Persian Shepard’s Pie – Tahdig as a One Pot Meal!

Spanish Rice with Chicken Tahdig
Spanish Rice with Chicken Tahdig

It’s been a few months since I discovered tahdig and I’ve played with the recipe many times since then. I promised you a Persian Shepard’s Pie recipe with Tahdig.

I’ve discovered a few things along the way. Here I’ll show you a few variations that I’ve made but you should set your imagination free! This is really a process and not a heavily regimented set of rules.

Rice and Other Starches

Rice Shell for Tahdig
Rice Shell for Tahdig

Using all rice, even brown rice is too starchy for me. So I’ve successfully used all brown rice and half rice/half quinoa.

The version I like the best uses a thin layer of cooked rice pressed into the bottom of the pan to give you the crispy layer on the finished tahdig. Then you can fill the center with whatever you like. It’s a leftover repurposer with a crispy rice shell! I like to use cooked quinoa mixed with roasted vegetables and cooked protein.

Don’t feel like you have to stay true to the recipe’s persian heritage. My favorite so far was a take off on Spanish rice stuffed with cooked chicken. Top with guacamole when ever possible. 🙂

Hint: Sprinkle a little lemon or lime juice over your rice for a zesty kick!

Shellfish Warning

Warning: Cooking the shrimp with the tahdig is very bad!
Warning: Cooking the shrimp with the tahdig is very bad!

Do not cook shrimp and other shellfish in the tahdig the whole time. It will over cook and you can reuse it as a rubber ball! You can add it at the very end and let it steam for 5 minutes or cook it separately and serve it on top of the tahdig.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Persian Shepard's Pie - GF, CF, DF
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A one-pot meal that's impressive enough for guests and a great use up for leftovers!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Persian fusion
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup cooked rice for crispy layer
  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa for center
  • 2 cups cooked protein (not seafood)
  • 2 cups cooked vegetables
  1. Form the thin crispy rice layer: Heat a deep 8-inch cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over low heat for a few minutes. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan. Spread the rice in a thin layer evenly over the bottom of the pan, and pack it down tightly with an offset spatula or large wooden spoon. Sprinkle the sea salt over the rice.
  2. Mix your cooked quinoa, protein and vegetables and spread them evenly over the pressed rice.
  3. Cook the tahdig: Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the rice for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to very low and place a clean dish towel under the lid to catch condensation, and cover the pan tightly. Don't let the towel near the burner. I used a rubber band to contain the four corners of the towel on top of the lid. If you have a heat difuser, put it between the burner and the bottom of the skillet to disperse the cooking heat. Cook for 50 minutes.
  4. Serve tahdig: Carefully lift the lid from the pan. There will be condensation trapped under the lid, so avoid tilting it over the rice. Loosen the sides of the tahdig with a spatula and flip it onto a plate. Garnish with parsley and/or tomato onion jam.
If you want to cook seafood in the tahdig, I would add it in the last 5 minutes and let it steam. It would probably be better to cook it separately and serve with the tahdig.


Black bean, onion, cooked quinoa, and shrimp
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23 Responses to Persian Shepard’s Pie – Tahdig as a One Pot Meal!

  1. I’ve tried the British version of shepherds’ pie before, but never the Persian version! This kind sounds really interesting and is definitely something I plan on making soon!

  2. I would have never thought to make any kind of shepard’s pie with shrimp. I still haven’t ever eaten quinoa so not even sure I like it or not. Thanks for sharing on the #yuckstopshere link party. Please come share with us again next week.

  3. Mary says:

    My grandparents make THE BEST shepherds pie, and I love it. This is definitely a unique version of the dish, I wonder how it would compare. Thanks for getting the gears turning on different ways to make shepherds pie by sharing at DDT!

  4. Anita says:

    Thanks for linking up at Rhinestone Beagle! Come by and check out our “wanted” post, from sept 10th, for crafters like you to participate in out annual Howl-oween Craftathon. We’d love to have you join in.

  5. Kelsey says:

    I had never heard of a persian version of shepards pie! How clever, thank you for sharing.

  6. How delectable!
    Thank you for sharing this healthy and delicious Persian Shepherd’s Pie recipe at
    the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I appreciate it!

  7. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. Great flavor combos!!! Thanks for linking up to Gluten Free & DIY Tuesdays. I hope to have you back again next week.

  8. Marla says:

    Looks great and has such healthy ingredients. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

  9. That looks like a delicious meal. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

  10. Michelle says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this because I’m such a potato lover, but a shepherd’s pie with a crispy rice layer sounds very appealing!
    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Miz Helen says:

    What a great dish, this will be very flavorful! Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. Jill says:

    This sounds really yummy!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  13. mummytries says:

    This looks really interesting and tasty 🙂 #recipeoftheweek

  14. Alison says:

    I would never have thought of using shrimp. It looks really tasty

  15. yum! I love recipes that are more process than exact. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Simple Lives Thursday; we hope to see you again this week!

  16. Diane Balch says:

    I am just starting to learn about Persian cooking and have yet to make tahdig. Pinned your recipe. Thanks for bringing this by Weekend Bites.

  17. Thanks for sharing this at Healthy Vegan Fridays! A new spin on shepherd’s pie =)
    I have pinned this recipe to our Pinterest Board.

  18. Stephanie says:

    This looks so delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  19. I have never heard of tahdig, but I think my family would love it. Thanks for linking up at Simple Meals Friday! I’m definitely pinning this one!

  20. And a one pot meal! Love it. Thanks for sharing at the party. Theresa @DearCreatives

  21. Raia says:

    Sounds delicious, Jillian! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Savoring Saturdays, I hope you’ll come back this weekend!

  22. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share this week! Its LIVE!

    Cindy from

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