This Shepherd’s Pie recipe is made with a deliciously creamy mashed cauliflower, so it has all the flavor without the carbs! You’ll love how easy it is to make and you can even make ahead for busy nights.
This keto-friendly shepherd’s pie recipe, or “cottage pie” as some refer to it, is super hearty and guaranteed to fill your tummy. Shepherd’s pie is made with a thick layer of ground beef that is typically seasoned well and mixed with veggies and herbs before being topped with mashed potatoes. This keto version is a fantastic substitute for traditional shepherd’s pie but without all the carbs from potatoes, carrots, and peas. Instead, we use low carb veggies and cauliflower in place of the potatoes, which is the perfect substitute! Bonus points that cauliflower is full of nutrients and fiber!
What you’ll need:
- Onion, garlic, celery: We skipped the carrots and peas and instead used low carb veggies.
- Ground beef: I use an 80/20, but you can use any kind you prefer or even substitute ground turkey, sausage or lamb.
- Beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar: This forms the deliciously flavorful gravy that the ground beef is cooked in.
- Cauliflower, cream, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese: These ingredients make your creamy, rich cauliflower mash used to top your pie.
- Cheddar cheese: This goes on top of your cauliflower before baking, adding lots of cheesy goodness! (The best part!)
Steps for making your pie:
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Steam your cauliflower for approximately 10-12 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Step 2: Meanwhile, add onion, garlic, and celery to a cast iron skillet in 1 TB olive oil and saute until tender. I used a 10.25 inch cast iron skillet, but you could use any oven-safe skillet.
Step 3: Add ground beef and saute until browned. Drain excess fat.
Step 4: Add veggies back to the skillet in addition to the rest of your ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid has been mostly absorbed.
Step 5: Make your mashed cauliflower for the following the instructions in the recipe card below. Then spoon the mashed cauliflower over top of the meat mixture. Bake it for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the cheddar cheese and paprika on top and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese has melted.
Step 6: Serve hot with more paprika and herbs as a garnish.
Variations to your pie
Most cottage pies are made with ground BEEF, whereas shepherd’s pie is typically made with ground LAMB. But honestly, it doesn’t matter what type of ground meat you choose! The best thing about casserole meals like this one is how interchangeable the ingredients are. You can also substitute ground SAUSAGE or mix a few different types of meat for even MORE flavor!
Other low carb veggies
You can add in other keto-friendly vegetables if you want to “bulk up” your meat a bit more while adding more nutrients. Here are some low carb veggies that would go well in your keto shepherd’s pie:
- Bell pepper
- Green beans
Making this in advance
You can make keto shepherds pie in advance if you wish. Just follow the instructions as listed and layer everything in your skillet. Then, allow the ingredients in your shepherd’s pie to come to room temperature before wrapping it in saran wrap and foil. (I like to double wrap to prevent freezer burn.) Then place the pie in your freezer as is, skillet and all. When you’re ready to eat it, allow your pie to fully defrost in the fridge before baking it.
More keto-friendly casseroles you will love:
Keto Shepherd's Pie (with Cauliflower Mash)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Topping for Shepherds Pie
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese packed
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Fresh parsley for garnishing
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 TBS heavy cream
- 1 TBS cream cheese softened
- 2 TBS shredded Parm cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Wash and chop the cauliflower into florets then dry. Steam for approx 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, add onion, garlic, and celery to a cast iron skillet in 1 TBS olive oil and saute until tender. Add ground beef, brown, then drain. Add back to the skillet, then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid has been mostly absorbed.
- To make the mashed cauliflower:In a bowl or the pot used to steam the cauliflower, add the melted butter, minced garlic clove, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, parm cheese, and salt and pepper. Then use an immersion blender or standing blender to combine.
- Spread the mashed cauliflower on top of the meat mixture and bake for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese and paprika on top and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the paprika and fresh parsley on top for garnish. Serve hot!