Paleo Shepherd's Pie

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional English dish. In Britain it is generally made with lamb or mutton; in this recipe I have made a simple ground beef shepherd’s pie and added bacon for extra flavor.

Shepard’s pie is often referred to as “cottage pie,” by the English; it is a casserole made of cooked meat and vegetables that is then topped with mashed potatoes and baked. I have made this dish into a Paleo casserole by using Mashed Cauliflower for the topping. This reduces the glycemic index of the dish and increases the nutritional content, since cauliflower is a super food.

I based my recipe for ground beef Shepherd’s Pie, on this Shepherd’s Pie recipe from As you can see, I made some adjustments. First, I eliminated the tomato sauce, as research from Dr. Loren Cordain points to the possibility that tomatoes contain immune disrupting lectins (I have therefore eliminated them from my diet as I have MS). I also did not use coconut milk in the mashed cauliflower topping, and skipped the Worcester sauce (since I’m too lazy to read ingredients and prefer to use the simple spices in my spice rack).

I hope you enjoy this gluten free comfort food as much as I have!

Print Recipe
Paleo Shepherd's Pie
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound turkey or pork bacon, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 pound organic grass fed ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Heat olive oil in a very large frying pan
  2. Saute onion for 15 minutes until soft
  3. Add bacon pieces to pan and sauté until cooked, about 10 minutes
  4. Add carrots and celery to pan and sauté in bacon fat for 10 minutes until soft
  5. Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes
  6. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
  7. Add chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated
  8. Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with olive oil until smooth
  9. Pour ground beef mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  10. Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture
  11. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  12. Serve

I found that in my fridge this Shepard’s Pie kept for close to a week. I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What is your favorite gluten free comfort food?


  1. Marilyn says

    Elana, We loved this recipe… my husband tends to be anti-anything paleo, so I mixed the cauliflower w/some grated white sweet potato, and cooked them together until tender, put that into my food processor, added a couple of tbsp. of butternut squash I needed to use, added the olive oil and used that on top of the pie… I also often use leftover roast beef or roast lamb instead of the ground meat, and it is delicious… I only used 2 slices of thick bacon, and that was just right… the bacon is a nice touch… Thank you for this lovely recipe and all the testing you do for the delicious recipes you share w/us.

  2. Erika says

    Just a quick note from a British person regarding the alternative naming of the pie… Shepherds pie refers to a lamb filling while cottage pie will have a beef filling… Clue is on the name… Also delicious with lentils instead of meat for vegans and vegetarian options

  3. Steve says

    My girlfriend uses red lentils to make the mashed topping, instead of cauliflower. Simply overboil, add butter/coconut oil and milk/unsweetened almond milk and mash or blend in a food processor.

  4. PaulaV says

    I came across this recipe on Yummly… I have always been skeptical about the mashed cauliflower for potato substitution. My daughter encouraged me to go for it. So glad I did! I did the reveal halfway through dinner and my husband was shocked and pleased to find out it was cauliflower. A great recipe to use up available veggies… I had the carrots and celery and threw in some kale I needed to use up. Only had 1/4 lb bacon and that was plenty… I did drain off some of the fats after the beef browned. Also had some grated Parmesan I needed to use so tossed that on top before baking. I am now a mashed cauliflower convert… And look forward to checking out more of your recipes .

    • Nicole Haller says

      I just want to say, Thank you!!! I made this last night for my very picky family. To say it was a success is an understatement. All three of my kids asked for seconds! It was incredibly tasty.
      I was in a bit of a panic because my food processor broke as I put the first batch of cauliflower in. However, I used my Nutribullet and the mash turned out better than any potato I could have used. It was creamy and smooth and I did not add anything to it except a dash of EVOO. HUGE success and I would recommend this dish to everyone.

  5. Susan says

    Made this last night for dinner and it was fabulous! My hubby said he would not have known the cauliflower was not potatoes if I had not told him. I added some butternut squash to the carrots and celery. YUM!

  6. Felixius says

    Trditionally shepherds pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef.

    Looks like a great recipe! Will be trying it out on Pi day ?

  7. Sarah says

    Omitted the bacon because we didn’t have any. It came out a little dry and bland. Bacon would have helped haha! Make sure to season the cauliflower mixture!!! Cauli mash might be tastier with ghee instead of olive oil, and maybe even some coconut milk to make it creamier. I’m thinking that cooking the cauliflower first might produce a better result and require much less time in the oven- a quick broil to heat and brown would be all.

  8. Amber says

    This had too much bacon in it for my taste. I only used 1/2 the recommended amount and the bacon flavor was overpowering. I still enjoyed it & think it’s a good recipe – but if I make it again I’ll probably leave the bacon out. Otherwise I’d just cook a couple strips first and crumble the bacon on top or into the beef.

  9. Daneen says

    This Shepherd’s Pie recipe is fabulous! My husband used to LOVE mashed potatoes before Paleo and said this tasted just like mashed potatoes and could eat it every night! Thank you, Elana! Your recipes ROCK!

  10. Lee says

    Thanks, Elana for a delicious Thanksgiving meal for my hubby and me! It was easy to prepare and cook. My hubby said the cauliflower mash was a great substitute for potatoes. I will cook this again and share this recipe with my friends.

  11. Jo'Anne Allenby says

    I will definitely be giving this a try, without the paprika though as I suffer with OLP.

    I would just like to say though as an English person, that we do not call Shepherds Pie, Cottage Pie because they are two separate dishes. Shepherds Pie is always made with lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef. Though admittedly we British do tend to use the ‘generic’ term Shepherds Pie more often when in fact Cottage Pie is being made in the home…. ?☺

  12. Tracey Brown says

    Tried this tonight & my family loved it! Didn’t tell them it was cauliflower mash until they had demolished the whole thing. I am allergic to wheat and a few other things, and went gluten free about 6 years ago. However, as I get older, I find that my body just doesn’t process carbs the way it used to so I have recently gone grain free as well. I have been trying a lot of your recipes lately and have to say I love them. Most of my family has enjoyed them as well (I have one son who is extremely picky and doesn’t care for healthy foods). Just wanted to say thank you so much! Stumbled across your website when I was looking for a low carb bread recipe and have so far enjoyed everything I’ve tried.

  13. Captain Bob Gribben says

    Just accessed your website following a tip from a food guru who is guiding me through a sugar/carb detox period and now entering week three so was struggling with recipe ideas, until I saw this. Really looking forward to trying it out.

  14. says

    When I was in England, they did carrots, onion and peas (peas would replace the celery in this recipe). I love the texture and taste of peas. Also, in England they use lamb for Shepherd’s Pie and beef for Cottage Pie. So many options, all of them delicious.

  15. says

    I like to gently brown some butter and pour that over the top of the shepherd’s pie … browned butter adds such a delicious flavor to the meal. I’m trying to eat “Low Glycemic Load” foods; that’s what brought me here. I like the idea of using cauliflower in place of the potatoes. I’ll give it a try as soon as I get cauliflower and if I remember I’ll check back.

    Thanks again!
    Joanne @ Frugal Home and Health

  16. Dawn says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My 11 year old daughter and I just started following the Paleo diet due to food allergies. I came across your recipe and made it this evening. It was a huge hit and I will definitely make it again.

  17. Nichole says

    Actually… shepherds pie uses lamb and cottage pie is beef. They are actually separate dishes. So this is actually a recipe for cottage pie.

  18. Joann Partin says

    hi elana. thank you so much for this site. i have been eating gluten free for approx 3 yrs now. i have a sensitivity to gluten, however, this past year i have noticed that dairy and grains are also making me feel ill. i suffer from severe allergies (seasonal) and sinus and ear issues. i have today decided to cut out grains and dairy. i have not yet had the change for look further into your site/cookbooks also, but do you have calorie/fat info for your recipes. thank you again. i’m so hoping all these hard/but needed diet changes will help me. i too have fibromyalgia too w/other health issues. i plan to buy your cookbooks. joann

    • Mary says

      Have you had a test for Silent Reflux, as it can lead to sinus and ear problems and I suggest you take a look at the Fast Tract Diet …. tells one why low carb is good for many problems.
      I didn’t know what was wrong with me for years!
      This recipe looks amazing and I am going to try it.

  19. LIsa says

    Doesnt matter if you call this cottage pie or Shepards pit it is still a very good recipe that tastes fabulour and is one of the best dinners we have had that is Paleo! Thank you so much!

  20. Cat says

    Your recipe is one of the best dinners I make! My son’s best friend even ate it tonite and that 8 year old doesn’t do veggies.

  21. Winifred says

    Made this in a pinch tonight for dinner… Didn’t have celery so I subbed yellow, red and orange peppers. I added goat cheese to the cauliflower mash. It was HEAVEN! Elena, the addition and bacon and smoked paprika was genius! Thank you:)
    Also picked up you cupcake book while I’m waiting for your almond flour cookbook to come in the mail and wow! The savoury muffins are outta this world! Thank you;)

  22. linda burr says

    Best recipe ever!!!! I used bacon, (which wasn’t in the book recipe) and added frozen collards from my garden last year. YUMMMMMMM.

  23. Lois says

    I loved the Sheperd’s Pie recipe. I am making it again tomorrow for company and can’t wait to eat it again. Am I crazy, or did you add capers to this recipe in one of your blogs? I have your recipe book and it’s not in there and I printed it from your website also and not in there either. Maybe I dreamed it, but I’m going to put capers in the one I’m making tomorrow. Thank you for all your wonderful recipies. I just retired and I’m getting into cooking again. I do have celiac.

  24. Shelley says

    Has anyone tried freezing this? (I scanned comments and didn’t see anyone mention it, but my apologies if it was and I missed it.)

  25. Gman says

    For future reference the reason a Shepherds pie is called Shepherds pie is because it’s made with lamb. If it’s made with beef then it’s a cottage pie.

    I’ve never needed to use oil when cooking cottage pre the beef is more than oily enough to help cook the rest of the ingredients. I also add a few more herbs like sage and parsley. I personally prefer beef stock to go with my beef but that’s just personal preference. Might try the paprika though and the cauliflower. Nice try.

  26. Alice Crittenden says

    Just wanted to clarify, you are correct in saying Shepherd’s Pie is lamb or mutto based. Cottage Pie is the term used for beef based.

  27. Letitia says

    For humanity sake, please stop encouraging people to cook olive oil as doing so it becomes carcinogenic. Please replace this ingredient with coconut oil ghee or tallow as they can safely be heated. THANKS :)

  28. says

    This Shepherd’s Pie was amazing! I ate three portions for dinner. I didn’t have cauliflower so I used Sweet Potatoes as a sub. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!

    Thank you for the great recipe!

  29. Beth says

    My family really loved this, especially hubby who is hard to please. I followed your recipe very closely, adding some diced red peppers and a splash of white balsamic vinegar to the meat mixture. Everyone loved it. Thank you for a great recipe!

  30. Laurie Givens says

    Dear Elana, thank you from the bottom of my heart that you lovingly and generously share your gift of knowledge and cooking to help so many people get better health in so many ways, I have just started this way of life; wouldn’t even call it a the foul word die-t! I’ve tried so many ‘Die-ts that have ruined my health thinking they were the answer and impossible to stay on only to gain more and damage the metabolism!!! Your are truly beloved in my eyes! I’m so appreciative words can not express enough! Thank you again. Mrs. Laurie Givens

  31. Kathryn says

    Hi Elana

    Could I just clear something up (as an Englishwoman): cottage pie is made minced beef (cottage/farm = beef) and shepherd’s pie is made with lamb (shepherd = sheep)!

    Thanks for the recipe though! I am using swede and carrot thinly sliced into batons as my topping and dotted with butter as they go nicely browned and a little crunchy.

  32. Grace says

    Help! My oven broke after I had prepared this, and it won’t fit in my freezer until we get the oven fixed. Does anyone know if it would be feasible to cut this into portions and microwave it before eating? I know it will be less than ideal and the cauliflower topping won’t get crispy, but do you think it will at least be edible? It looks so delicious I hate to waste it.

  33. says

    Yesterday I made this shepherd’s pie recipe and it was DELICIOUS! I was a little intimidated by it since I’ve never made a shepherd’s pie, paleo or not but I’m really glad I did. This is definitely going to be in the regular rotation. If you want to see a pic of my puppy salivating over this dish go to:

    I will definitely be making more of Elana’s dishes! Thanks!! =D

  34. caitlin says

    I love this dish! I boil the cailiflower in chicken stock, which I later use to simmer the filling. I add salt and garlic to the mash, and chopped Brussels sprouts, garlic, Chili powder and cayenne to the filling. The chili powder really adds some depth. I am going to broil for a few minutes next time to crisp the mash.
    Elana, you have been a huuuge part of my food evolution. Thank you for the inspirational recipes that make delectable dishes accessible.
    And hope you’re having a great healthy spring!

  35. Gail says

    Just a quick note – the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie is that cottage pie is traditionally made with minced beef, and shepherd’s pie is made with minced lamb :)

  36. Megan M says

    Made this last night. I also threw in some chopped-up nappa cabbage to use it up. Maybe my cauliflower were just extra large, but two heads seemed a bit much. The shepherd’s pie was half meat mixture, half cabbage mixture. I would have preferred about 1/3 cabbage mixture, 2/3 meat mixture, so next time I’ll try just using one head. But other than that, it was totally delicious. Thanks so much!

  37. says

    I’m going to try adding leeks since they are my favorite veggie. I think I might use ground turkey instead Iof ground beef! I’m excited to have this comforting casserole in my fridge! Thanks!

  38. Lisa-Marie Mathew says

    I just made it and it smells amazing. One thing I noticed is their was a lot of liquid in the beef mixture. Was I supposed to drain the oils before adding the chicken broth? Love your site :)

  39. Lauren says

    This takes an awful lot of prep work (i.e. chopping), but goodness it is delicious! I have made it for many dinner guests and they all loved it. Doesn’t feel like anything is missing from the traditional version.

  40. Nicole says

    Made this recently. What a great idea! Next time, I will make the following changes:
    1) Reduce bacon. There was a LOT of bacon in here. I’ll probably cut back to half next time, or less. Also, you have to cook the bacon first (not the onion); otherwise you will have a pound’s worth of bacon fat in your final product.
    2) Add a tourtiere-like spice mix to the ground beef mixture, like cinnamon, thyme, and clove.
    3) I am not dairy-free so I added some melted butter to the cauliflower mixture to make it more creamy.

  41. says

    O…. M…. G!!!! This was amazing! Thank you soooo much! It’s so hard to find recipes for the autoimmune part of paleo. This was such a hit for the fam! I was nervous about the topping but it was really good! Our family loves heat so they just put a little hot sauce on the top of it. I might be making this at least once a week!

  42. patricia collins says

    omg.. this is soooooo good i thought the pepper was too much but went with it glad i did! definitely a repeat for me

  43. Anna says

    Serves 8? HA! More like serves ONE…this was so delicious I had to practice a TON of self control not to eat it ALL!!! I added some butternut squash with the carrots and celery…OH EM GEE! This might become a weekly staple around here!!!

  44. Leigh says

    We are making this now for dinner and I thought I’d say that in the instruction part you don’t mention when to add the onion! We almost forgot it. :)

  45. Lauren Amelia says

    Hi Elana,

    Just to let you know, in the UK Cottage Pie is so called because it is made with Beef, and Shepherd’s Pie is so called because it is made with Lamb.

    Just thought you might like to know!


  46. Christin says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing. I love having my veggies and protein all in one dish. The only change I made was to add a few cloves of garlic. Even my super picky husband liked it and wanted me to set him up w/ leftovers to take to work tomorrow.

  47. Farrah says

    Tried out this recipe, it turned out perfect. The last ten minutes I sprinkled some cheese on the top, it was a really fantastic meal, and pretty easy to make as well. This I will be preparing again, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  48. Karie says

    OMG made this for dinner tonight and it was WONDERFUL! I made a small adjustment (combining stuff from the original recipe you mentioned) – added Worcestire with the meat, and butter with the cauliflower. My husband loved it too – and he’s a pretty tough critic. :-) His only suggested change was to try it sometime with mashed sweet potatoes on top, which I will definitely try.

  49. Laura Johnson says

    My son and I are casein (dairy free) as well so we use homemade chicken stock to mash potatoes or cauliflower and that also tasted great! Thanks for another great idea! Delicious.

  50. Nicole says

    No joke, this recipe is now in my top 3 faves. Thank you so much for sharing Elana!!! My family loves it, and it’s SUPER tasty!

  51. says

    This was such an inspiring recipe! I’m Portuguese and in our culture we make a dish called “impadao”. I combined your recipe with my family recipe and came out with an amazing Paleo version. I used chourico instead of bacon, added chopped green olives to the beef and used a special pepper paste. I could not tell that it was cauliflower instead of potatoes and felt so much lighter after eating it. Thanks for the inspiration Elana!

  52. AudreyV says

    Thank you Elena so much for this delicious recipe. I’ve been wanting to make Shepards Pie for a long time, and waiting for the right recipe. Here it is. The bacon and pepper really give the meat a yummy flavor. I was a little short on carrots, so I added mushrooms. This will be on my list of favorites.

  53. September says

    Main problem with this recipe — it’s all gone! A family of four devoured it over dinner and lunch the next day. Now I have to make more. Highly recommended! Note: we made it up the night before and refrigerated until dinner time the next day. We just popped it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and it was wonderful! With the prep work out of the way, this is easier and faster than takeout.

    • September says

      Two changes: I mixed the cooked cauliflower with a hand mixer instead of blender or food processor, so I had to add 2 additional T oil to get the creamy consistency. Also, our frying pan wasn’t big enough for everything. I sauteed each item sequentially and threw it in a bowl. At the end, I mixed it all up and poured into baking dish then topped with cauliflower mix. It worked great.

      • Elena says

        Thank you so much for mentioning that you made the night before – I was just going to post that question here! I was going to make it tonight, but there’s only two of us eating tonight (easy to make a simple supper) and tomorrow after baseball game there will be 5 of us but no time, so I thought I would try the prep tonight and cook tomorrow! Thanks again!!

  54. Tully says

    Ah. What’s the problem with Potato? I know you’re paleo, which I thought basically translated into ‘eating like a caveman'(!) and potatoes are pretty natural I would’ve thought. Is there another issue here? High protein? And why be high protein?

  55. Rob says

    Favorite paleo comfort food? Spaghetti squash bolognese. I continue to experiment with protein combinations. Most recently I made it with equal parts ground boar, bison, and ostrich. Boar, bison and elk is also a great combo. Topped with Pecorino Romano. If you’re avoiding cheese, grated brazil nuts are a great substitute.

  56. Danielle says

    My boyfriend and I love shepherds pie. the cauliflower was great!we subs the peas for green beans (personal preference) we decided not to put in the full amount of bacon.(which we do like) in the end we really have not been thrilled to eat this all week. the bacon turned out to be a disappointment all together. … but we are powering through and will go back to our baconless pie in the future.

    • Danielle says

      I should have added the reason we did not like the bacon was because of the grease and fat layer on the bottom.. and it doesnt seem to cook enough (still soft)

  57. k. Apple says

    I made the Shepherd’s pie tonight, paired with a sautéed greens combo my husband made. It was the ultimate comfort food meal, which I needed since I’m getting over a nasty virus. My 11 year old had 2 huge helpings, and was amazed at how wonderful it was. (I’m not known for my cooking, but your recipe was super easy for me to follow.)
    I used coconut oil instead of olive, and coconut milk with the cauliflower. I think the smoked paprika really makes the dish complete, though. Thank you!!

  58. Stacey LoSacco says

    I have made this twice already. Everyone loved it! and my parents have asked me for the recipe. My husband thought the cauliflower was mashed potatoes. thanks!!

  59. says

    Can’t wait to try this. What a great idea to use cauliflower. I have seen cauliflower mashed “potatoes” but never thought to use them in shepard’s pie. Now you’ve got me thinking what other ways I could use them…

  60. Judith says

    I accidentally posted this on the wrong recipe:). So I copied it here where it belongs.
    I just made your Paleo Shepherd’s Pie last night and it was yummy. Thank you for the recipe. It is so difficult to find “casserole” type recipes without dairy, grains, and tomatoes. I too shall use this as a quick lunch. I am going to freeze some to see how it keeps, it would be great to have something to pull from the freezer. Thank you again!

  61. Erin says

    This recipe looks scrumptious! I’ve been wanting to try a cauliflower-based shepherd’s pie:)

    I didn’t realize you had MS. It’s inspiring to those of us with autoimmune diseases to see others doing well. You rock!

    I don’t want to cross the line into giving unsolicited advice (don’t we all hate that?) but in case you hadn’t seen it yet, Dr. Terry Wahls has a great video on how she healed her M with Paleo nutrition:

    Also, so many people with autoimmune disease have low B12- I found out that it’s commonly undiagnosed because US B12 ranges are way too low- they start at 250 and goes to 900, whereas Japanese range starts at 550 and goes to 1300. ideally, we want or level to be 1000+.

    As low B12 is commonly misdiagnosed as MS (and also dementia/Alzheimer’s), it’s recommended that anyone with neurological symptoms get their level checked and try hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin injections.

    Here is more info:

  62. Kimberly says

    Hmmmm. I followed the recipe precisely, using turkey bacon rather than pork (just due to availability of nitrate-free product, they only had nitrate-free turkey bacon.) I found the bacon chunks (2 inch pieces as indicated) a distraction from the overall texture of the dish. I don’t have a paella pan or similar huge skillet, just two 12 inch skillets, so I divided in half — half in each skillet, otherwise there was not enough room to get the beef cooked easily, and things were overflowing the skillet. I’ll try double the beef and not use bacon next time, I think. I’ve made many of Elana’s recipes and this is the first one that didn’t knock my socks off. Not awful, just not totally my taste, I suppose. I think that’s an amazing record though! :) Now off to make the paleo banana bread, which I’ve made before. It’s amazing! yum!

  63. Amy Q says

    Just made this yesterday for a cold MN winter day… so delicious! I used mashed rutabaga instead of the cauliflower for the topping (not sure if rutabaga is paleo?) and wanted more veggies so I used 1 c carrot, 1 c celery, 1 c cauliflower, 1 c cabbage, 1 c baby spinach, 1 c corn… the 1 c of broth was still sufficient despite adding more to the dish. I chose the applewood smoked ‘Sunday bacon’ which added incredible flavor. This will definitely be a regular dish in our house – thank you!

  64. nat says

    I would make use cauliflower a lot more in place of potatoes but it stinks up the house! Any ways to get around this?

  65. Hilary Skellon says

    Great recipe Elana, and as a Brit can I set the record straight about the name? In England shepherds pie is made with lamb(shepards and lamb self explanatory) and cottage pie is made with beef ( no idea where that name came from!)

  66. Cat says

    This looks wonderful. I made a similar version last year when I was doing the Special Carbohydrate Diet but it included cheese. It was good but almost too rich for me. Yours looks better – especially the inclusion of bacon. Yum. I will have to omit the paprika as my husband is allergic to it. And I will probably eat it at all hours. This morning I had meatballs and asparagus for breakfast!

  67. Juli says

    Thank you for the post! I made it for dinner tonight…haven’t gotten a chance to eat it yet but wow its smell makes me happy.

    • Louise says

      Look up the filling for “Red Dragon Pie” for your veggie version. I used to make it when I was full on veggie and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G…! :-)

  68. shannon says

    For all of the work you do in cooking and testing foods and recipes for the rest of us, “lazy” is not a word I would use to describe you!

    “since i am too lazy to read ingredients” ;-D

    thanks again!!

  69. says

    I am sure you have tons of resources, but have you looked into Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for MS? It seems to good to be true, but I would investigate it, as Samantha Wilkinson, who wrote the book The Promise of LDN, is an MS sufferer and she lists all of the studies that had been done to the date of publication. There’s a great website that lists the studies as well… Good Luck! You are a strong woman.

  70. says

    PS – I don’t mind how you spell shepherd. I prefer to focus on the wealth of information and reciptes, appreciating the time, effort and expense you put into it rather than honing in on how you spell a word that we all know what you meant anyway.

  71. says

    Perfect for today’s gray, rainy day. I love mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes. I’m going to give the mashed cauliflower a try and make this yummy dish!

    My favorite comfort food has always been toast. When I learned I couldn’t have gluten, I was desperate to find GF toast. Now I enjoy my toast made from your GF bread recipes.

  72. says

    Amazing. Had most of the ingredients. Used kale instead of carrots and celery. So yummy and I’m not a cauliflower fan. Thank you so much, Elana!

  73. Jami says

    I have so many Paleo comfort foods! “Creamy” Tomato Chicken Soup, Carrot Ginger Soup, Bean-less Chili, Stew, Butternut Squash Apple Soup…just to name a few. I pretty much find comfort in all the Paleo foods I eat, as I know I’m truly “feeding” my body!

    I cannot wait to try this recipe, it looks scrumptious!

    Thanks for EVERYTHING you bring to my life, Elana!
    PS I’m curious why no coconut milk?

    • Wendy Bussell says

      Oh dear….how many times do you need to edit?

      Thanks Elana for the new recipe. Can’t wait to try it out on the family.

  74. carmen says

    This looks delicious! I love shepherd’s pie, but can not have it because of a potato allergy. We are having this tonight! Yeah!! So many of our routine eats come from your books/site. Thanks for all of the work you put into these dishes. I really appreciate it.

  75. Amy says

    Hi Elana,

    Great recipe, thank you.

    In our house, we do not eat beef, at all. We have a little one who is allergic to beef (his cousin is, as well).

    We use good quality ground buffalo, which is lower in fat and cholesterol than even grass-fed ground beef. :) Good health benefits and no one ever notices a difference.

    Give it a try sometime.

    ~ Amy

    • says

      I used to live in Colorado where finding buffalo was easy. Where we moved, one can’t find buffalo – ground or otherwise – within hundreds of miles. I miss it. Buffalo is healthy with a rich flavor.

  76. Susan D says

    I must try this! I have been intimidated by the cauliflower “mashed potatoes” and have not tried this yet. Seems ridiculous not to and this Cottage Pie looks delicious!!

  77. says

    Yummy! I just made a shepherd’s pie the other night too with cauliflower but I used a dairy free cream of mushroom soup as the “gravy.” I think I prefer it to the mashed potatoes!

    On another note, I am going to be giving away your cupcake book on my blog and wanted to know if it is ok to post the contest on your Facebook wall. Can’t seem to find an email to ask you directly, so hopefully you see this comment!

  78. MsJ says

    Pretty please fix the spelling! SHEPHERD is correct–SHEPARD is not! In the recipe it’s right half the time and wrong the other half. Sorry, but that drives me NUTS! ;)

  79. Abbie says

    Shephard’s Pie (been making it for years with mashed cauliflower), Meatloaf, Meatballs, Chili’s, Pot Pies, and Moussaka. Those are what I have been craving this winter!

  80. says

    My gluten free comfort food is paleo banana bread, your recipe in fact! I slather on some nut butter, and occasionally slice bananas and a little honey on top. It’s SO delicious! Can’t wait to try this shepherds pie!

  81. says


    Just wanted to mention that I read about your MS – I hadn’t seen that before.

    I am sure that you have looked into tons of alternative options, but I have been doing Nutritional Balancing and I have heard my practitioner talk about heavy metals being implicated in this disease. If you are so inclined I would be more than happy to talk with you about what I am doing anytime.

    Take good care,

  82. Kalyn says

    Elana, this sounds delicious. I’ve made shepard’s pie numerous times with lentils, instead of beef.

    HOWEVER, if you’re serious about eliminating the nightshades from your diet you might want to nix the paprika – it’s a pepper and therefore part of the nightshade family.

    Thank you for everything you do, I so appreciate your creativity and generosity.

  83. says

    Elana, So glad you enjoyed the recipe and customized it to your needs. I found myself eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner too! Cheers! -Kerri @

  84. Lynnette says

    I’m ecstatic about this recipe. YUM! My boyfriend is a hunter and I’ll be making this with minced elk. And bacon will add some fat for flavor. All the variations of mashes sound fun to try.
    Maybe we Paleo eaters ought to be the hunters! Elk is delish, way low fat, and naturally grass fed.

  85. Elese says

    Elana, thank you so much for sharing. This looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it out this weekend…warm, nutritious, and comforting. :)

  86. Hope says

    Thanks for the recipe Elana. Looks great. Since you mentioned having MS, I just wanted to urge you to look into heavy metal toxicity. Andrew Hall Cutler Phd has some great info on this. It has been a long time since I have checked his website, but it’s based on his book, “No Amalgam Illness”. I have been researching many years due to my son’s Autism, and have frequently come across MS causitive factors similar to those of Autism. Those being viral in nature and also heavy metal toxicity.

  87. Sara says

    I love a good shepard’s pie! I can’t wait to try this. I’m with you in that I don’t want to use something like Worcestershire sauce that is filled with who knows what, so I have found a great alternative (in case you want to put it back into the recipe). I use equal parts low sodium tamari, cider vinegar, and a splash of tabasco, to total the amount of Worcestershire sauce needed- for example for 1 tbs. W.S. I use 1/2 tbs. tamari, 1/2 tbs. vinegar, and a splash of tabasco. Hope this helps!

    • Judith says

      Thank you for the suggestion. When I served this to my hubby, he thought it was rather bland. I shall try your “tamari, vinegar, tabasco” seasoning.

  88. Debi Ziemer says

    Agree, thanks for such great recipes, as I get more and more into this great way to eat it is getting easier to adjust all of our favorite “old” recipes. Susan, try parsnips puréed for the potatoes, I don’t have it in front of me right now but u can googleJulia Childs puréed parsnips, substitute the heavy cream if needed, imperative that you do the last step of this recipe, these are really good and my family lives them, kids and all!

  89. Susan Clark says

    I love the recipe, but am looking for an alternative to the mashed cauliflower? My husband and I love it, my boys..not so much. Any other non potato suggestions?

    • carly says

      I have found that adding one potato to a head of cauliflower helps my picky eaters and ratio favors the cauliflower anyways!

    • says

      For a mashed potato substitute in any dish, I use a combination of roughly equal parts cauliflower and white beans or navy beans. The cauliflower brings some lightness, and the beans add a smooth, silkiness that you couldn’t get from cauliflower alone. I drop both in the food processor with some garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and skim or almond milk just until it will blend. I bet if you didn’t tell your boys, they wouldn’t even know it wasn’t potato! :-)

    • 1derwoman says

      Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) are a great sub for mashed potatoes or cauliflower. When mashed they have a nice creamy texture with a slight artichoke flavor.

    • Ruth Hirsch says

      Hi, I have made this with Butternut Squash, similar method– as topping.
      Great flavor, and esp these greyer days, great color.

      and yum!!

      I realize this is way delayed– just reading the comments.

  90. says

    I am new to this way of eating. I am a diabetic that has been instructed by my doctor to cut all grain from my daily diet.

    It is a bit confusing, but I am thankful for your willingness to share so many recipes. They are not daunting nor are the ingredients hard to find. Like you, I like to use the spices that are currently in my pantry.

    I am making this dish tonight. What an easy way to enjoy so much goodness! I do not have a favorite gluten free comfort food, since I am still discovering my likes and dislikes in eating in this manner.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe…

    Peace be with you today,


  91. Angelfeathers says

    Agree with the comment above: shepherd’s pie is minced lamb, cottage pie is minced beef. :-)

    I made shepherd’s pie recently with mashed parsnip and cauliflower for the topping (with butter and milk as I’m not dairy free and that’s how I’d normally make mash) and it was absolutely delicious – far nicer than potatoes! If only other veggies were as cheap as potatoes…

    Ah well. I am growing both caulis and parsnips in my garden so hopefully come summer I will be able to make mash for nothing! :-)

  92. Kimberley says

    As an English person I feel compelled to tell you that I’ve always thought Cottage pie and Shepherds pie are different. This would definitely be a Cottage pie as it uses beef and vegetables “grown close to the cottage” and like you say a Shepherds pie would use lamb but with vegetables grown out in the fields. But that’s just me being finicky! Loving the addition of paprika.. I must try!
    Best wishes and keep blogging!

    • Rosie Slosek says

      Seconded. Cottage pie is with beef, shepherd’s with lamb (or lamb’s tails if you are a shepherd living last century or earlier).

      I’ve used lots of kinds of mash for the top – sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, swede, carrot and swede, colcannon….

    • Karen Pellow says

      I am also English and I also thought that! Cottage pie is made from beef and shepherds pie is made from leftover roast lamb (that’s the way mum taught me anyway!)

      Either way, glad to have this wonderful web site to help incorporate old favourites :-)

    • susan Nickason says

      I was just going to post the same thing but some how posted to a different comment. Oh well, you are 100% correct about the differences between cottage and Shepard’s pie.

    • says a fellow Brit,I have to back Kimberley in her observations that Shepherds pie,is just that, from sheep herder days,Cottage pie is a totally different animal,always Beef,but either are delicious on cold,winter days,when hot food is the only menu…the addition of a great idea for those who can eat it and a lot lighter than the usual dollop of potato topping.

  93. says

    Such a good idea! I’ve been using cauliflower as mashed potatoes for years, but have never made a pie with it! I’m gonna try this some day soon!

    My gluten free comfort food must be either ice cream (in summertime), or home made bread rolls… Oh actually I love – love – love a coconut protein & chocolate pudding as well! ;-)

    Love, Leanne

  94. Patty says

    One day I was thinking about the Greek caserole Moussaka, and how I missed it (I am gluten, dairy and grain free) so I decided to try to make it. I thought of paleo shepard’s pie, I broiled some eggplant, cooked up some ground lamb with cinnamon, garlic and tomato paste and put it all in the pan with mashed cauliflower on top. Oh my was it delicious and good. It made me so happy.

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