Keto shepherd's pie incorporates extra vegetables into the meat mixture and is topped with creamy mashed cauliflower instead of the traditional potatoes.
I love making hearty casseroles in the winter, and this is one of my favorites to make. It's wonderfully filling, my entire family loves it, and it makes a complete meal, so I don't have to bother with sides (unless I want to).
Plus, I love how this keto shepherd's pie is just as delicious as the traditional pie. Another big plus: it's very easy to make, and the leftovers keep well for a few days and taste great!
What is shepherd's pie?
It's a simple, hearty casserole. In the traditional recipes, ground meat (typically lamb) is browned with vegetables and seasonings, then topped with mashed potatoes and baked.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty casserole. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Vegetables: Cauliflower, onion, garlic, and spinach.
Fats: Olive oil and butter.
Ground beef: I use lean ground beef (85/15). I don't recommend going any leaner than that.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Smoked paprika, ground cumin, and garlic powder. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Egg yolk: For the mashed cauliflower. It makes it extra creamy!
How do you make a keto shepherd's pie?
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions. My very flavorful version departs from tradition. I use spinach and nontraditional seasonings such as smoked paprika and cumin, which I love for their depth and warmth.
I use ground beef in this recipe because one of us does not like the taste of lamb. And I top the beef mixture with mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.
To speed things up, I skip the traditional step of adding broth to the beef then reducing the broth. And I also skip baking the casserole for 30 minutes. I just broil it for a few minutes, so it’s ready fast - and really, it’s just as good.
Try to resist the temptation to make it even lighter by skimping on the butter or egg yolk for the mashed cauliflower. Both add incredible flavor and creaminess.
How to serve this dish?
It's a complete meal, much like a casserole. So you don't really need to serve it with any side dishes. Although sometimes I do serve it with a simple side salad (which nicely balances out the richness of the dish), or with any of these vegetable sides:
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of this keto Shepherd's Pie in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
Other ground beef recipes that you might like
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Keto Shepherd's Pie
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 8 oz spinach whole leaf, frozen
- 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg yolk
- Cut the cauliflower into chunks or florets. Place in a large, microwave-safe bowl, add ½ cup water, cover, and microwave until very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the beef, onions, spinach and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat as you cook, until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Turn the heat off.
- Puree the hot cauliflower in your food processor with the remaining salt and pepper, butter and garlic powder. When very smooth, add the egg yolk and process for a few more seconds, until fluffy.
- Place the beef mixture in a square 8-inch, broiler safe baking dish, or a baking dish of a similar capacity. Spread the mashed cauliflower on top. Broil, 6 inches away from heat (NOT directly under the heat element), just until cauliflower is browned, about 5 minutes. Allow to rest and set for 5 minutes before serving.