Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds Pie

I decided to try my hand at a low-carb version of this tasty British food that has now become an American staple as well.  My hubby is not so fond of mashed cauliflower, but even he admitted this was pretty darn good and said “Be sure to post this recipe on the blog!”  This meal is not suitable for Atkins Induction, but can be enjoyed once you reach the higher carb veggie rung of the Atkins OWL carb ladder where carrots reside.  This dish is perfectly OK for Primal-Paleo if coconut cream/milk is subbed in for the cream in the mashed cauliflower.sheppiesvg


1 lb. ground beef

6 oz. homemade pork breakfast sausage (or ground pork, or use all beef if you prefer)

2 medium carrots, diced

1 c. zucchini squash, diced

1 c. frozen green beans

2 oz. onion, chopped

Dash salt and black pepper

1 medium (6-7″ diameter) head cauliflower

4 T. butter or ghee

¼ c. heavy cream

Paprika to garnish (optional)

OPTIONAL:   ½ c. leftover beef gravy  (I save and freeze all leftover gravy)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Peel and dice the carrots.  Chop the zucchini into ½” dice.  You can substitute diced turnips for the zucchini if you prefer.  Chop the onion.  Place all these veggies and the green beans into a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a slow boil for about 5-6 minutes.  Cook just long enough to slightly soften them, trying not to overcook, lest their bright color be diminished in the final dish.  Drain veggies in a strainer/colander while you do the next step.

Clean and chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces, place in/over water and boil/steam until completely tender.  Drain well in a colander and put back into the cooking pot and puree, along with the cream and butter.  You can either do this with a stick blender if you have one, or in a food processor or regular blender in small batches to avoid overflow. Season with salt to taste.  If a little too thin for your preference, dust 1/8-1/4 tsp. glucomannan powder in and stir well to thicken the mash up a bit.

In a large no-stick pan, brown the beef and sausage, crumbling as it browns.  Gently stir the drained veggies into the meat mixture and toss gently.   Spoon off and discard as much excess grease/liquid that is in the pan as this can get soupy in the final dish.  Stir in leftover beef gravy (if using).  Spoon the meat/veggie mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Using a spoon or rubber spatula, evenly distribute the mashed cauliflower over the top.  Sprinkle with paprika to garnish if desired.  Pop into preheated 375º oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is beginning to slightly brown.  Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 1-cup servings, each contains:

288 calories, 22 g  fat, 8.18 g  carbs, 3.18 g  fiber, 5 g  NET CARBS, 16 g  protein

19 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Pie

    1. Took me awhile to learn how to accomplish that, Maria. I steam it OVER water rather than boil it IN water. Then, when done and I drain it in a colander, I press it repeatedly with the back of a huge cooking spoon or ladle to get even more liquid out of it. I never use more cream and butter than the recipe specifies. And most importantly, I never EVER use frozen cauliflower. I used it for many years, but just don’t like it for anything anymore. The frozen always tastes freezer-burned to me, is often tough (a sign of older cauliflower) and just makes terrible mash IMHO. Hope these tips help a bit.

  1. Roger

    We love Shepard’s Pie and have been making it low carb for years. I tend to finely chop some mushrooms and add them to the meat if there a few stragglers hanging out in the fridge. While I have never added zucchini (although I will in the future), I do par boil fresh string beans cut in 1/4 inch dice, to replace the peas, and add a minimum amount of carrots, more for the color contrast and a hint of flavor.

    The one change I make of significance, from a taste point of view, is to jazz up the mashed cauliflower topping. Depending on what’s in the house I might add some shredded cheddar, grated Parmesan, sour cream, cream cheese, or whatever, just to spike it up a bit.

    This is one of our favorites.

    1. Your tweaks sound very good, Roger. Americans tend to like cheese mixed into the topping as you do it. I just tend to make mine as it was served to use in Britain. A lot of Americans “accuse” the Brits of eating “plain, boring food.” (You didn’t hear me say that, now.:) ) I would have preferred rutabaga over the zucchini in this the night I made it, but hey, a girl uses what she has on hand, non? 🙂 Again, welcome to the site and hope you find lots of recipes here you enjoy, Roger.

    1. I hope you guys like it, Robyn! I used to add a bit of leftover beef gravy to mine years ago, but low-carbing, I just omit that now and find we like it just as well.

  2. Joseph Ramsey

    Made this tonight. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. We loved it. I made two minor changes. First, I am still trying to keep my carbs as low as possible each day, so I substituted some fresh bell pepper for the carrots. Second, I mixed about 1/2 cup of colby jack cheese in the mashed cauliflower. 5 Stars!

    1. Say, the cheese in the cauli sounds good, Joseph! Another reader added some cheese. Not classic Shepherd’s Pie, but sounds good nonetheless. So glad you liked this!

    1. I’m delighted you liked it! It’s one of my husband’s favorite casseroles and he was VERY pleased with this imitation. You have some pretty amazing recipes on your site, as well, BTW. I’ve spent some time browsing there. 🙂

  3. frank weir

    Peggy…Made this tonight. Amazing recipe. Only made half and had lots left over for my wife and I. She had three helpings and loved it especially the cauliflower. I added cream cheese and cream as well as some montery jack and colby shredded cheese to the cauliflower so enriched it a lot. Lots of fat I spose. She doesnt eat meat a lot and I might actually make this with just the veggies…maybe bigger pieces of zucchini. Thanks for sharing this. Great meal. Had some kale sauteed in bacon fat on the side with it. Stuffed.

    1. Ooooo the addition of cream cheese, jack and colby does sounds good,Frank. I’ve never added cheese but I’ll bet it’s good in the topping. Glad you both liked it!

  4. This dish looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it.

    I had a question? How much do you love the Lupin flour? I’m on a limited budget so I have to watch my purchases. I’m currently using coconut flour to bake. My husband only likes things baked with it if another ingredient is hiding the coconut taste. I wondered what the lupin tastes like and does your husband like it? Thank you!

    1. Do I like lupin flour…..yes. Do I LOVE it…….no. The slight bean taste is ever-present and neither of us are crazy about it. I’m trying to stick with a more Primal-Paleo eating regimen and avoiding beans as much as possible. So I’ve only done 2-3 recipes with it just to see how it tasted/baked up. I don’t think I could honestly encourage folks to run out and buy lupin flour at this time. My husband doesn’t care for any of the alternate flours that have a distinct taste….coconutty or beany. On a limited budget, I’d save your money for almond flour. One gets much tastier results with it IMHO.

      1. Thank you for the honest reply. That helps a lot. I can’t eat tree nuts or dairy because it causes an arthritis gout like sypmtoms in my joint. Who would a thunk! 🙂 In a way I guess I’m doing kind of a paleo diet without trying. 🙂 Thanks again!

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