An easy and healthy shepherd's pie topped with a creamy, dairy-free mashed cauliflower. This comforting meal is a wonderful cold weather dish that's simple to make. The recipe is gluten free, grain free, and dairy dairy. It's SCD legal and can easily be made paleo and Whole30 by omitting the peas!
About ten years ago, my mom and I took a spectacular two week trip to Ireland. I loved everything about the country; the scenery was gorgeous, the villages were quaint and the people were so charming and friendly!
I also really enjoyed their rustic, homey approach to cooking. My favorite meal from our trip was the shepherd's pie but...
What is shepherd's pie?
Shepherd's pie, also known as cottage pie, is a mouthwatering casserole of meat and veggies topped with mounds of buttery mashed potatoes.
In the years since our trip, shepherd's pie has been in regular rotation at my house but as my health deteriorated and dietary needs changed, my recipe for this tasty dish also changed.
I've done lots of experimenting, specifically with subbing out the potatoes, but I ALWAYS come back to topping the meat mixture with cauliflower.
It gives a lightness to an otherwise rich dish, plus it tastes fantastic!
Begin by steaming the cauliflower until tender, then transfer it to a blender along with chicken stock, dried thyme, and salt.
Blend until smooth then set aside!
If your system can handle dairy, this cheesy smashed cauliflower recipe tastes equally amazing (if not better because...well...cheese!) in this dish!
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet and then transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the skillet cook the peas, carrots, and onions until the onions are fragrant and have softened slightly.
Add the beef stock or chicken stock, ground beef, and peas to the skillet.
Remove the skillet from the heat and top the meat mixture with the dairy free mashed cauliflower, making sure to spread the cauliflower so that it completely covers the meat!
Lightly drag a fork through the mashed cauliflower to make little ridges.
Place the skillet into the oven until the carrots are tender and the little cauliflower ridges are lightly browned! Hope you enjoy!
- Chop the carrots into smaller pieces for a faster cooking time.
- If using frozen carrots, add them to the skillet at the same time as the peas.
- Use an oven safe skillet (like the one pictured) to keep you from washing an extra dish!
- This dish freezes beautifully. Store in an airtight container.
Want some more comforting meals?! Try these:
- Turkey Filled Acorn Squash
- Noodle-less Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Cuban Picadillo
- Italian Braised Chicken Thighs
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Mashed Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower
- ¼ cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 medium carrots diced
- ½ cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup frozen peas (omit if following paleo or whole 30)
- Cut the cauliflower florets off the stems. Place the florets into a colander and rinse. Steam cauliflower using a double boiler.
- If you don't have a double boiler, fill a pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Fit the colander into the pot and place a lid on the colander. Steam until tender.
- Once tender, transfer cauliflower to a blender. Add the stock, thyme, and salt. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef. Drain any fat and transfer the meat to a plate.
- Using the same skillet, add the onions and carrots. Saute until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened.
- Sprinkle the salt and thyme into the skillet and add the stock. Cook until the stock begins to bubble.
- Add ground beef and peas to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined. Remove from heat.
- Top with the mashed cauliflower. Drag a fork through the cauliflower to gently make little ridges. These little ridges will get nicely browned in the oven.
- Place the skillet on the top shelf in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, just until the cauliflower has browned and the carrots are tender.
- Allow the Shepard's Pie to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or it can be frozen.