{Recipe} Shepherd’s Trifle for #SundaySupper

It’s Sunday Supper time again, and today we’re playing with our food! Hiding veggies, making things look like something they’re not. If you’re a regular around these parts, you know I love tricksy food. Black bean cupcakes? Check. Almond flour pasta? Gotcha there. Cauliflower as cream sauce?Β Got that, too. We’ve got all kinds of cool things on the menu today, so make sure to check those out at the end of this post. In the meantime…


Trifle. Or is it Shepherd’s Pie? Trick question! It’s both!

Funny story…before I decided to work on this recipe, I had never had a Shepherd’s Pie. I guess I could still say I haven’t because this is just what I think Shepherd’s Pie would taste like. Shepherd’s Pie as it exists in my mind with all the colorful layers showing.


Ground meat simmered in a savory sauce. Vegetables roasted with rosemary and olive oil. All topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. I made a batch with truffle mashed potatoes, and if you can swing it, I totally recommend it. Just add a couple teaspoons of truffle paste to the mash, and you’ve got yourself a big bowl of fluffy heaven.


Anyway, back to this Shepherd’s Pie/ Trifle. I gotta admit my inspiration for putting ground meat into a “trifle” was Rachel Green’s Traditional English Trifle with lady fingers, jam, custard and beef sauteed with peas and carrots. I promise you that this version tastes nothing like feet, though. It tastes like awesome. Probably because I didn’t add the custard, lady fingers and jam. πŸ˜‰


5.0 from 1 reviews
Shepherd's Trifle
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A fun twist on the usual Shepherd's Pie
Serves: 4-6 servings
For the potatoes:
  • 1½ lb potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • 8 Tbs butter
For the vegetables:
  • 1 lb assorted root vegetables or squash
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs potato flour
  • 1 cup beef broth or red wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Peel vegetables and cut into half inch cubes.
  4. Peel and dice the onion.
  5. Roughly chop the rosemary.
  6. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.
  7. Bring to a boil over high heat then lower heat and keep at a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a fork.
  8. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
  9. Warm butter and half and half together in the microwave until the butter is melted.
  10. Use a potato masher or fork to break up and mash potatoes, pouring in the warm half and half mixture as you go. Mash to desired consistency.
  11. Spread the vegetable cubes out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on the rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and starting to brown on the edges.
  13. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat.
  14. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
  15. Add the ground beef and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up large chunks, for 5-10 minutes or until meat is almost cooked through. Drain off the fat.
  16. Stir in the thyme, tomato paste and butter, stirring until everything is well combined.
  17. Stir in the potato flour then pour in the broth or wine.
  18. Lower the heat and simmer on low 5-10 minutes or until meat is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.
  19. Divide meat between 4 to 6 individual trifle dishes. Add roasted root vegetables and top with mashed potatoes. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the potatoes if desired. Serve immediately.
  20. Alternatively, you can layer all components in the same order in a 9in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through and browned on top.

And just because this whole post is about playing with food, I have to share this final shot of the trifle…styled with a beautiful, full branch of rosemary sticking straight out of the mash courtesy of my two year old. πŸ˜› You can see it a bit better from the top view over on Instagram. πŸ˜‰


For more playful food, check out the rest of the Sunday Supper April Fools menu below! Shout out to T.R. of Gluten-Free Crumbley for being our awesome host this week!



Sides & Snacks



Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


You like tricksy food? Check these out!

Moist, crumbly, and delicious with no refined sugar or wheat. Gluten free chocolate cupcakes made with black beans!My favorite vegan mayo recipe using...tofu!Pasta made of almond flour? Tastes awesome and is just as easy to whip together as traditional homemade pasta. (gluten free, grain free)Thick, creamy and full of sweet, roasted garlic flavor, this cauliflower cream sauce would be perfect under mild fish or atop your favorite pasta. Bonus: It's super easy to prepare! Gluten free, grain free, vegetarian option.

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  1. These are not only cute but I LOVE the idea of adding beets to my shepherds pie! Totally doing that this week.
    Laura recently posted…Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I initially did if for the color. My family ended up loving it, so I’m been doing it that way to sneak an extra veggie in that they don’t normally eat. πŸ™‚

  2. I LOVE this recipe! I love how fun you made it look. I wonder if my picky eaters would try this……hm…..

    • One of my girls is fairly picky, and she ate this deconstructed but not piled up the way the rest of us did. Kids are funny that way. πŸ˜›

  3. I’ve never thought about a savory trifle! Beautiful!!!
    Liz recently posted…Strawberry Fool #SundaySupperMy Profile

  4. love this recipe! I’m a big Shepherd’s Pie fan, very creative way of preparing it.
    David @ CookingChat recently posted…Roasted Broccoli Dip #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. Cute idea for trifle! I would be happy to get this little surprise for dinner!

  6. Love that sprig of rosemary, I can smell it from here (rosemary is my favorite scent!) These trifles look great!
    Shaina recently posted…Boca Restaurant Review: Zinburger Wine & Burger BarMy Profile

    • I cracked up when my toddler showed me what she had done. She actually stole a couple sprigs of rosemary. One went to the trifle and the other she walked around smelling. You and she may be kindred spirits. πŸ™‚

  7. This is so cute, it’s elegant enough to serve for entertaining! I love it and I never would have thought of this presentation on my own!!! Stealing from you!!! <3
    Valerie Cathell Clark recently posted…Berry Smoothie Incognito for #SundaySupper April FoolsMy Profile

    • Steal away! This really would be a fun way to serve Shepherd’s Pie for a dinner party. πŸ™‚

  8. What a gorgeous presentation! I love all things shepherds pie and your ingredients are wicked!
    Sarah recently posted…Chocolate Cauliflower Cake – April Fools #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you! I think I need to try more versions of Shepherd’s Pie because my family really loves this one.

  9. I love your twist on this trifle style Shepard’s pie.
    Marlene @Nosh My Way recently posted…Chicken Pad Thai with Zoodles #SundaySupperMy Profile

  10. Very colorful! Wow!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted…Mud Pies April Fool’s #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. These are adorable and look SO tasty!
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere recently posted…Hot Cross BunsMy Profile

  12. I love love rosemary (so glad HOA plants lots of them just outside my home) and those veggies look so beautiful! Forget April Fools’, I take this any day.
    Linda | Brunch with Joy recently posted…Beer Jelly #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • That’s funny. Our old place had rosemary all over the property, too, but I never thought to grab some to cook with!

  13. So glad you referenced FRIENDS because that’s EXACTLY what I thought of as soon as I saw your picture. I guess you were supposed to put meat in this trifle. πŸ™‚ Looks great and sounds delicious.
    Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook recently posted…#SundaySupper: Easter/Passover LeftoversMy Profile

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