For good reason, this classic Irish holiday casserole has survived the test of time. In this adaptation, seasonal North Carolina sweet potatoes provide sweetness and depth, while the ground turkey — cooked with traditional peas and carrots — makes this a complete one pot meal, worthy of all the festivities!
-2 tablespoons butter, divided
-1 lb ground turkey
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-½ cup onion, chopped
-¼ cup parsley, stems and leaves separated and chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
-1 can peas and carrot, low-sodium
-1 cup water (plus additional for boiling potatoes)
-1 tablespoon flour
-1 teaspoon brown sugar
-2 dashes Tabasco (optional)
-½ cup shredded cheese, low-fat
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, add the cubed sweet potatoes and cover with water.
- Boil for 17-20 minutes, until cooked and fork tender.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep and cook the turkey. Start by adding 1 tablespoon of butter to a medium saute pan, over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, and parsley stems until the aromatics are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and break apart with a spoon.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165˚ F.
- While the turkey is cooking, in a small bowl whisk to combine 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Add this mixture to the turkey to thicken it, season with salt and black pepper and simmer for another two or three minutes.
- Rinse and drain the excess liquid from the can of peas and carrots and add them to the pan with the turkey.
- Turn off heat.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, brown sugar, Tabasco (if desired) and season with salt and pepper.
- Mash to combine, using a fork.
- In a casserole dish, add the turkey mixture then cover with the sweet potatoes.
- Cover with cheese and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted. Garnish with reserved parsley leaves.
Click here to learn more about the health benefits of sweet potatoes