Recipe: Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

September 28, 2012


Shepherd’s pie is a popular savory type of “pie” in the UK and Ireland. It’s quite simply ground lamb with veggies, with a “pie crust” of mashed potatoes. Except in this case, the paleo version uses mashed cauliflower. No lamb? No problem. Sub in ground beef. Only catch is, you then have to call it a “cottage pie”.

I’m on an elimination diet, and decided that Shepherd’s pie would fit the bill perfectly for breakfast. Of course, it would also be perfect for lunch or dinner, but something about a breakfast casserole appealed to me for first thing in the morning. It’s wonderfully comforting for the start of fall. And, it doesn’t contain anything that could potentially upset your gut (free of dairy, gluten, grains, eggs, nightshades, nuts, etc.). Oh, and of course, perhaps most importantly, it tastes delicious.

Ingredients: (6-8 servings)

  • 1.5lbs ground lamb (or beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 0.5 lbs. cremini mushrooms, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos (optional)
  • 2 heads cauliflower, steamed until very soft
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or butter or ghee)
  • coconut oil (or fat of choice)


1) Melt coconut oil in 2 large pans over medium heat (or can do one pan at a time).

2) Add onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic to one pan. Sauté until soft (approx. 10 minutes).

3) Add ground meat to other pan. Sautee until cooked through. (approx. 15 minutes).

4) Season ground meat with Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos (optional), salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

3. Combine meat with vegetables in medium rectangular Pyrex dish (11”x7.5”).

4. Pour the broth evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. In a food processor, puree the cauliflower with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Puree until the cauliflower mash is consistently smooth throughout.

6. Spread mashed cauliflower over the meat and vegetable base.

7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Shepherd's-pie-ground-lamb Shepherd's-Pie-Veggies
Shepherd's-Pie-Base Shepherd's-Pie-Baked

Shared with Healthy Home Economist

Leave a Comment


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Buttoni September 29, 2012 at 8:08 AM

This looks VERY nice! Lovely pic, too. One of my favorite memories of our 6-week tour of Britain was Shepherd’s Pie. Though we had it served more often with beef, the occasional B&B served it made with lamb. Me, I’m not so fond of lamb, but hubby adores it and waxes rhapsodic about the lamb shepherd’s pie we had over there. I’ve found a grass-fed beef/pork/lamb/goat supplier now in Texas that delivers right to my city, so I will definitely try this recipe for hubby one day. (‘ll just do my half in beef. :) )


[email protected] September 29, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Hehe, you must REALLY not be fond of lamb to bother making your half with beef :) I have a theory that a lot of preference is just based on exposure, so do try a nibble of your hubby’s – perhaps it’ll eventually grow on you. Interesting too that your experience was that they mostly serve it with beef over there. I eat so much beef that I jump at the chance to include lamb in a recipe – plus, I really enjoy the strong flavour. Let me know how it turns out!


AussieGirl October 8, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I will start by saying I have never left a comment on recipe ever…But this time I just had to say a big Thankyou!!!! I have just discovered Paleo and this was my second dinner/meal for myself, hubby and 4 children…..it was sooooooo good. I caught my 10 year old son licking his plate :) we all loved this and they said I must make this again but not tonight because they want to try another recipe!!!!! Thankyou, Thankyou it was lovely.


[email protected] October 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Aw, thank you, I’m SO glad to hear that you and your family loved it!! :) And especially the 10 year old – kids can be quite the food critics! And welcome to paleo, sounds like you’re doing awesome!


Andrea C October 14, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I chose this recipe after looking at other recipes online and only made one substitution – I used one head of cauliflower and 4 parnips. It was easy to make, directions were spot on. The verdict – this dish is problematic. It tastes SO damn good that you may end up eating the entire thing :) AMAZING!!!!


Andrea C October 14, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Oops – I made two subs. I used half extra lean ground beef and half ground lamb. Nom nom


[email protected] October 14, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Thanks for the lovely comment! Very happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)


Kelly May 5, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I made this tonight with a few tweaks on a whim & we all LOVED it!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!


[email protected] May 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Awesome, glad to hear it! :)


Raina Keefer August 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

How much of this can you make ahead?


[email protected] August 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I’d say all of it since it keeps well. Otherwise you could make the base in advance and do the cauliflower top the day of.


Anita February 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Hi there, love your recipes. Thought I would share this information with you. Ever since I read Nourishing Traditions from Sally Fallon, I understand more about ingredients, and when I did, I realized that MSG is in everything. From yogurts to most smoked salmons, and so on, anything that’s basically not made from scratch, beware. Oh yeah, my supposedly natural mayonnaise had it, “natural flavorings” was in the ingredients. When an ingredient isn’t clear, don’t buy it.

Worchestershire sauce has it too, I think I remember reading “spices” in it, and in the garbage it went.

MSG hides under 3 disguise terminologies (Spices, Hydrolyzed Protein, or Natural Flavourings)

Take care….


[email protected] February 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

MSG is indeed in a lot of foods. I try to stay clear of “natural flavors“, which isn’t always easy to do. And you’re right, my worcestershire sauce does have “spices” on it, which could really mean anything. I’m not quite so strict as to always avoid spices, but I would recommend people with autoimmune disorders or other illnesses to try to avoid them to the best of their abilities. Thanks for sharing! :)


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