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.
Have had “cottage pie” in Ireland on many occasions. This healthy version isn’t the same but still delicious. Instead of zucchini I used finely chopped carrots. The mash was actually boxed cauliflower mashed potatoes with garlic then cheddar mixed it. Very good - will definitely make again. Only thing to make it better would have been a pint of Guinness!
Good recipe... I used a nut milk bag to squeeze as much water out of cauliflower then mixed it with the butter and heavy cream until thoroughly mixed ... 5 minutes, then baked in a portable oven fryer for 20 minutes at 350 degrees ... perfect texture and perfect taste
Gayle P says
I used a little bbq sauce in my meat and veggies and it was awesome. My family loves it.
Also, when I make tge cauliflower I cook it in a steamer basket and after cooking and cooling slightly I squeeze water out using towels or paper towels.
Jane R says
Great recipe but shepherds pie it ain’t as that would involve lamb mince (clue is in the name)! This uses beef which is a completely different thing (cottage pie).
I used cauliflower pieces in a keto cheese sauce for the topping which was delicious - mashed cauliflower is a little too much for me and I enjoyed the texture ore (especially crisped up under the grill)!
Yes, I know this is technically cottage pie. You can use lamb if you prefer. This is mentioned in the blog post.
Kat Wilkie says
OMG, this was super delicious! I didn't have tomatoes so I added celery and red pepper instead. Everyone RAVED! I'll definitely make it again! Thank you for sharing!
How many ounces or grams in a serving? Thx!
I'm sorry I don't have that information. If you have a kitchen scale you can weigh your casserole dish empty and after baking this to find that out.
Is the nutrition for 1 serving? How many servings?
Yes. There are 6 servings.
Can we freeze it
Mashed cauliflower freezes ok but not great. If possible I'd suggest freezing the meat portion and then adding freshly mashed cauliflower.
What kind of shredded cheese?
Completely up to you. Mozzarella will be a very mild flavor or use something more flavorful like cheddar or gruyere.
Just made this and it is awesome!!
I doubled the recipe and it took an extra 15 minutes to brown
What a great recipe! I just got done eating and I’m so stuffed but want more. That’s how good it is! Thank you! #keto
I added a beef bullion cube to the hamburger mixture to make it beefier, loved it
rose gallo says
I love this recipe, I added some Italian sausage to it extra garlic it’s awesome , will make again
I’m going to add a cube, as well. Thanks.
I have not tried it but it seems like an egg wash might help brown the cauliflower
I love this recipe! I just made it, but I couldn't get the mashed cauliflower to brown, I even left it in for an extra 5 minutes. Only the edges started to brown. Can anyone offer me what I might have missed or any tips to making it brown better?
You could put it under the broiler for a couple minutes.
Add some cheese
put a little cheese on top and broil for 6 minutes
I found the easiest way to brown cauliflower in the oven is to add a some real Parmesan cheese(not the stuff in the big green plastic container) the fresh stuff even the stuff that’s pre-shredded works well. It is a much drier cheese then say cheddar or mozzarella so it seems to brown a lot faster then either of those without adding a lot of fat that tends to float on top. Anyway that worked wonderful for me!
Going to try the addition of a beef bullion cube to add a depth of flavour have to check the sodium content on those first.
Mary Mathews says
You certainly did mention it is 'technically' Cottage Pie in the beginning but lots of people just glaze over to the recipe. It's a great recipe!! I very much like adding Worcestershire sauce. As for the cauliflower mash, I bought a colander with very tiny fine holes. It's important to get as much liquid out of the cauliflower once cooked, (called ricing) which renders a truly creamy texture which is very close to mashed potatoes!! I use a bowl to press it in the colander to release the water. Less water should allow it to brown better, too.
Thanks for sharing your tips, Mary! I'm glad you like this recipe 🙂
Has anyone tried Nthis with frozen mashed cauliflower?
Karen Teeling says
can I add peas, green beans and corn to this and get the same carb count?
No, those all have carbs. Green beans would be the best choice.
Mark W says
I'm about to prepare this but was curious why it is listed as American cuisine instead Irish or United kingdom?
Because it's not a traditional recipe, just my take on it.
Sandra Brine says
This recipe is awesome. I hope it re heats well.
thank you for the recipe I will be making the base and freezing to have on hand.
So good. I bought two of the green giant sour cream and chives mashed cauliflower. Mixed it with 1/2 pound of pre cooked bacon diced. Loaded it up with Monterrey jack cheese, like 3/4 pound. Baked for 25 min then broiled for 2 minutes to crisp it up. So much better than our old style potato/ corn/ ground beef. I also added some chili powder and basil on top before broiling. My wife hasn’t spoken to me in the last 15 minutrs due to consumption of said recipe. Lol. So good. Thank you.