!
Hi Lucy, what a great idea! It's one of my absolutely favorite meals, hope you like it too 🙂 You can use an 18/20/22 cm baking pan or casserole pan for this!
Enjoyed your recipe for dinner tonight. Also had not thought of chicken for a Shepherd Pie.
My family enjoyed this and it will be a regular in my house. Thank you for sharing.
I'm SO SO happy to hear that!!
this looks so delicious! My husband hates mashrooms, so I never make Frittata’s which is a shame. Have you tried freezing this or something similar. I’m thinking for my breakfast or lunch, I could make ahead. Let me know, much appreciated!
Thank you! I think you were meant to say cottage pie? 🙂 I've freezed this before and it turned out well after reheating. Make sure you first cook the cottage pie, then instead of putting it back int he oven to get that nice crust, freeze it and simply put it back in the oven after defrosting, for 15 min. Hope it turns great and you convert your hubby into liking mushrooms 🙂
Derek | Dad With A Pan says
Cottage pie is my favorite, especially closer to St. Patty's day! I'll have to try it with sweet potatoes, that's a great twist!
Lynn | The Road to Honey says
Can you believe the only Shepherds Pie I have ever had was in Kenya. It was during a rhino research project I had hooked up with and was cooked by an African tribesman for the European scientists staying at the camp. How crazy is that? Anyhow, I'm loving your version with the sweet potato topping. Way tastier and way more attractive in my book.
I love Shepherd's Pie so I bet I would love this!!
Sarah James @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed says
Your cottage pie looks delicious, I love the idea of using sweet potato and chicken pieces instead of minced beef. I usually make a vegetarian cottage pie as I'm not keen on minced beef but now I can try your recipe for a change. Thanks for sharing.
Ticker Eats The World says
Big fan of cottage pies and this one really looks delicious and that too easy to make. And adding that healthy twist to it is always welcomed.
Marie-Pierre Breton says
I love this idea, it's somehow a nice healthy twist to a traditional dish... Although I'm sure in Germany shepherd's pie are so not typical. I ll make this for my german husby who loves sweet potato! Great dish!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
I have never made a cottage pie. We love meat pies, which this is .... but with potatoes instead of a traditional crust. This would make great leftovers for another delicious meal during the week. Perfect comfort food for the cold, winter season.
Aish Das-Padihari says
Thank you so much for providing a skinny version to a classic dish. Sometimes, I get scared to try some of my favorite recipes as they are loaded wit fat and carbs. This one looks amazing. Loved the pics as well.
I love the sweet potato topping on this - makes it so much more colourful and at the same time healthier than a traditional cottage pie!
I LOVE finding skinny versions of all my favorite foods and this recipe for skinny shepard's pie sounds so delish! What a great way to pack in more vitamins and nutrients with the sweet potato topping instead of the traditional mashed, love it! Thanks for a great recipe!
This really looks good, I gotta try it. My wife would love it! Thanks for sharing!
Awesome photos! This dish looks so pretty I wouldn't want to cut/scoop into it! 🙂
pebble soup says
I would have never thought of using chicken, this is a completely different spin. Interesting. Lovely, bright pictures as usual.
Thank you so much for your lovely feedback Solange, it made my day 🙂 I'm trying to eat less red meat these days, so I thought chicken could have been a great alternative for this cottage pie. Let me tell you, it was even better than the traditional version!
Sergio Campolo says
Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade says
You had me at sweet potato - I love them in any form and shape and nothing beats a good old cottage pie. Comfort food at its best 🙂
Kavey at Kavey Eats says
This is definitely my kind of cooking. I love chicken fillings for pies and even with pasta, and I know I'd love it with a sweet potato topping like this.
Heidi Roberts says
This recipe looks divine - I love sweet potatoes, will need to try it soon.
Thank you so much Heidi!