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This easy keto shepherd’s pie recipe lowers the carbs with one of my favorite keto friendly carb replacements: cauliflower! Instead of a mashed potato layer on top, this is a cauliflower shepherd’s pie – all the flavors, without all the carbs. It’s a pretty great swap and I doubt anyone will even realize this is a low carb healthy shepherd’s pie. It’s perfectly cozy and comforting for fall and winter meals.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s pie, also sometimes called cottage pie, is a casserole made with a saucy meat sauce layer (traditionally lamb) topped with mashed potatoes. It’s not normally keto friendly, since it usually contains starch in the gravy and has mashed potatoes on top. Also, the vegetables in the meat layer are typically higher in carbs, including peas and carrots.
Fortunately, making keto cottage pie or shepherd’s pie is not hard at all. We simply make a few swaps – cauliflower mash for the potatoes, green peppers for the peas, use a smaller amount of carrots, and avoid any starches in the sauce.
How To Make Keto Shepherd’s Pie
This low carb shepherd’s pie recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep. Here’s how to make it:
- Make mashed cauliflower. This will be the base of this keto shepherd’s pie recipe.
FYI: We’re using this mashed cauliflower recipe. However, feel free to use another if you have a favorite.
- Saute veggies. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and peppers, and saute until lightly browned.
TIP: I swapped the typical peas with green peppers to lower carb count. If you don’t mind a bit higher carb count, you can use frozen peas, which you’ll want to stir in with the broth (further step down below) instead of sauteing with the other vegetables.
- Saute lamb. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, and add the ground lamb, breaking apart with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper…
…And cook until meat is browned.
- Make lamb sauce. Stir in broth, coconut aminos, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer until liquid evaporates and you have a thick sauce.
- Top with mashed cauliflower. Drop dollops of mashed cauliflower over the pan and use a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
- Bake. The keto cottage pie is done when the edges are golden and bubbly.
Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie FAQs
Is shepherd’s pie healthy?
Shepherd’s pie is not usually a super healthy dish, with lots of carbs from potatoes… though it does have the benefit of being a good source of protein and having some veggies.
In comparison, this is a healthy cauliflower shepherd’s pie recipe! The cauliflower swap for potatoes, along with using low carb vegetables in the meat layer, makes it keto friendly. But even for those not on a keto diet, it’s healthier with more veggies in it than traditional versions.
Is cauliflower keto shepherd’s pie keto?
Yes, this shepherd’s pie recipe with cauliflower mash is keto friendly! Each serving has 11.9 grams net carbs. While that is on the higher side for a keto meal, it can fit most people’s keto macros, as it’s hearty enough to be your entire dinner.
Can you make a dairy-free, paleo or whole30 shepherd’s pie?
Yes. You’d just need to make the mashed cauliflower layer without dairy. Try it with a mix of butter-flavored coconut oil and coconut cream instead of the butter and cream cheese.
Can you make this cauliflower shepherd’s pie recipe with ground beef?
Yes, you can. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb, but feel free to use ground beef if you like. The instructions stay the same otherwise.
If you like ground beef, also browse my other keto ground beef recipes and check out where I order grass-fed ground beef online.
Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Storage Instructions
Can you make keto diet shepherd’s pie ahead?
Yes, you can. Feel free to do any or all of these steps ahead of time:
- Make cauliflower mash.
- Make lamb and veggie mixture.
- Assemble the casserole.
For best results, bake right before serving.
How to store easy low carb shepherd’s pie
If you have leftovers, or if you make this easy keto shepherd’s pie ahead, store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Can you freeze keto low carb shepherd’s pie?
Yes, you can also freeze this healthy cottage pie for 2-3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How to reheat keto cottage pie
For best results, reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. The microwave works fine as well, but may dry out the sauce a bit.
More Keto Casserole Recipes That Make A Meal In One Pan
If you like this keto shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash, you might also like some of these other low carb keto casserole recipes:
- Keto Pizza Casserole – This is the EASIEST way to make keto pizza! Just 5 ingredients.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole – Just 7 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep this casserole that’s full of ranch flavor, chicken, and veggies.
- Keto Mexican Ground Beef Casserole – Everyone loves this casserole. It’s made with basic ingredients you might already have and piled high with toppings.
- Healthy Eggplant Parmesan – Cheesy, veggie-filled meal and made with simple ingredients.
- Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole – All the buffalo chicken flavors you love and easy with just 6 ingredients.
Tools To Make Keto Cottage Pie
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Enameled Cast Iron Skillet – Take this keto cottage pie pie recipe from stove top to oven with this great skillet. I love the enameled interior, because it’s easier to clean and doesn’t require seasoning.
- Meat Chopper – The best tool for breaking up ground meat during browning.
Keto Shepherd's Pie Recipe (Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie)
This reader favorite recipe is included in The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook! Inside this beautiful hard cover keto recipe book, you’ll find 100 delectable, EASY keto recipes to replace all your favorite carbs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, desserts, and more… each with 10 ingredients or less! Plus, a photo, macros, & tips for every recipe.
Keto Shepherd’s Pie Recipe (Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie)
This low carb keto shepherd's pie recipe (a.k.a. keto cottage pie) is pure comfort food bliss! Healthy cauliflower shepherd's pie features flavorful meat sauce, veggies, and a healthier topping.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Make the mashed cauliflower according to instructions here. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Heat oil in a large enameled cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and peppers. Saute for 6-10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan. Add the ground lamb, breaking apart with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the ground meat is brown.
Stir in the broth, coconut aminos, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates and you have meat in a thick sauce. Remove from heat.
Drop dollops of mashed cauliflower over the pan and use a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are bubbly.
If desired, place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes, until the edges are golden.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1 1/2 cups, or 1/4 entire recipe
Recipe from The Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This recipe is a keeper! Next time I’ll do slightly less bone broth as it didn’t thicken up as much as I would have liked. Has great flavor! I used Kitehill almond milk cream cheese with chives in the mash – so good! I also added a little Kerrygold reserve chedddar to the mash and top, but not necessary if doing dairy free. The mash is great without it. Thank you!
CAN THESE BE MADE AHEAD (FREEZER MEAL).
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Jessica, You can freeze this shepherd’s pie for 2-3 months.
Yum! Made this tonight to support my husband’s first day of keto. It was delish! Used Trader Joe’s bag of frozen cauliflower mash as a shortcut and added sprinkled parmesan on top. We will make it again. Thanks!
It was easy, simple, flavorful and delicious AND a great way to use up leftover mashed cauliflower! I didn’t have celery so I used a little celery salt, threw in one small chopped zucchini as well. Husband LOVED it, will definitely make again.
I love this recipe so much. I’ve made it several times, and I honestly now prefer the cauliflower mash to the real thing! Thank you!!
About to make this a second time… It’s the real deal. I grew up on Shepard’s pie and this hits the spot… Just ordered the book too, looking forward to it.
Love this keto comfort food! Had to substitute pasta sauce for the tomato paste and it was excellent!
This was delicious. The recommended mashed cauliflower recipe really made the dish. I used chive & onion cream cheese in the cauli mash, and carrots, onion & celery for the veggies.
Can I just tell you that this was absolutely divine? I didn’t miss the old shepherd’s pie at all. I used beef as well. It is so tasty and very filling. Anything I have tried on this site has been fantastic.
Yes! So far so good! I put zucchini and celery in it and no peas.
Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe (except i used frozen cauliflower mash and seasoned it) and it came out absolutely delicious. Thanks again for another tasty keto recipe!
I loved this recipe! The Califlower mashed “potatoes” were so creamy & delicious! I used ground beef but looking forward to trying the lamb. This is definitely a keeper!
LOVED this. Prepped it in the AM, stored it in the fridge all day and baked perfectly at 200C for 30 mins. I used the cauliflower mash recipe but made a few substitutions: used light cream cheese to keep calories down, halved the butter and used a bit of garlic-infused olive oil and a little sprinkle of shredded mozarella instead. Also seasoned heavily with rosemary and thyme and blitzed it in the food processor until it was like a mousse. For the bottom half I added mushrooms to the veggie repertoire, and instead of fussing with coconut aminos and boiling off liquid I just used the tomato paste and two beef fond “cubes” (comes jellied in little cups) and stirred. The fond had enough flavour to not really need the italian seasoning, but you do you, boo. Here in Norway lamb is easy to come by so I used that and the flavour is ah-may-zing with the rosemary in the cauli mash. 9/10 would devour again.
This is hands down one of my very favorite recipes!! The whole family loves it, so I make it often. The only thing I change is I use ground beef instead of lamb, and I add 1 teaspoon of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon paste and don’t add the 1 cup of water. Eliminating the water for the beef broth results in less liquid when it’s finished cooking.
AMAZING!!! This was so comforting and easy to make! We love this recipe tons!
Note: The leftovers tend to get saltier so go easy on recipe!
This was amazing!!! I was unsure if the mashed cauliflower since all shepard’s pies I have eaten are mashed potatoes. Delicious!!!
Shepherds pie is one of hubby’s faves and I haven’t made it since going low carb almost 3 years ago. Until I found this recipe! Hubby doesn’t care for cauliflower so I made it in 2 loaf pans – 1 for me with mashed cauliflower and 1 for him with mashed potato. Only other change I made was used about 1 tsp worchestershire sauce as I didn’t have coconut aminos. Delish!!
forgot to mention I also used ground beef instead of lamb
switched out for ground turkey. and used individual baking dishes. delicious.
This is a relatively quick meal. Tastes awesome and the cauliflower mash is a great potato alternative
You can change this up for what you have at hand in the refrigerator.
Thanks so much for this great idea.
I read the comments on the recipes I am considering to try on this website. I really wish people would NOT rate a recipe until after they ACTUALLY MAKE IT. That gives us cooks an accurate opinion on how good the recipe really is.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Carri, The vast majority of comments I see are from people that have actually made the recipe, but you’re right, occasionally people do leave comments before they’ve made it. I appreciate any feedback people have either way! Hope you get the chance to try this recipe and rate it when you do. 🙂
My husband & I love this recipe. I did use a marinara sauce instead of tomato paste and added more vegetables
The Cauliflower topping is wonderful, better than potatoes.
I am very allergic to any milk products and eggs, How can I replace cream cheese in the mashed cauliflower ?
There are many people allergic to milk and eggs. Can you always add the replacements in your fabulous recipes.
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Isabella, The cream cheese contributes a lot to the flavor and texture of the ‘mashed potatoes.’ If possible, I would use dairy-free cream cheese in place of the traditional version.
Thanks for this recipe. Question: what would replacing half of the carrots with butternut squash do to the carbs & flavor? Would it get too mushy ?
Also, I have everything at home but the peas.. I have celery, brocoli, or canned pigeon peas. Which would you recommend as a replacement for the frozen sweet peas?
Hmm.. the brain is working overtime now.. I’m thinking about making this a little more Puerto Rican in flavor with sofrito and adobo added to the meat for flavor in which case I will use the pigeon peas..
Making myself happy just thinking about it, and know my Boricua hubby will like it more.. I’ll give it a try and let you know the results.
Thanks agian for the recipe
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Andrea, Butternut squash is higher in carbs and will probably get mushy in this recipe. I would stick with carrots. Pigeon peas are also higher in carbs, so if you don’t have any, I would use the broccoli or celery you have on hand. Neither will add the natural sweetness of the peas, but it will still work to add a little nutritional bulk to the recipe. I hope this helps.
Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this one.
There’s so much I love about this recipe! The lamb, the cauliflower… such a great idea!
Thanks so much for this. My daughter and her boyfriend are eating Keto and I’m always on the lookout for something new to make for them.
I have made this 10 times and I have changed ingredients everytime,,,,,,very good
My family is going to love this, thank you for the recipe!
Love how tasty and also wholesome this Keto shepherds pie is! A delicious dinner option every time!