Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Shepherds Pie

Being of Irish/Scottish descent, the adjustment away from potatoes was a tough one! I used to make shepherd’s pie regularly every couple of weeks because it was easy and the kids loved it. When we first got rid of grains, potatoes, and sugars, I thought this was a recipe I would have to forget. Until a pregnancy induced craving prompted me to find a healthy alternative. I thought about using sweet potatoes, but then it dawned on me — cauliflower! I’d used this in place of mashed potatoes and rice before, so why not in this recipe? It was also a great way to sneak an extra vegetable in for the kids.

For those not familiar with it, shepherd’s/cottage pie is a meat and vegetable casserole with gravy, topped with mashed potato (or cauliflower), and baked in the oven. From my understanding, shepherd’s pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef or other meat. I’ve always used the terms interchangeably. This is an easy recipe to prepare ahead of time and heat up when you are ready to eat. The leftovers taste even better than the first night (unlike the potato version… I’ve never liked the texture of reheated potatoes).

Shepherds Pie
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4.5 from 8 votes

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Shepherd's pie with a cauliflower topping instead of the traditional potato topping to sneak in some extra vegetables.
Course Main
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 340kcal
Author Katie Wells



  • In a large skillet, cook the meat and onion until the meat is browned and cooked through.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the remaining spices and set aside.
  • Pour the frozen mixed veggies into the skillet and heat over low heat until warmed, removing from heat when done.
  • While the vegetables are heating, bring several cups of water in a large pot to a boil. 
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets and add it to the boiling water.
  • Cover and cook until soft enough to mash.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, drain the cauliflower, and add the butter, cream cheese, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Mash the cauliflower mixture with a hand blender to make it really smooth.
  • Return the browned meat and onions back to the skillet with the mixed veggies and mix in the egg.
  • Pour the meat/vegetable mixture into the bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
  • Spread the mashed cauliflower mixture over the top.
  • Bake at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes.
  • If using shredded cheese, sprinkle it over the top and bake 5 additional minutes until cheese is melted (optional).


If you like your shepherd's pie a little more "saucy" you can easily make a quick gravy with beef stock thickened with arrowroot.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 932mg | Potassium: 839mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 62.9% | Vitamin C: 119.6% | Calcium: 22.6% | Iron: 12.9%

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Now I just have to figure out a recipe for a good stout homebrew and I’ll be one happy Irish lass!

Ever made shepherds pie? How did it go?

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