Mexican Shepherd's Pie with Black Beans and Yams

Ideal for cozy family suppers, this leftover-friendly, quick-to-prepare entree would be delicious served with a jcama-orange-radish salad with lime vinaigrette.

Mexican Shepherd's Pie with Black Beans and Yams
Servings: 4 to 6 Prep 25 mins Total Time 1 hr 20 mins


  • 2 yams (sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/8 tablespoons teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 10 grinds black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder, divided
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 4 - 6 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Make It

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Poke each yam all over with a knife, place in the microwave, and cook on high until very tender, about 13 minutes (this will depend on the strength of your microwave). When cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop out the flesh; transfer 2 1/2 cups to a medium-sized bowl (reserve any remainder for another use). Mash with a potato masher. While still hot, add the cheese, milk, butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 5 grinds pepper, and stir to mix well. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch, heavy saute pan (with high sides) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic, and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the beans, tomato paste, vinegar, honey, 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, and 5 grinds pepper. Cook, stirring to combine the ingredients well, for another 5 minutes. Set aside off the heat.

3. Grease a 2-quart rectangular glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add the bean mixture and spread evenly. Top with the yam mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon chili powder and 1/8 teaspoon cumin. Bake until hot and the edges of the yam mixture turn golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro, if using.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 495, Fat, total (g): 26, sat. fat (g): 14, carb. (g): 54, fiber (g): 11, sugar (g): 16, pro. (g): 18, sodium (mg): 1199, calcium (mg): 355, iron (mg): 4, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.