Shepherd's pie has fantastic flavors and textures, and generally refers to a meat pie or casserole cooked in a sauce with vegetables, topped with mashed potato. To reduce carbs, this recipe replaces the traditional topping with a thick and fluffy cauliflower mash. While ground lamb is used for shepherd's pie, you may substitute with beef.
Mashed Cauliflower Layer:
- 1.5 pounds cauliflower florets (Note 2)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- shredded cheddar cheese
- olive oil
- chives or parsley
- Sauté: Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, crumbling with wooden spoon. Add diced celery, onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to pan. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer Meat Sauce: Add beef broth and tomato paste to same pan, stirring until paste dissolves. Reduce heat slightly and continue simmering until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. While simmering, start preparing mashed cauliflower in next step.
- Cook Cauliflower: Microwave cauliflower florets in large microwave-safe bowl until very tender, about 10 minutes. Spread out florets on paper towels to drain for 5 to 10 minutes, or until steaming subsides.
- Purée Cauliflower: Transfer cauliflower to food processor (Note 3). Add cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Purée until mixture has smooth consistency resembling mashed potatoes, pausing as needed to scrape down sides of food processor bowl.
- Assemble Casserole: Use slotted spoon (so that any grease is left behind) to transfer meat sauce to 8×8 inch baking dish (Note 4), evenly spreading along bottom of dish. Evenly spread mashed cauliflower over meat sauce. Use fork to roughen cauliflower surface. Optionally, top with shredded cheddar cheese and paprika, and lightly drizzle olive oil on top.
- Bake: Bake at 400 F until peaks of mashed cauliflower are browning, about 30 minutes. Optionally, garnish with chives or parsley. Casserole will be very hot; cool in baking dish, then slice and serve (Note 5).
|Makes 6 Servings|
|Amount Per Serving:|
|Calories 380 (66% from fat)|
|Total Fat 28g||43%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||64%|
|Net Carb 6.5g|
|Total Carb 10g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.5g||15%|
I usually don’t leave comments. But I’m here to say that this recipe is the exact balance of comfort, delicious, and healthy that I desperately search for on Pinterest. I will never make “normal” Shepard’s pie again. Thank you for your talent and our full bellies tonight!
I made this for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner and it was outstanding! Thanks for the great recipe – and the book suggestions too!
Fab recipe! I’ve also made this using cauliflower cheese as a topping (a UK ‘thing’) – basically cauli florets in a rich cheese sauce browned on top, instead of mashed cauli. Also mashed swede (rutabaga??) works well, but the meat base here is the real deal! Thanks also for making the point about a beef version being called cottage pie – I am sure that I’m not the only Brit who is applauding you right now!!
This recipe is delicious! I’ve made it 2x so far and I use ground lamb.
Thank you for such a delicious, easy and tasty low carb meal, the whole family licked their plates clean!!! Will be making this often 🙂
Do you think this is freezable?
It might. I haven’t tried freezing this, so unfortunately I can’t say for sure.
Made this recipe as written last night. I have to say, the meaty base was spot on delicious, so delicious that I found my husband eating it for breakfast with hash browns (he’s not Keto) this morning. The cauliflower topping, however, was a bit overpowered by the addition of the raw garlic. Next time I might gently saute the garlic to tame its powerful flavor, or try using a bit of garlic powder instead for a more subtle garlic-mash effect. Better yet, I might put the garlic in the meat mixture and leave it out of the cauliflower mash altogether…All-in-all…this one is a keeper…
Made this for my family of 5, everyone loved it! My husband and 13yr old son had multiple helpings! We didnt even miss the taters, and the beef mixture was delicious! The beef mixture would also make a great bolognese sauce! Will definitely make this again!
This is delicious!!!! We made it with mozzarella instead of cheddar since we had that on hand and we loved it. I used my Vitamix for the cauliflower topping and it was off the charts delish. Definitely making this again. Thanks!
Excellent flavor! We used the ground beef. Would definitely make again.
This casserole was absolutely delish! I used ground beef and swapped out the rosemary for basil. Hubby ate 1/2 the dish lol.
Absolutely loved this! A bit time consuming to prep but well worth it! I didn’t have beef broth on hand, subbed chicken broth and still delicious. Added some extra butter into the cauliflower mash for creamier consistency.
I made this for my keto friends, it was a hit. As me and my husband are not keto, I doubled the recipe and topped one with cauliflower mash and one with traditional mashed potatoes. And then I cooked it again…..and again.
This is a very good recipe. My husband even enjoyed it as well. So that was a win for me. LOL I will be definitely be making this again.
This is terrific! I make my own cauliflower rice by running uncooked cauliflower through the food processor and then freezing it (uncooked) in Zip’n Steam microwave bags.
I defrosted a couple of bags and then used a tea towel to squeeze the excess moisture out. Worked great!
I’m commenting because of the books… I just purchased The Deed of Paksennarrian, because if you liked the other two, this series must be great too! And also, I love the recipes. Have you read Patrick Rothfuss?
Funny you mention Patrick Rothfuss, I just finished his Kingkiller Chronicle books and greatly enjoyed them. Now, if only he would get around to publishing the rest of the series…
Hi I was just wondering if you can use frozen califlower rice instead of fresh?
🙋🏼♀️ I use frozen cauliflower rice. I vent the bag and stick in the microwave for 4mins and then let it stand once it’s done cooking. Works great!
Fantastic – again!! I’m slowly working my way through your recipes and can thank you enough for sharing them
Thank you Nicola!
Made this last night for an early St Paddy’s Day get together. It was so good!
I’ve been making this with ground Turkey and it’s a staple weeknight recipe. It’s so delicious. The cauliflower mash is perfect. You forget it’s not mashed potatoes.
Just want to share this little bit of information. Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb, hence the name Shepherd, someone who tends and rears sheep while Cottage Pie, is made with ground beef. That’s it. Some people are sticklers for the difference, but most people just call either version Shepherd’s Pie. Also Shepherd’s Pie originally comes from Scotland. Hope to try this recipe next week.
OMG best shepherds pie ever! The cauliflower mash was so delicious. Thank you.
Wonderful recipe, easy to make and even easier to devour. I ran out of celery so I finely diced zucchini and used that. Friends I had over didn’t know it was keto.
Thanks so much for the great recipe, and I really like the addition of books you recommended to go along with the meal. You take the experience to a whole other level!
Haha thanks Carol. Hope you get a chance to try out the recipe.