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Italian Style Skillet Pie

Italian Style Skillet Pie is a little twist to your traditional shepherd's pie, lightened up a bit with the use of turkey sausage, and mashed cauliflower. From www.bobbiskozykitchen.com

The other day I was watching Symon’s Suppers on The Cooking Channel. I adore Michael Symon! I love his sense of humor, his talent, how energetic he is…. 
WOW am I gushing? 
Ya, I think he is kinda sexy too, but that might just be a foodie thing.
Anyway, I love watching his show. I am always finding things I want to make as soon as possible. He always seems to mix up flavors and give you little surprises here and there. When I saw this dish on his show I liked the sound of it. I had made the potato/cauliflower mash he used for the topping of the pie before and loved it.  
I also loved that it was a “One Pot” meal so I wouldn’t have a ton of dishes to do after dinner. Also, it is a bit of a twist on Shepherd’s Pie, which is a favorite here.

Italian Style Skillet Pie is a little twist to your traditional shepherd's pie, lightened up a bit with the use of turkey sausage, and mashed cauliflower. From www.bobbiskozykitchen.com
St Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal around here . Being Irish and Scottish, it has always seemed like “my” holiday. Nevermind the fact that is a great excuse to get together, sing, dance, eat great food, and drink green beer 
No wait, I will pass on the green beer, but if you want to buy me a Guinness and a shot of Jamesons or Bushmills I won’t argue with you.
I use to go to a little restaurant bar, when I lived in San Diego, called McDini’s Baja .I know, Mexican/Irish seems like a strange mix, but it was super popular in So Cal. 
St Patrick’s Day was a big ol’ deal there (Duh right?), and we were always there for it. My kids even grew up going there, and my daughter loved the traditional Irish bands they would bring in during the day for the lunch crowd. We would get all decked out in our green, and she would dance around. It was so damn cute! WOW I miss her being little sometimes 
Anywho, I have been trying to lighten things up a bit where I can. In this dish I did it by using turkey sausage in place of ground beef. 
The potato/cauliflower mashed topping already did that for me, but if you wanted to sub all cauliflower for the mix of potato and cauliflower you could and that would save more carbs for you. I do use butter in this but you just can’t sub anything else in my mind.
It was a fun dish to make for me. I was kind of winging it a bit and when it came out so good, and got Kevin’s stamp of approval, I was a happy camper. 
He even took it for lunch the next day and I ate the last of it yesterday for lunch, so no waste with this meal at all! 
It is now on our dinner rotation, and we look forward to it every time I make it.
Italian Style Skillet Pie is a little twist to your traditional shepherd's pie, lightened up a bit with the use of turkey sausage, and mashed cauliflower. From www.bobbiskozykitchen.com

Italian Style Skillet Pie

Bobbi Burleson
Italian Style Skillet Pie

A little twist to your traditional shepherd’s pie, lightened up a bit with the use of mashed cauliflower.


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 head cauliflower, core removed and quartered
  • 1 cup chopped celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (some reserved for topping if wanted)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons room temperature butter

Equipment Used


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potatoes, cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Pour the olive oil into a preheated 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then turn and caramelize the other side.
  4. When the sausage is caramelized, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the celery, celery leaves and onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and stir in the parsley. Add a red wine. Remove from the heat and set aside. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  5. When the potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and mash well. Stir in the Parmesan and butter until thoroughly combined.
  6. Spread the potato mixture over the beef mixture in the pan, and smooth the top to seal in the sausage mixture.
  7. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
Total time: 40 mins.
Tags: cauliflower, italian sausage, Main Dishes, potato, St Patrick’s Day, Shepherd’s Pie,

Adapted from Michael Symon’s Cast-Iron Ground Beef Pie

Nutritional info via CalorieCount.com

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  1. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Prepared as written except I omitted the red pepper flakes as I used hot Italian sausage which were already quite spicy. Good recipe and good site Bobbi.

  2. Fantastic!!! I wish I could find spicy turkey sausage here. Thanks so much for letting me know, I love to hear what people think of my recipes!!

  3. Hi Bobbi, I was reading over this recipe and could not figure out the beef part in the instructions. Could you please help me. I want to make this soon. It looks so delicious!

  4. Hi Sharon :)With the meat you are just trying to get a good caramelization on it, so pressing it flat into the pan you let is sear for about 5 minutes. Then turn the meat with a wide flat spatula trying to keep it in big pieces if possible. It will get broken up when you remove it from the pan but again you want to get the caramelization on the other side as well. I hope that helps!!

  5. Yum I have never heard of this take on a Shepherd's Pie before but it sounds incredibly delish and light all at the same time. Awesome! P.S. I'd go a Guinness any day haha 😀

  6. Everything about this sounds absolutely amazing!!! I can't wait to try this!

  7. Love this – one pot and great ingredients.

  8. I have never seen a dish quite like this. I am curious to try it out!

  9. Sounds super hearty and delicious! Love the cauliflower in there!

  10. This sounds amazing! I can't wait to try this maybe tomorrow!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  11. Aahhhh a girl after my own Guinness loving heart 🙂

  12. Yay!! I hope you love it as much as we do Sarah!

  13. Thanks so much Peter 🙂

  14. Thanks Jenn! We are all about the cauliflower mash lately 🙂

  15. Thanks! I hope you enjoy!!

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About Me

Welcome! It is so nice to meet you. My name is Bobbi. I am the Mom of 2 great kids, and Nana to a beautiful baby girl Kylee, and a handsome little devil named Torin. I share my life and home with my awesome partner Kevin, and 2 furbabies….

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