Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie with a cheesy cauliflower topping, this keto version of the classic comfort food is filling and delicious. The creamy smooth mashed caulie will make you forget all about those potatoes!
It’s comfort food season and this Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie is sure to be a hit. Even the kids loved it! This post was first written in 2014, but I love this low carb shepherd’s pie so much, I decided it needed a bit of an update.
Comfort food is aptly named, don’t you think? It’s chilly and wet out there, and it’s that time of year when we crave all sorts of soups, stews, and casseroles.
But it may surprise you to find that comfort food doesn’t have to come with a high carb count. With a little tweaking here and a little adjustment there, comfort food that fits into the keto diet is more than just possible. It’s delicious!
I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie, and I love the stuff. And it really is the perfect comfort food. After all, it’s meat and potatoes. Except… surprise! It’s not potatoes at all. Not in this healthy keto shepherd’s pie recipe.
Despite appearances, that smooth, creamy topping has nary a starchy potato to be seen. That’s all cauliflower, baby. And I promise you that even if you aren’t a cauliflower fan, you will enjoy this recipe.
Cauliflower is like the potato’s low carb arch-nemesis. It’s healthy and clean, and it makes a fabulous topping for your meaty pie. It also doesn’t fill you up nearly so much with heavy starches, so you don’t walk away from the table feeling as if you just consumed a bowling ball.
Which means there is room for dessert!
How to Make Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie
Making a keto shepherd’s pie is actually a lot easier than you might think. And the end result is just as flavorful and comforting as the original.
The traditional filling is made with ground lamb and usually includes some higher carb vegetables like carrots and peas. And it often uses some flour to thicken the juices in the fill as well.
To cut back on the carbs, I eliminated the carrots and peas. No great loss there, they don’t really add to the flavour much and those peas get mighty mushy.
I replaced the wheat flour with a little coconut flour, which I whisked into the pan juices and reduced the sauce for a while. I promise it doesn’t make it taste like coconut. Almond flour won’t really work here, as it won’t thicken much. But if you really want to skip the coconut flour, whisk in 1/4 teaspoon of glucomannan or xanthan gum instead.
Potatoes out, cauliflower in! And it’s just as easy to make – perhaps more so!
I like to steam my cauliflower until quite soft, and then drain it. Then I blend it in my blender with sour cream and butter for a super creamy topping. A few garlic cloves don’t hurt either.
Spread this creamy mixture over the filling and sprinkle with shredded cheese. I know shredded cheddar is not traditional with shepherd’s pie, but I will say…it tastes mighty fine that way! Plus it browns so beautifully under the broiler.
Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb
Have you noticed that I have a thing for lamb? I do, I really do. I love lamb and I would happily eat it ten times more often if I could afford it.
If you aren’t a lamb fanatic like me, you could do all ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey. Using ground beef turns it into a Cottage Pie but I won’t tell if you don’t. No matter what you do, this is a great meal. My whole family loved it.
But if you do love lamb, here are a few more of my favourite keto lamb recipes:
Traditional shepherd's pie with lamb gets a low carb makeover using mashed cauliflower and cheddar cheese. True keto comfort food!
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 lb cauliflower florets
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the lamb until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a large casserole dish.
Add the onion, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Whisk the coconut flour into the pan juices until well combined. Add the red wine and cook until reduced by about half. Stir in the chopped rosemary and then pour the mixture over the lamb.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Set a steaming basket into a large stockpot and add water to the bottom. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves and steam until cauliflower is very tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Drain the cauliflower well and transfer to a blender or food processor, along with the garlic cloves. Add the sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Spread the cauliflower mixture over the filling in the casserole dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
Turn the broiler on high and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat for 2 to 4 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove and let sit a few minutes before serving.