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Shepherds pie… is it British or Irish? My mom insists Irish, I thought it was British.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

I did a quick Google search on the topic which mostly pointed towards a British/Scottish origin. Seems the true origin dates back to the Scottish countryside in the 1700’s where the dish was made mostly by the poor from leftover lamb meat combined with gravy and mashed potatoes. It was originally called “cottage pie”. Shepherds pie didn’t come about for another 100 years or so when the Brits, who’d taken a liking to the pie but also added some veggies, favored the word shepherds over cottage. Apparently the word cottage was a term associated mostly with the poor. Since rich folks enjoyed the pie as well, “shepherds pie” came to be the term more widely used.

At some point the Irish did catch wind of this tasty little pie. They have been claiming it as their own ever since!

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

  Do you think the British like Mexican food? Oh my gosh, I hope so.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

I hope I am not offending them by turning their classic Shepherds Pie into a hard-core Mexican dish.

You see it just sort of happened one day when I had some chorizo and sweet potatoes on hand.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

I mean why not?

I’ve made sweet potato chorizo tacos that were tasty, so I figured this was sure to be good as well.


I hoped. I prayed.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Yes. SO Good.

Spicy Mexican chorizo, with the cheesy, creamy sweet potatoes… it works! Topped off with diced avocado and a heavy sprinkle of cotija cheese, it is British food turned Mexican. So so good.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Oh and FYI – yesterday, I think I dropped and broke four bowls.

No, not I think. I did. It was rough. None of my shots worked either. Nothing seemed to go my way, which is why today’s post is short and sweet!

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Mini Sweet Potato Cheddar and Chorizo Sheperds Pies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 1117 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Using a fork prick the sweet potatoes all over and place in the oven. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Remove from the oven and add to a large bowl, if desired peel away the skins (I left most of the skin on mine). Add the butter and milk and mash mash mash until they’re, well mashed! Add the chipotle chili, cinnamon, honey,cheddar cheese and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mash some more and get it super creamy.
  • In the meantime heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften, 4 minutes. Add the chorizo and brown the meat all over, breaking it up as you go. Add the red pepper, orange pepper, carrots and jalapeno. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and begin to caramelize. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste, cook another 5 minutes and then stir in the spinach, black beans and cilantro. Cook another minute or so and then remove from the heat.
  • Then divide the chorizo filling evenly among 4 ramekins. Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes on top of each pie. Arrange them on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, diced avocado + crumbled cotija. Serve!
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Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Feeling like tomorrow is going to be sweeter though.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was awesome! I feel like this recipe deserves some love from 2020. It’s a great fall dinner. Just a few tweaks of my own to make it work for tonight: I added some fresh shaved sweet corn, removed one of the bell peppers, and used a 9 inch glass pie dish instead of individual ramekins. I added the cotija cheese before baking so that it’d be nice and melty when it came out. My husband loved this so much. Thanks!!

  2. Made this for dinner tonight, topping it with the shredded cheese rather than mixing that in with the potatoes, and ate it with sour cream and Cholula hot sauce on top. SO VERY GOOD. My husband got seconds and declared it the best thing he’s eaten in a long time. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  3. I made this for a friendsgiving yesterday. Huge hit! Ended up being a lot more complex flavors than when I first glance, but everything went together really well!

    I made a double batch and put the whole thing in a large pyrex (8×11?). I ended up having more meat than potatoes, so I might adjust the proportions next time.

    Also, it ended up quite spicy! I liked that a lot, but I might not double the chipotle pepper next time when bringing for a big group.

    Overall, delicious!

    1. So happy you loved this and it was a hit!! We like spicy around here, but I realize not everyone does. So reducing the chipotle peppers is probably a good idea for a big group.

      Thanks so much, John!!

        1. Hey Kristy,
          Sorry I am not sure where you are reading the “1 in”, but you will want to use 1 red pepper, 1 orange pepper, and 1 jalapeño. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night!! We love shepherds pie around here, and your version sounds awesome!!

  5. As a Brit, I’d like to say the following – YES we love Mexican food (and fusion cooking in general), though thinking this statement through I can’t think of any big brand Mexican restaurants here, but in every supermarket you’re sure to find taco/fajita/enchilada kits and ingredients. Also, I have to say you’re a genius! My boyfriend isn’t a fan of white mashed potato, but he loves sweet potato, so this might just be a way to get him to like one of my all-time-favourite dishes 😀
    On the subject of the name, I’m not sure of the origins, but now in England Shepards’ and Cottage Pies signify two different dishes – Shepards’ Pie is made with minced lamb, and Cottage Pie with minced beef – just a head’s up if you’re ever in the UK 🙂

  6. This is OMYGOSH amazing!!! I wish I had this in front of me right now and it was waiting for me at dinner time!

  7. Ugh. Your food makes me crave everything but what is what dinner that night! Can’t wait to make this!