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One of my favorite comfort food meals: keto friendly shepherd's pie, a meaty casserole topped with a low carb cauliflower mash that tastes like mashed potatoes.

Meat Layer:

  • 1 pound ground lamb (or lean beef, for cottage pie)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Mashed Cauliflower Layer:

  • 24 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) salted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Toppings:


Making Meat Sauce:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  • Add diced celery, onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add beef broth and tomato paste to the pan, stirring until the paste dissolves. Reduce heat slightly and let it continue to simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, before turning off the heat. While it’s simmering, start preparing the mashed cauliflower in the next step.

Making Mashed Cauliflower:

  • Place cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Spread out the florets on paper towels to drain for 5 to 10 minutes or until they stop steaming.
  • Transfer the cauliflower florets to a food processor or blender. Add cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Puree until it has a smooth consistency resembling mashed potatoes. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor/blender bowl a few times.

Assembling & Baking:

  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat mixture to an 8x8 inch or 2 quart baking dish, evenly spreading it along the bottom. Leave the grease in the pan.
  • Evenly spread the mashed cauliflower over the meat. Use a fork to roughen the cauliflower surface.
  • Optionally, top with shredded cheddar cheese and paprika. Lightly drizzle olive oil on top.
  • Bake at 400 F until the peaks of the mashed cauliflower are browning, about 30 minutes. Optionally garnish with chives or parsley. It will be very hot so let it cool a bit in the pan before slicing and serving.

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