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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.
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):
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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.
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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.
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Serving size: 1 1/2 cups, or 1/4 entire recipe
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