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

Print Recipe
  1. Heat olive oil in a very large frying pan
  2. Sauté 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°F for 30 minutes
  12. Serve
It's a wonderful comfort food for chilly nights.

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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225 responses to “Paleo Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. “I thought you can’t have potatoes” my wife said. She couldn’t tell it’s cauliflower. Taste great but I found the the cauliflower taste a bit too plane. Will add some salt next time.

      • Your recipes sound delicious but I wish you included the nutritional facts. Yes I could do it myself but if I did and some items were too high I wouldn’t make it. Would be nice to know so I could chose the recipes that fit my diet without spending so much time plugging in ingredients. Just a thought. Thanks Carole

      • This is by far my favorite Paleo shepherd pie! So good. I would like to make for a expecting mother. Would this freeze well?

        • Ann, I haven’t tried that, if you do I hope you’ll stop back by and let us know if it works. I’m so happy to hear this is your favorite paleo shepherd pie :-)

          • I’ve frozen this a bunch of times (all for new moms, myself included). I usually do a sweet potato topping so i can’t definitively comment on how the cauliflower will do (though I imagine it would be totally fine), but the rest of it freezes perfectly.

  2. I made this tonight for dinner…..Yum!!! Every recipe we try on your site is a winner! Thank you Elana

    • Cindy, thanks for your awesome comment! I’m so happy to hear that every recipe you try of mine is a winner :-)

  3. Hi Elana!

    Do I need to cook the cauliflower before adding it to the food processor? A little confused on this step!

  4. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes – I’ve been making it quite a few times a year for the past few years – Just wanted to say thank you!! Everyone I’ve made it for, health-conscious or not, has loved it – no one knows the cauliflower mash isn’t mashed potato until I tell them :)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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Recipes » Dinners » Paleo Shepherd’s Pie