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Paleo Shepherds Pie Recipe

Shepherds Pie Recipe

This Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with ground lamb is a work of art! Recipe author Melissa Joulwan put in some creative effort to get it just right. You wouldn’t normally think of a popular potato dish as being Paleo friendly, but this one replaces the potatoes with cauliflower. You’ll likely notice some other alterations to this classic dish as well.

When you’re in the mood for a hearty casserole, you won’t go wrong with Shepherd’s Pie!

Recipe Author: Melissa Joulwan

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min

USWM Shopping List: Ground Lamb, Chicken or Beef Broth



Shepherds Pie Recipe




  • 1 large bag frozen cauliflower florets, defrosted

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • paprika for garnish

Meat Filling:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 pounds ground lamb

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos or homemade substitute

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 3 egg whites

  • paprika, for garnish


  1. Make the Topping: Cook the cauliflower according to the package directions until it’s very soft, but not waterlogged. In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, heat the garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and pepper, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, purée the cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor, scraping down the sides. Add the coconut milk to the processor with the chives. Process about 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings; then set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Make the Filling: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and allow it to melt. Add the onion and carrot, reduce heat to medium-low and cover; allow the vegetables to get soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. With your hands, crumble the ground lamb into the pan and break up large chunks with a wooden spoon. Sauté until it’s cooked through and brown, about 5-10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the tomato paste, broth, coconut aminos, rosemary, and thyme to the pan. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Set the pan aside and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Beat the egg whites until frothy and blend into the meat mixture.
  6. Assemble It: Spread the meat mixture evenly in a 12X6-inch (2.2 quart) baking dish. With a rubber scraper and a light hand, spread the mashed cauliflower on top of the meat. Gently drag the tines of a fork in a zigzag pattern across the surface to create a texture—the peaks and valleys turn a lovely golden brown in the oven. Sprinkle the top lightly with paprika.
  7. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: If you want to up the veggie ante and don’t mind making it even less traditional, chopped greens like spinach, kale, collards, or chard (frozen or fresh) would taste great mixed into the meat.


mel joulwan paleoA Hearty USWM Thanks to Melissa Joulwan for her take on this classic recipe. Melissa is the author of the best-selling Well Fed cookbook series and the blog, where she writes about her triumphs and failures in the gym, in the kitchen, and in life. Her newest cookbook is Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes Or Less (November 1, 2016).