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

4.87 from 23 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

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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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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Julie
7 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 »

Carney
7 years ago

Hello!

Could I make make this recipe with Yukon Gold potatoes, do you think? Also, do you know about how many pounds of potatoes the 5 were?

Thanks!

Genie
8 years ago

So many nitpickers, how sad. Life’s too short for that! This looks delicious, I am going to make tonight. Will it freeze well, do you think? I wasn’t sure about the potatoes. Maybe top only half, freeze the un topped part and then just make fresh potatoes when you eat the rest?

Jane
8 years ago

Recipe looks yummy with out a doubt, but it’s definitely not Paleo. Peas are Legumes and not allowed. White potatoes though on the fence shouldn’t be included on a recipe labeled Paleo when it really isn’t Paleo.

Kate
8 years ago

This was delish! I made it tonight as part of my whole 30 slump. Loved it – thank you!

Jen
8 years ago

5 stars
I was looking for more paleo dinner ideas, and I stumbled across this recipe. I made it and my husband has asked for it just about every week since!! It’s delicious and healthy and delicious!

Lissie
8 years ago

I made this dish tonight. So good! I seriously cannot wait to be hungry again so I can have a third serving. I did make a few variations. 1. I used half cauliflower and half potatoes for the mash 2. Added quite a bit more sea salt than called for in the recipe. I found the veggie/meat mixture to be a bit bland when taste-tasting (Perhaps just my preference) 3. Did not use tapioca starch. I didn’t have any–quite frankly, did not even know of it prior to this recipe. I googled an alternative and found flour could be subbed… Read more »

Melissa B
8 years ago

This looks quite yummy! I love cooking Paleo, but added to my problem are my food sensitivities to potato and tomato. I wonder if I roasted some zucchini if I could sub it for the tomato in the sauce? It might be worth a try!

Danielle
8 years ago

I am interested in making this recipe but I am not on a Paleo diet. I was wondering what common ingredient you could substitute the tapioca starch for, so that I don’t have to spend the extra money buying something that I won’t be using regularly. I saw that it is sometimes a substitute for wheat flour or for corn starch. I was just wonder which of those, or something else to use.

paleo recipe
8 years ago

5 stars
This looks delicious! Simple enough to do for all cooks but TASTY enough to be interesting to more experienced cooks too. Thank you for this one!!

claire
9 years ago

Hi, im just getting into Paleo eating, and this looks delish, technically being a Brit this is a cottage pie, shepherds pie made with lamb mince, as in sheep – shepherds! Xx

Mary
9 years ago

Hello! I plan to substitute coconut oil for the butter portion of the recipe. How much should I use? I was thinking the equivalent is 1/4 cup…is that correct? Thanks! Can’t wait to eat it!

Joyce
9 years ago

Shepherd’s Pie! One of my favorite meals, but makes too much for just me. I’ll have to make it and share with my coworkers. I like to add sauteed parsnips, turnips and celery, along with loads of carrots and green beans. Sounds odd, I know, but what a flavorful combination! Even my vegetable-hating former father-in-law loved it, and he would constantly ask m-i-l to make “Joyce’s pie”!

Sarah
9 years ago

This looks amazing! Comfort foods are great this time of year. Also, I am focusing on shifting our family to Paleo along with me and I think my husband, 4 yo son and 15 month old will enjoy this without thinking of it as a ‘change’ 🙂

Jill
9 years ago

White potatoes are absolutely not allowed on paleo diet – nor are peas (legumes) or tapioca starch. Sounds like an excellent recipe if you’re not trying to stick to the paleo diet.

Caitlin
9 years ago

I love a good shepards pie! And those veggie additions look great. I can’t wait to give this a try.