Beef + sweet potato cottage pies

The sweet potato topping in these cottage pies provides a more nutritious and lower-GI meal than the traditional potato topping. You can serve it in a large dish or in individual ramekins. Since there are three of us in our family, I divide the mixture between two ovenproof dishes so we have one for dinner and one to freeze for another meal.


1 tablespoon light olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling

1 onion, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

500g minced beef

2 tablespoons tomato paste

400g tin no-added-salt chopped tomatoes

235g (1½ cups) frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

700g sweet potato, peeled and diced

20g butter

60g (½ cup) grated cheddar cheese

  • Serves 4-6


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the beef. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until the beef has browned.

Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomato and 185 ml (¾ cup) water. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the peas and parsley.

Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in a saucepan of boiling water for 10–15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Mash until smooth, then stir through the butter.

Spoon the beef mixture into a 2 litre (8 cup) ovenproof dish (or two or more smaller dishes). Top with the sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese and a very light drizzle of oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

Tip: suitable for freezing

Baby’s serve: For a younger baby, blend together the cottage pie filling and topping (you may need to add a little water) to an appropriate consistency. For an older baby, chop up to a consistency that can be easily eaten with a spoon.

Toddler’s serve: Chop up a little as you would for an older baby or simply serve as is.