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!

Paleo Shepherd's Pie

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Servings 8



  • Heat olive oil in a very large frying pan
  • Sauté onion for 15 minutes until soft
  • Add bacon pieces to pan and sauté until cooked, about 10 minutes
  • Add carrots and celery to pan and sauté in bacon fat for 10 minutes until soft
  • Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes
  • Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
  • Add chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated
  • Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with olive oil until smooth
  • Pour ground beef mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  • Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes
  • Serve
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

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?

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It's a wonderful comfort food for chilly nights.


225 responses to “Paleo Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. I have been making this recipe for years. It’s my favorite recipe to impress anyone in my life and also something I eat on for days. Absolutely delicious. Thank you

  2. I am allergic to nightshades, so I use 1 tsp nightshade-free curry powder instead of the smoked paprika. Also allergic to onions, so I use leeks instead. And sliced the carrots and celery in the food processor to speed the food prep up. My husband and I love this recipe! I often cook the ground beef and the cauliflower either the day before or that morning to also speed prep at supper time.

    • Ellen, thanks for sharing your adaptations and also for letting me know you and your husband love this recipe :-)

  3. Hi Elana, thank you so much for this recipe (and all your creations…I have some of your cookbooks, too). I have been making this for years and my British husband loves it as much as I do! Since it’s just the two of us, I cut it into 8 pieces and then freeze it. Love pulling out healthy comfort food from the freezer after a busy day at work. Well…I’m off to make a pan of this now. Bless you and all your work for those of us with food and health issues!

  4. Hi Elana, this dish was a hit with the whole family. And you’re right that it offers quite a bit of leftovers. One question: my 10 year old asked if there’s a way to make the top layer more crispy. My mind went to a quick broil at the end but I’m curious if you’ve done this and what you would suggest.

    • Amiel, thanks for letting me know this dish was a hit with the whole family! I haven’t tried making the top more crispy but I think the quick broil is a great thing to experiment with :-)

  5. Elana, could this be prepared and then frozen as the casserole or would freezing the meat mixture alone to be used in the casserole later be a better idea?

    • Jacqleene, I haven’t tried that so not sure. If you do experiment I hope you’ll let us know how it goes :-)

  6. This was amazing!!! I don’t like cauliflower but I’ve started a new diet so I thought I’d give it a try.. the savory flavors from the meat made it all taste delicious! Loved this recipe, even with the cauliflower :)

  7. So delicious!
    My mom recommended your recipes to me in 2015, when I should have changed my diet. Here it is 2019 and I finally have the desire and confidence to do so.
    I’m so glad I started with this recipe as it was easy to make, not very time consuming, and a big hit with my entire household. All these things are important to me as I am the mother of four (ages 5, 4, 2, and 7 months).
    I wish I tried this sooner, but I’m hooked now!

    • Aubrey, thanks for letting me know you’re hooked on my recipes! I created many of them when my boys were your children’s ages so they are as easy as possible! So glad we’re on this healing journey together and I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you and yours are doing :-)

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Recipes » Dinners » Paleo Shepherd’s Pie