Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

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Eat a comforting but healthy dinner with this Paleo Shepherd’s Pie. Fill with your favorite veggies and top with white or sweet potatoes.

A few Saturdays ago, I woke up craving some good comfort food. I knew we didn’t have any leftovers in the fridge and I knew that if I had any hope of eating healthy during the weekend, I needed to make a hearty meal that would give us a dinner on Saturday and lunch leftovers for Sunday.

One of Matt’s favorite meals is shepherd’s pie. I guess I didn’t realize this was such a comfort meal for him. When I told him I was going to create a paleo shepherd’s pie recipe, he got excited. Really excited. The way to a man’s heart is definitely through their stomachs, ladies.

shepherd's pie casserole in a baking dish

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • healthy shepherd’s pie that fits into our paleo eating plan
  • packed with ground beef
  • 4 types of veggies on the bottom: garden-fresh zucchini, carrots, peas and kale
  • a layer of of mashed potatoes on top.
  • pure comfort food!

Shepherd’s Pie vs Cottage Pie

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, shepherd’s pie generally is made with lamb or mutton and cottage pie uses beef. Most recipes will call for either type of meat though.

Both have a minced meat on the bottom and mashed potatoes on top.

The Parts of The Casserole

  • Potatoes topping. The top of the casserole is mashed potatoes. Use sweet potatoes or white potatoes, whichever you’d like. If you’re making this paleo, use ghee and almond milk. Regular milk and butter work too.
  • Ground beef. Use a lean ground beef or even ground turkey. Brown the meat and drain off any fat before assembling the casserole.
  • Vegetables. I loaded four types of veggies in this casserole: zucchini, carrots, kale and peas. Peas are not allowed on the Whole30, so you can switch those out for brussels sprouts or green beans if you’d like.
  • Tomato sauce. The sauce that the meat cooks in is not thick and rich like spaghetti sauce. It simply adds flavor and a little “juice” to the meat layer. You could add tomato sauce if you’d like it thicker.

How to Make Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

  • In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes until they are tender (about 10 minutes). Mash the potatoes and cream them together with the butter, milk, salt and pepper until they are fluffy. Set aside.
  • Place all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet or saucepan. Drain the fat off the meat.
  • Add the sauce and chopped vegetables to the skillet. Cover the skillet and allow the meat and veggies to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the veggies start getting tender. Don’t allow them to cook all the way through since they will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the meat and veggies to a 9×13 pan or a deep dish 9×9 casserole pan. Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes and spread out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly around the edges.
a bowl full of paleo shepherd's pie

What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for just a healthy shepherd’s pie recipe and don’t need a special diet, I suggest serving this with our dinner rolls. If you’re looking for Whole30 side dishes, try one of these:

Many times I also serve green beans on the side.

closeup of ground beef casserole with mashed potatoes
closeup of ground beef casserole with mashed potatoes

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

5 from 10 votes
Eat a comforting but healthy dinner with this Paleo Shepherd’s Pie. Fill with your favorite veggies and top with white or sweet potatoes.
Servings 6
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients
 

  • 5 large Russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch or corn starch

Filling:

  • 1 1/3 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup zucchini peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes until they are tender (about 10 minutes). Mash the potatoes and cream them together with the butter, milk, salt and pepper until they are fluffy. Set aside.
  • Place all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet or saucepan. Drain the fat off the meat.
  • Add the sauce and chopped vegetables to the skillet. Cover the skillet and allow the meat and veggies to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the veggies start getting tender. Don't allow them to cook all the way through since they will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the meat and veggies to a 9×13 pan or a deep dish 9×9 casserole pan. Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes and spread out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly around the edges.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the casserole. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 1984mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5195IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 6mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 548
Keyword beef casserole, casserole recipe, healthy dinner

Looking for more paleo recipes?

Try our Paleo Italian Chicken Fingers, Zuppa Toscana, Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken, Stuffed Peppers and more!

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Julie
6 years ago

Oh. my. word. This recipe was DELICIOUS!! Thank you, Julie! We’ve become accustomed to bland and starchy shepherd’s pie, but this… THIS was incredible. It was FULL of flavor and so healthy. I added a cup of chopped celery and a rinsed/drained can of red kidney beans to the simmering pot of meat (ground beef for us) and veggies. The only drawback I encountered was that right out of the oven, it was pretty soupy, so I might let it sit on the counter for 10 min or so before serving next time b/c by the time we were putting… Read more »

Margarita
5 years ago

Instead of potatoes l will use mashed cauliflower for those who can’t eat carbs at all. Due to sugar issues.

PETE POPEYE
5 years ago

HI. I have been cooking for over 50 years. I am kind of new to Paleo, but it has become our mainstay in cooking, since I do all the cooking, my 26 yr old son LOVES shepards pie. thank you … PETE

Laelle
5 years ago

Thanks for a great recipe! Honestly, I used it more as a “template” and subbed/modified to use what I had on hand. No paleo police in my house, but since my kids hate when I add peas to things, I used finely diced asparagus and some broccoki stems instead I needed to use up, so we still had a bit of green. And combo of a head of cauliflower, 1 large white sweet potato, and 3 smallish yellow potatoes for topping. Oh and arrowroot instead of tapioca and leftover marinara instead of diced tomatoes. Ha, and homemade mayo (egg free… Read more »

Michael Lanteri
4 years ago

Thanks so much for this recipe!!! ll great comments so far. Shepard’s Pie is my all-time favorite comfort food dish. I swapped out the white potato for parsnips…adds a sweet finish to the taste!! And NO CARBS! But you need a lot of them…I used a 5 lb bag from a wholesale grocer, but you can buy (5) 1 lb packages at your local supermarket. Instead of 2 lbs of beef, I also swapped out one pound of beef for one pound of lamb, the mixture of the lamb and the beef was MAGNIFIC!!!! Its a great way to introduce… Read more »

Mandy
3 years ago

5 stars
SO tasty! Followed the recipe exactly and it was wonderful!

Chris
3 years ago

5 stars
Thanks for putting this out there. I knew I wanted a clean version and yours one of the first to come up on google. I used carrots, onion, brocholi stalks, brussel sprouts and a mexican squash which is zuchinni-ish. For seasoning I used rosemary from the plant outside, dried type and a pinch of oregano.

I found the mashed potatoes a little dry so I mixed in some of the extra sauces from the meat/veggies. I made enough for 15 and I’m sure the group will love it. I tried it tonight and was very impressed.

Gary Brangman
3 years ago

5 stars
This is my go -to shepherds pie recipe . Always a big hit . I decided to make a meatless version of it by replacing the meat with 4 oz of mushrooms and a half cup of green lentils . Worked perfectly ! I doubt anyone would notice it is meatless !

Carol Francis
3 years ago

5 stars
I got rave comments on this recipe, I used coconut oil and coconut milk, and people were delighted. The vegetables were a special touch. I am making it again next weekend for a party, I made it the night before and rewarmed it, and it tasted even better the next day. Bravo!

Brooke
3 years ago

5 stars
A hit with the family! I replaced the almond milk with bone broth for the mashed potatoes, otherwise I kept it all the same and they loved it. Thank you so much for sharing! This was a favorite meal growing up and finding a version that tastes like my grandpas recipe while being so healthy has made it even better!
Also, my 4 y.o. And 19 month old devoured it. So definitely a great recipe to get toddlers to eat their veggies!