There are few recipes more satisfying than the first steaming bite of this low carb shepherd’s pie recipe!
The warm, savory mashed cauliflower topping holds in all this casserole’s flavorful goodness of gravy, beef, and veggies, giving you a meal that’ll warm you from the inside out — Similar to a cauliflower pizza crust.
You might think low carb dinners can’t be hearty and comforting — think again! I promise you, this low carb shepherd’s pie recipe will rewrite everything you thought you knew about low carb casseroles.
Break out your baking dishes and let’s get cooking!
What I Love About Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
I know that everyone who lives the low carb lifestyle still likes to feel full and satisfied, and sometimes you just want a really hearty, warm dinner.
This low carb shepherd’s pie recipe is that meal!
- Hearty for your belly, not your waistline
- Easy to prep and store
- Perfect cold-weather dinner!
Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie Tips + Tricks
A good and easy shepherd’s pie is famous for two things:
- A gravy-rich filling
- Topped with fluffy mashed potatoes…
But this low carb version swaps the potatoes for a very low carb friendly alternative: mashed cauliflower!
I’ve rounded up some of my best tips to amp up the flavor and harness the powers of these ingredients in all the best ways!:
- Lamb vs. beef – Traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with ground LAMB. However, ground lamb is harder to find and is an acquired taste. I like to make this keto shepherd’s pie with ground beef (which would technically make this a cottage pie). Both work.
- Thicken the gravy (the low carb way!) – One of the yummy things about gravy is its ooze factor, but ever notice how some pies are a little too liquidy? That’s why I use xanthan gum in this recipe — it helps thicken the gravy suuuper efficiently. PLUS! Xantham gum has fewer carbs per serving than cornstarch and flour.
- Why egg yolks? They make the cauliflower richer, creamier, and aid in the consistency. Skip if you’d like.
This low carb shepherd’s pie recipe will do a-okay in airtight containers in the fridge.
You’ll want to reheat your slice in a toaster oven (or traditional oven) to re-crisp the top of the mashed cauliflower. I dish up my serving of low carb shepherd’s pie onto the little sheet tray that comes with my toaster oven and let it get all crispy in there.
The filling gets hot, the topping rejuvenates, and it gets that fresh-from-the-oven warmth all over again!
Can You Freeze This?
You can freeze this low carb shepherd’s pie recipe…
When you’re ready to eat, thaw in the fridge, and you can either reheat in the toaster oven or oven (as outlined above). Either way, you’ll bring your pie back to life!
Forgot an ingredient at the store? Want to shake things up with a different kind of meat or crust? I’ve already done trial and error on the best variations of this recipe. Here’s what I’ve found:
- Use a different kind of meat. Swap the meat in this low carb shepherd’s pie for ground pork/turkey/chicken (for a ground chicken casserole). This keto meat pie works well with whatever you have.
- Add more vegetables. Carrot and onion are the classics here, but you can add in whatever you’re craving. Morph this into a low carb green bean casserole by incorporating some green beans, healthy shepherd’s pie at its finest!
- Add cheese to the mashed cauliflower. Try mozzarella, parmesan, or cheddar cheese for a cheesy delight like a low carb goulash. I wouldn’t recommend going full-blown lasagna here (opt for this zucchini lasagna instead). But a little sprinkle never hurts!
- Make this spicy. Add some spice to the filling! Red pepper flakes or tabasco would both work. Or check out the spice mix in this low carb chili for some inspo!
More Low Carb Casserole Recipes
Casseroles like this low carb shepherd’s pie make the world a more relaxing and delicious place. Our freezer is full of these, so we always have dinner options, even when life gets crazy!
- Low Carb Chicken Casserole
- Zucchini Enchiladas
- Low Carb Squash Casserole
- Low Carb Breakfast Casserole
- Low Carb Tuna Casserole
Low Carb Shepherd's PiePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 24 Ounces Cauliflower Florets
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Ounces Unsalted Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 Tablespoons Mild Tasting Oil (see notes below)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion diced
- 2 Carrots peeled + diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Pounds Ground Beef
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 2 Teaspoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons Rosemary fresh, finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme Leaves fresh, chipped
- Steam. Add cauliflower florets (24 ounces) to a large saucepan along with 2" of water. Cover and steam until fork tender (about 10 minutes).
- Mash. Drain cauliflower, then add them back to the saucepan (if you have an immersion blender, if not, add to a high-speed blender* or food processor). Stir in the heavy cream (1/4 cup), butter (2 ounces), salt (1 teaspoon), pepper (1/4 teaspoon) and egg yolk (1). Blend until cauliflower is smooth and no lumps remain.
- While cauliflower is cooking, begin the filling by preheating your oven to 400 F.
- Cook meat + veggies. In a large oven-safe pan, heat vegetable oil. Add diced yellow onion (1 medium size) and carrots (2 peeled and diced) and cook until they begin to brown (about 4 minutes). Add minced garlic (2 cloves), and continue to cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Stir in the ground beef (2 pounds), salt (1 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/2 teaspoon). Break the meat up using the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until meat is no longer pink and totally cooked through.
- Drain excess fat from the pan -- to do this, I turn the stove off. Then move the meat in the pan to one side, and slightly tip the pan so the fat pools to one side. Then carefully, clean up this excess fat with paper towels. Be sure to leave a few teaspoons of fat in the pan (the amount you remove will vary depending on how high fat the meat you use is!), this is important for creating our sauce.
- Reduce. Sprinkle the meat with xanthan gum (1 teaspoon) and stir in tomato paste (2 teaspoons), soy sauce (1 teaspoon), chicken broth (1 cup), finely chopped rosemary (2 teaspoons ) and thyme (1 teaspoon). Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer until the sauce thickens. (about 10 - 12 minutes)
- Assembly. Pour filling into a baking dish (I used a 9" round cast iron, an 8" square dish will do as well). Scoop mashed cauliflower on top of the filling, making sure to spread evenly and seal the filling completely.
- Bake. Place baking dish onto a rimmed baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, you'll know it's done once the top is golden brown and the dish is heated through. Allow pie to cool slightly before serving, and enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Mild Tasting Oil. You want an oil with a high smoke point and mild flavor -- think avocado, vegetable, safflower, sunflower, peanut. Skip EVOO, coconut, or sesame oil.
- Nutritional information is based on 1 serving if you divide this recipe into 8 servings: