Cauliflower Crust Shepherd’s Pie



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What do you think of when you think of comfort food? Spaghetti and meatballs. Gooey casseroles. Cheesy Lasagna. Biscuits and gravy. Chocolate cake. Shepherd’s pie is one of those foods, for me. My mom had her small repertoire of meals she would make us on a regular basis, and this was one of them. Funny enough- I’m not a huge potato fan. But when you combine a layer of creamy mash on top of savory meat and veggies, it just has that cozy, on-a-fall-friday kind of feel to it, right?

I found out I had a sensitivity to potatoes a few years back, and ever since I’ve been swapping out the potatoes for steamed cauliflower- and I actually like it even better. It’s a great way to get an extra boost of nutrients (most of the nutrient value of a potato is in the peel, which you typically discard for mash) and it’s just as flavorful. The creamy mashed cauliflower tops some simple seasoned grass-fed ground beef with veggies for an easy one-pot meal that is SO simple to prep ahead (veggies, meat, chopped and steamed cauli) for a simple Fall dinner. The ingredients are also inexpensive and it makes a TON- budget win!

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Cauliflower Crust Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Kristin Dovbniak
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x




avocado or olive oil as needed

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 large carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic

1 lb ground beef

1/2 tsp dried oregano

pinch smoked paprika

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup frozen peas

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Cauliflower Crust:

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp butter or ghee (use coconut oil for dairy-free)

pinch sea salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Heat a drizzle of oil to medium in a sautee pan.

  2. Fill a small pot with 2″ of water and place a steamer basket on top. Cover and bring to a boil. (Alternately, bring a large pot of water to boil to boil instead of steam).

  3. Add onion, carrot and celery to sautee pan. Season lightly and cook until turning translucent. Stir in garlic and cook another 10-15 seconds.

  4. In the meantime, once water is boiling add cauliflower and garlic clove to steamer basket or pot and steam or boil until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.

  5. Once vegetables are softened, add beef, season with salt,and pepper and all dried spices and cook until no longer pink.

  6. Stir in thyme, worcestershire sauce and frozen peas. Cook until peas are soft.

  7. Transfer meat mixture to a casserole dish. Once cauliflower is soft, remove from steamer basket and mash or process with butter and a pinch of salt until soft. Spread over top of meat mixture and top with cheese. Bake in oven for 15 minutes,broiling for the last 2 until cheese is bubbly and turning golden.


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