This meaty, savory keto Shepherd's Pie Recipe is perfect to make now that Fall is almost upon us. I know that you and your whole family will enjoy this recipe. It's so delicious, even non-keto dieters will ask for seconds!
This easy comfort food recipe is low carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
So, if you are looking for a hearty and comforting dinner recipe, look no further. I'm so excited to share this low-carb makeover of one of my all-time favorite casserole recipes - Shepherd's Pie.
Olive oil - You can also use coconut oil or avocado oil as well. These are good healthy fat alternatives.
Onion - Sweet onions and yellow onions are always a good idea.
Cloves garlic - Minced garlic is delicious, and garlic powder is always a viable option also.
Ground beef - My family likes ground beef in this recipe instead of the traditional lamb.
Zucchini - Clean well and slice!
Crushed tomatoes - Canned tomatoes save on prep but you can use fresh tomatoes if you want.
Salt and pepper - To taste.
Cauliflower - You can buy the cauliflower already diced or dice it yourself.
Butter - Adds richness and flavor.
Heavy cream - This adds flavor and thickness to the pie.
Shredded cheese - You can use any type of cheese that you want.
How to Make Keto Shepherd's Pie
The complete instructions and ingredient quantities are under the photos in the recipe card.
Step One: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat until soft and translucent.
Step Two: Add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is browned and cooked through.
Step Three: Add the zucchini and tomatoes and stir to combine.
Step Four: Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Step Five: In a large pot, add cauliflower to boiling water. Boil the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Step Six: Drain the cauliflower, allowing all steam to escape. Dry cauliflower will help make a creamier mash.
Step Seven: Transfer the drained cauliflower florets to a food processor. Add the butter, cream, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
Expert Tip: If you don't have a food processor you can process the cauliflower in a blender in small batches.
Step Eight: Place the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the cauliflower.
Expert Tip: If you use a cast iron skillet to cook the beef you can leave it right in the skillet and add the mashed cauliflower on top.
Step Nine: Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes and until the filling is bubbly and the topping is browned.
Add a garnish - Adding fresh parsley right on top is a great flavor!
Vegetables - You can boost the vegetables by adding some chopped celery and carrots with the onions. They will increase the net carbs slightly though.
Mix in cream cheese - To get a super creamy cauliflower mash, add a tad bit of cream cheese to the mixture. You can also add an egg yolk to set the cauliflower more.
Bold flavor - If you like a stronger tomato flavor stir some tomato paste into the ground beef. You can also add a dash of worcestershire sauce to boost the flavor of the meat.
Protein source - If you want to cut down on calories and fat content, lower-fat ground turkey, ground venison, or ground chicken works in place of ground beef.
What is in Shepherd's Pie?
Shepherd's pie is a traditional dish that most likely originated in Scotland or northern England. It was a recipe developed to use leftover pieces of roast meat. It is usually called "shepherd's pie" when made with lamb because a shepherd looks after sheep.
Shepherd's pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. However, I used ground beef in this low carb version because my family prefers it, and it is easier for me to find. This is normally called Cottage Pie. That said, if you love lamb and are able to find it in your local grocery store, please feel free to substitute it for ground beef.
How do you make Shepherd's Pie keto?
Traditional shepherd's pie is a casserole made with a layer of cooked meat and vegetables in a savory gravy. Then, the meat is topped with mashed potatoes, and baked in the oven until the mashed potatoes are browned.
This keto shepherd's pie is made with mashed cauliflower topping instead of mashed potatoes. "Cauli mash" is a great low carb or Trim Healthy Mama alternative to mashed potatoes -- and is just as delicious. It has more fiber, nutrition, and a lot fewer carbs than potatoes. I like to use cheddar cheese in my cauliflower for a boost of flavor.
How do I store leftovers?
The leftovers of this hearty dish are the best! Just let the low carb shepherd’s pie mixture cool down and then store it in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave and add some freshly shredded cheese on top, if you'd like!
What goes with Shepherd's Pie?
This dish is almost a full meal in itself. Meat, veggies, and cauliflower mash come together to make a satisfying meal.
If you are looking to make something to accompany it, I'd suggest garlic broccoli or a simple side salad.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this up to 2 days ahead of time. Make the meat mixture and mashed cauliflower and assemble the keto shepherds pie casserole. When you are ready to serve it bake it as directed.
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Ground Beef mixture
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef or lamb
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat until soft and translucent.
- Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until it is browned and cooked through.
- Add the zucchini and tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- In a large pot, add cauliflower to boiling water. Boil the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
- Drain the cauliflower, allowing all steam to escape. Dry cauliflower will help make a creamier mash.
- Transfer the drained cauliflower to a food processor. Add the butter, cream, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Place the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the mashed cauliflower.
- Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes and until the filling is bubbly and the topping is browned
This is a recipe from Sarah of the low-carb recipe blog, Green & Keto. Visit her for delicious keto recipes, meal plans, and more!
Originally Published August 16, 2018. Revised and Republished January 27, 2023.
If I were to buy frozen cauliflower rice, how much would be needed for the recipe?
About 20 ounces. When you are making the mashed cauliflower you can add a little more if it seems thin.
Audrey Stewart says
I made this last weekend and my family loved it! I am so glad to have found all these Keto recipes. I will be trying a different one every week.
Denise Chamberlain says
Let me tell you mama, this was sooo good. Great advice on removing the water from the cauliflower. I’ve now used that tip on other cauliflower recipes.
I made one modification to the recipe. I added one egg yolk to the cauliflower mixture, just like a traditional shepherds pie. It helped brown the top very nicely.
Thank you for sharing your recipe!!!
I have made this so many times now, it’s such a delicious recipe, my family love it. I reduced the amount of cream and added an beef oxo cube to the meat. Thank you so much 😊
Amy Nash says
Fantastic dinner idea! Honestly, I enjoy this even when we aren't focusing on a keto diet. It's just really good, wholesome and delicious food!
My family really enjoyed this. The cauliflower works so well as a topping and you really keep that comfort food feel you want with shepherd's pie. Delicious!
Love this! One of my favorite Keto recipes!
Hope Banks says
I am making this recipe, because it's both low carb and gluten free. I have difficulty finding recipes that fit my dietary needs. It's in the oven and smells delicious. It will be perfect for a cold Winter's evening.
Shila L Homan says
Every time I make this I make it a little different. It always comes out good.
Barbara H. says
Looks yummy and will give it a try. FYI, my Brit friends tell me when you use beef it's a cottage pie.
I mention the difference between Shepherd's pie and cottage pie in the blog post. You can use any type of ground meat you like.
David the cook says
he term cottage pie was in use by 1791.
The term shepherd's pie did not appear until 1854, and was initially used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the meat was beef or mutton. pie is traditionally beef here
Can I add peas and carrots to the recipe?
Sure. It will increase the net carbs a bit but if that is ok go for it. I do use some peas and carrots in my low carb chicken pot pie.
Cheryl Jones says
I steamed the cauliflower which not only leaves more nutrients but also more flavor in the cauliflower. I didn’t make the recipe for Keto but for a diabetic with heart disease. I used heart healthy cream of mushroom soup, portobello mushrooms and sodium free beef broth instead of heavy cream.
The cauliflower was excellent (no cheese) but overall the dish was outstanding.
I’ll follow the recipe next time with tomatoes and zucchini as I think it will be really good too.
Cara Snover says
do you think I could use frozen cauliflower rice instead of fresh?
Yes, that would be fine.
Mine is in the oven as I write this. I’m an experienced enough cook to know this is gonna be amazing. I just want to say thank you - I have been looking for Keto comfort food and this flips the bill nicely. Made it close to your recipe for my first run, but can’t wait to tinker with it! Isn’t that the real “joy of cooking”? 🙂❤️
Shila Homan says
I didn't realize that I should have squeezed the water out of cauliflower I'm new at this keto stuff.
Well it depends on how you cook the cauliflower and how wet it is. If you steam it, there is minimal moisture and why I've switched to always steaming it. It also keeps more nutrients in the food and less in the water! The recipe mentioned water will make it moister for that reason.
Jerri Davis says
This is probably my favorite keto meal to date and I have been on keto over 2 years! Thank you for posting!