Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie

This classic dish is popular in our family that is perfect for cold fall and winter dinners. It brings me back to sitting around a table in Ireland with my husband and parents after a long day of exploring. That moment that we dove into that traditional shepherd’s pie was heavenly! We make a few different variations of this recipe in our house, but this version with a light and fluffy cauliflower topping is our favorite.

One thing I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is. You can swap out the veggies in the filling based on what you have on hand and what is in season. We love to include peas, mushrooms, and green beans or use lentils in place of meat. You can also top this recipe with traditional white potatoes, sweet potatoes or parsnip mash - the options are endless! For having such a muted color, cauliflower packs a punch nutritionally. Eating cauliflower provides the body with good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and antioxidants—supporting digestion and detoxification. As a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is also the lowest carbohydrate option of those listed above for those wanting to lighten up this hearty meal.

I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine!

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

  • 2 tbsps of ghee (I used a turmeric seasoned ghee for added flavor and color)

  • 3 large cloves of fresh garlic

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1 pound of ground beef (we prefer grass-fed)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped

  • 3 carrots, chopped

  • 1 cup of shredded kale

  • 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes, liquid drained

  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth

  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • dried or fresh thyme for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil and add cauliflower.

  3. Cook until soft before draining in a colander.

  4. Using a high powered blender or food processor, combine garlic, cauliflower, salt and pepper, and warmed ghee to make topping.

  5. In a large skillet, heat avocado oil over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. Add in celery, garlic, tomatoes, and carrots and cook until they are soft.

  6. Add the broth and ground beef to the skillet, combining with the veggies and cooking until it has begun to brown. Season with Worcestershire, salt and pepper.

  7. Add arrowroot to the filling to soak up extra liquid, turn the heat down to low-medium for a simmer.

  8. Put the filling in a glass pan
    (9x13 works well) and spread the cauliflower mash over the top of the filling. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

  9. Sprinkle with thyme, serve and enjoy!