Low-carb shepherd's pie

Low-carb shepherd’s pie

Pascale Naessens' low-carb take on the classic Irish shepherd's pie, where cauliflower replaces the traditional mashed potato topping. A multi-layered masterpiece! A convenient and comforting all-in-one dinner, and an irresistible family dish that everybody loves. Perfect for cooking in advance and freezes well — not that there will be any leftovers!

Low-carb shepherd’s pie

Pascale Naessens' low-carb take on the classic Irish shepherd's pie, where cauliflower replaces the traditional mashed potato topping. A multi-layered masterpiece! A convenient and comforting all-in-one dinner, and an irresistible family dish that everybody loves. Perfect for cooking in advance and freezes well — not that there will be any leftovers!
USMetric
4 servingservings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 450 g cauliflower
  • 3 (12 oz.) 3 (325 g) yellow onionyellow onions
  • 3 (6½ oz.) 3 (180 g) carrotcarrots
  • 3 3 garlic clovegarlic cloves
  • 1½ lbs 650 g ground beef or ground turkey
  • ¼ cup 60 ml olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 9 oz. 260 g cherry tomatoes
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Instructions

Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Dice the onions and carrots. Halve the tomatoes.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, garlic, a generous splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Cook until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until tender.
  5. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat, until it is browned. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Add the tomatoes. Cook for about three minutes, then transfer to a baking dish.
  7. When the cauliflower is tender, drain in a colander and return the pot to medium heat. Add a nice splash of olive oil and briefly sautée the cauliflower florets.
  8. Mash the cauliflower, preferably with a potato masher so as to keep a little texture. Add olive oil and mix. The more olive oil you add to the mash, the smoother it will be (see tip). Spoon the cauliflower over the vegetable mixture.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cauliflower topping is browned, then serve.

Tip

Don’t be afraid of olive oil! Looking at the total number of calories or the total fat content is simply not the right way to determine if food is healthy or unhealthy. So don’t skimp on the olive oil—it is flavorful, satisfying and good for you.

Reheating

You can prepare this dish a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven for 30 minutes before serving.

About the recipe

This recipe is part of a collaboration with Pascale Naessens and comes from her book "Pure & Simple"

Recommended special equipment

Colander and potato masher

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12 comments

  1. Cameron
    I like the website, but you only focus on weight loss... Keto is also good for maintenance and lean muscle gain, you don't mention this. Plus, your meals plans are incorrect. 900 calories per day? What about BMI etc.....
  2. Gentiann
    It seems that's a lot of onions and carrots for a low carb recipe. Cutting back on these vegetables would make this dish more keto friendly. I would use only one small onion and one small carrot, replacing the others by some lower carb choices like zucchini, spinach or mushrooms.
    Reply: #3
  3. Jayfrog101
    100% Agreed. When I saw "Three Yellow Onions" I immediately thought "too much sugar." Celery makes a good substitute, and/or 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder OR garlic powder if you gotta have it. A small amount of Himalayan salt and turmeric for their respective benefits and taste.

    Add in any of the veggies on this list: https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vegetables-low-in-net-carbs.php

    Oh, and Shallots have more carbs per gram than onions. All the people saying they can be substituted are wrong.

    https://g.co/kgs/3KMHQw

    https://g.co/kgs/a6TXdX

  4. 1 comment removed
  5. D marks
    I hate cauliflower what else could I use
  6. Charles
    I put a spin on this one. Replaced the carrots with baby bell red peppers to reduce the net carbs. Added crumbled bacon and parm cheese to the top. Yum
  7. Shulammite
    Yummy food, and easy to make. I topped it up with cheddar cheese and some mozzarella .
  8. Isabeau
    This one has become my new favourite, it taste ps wonderful full of flavour.
  9. Andrea
    Definitely needs a little nutmeg in the cauliflower top. And it needs to be covered in cheese before it goes into the oven. Can't wait to make it; thanks to all for your lower-carb suggestions!
  10. TG
    This is our new favorite dish! It's very flavorful. We've been on low carb for over a month. One side-effect has been our ability to taste sweet flavors has increased. The tomatoes, sweet onion, and carrots are intensely sweet, and I made the cauliflower salty. It's a great combination, and with the fatty 80% hamburger meat, it's the best shepherd's pie ever! I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the cauliflower at the end to add back moisture. This is a great recipe.
    Reply: #11
  11. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    This is our new favorite dish! It's very flavorful. We've been on low carb for over a month. One side-effect has been our ability to taste sweet flavors has increased. The tomatoes, sweet onion, and carrots are intensely sweet, and I made the cauliflower salty. It's a great combination, and with the fatty 80% hamburger meat, it's the best shepherd's pie ever! I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the cauliflower at the end to add back moisture. This is a great recipe.

    Thank you for taking time to share your feedback on this one!

  12. Emily
    Good recipe, and I like how the cauliflower topping is “jazzed up” with garlic and olive oil. Assembly tip: let the meat/veg cool before making and adding the topping of cauliflower mash. That way it’s easier to spread and won’t sink into the meat while you spread it!
    Reply: #13
  13. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    Good recipe, and I like how the cauliflower topping is “jazzed up” with garlic and olive oil. Assembly tip: let the meat/veg cool before making and adding the topping of cauliflower mash. That way it’s easier to spread and won’t sink into the meat while you spread it!

    Thanks for the tip, Emily!

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