Try my Tuscan Chicken Shepherd’s Pie and enjoy the consummate comfort food with a healthy spin. Ready in 30 minutes, it’s made leaner and heartier with chicken (and a special ingredient) — the meat lovers in your life will never miss the beef. Trust me, my midwestern meat and potatoes man gobbled this shepherd’s pie with chicken up like it was a big fat steak!
Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
Traditional shepherd’s pie recipes will call for ground beef, vegetables, and potatoes.
And while I love me some classic family-style food, I wanted to update this dish and make it a tad bit lighter.
Introducing, my Tuscan chicken shepherd’s pie recipe!
I’m using ground chicken instead of beef, and I also put an Italian spin on things by adding tender white beans, Italian parsley, and cheeses.
That secret ingredient I mentioned?
Well, there are technically a few! Cream cheese and sour cream add so much texture and flavor to the mix… the whole family will ask for seconds!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground Chicken – Opt for lean ground chicken for Tuscan chicken shepherd’s pie! You could also sub in ground turkey instead.
- Potatoes – Russet become light and fluffy when cooked. Your potatoes will form most of the top layer of your shepherd’s pie with chicken, and these work perfectly.
That said, if you don’t want to run out to the store, you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Vegetables – I like to use corn, but you could also incorporate peas, celery, or carrots.
- White Beans – Go for the canned stuff as it’s easiest! Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.
- All-Purpose Flour – You’ll create a quick gravy made with flour, butter, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning. The flour will thicken it!
- Sour Cream and Cream Cheese – Tangy, creamy, and rich, sour cream will make your ground chicken shepherd’s pie stand out.
It works great in mashed potatoes — and in the potato layer of this casserole! The same goes for the cream cheese.
- Italian Cheese Blend – To add even more Tuscan flavor to the mix, I’m using an Italian cheese blend that features mozzarella, provolone, asiago, and Parmesan.
Tips for Making Shepherd’s Pie with Chicken
- Adding flavor to the chicken.
I cook the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil before adding the ground chicken to the pan with some salt and pepper, but you can definitely feel free to add more seasonings.
For an extra burst of Italian flavor, I suggest adding some oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme!
- The creamiest potato layer ever.
For a creamy and velvety texture, make sure to add the butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and milk to the potatoes before you mash them.
The results will be creamy, yet light and fluffy! It’s the perfect topping for this chicken shepherd’s pie recipe — and serves as a great base to be topped with cheese!
- Add in some extra veggies for a wholesome boost.
Traditional Tuscan chicken recipes are usually served with zucchini, bell peppers, and/or spinach.
Make this ground chicken shepherd’s pie lean even more on the Italian side by using those along with the corn!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If you miraculously end up with leftovers (yes, this dish is that good!), store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 3 days.
You can reheat single servings of shepherd’s pie with chicken in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.
To use your oven, preheat it to 350°F and heat the chicken shepherd’s pie for about 10-20 minutes.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Medium Saucepan – Heats evenly and is easy to clean too.
- A large skillet with a lid – To help the chicken cook evenly, a wide skillet works best. Ideally it should be more than 12 inches in diameter.
- 9×13 Baking Dish – This set is one of my favorites! It comes with a lid for easy storage and is great for casseroles too.
Chicken Shepherd’s Pie Recipe FAQ
Absolutely! Whip up a batch of my crockpot shredded chicken to use in this recipe and others throughout your work week.
It will give your chicken shepherd’s pie a juicier and more tender consistency — warm it up in the pan with garlic, onion, and any other spices, just as you would with ground chicken.
If you end up with super messy results and your ground chicken shepherd’s pie is too runny, you likely didn’t add enough flour to the gravy.
Follow the recipe instructions as written and you won’t run into this problem.
Want an even heartier meal? Adding in some lentils or even oats will make it more filling.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy Skillet Recipes
Tuscan Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 pound lean ground chicken
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 3 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper, divided
- 14.5 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cup frozen corn, or vegetable of your choice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 8 ounces Italian blend cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- Peel and cut potatoes into ½” pieces, place in a saucepan with enough water to cover potatoes and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cover and place on high heat and allow to boil.
- While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil in it. Add chicken and stir. Grate onion and add to pan. Stir to combine. Using a garlic press, mince garlic and add to pan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, stir to combine.
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat whisk 2 Tbsp butter and flour and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and poultry seasoning. Whisk to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Add corn and beans to chicken mixture, pour gravy on top. Stir to combine.
- Drain potatoes, add 2 Tbsp butter, cream cheese, sour cream, ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper to pan and pour potatoes on top. Mash and combine with potato masher. Add ½ of cheese, stir to combine.
- Spread mashed potatoes over top of the chicken mixture. Spread evenly to edges of pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Place pan in oven under broiler until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. 1-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on cheese.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, serve and enjoy.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally Published October 2012, updated and republished December 2023
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