I know this butternut squash shepherd’s pie isn’t a purist kind of classic shepherd’s pie recipe. But stay with me here. I think you’re going to love it.
If your family is like ours, you might not really care for butternut squash even though you know it’s one of those orange veggies that’s super good for you. (You can check out my article on the benefits of butternut squash if you don’t know this already).
I hear you. That’s why I’m always trying come up with new butternut squash recipes to incorporate it into meals. Spicy Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower is a favorite, as is this Dairy-free Butternut Squash Soup.
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The mashed thyme butternut squash topping on this shepherd’s pie, well, it’s so good. No, it isn’t that favorite comfort food mashed potatoes, but sour cream makes all the difference. It’s good enough to be added to our favorite autumn comfort food meals. You can even freeze it for another day, which is super helpful for those busy nights you just want to throw in the towel.
My secret weapon here is the Instant Pot but if you don’t have an IP, you can totally roast your butternut squash too. It would add such a nice nutty flavor to the topping. I do recommend getting an Instant Pot like this one as they are handy for a busy kitchen. Let’s get cooking, shall we?Print
Butternut Squash and Thyme Shepherd’s Pie
A tasty shepherd’s pie style meal with a meat and veggie filling topped by a mashed thyme and butternut squashed topping. Delicious! Think this recipe makes too much? Cut the recipe in half or make the whole thing in 2 dishes. It’s the perfect freezer meal to have on hand.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- 6–8 cups cubed raw butternut squash
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 1 large onion, diced (approx. 1.5 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lb. ground meat
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 TBS. cornstarch (optional)*
- Put 1 cup water in bottom of Instant Pot. Place steamer basket** in insert and add cubed butternut squash. Close and seal Instant Pot and set for manual high pressure 5 minutes. After cooking, do a natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes then release any remaining pressure.
- Mash cooked butternut squash with sour cream, salt, and thyme. Set aside until ready to assemble your dish.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic. Stir frequently. When onion is soft, add ground meat.
- Add cornstarch, oregano, salt, and pepper. Fry, stirring and breaking up meat into smaller pieces frequently. When meat is almost cooked through, add peas and corn. Continue to cook until meat is cooked through and vegetables are hot.
- At this point, if there is enough space in your pan for the topping, you can top it with the mashed butternut squash. Otherwise, transfer to a 9×13 dish. If you want to divide this into multiple meals, do so before topping.
- Cornstarch is an optional thickener but I recommend when freezing especially.
- If you don’t have a steamer basket, use a trivet. It just is a little messier to remove the squash. We just don’t want to keep all the water from cooking.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place on oiled cookie sheet face down. Roast at 400°F for 35-45 minutes, until soft.
- Amount of servings is approximate as it depends on individual appetites.
- Tip for freezing: line baking dish with foil. Assemble dish. Wrap and freeze. Once frozen, remove from dish and either wrap in freezer safe packaging or Food Saver. I remove the foil before freezing. To use, remove from wrapping while frozen and put in baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 1 hour, 10 minutes, until at least 165°F per food safety requirements.
- I have not tested this recipe to thaw before reheating yet but will update when I do.
Do you have any family favorite butternut squash recipes? Share them with us below!