Move-Over-Shepherd’s-Pie Casserole

You love Shepherd’s Pie, don’t you?

I knew it.

For frankly, who doesn’t like Shepherd’s Pie?

Unfortunately, for us paleo folks, this simple yet delicious classic is pretty much off limits. Corn, being a grain and not a vegetable, has been removed from the “safe” food list and plain ole white taters, well, while some choose to still have them on occasion, they’re not your ultimate food choice.

Come to think of it, the good ole, typical Shepherd’s Pie that we’re so accustomed to eating, leaves much to be desired in the nutrition department.

Not this version, though!

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Let me tell you, this casserole right here was a million times better than any of the Shepherd’s Pie I ever had.

It’s so full of flavor and textures, I’m telling you, the real thing has ABSOLUTELY nothing over that one.


Not even the mashed potatoes.

Speaking of which… the mashed potatoes that you see on this guy?


They’re not even mashed potatoes. What you’re looking at is actually cauliflower.

That’s right: CAULIFLOWER! But if you don’t tell, no one will even notice the difference.

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

So thanks to Mr. Cauliflower, Ms. Tater won’t be missed, not even one for one minute.

And you know who else won’t be missed?

The Kernels family.

The Brussel sprouts and turnip have so much flavor to them, they greatly contribute to making every bite as palatable as can be. What’s more, the addition of toasted almonds brings a slight little element of crunch to that middle layer, much like corn would, only with much more personality.

I’m telling you guys, THIS, is my new official Shepherd’s Pie and I don’t feel deprived in the least!

Just wait ’til you try it!

Move-Over-Shepherd’s-Pie Casserole

Yield: Serves 3 - 4

NF based on 1 of 4 servings

Move-Over-Shepherd’s-Pie Casserole


    Bottom layer
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 227g mushrooms, sliced
  • 454g lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • few grinds freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water
  • Middle layer
  • 400g turnip, cut into ½” pieces
  • 400g Brussel sprouts, quartered
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Top layer
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • few grinds freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
  • More toasted almonds and chopped fresh parsley to garnish


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot enough, melt a little bit of coconut oil then add the mushrooms and cook them until they get all nice and golden brown on both sides. Add onion and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink.
  3. Meanwhile, combine tomato paste, mustard, anchovy paste, salt, pepper, coriander, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and water in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well blended and pour over cooked ground beef. Continue cooking for a few minutes until liquid has completely evaporated.
  4. Transfer to an oven safe dish (or several individual ones) and set aside.
  5. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and throw it into a saucepan with about a cup of salted water. Place a steaming basket over that saucepan and add the turnip and Brussel sprouts to it. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt, cover and steam until all the vegetables are fork tender, about 5 minutes. If you don’t have a steamind basket that fits over a saucepan, you can cook the vegetables in two separate pots.
  6. Dry roast the almonds in a small skillet set over medium heat.
  7. When veggies are cooked, add turnip and Brussel sprouts on top of the reserved meat. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and set aside once again.
  8. Add cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon mustard to the bowl of your processor and process until smooth. You might have to scrape the sides and push the cauliflower down a few times to get all the pieces in.
  9. Delicately spread that puree over the casserole.
  10. Drizzle with a tiny little bit of olive oil and place under the broiler for a few minutes until a beautiful golden crust forms.
  11. Garnish with toasted almonds and chopped parsley before serving.

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

DA meat, already looking good! 

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Adding steamed veggies right on top of it.

Look closely… have you ever seen steam form such a perfect swirl? It completely blew my mind!

This just became my favorite picture EVER just because of that swirl. 

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Sprinkle toasted almonds…

Smelling fantastic!

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Top with mashed potatoes

Em, sorry… Cauliflower Mash! 

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Gently spread Cauliflower Mash all the way to the edge. 

Wait, don’t eat this just now!

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Throw it under the broiler to form a nice golden crust and garnish with more toasted almonds and chopped fresh parsley

Pretty? Pretty! 

Shepherds Pie Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now dig in! 

So? What do you think? Better than the real thing? 

See, I told you! 


  1. kate says

    I must admit, I was a little bit disappointed when you announced that you were going exclusively paleo and therefore the blog would be too. I have always loved the different variety’s of healthy eating on your site. However I was COMPLETELY wrong for being worried I wouldn’t find great, relate able recipes here anymore! All of your paleo recipes have looked mouth watering and have been fantastic! So thank you! And sorry for having doubts, keep up the great work :)

  2. says

    Ah! I’ve been wondering where you were… for some reason, my RSS feed stopped getting updates from you so I’ve just had to refresh it. Anyway, glad to be drowning in your recipes again :) I love this post because there’s SO much heavy shepherd’s pie in the UK. This is a nice switch-up!

    • says

      Really? Hope it’s not something I did, but it could be my fault since I moved my site and had to upgrade some of my settings. If it was indeed my fault, sorry about that. Glad you found your way back, though! Thanks for your kind words and readership, I truly appreciate that! :)

    • says

      It’s a Cast Iron Gratin Dish, Dustin. I got mine at Loblaws, but you can find them at basically any store that sells kitchen supplies. There are also tons of resources online. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them!

  3. Yasil says

    Every once in a while I decide I want a shepherd’s pie. And I try to find a different recipe on the internet. But really, it’s a mistake and a waste of time because this one is by far the best paleo shepherd’s pie. Yes. Thank you for posting this.

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