Low-Carb Comfort Food — Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Veggies (grain & dairy free, vegan option)

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Looking for a healthier remake of your favorite comfort foods? This Low Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe is a new take on an old favorite. Loaded with roasted veggies, and topped with yummy whipped cauliflower, it's sure to please. Paleo, dairy free, allergy friendly, frugal, and easy!

Finding recipes that are kid-friendly and healthy can be a challenge. In our home, we love this Pakistani Kima, Gluten-free Chili MacBaked Chicken Nuggets, and this Oven Barbecued Chicken. Now, Candace from Candida-Free Candee shares a Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe that is sure to be a new favorite of ours.  

Shepherd's pie typically is topped with mashed potatoes, which, while totally yummy, is a little heavy on the carbs for those of us watching our carb intake.  You'll love this version for sure.

Currently on my blog, I am doing a series on Crockpot, Casserole and Cook Ahead meals to help simplify my life since there is a lot going on.

I like to prepare meals at night once the kids are asleep so that the next day, or for a few days following (as I like to prep multiple meals at once), I won’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen.

In the last couple of weeks, I've shared:
– Beef and Cabbage Casserole (Grain-Free Cabbage Roll Casserole)
– Sweet Potato and Sundried Tomato Frittata and today I'm sharing another one of my favourite make-ahead dishes.

A Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe.

This is not your typical shepherd’s pie mind you. This particular creation came out of a desire to up my veggie intake while still having well-rounded meals that will work for my possible foray into grain free.

Shepherd’s pie is a great winter comfort food, it is so warm and filling, however, it can be a little bland at times so I wanted to mix it up.

Adding roasted veggies to the filling was an easy choice to add more flavour. Roasting is so quick and adds so much to dishes. I am roasting everything these days!

Since I am so in love with roasted veggies I opted to ditch the potatoes and use something different for the topping. It looks like potatoes but…surprise, it’s cauliflower!

Yup, cauliflower.

I had a not-so-great experience with cauliflower “mashed potatoes” when I was a kid (sorry mum) so I have shied away from it in all forms for many years. I am not sure if my tastes have changed or if it is all in the preparation but cauliflower is quickly becoming one of my favourite ingredients. Roasting this white cruciferous veggie adds SO much flavour; you really must try it. Even cauliflower haters will be clamoring for more.

The topping also includes nutritional yeast.

Yes, yeast.

This is a bit of a controversial topic, but at this point my understanding that it is impossible for this deactivated, non-pathogenic yeast to feed candida. However, the word “yeast” still freaks me out a bit so if you are feeling cautious just leave it out, the cauliflower is pretty delicious on it’s own.

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Looking for a healthier remake of your favorite comfort foods? This Low Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe is a new take on an old favorite. Loaded with roasted veggies, and topped with yummy whipped cauliflower, it's sure to please.


Time Saving Tip: Roast veggies for a few recipes at a time you can really minimize time spent in the kitchen.

While the components of this recipe take a few extra steps I think you will agree that it is well worth it. For extra time saving make a couple of these, pop them in the freezer and heat them up on a cold day!

Low-Carb Comfort Food -- Shepherd's Pie with Roasted Veggies (grain & dairy free, vegan option)

Serves 2-9" round pie plates     adjust servings

Low-Carb Comfort Food! This Low-Carb Shepherds Pie Recipe is loaded with yummy roasted veggies and topped with a delectable cauliflower topping.


  • 2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 bell peppers (I used one each of red, orange, and yellow), large dice (omit for AIP)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (see Easiest Way to Peel Garlic)
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef (if vegan, use about 4 cups bean of choice, but de-gas them first)
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, finely-chopped and loosely-packed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup kombucha vinegar or apple cider vinegar (I usethis brand), to taste
  • 1 cup homemade beef broth* (or use this Vegetable Broth Mix for a vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, optional
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (I use Real Salt)
  • pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Place 2 rimmed baking sheets to preheat in the oven. (optional, but helps cook the veggies faster and gives them a nice roasted bottom.)
  3. Take chopped cauliflower and toss it in a large bowl with 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add in nutritional yeast (if using) and salt. Toss to coat.
  4. In another bowl, toss the tomatoes, onion, and peppers in a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Once oven is heated, take out baking sheets and line with parchment paper, if desired. Place in an even layer the cauliflower on one sheet and the rest of the veggies on the other.
  6. Bake until nicely roasted, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. While baking, saute garlic in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add celery and cook until slightly softened.
  8. Add in beef and brown, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Once veggies are done, remove them (except for cauliflower) from their baking sheets and add to the beef mixture. Pour in broth and vinegar and simmer until cooked down slightly. Stir in parsley.
  10. While mixture is cooking down, place the cauliflower in a high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix) or food processor and puree. You may need to add more yeast or salt at this point.
  11. Divide the beef mixture evenly among two 8" pie plates and top with the roasted cauliflower puree.
  12. Bake at 375° for 15-25 minutes or until heated and the topping has a golden colour. (colour will be lighter if yeast is omitted).


*If you would prefer to buy bone broth instead of making your own, here is a great place to do so.

Enjoy and be comforted!

From Adrienne: We LOVE Shepherd's Pie.  I have a Vegan Adzuki Bean Shepherd's Pie Recipe on my site already (my apologies for the not-so-great photo in advance–but there is some interesting info about shepherd's pie over there that is worth reading) but I really love Candace's twist on this old favorite. I am for sure going to make this for my family soon.

Have you tried Shepherd's Pie?
What Comfort Food is your favorite?

CandaceCandace is a stay-at-home-mom, wife, graphic designer and food lover. She loves to make healthy, whole foods that are dairy free and candida friendly. She loves being a mom and is passionate about parenting, living healthy and helping others do the same. She shares her recipes and candida-fighting tactics at: candidafreecandee.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. no broth needed, still slightly soupy but roasting made it yummmmm. i used ground pork too & thyme, marjoram, oregano and rosemary as i wanted it highly flavorful. i used 1 head of cauli, i think 2 would have been too much as it was cauli-heavy with the 1.
    good take on shepherds pie.

  2. This sounds amazing!! We need to try it this fall.

  3. Looks great, is probably all kinds of yummy and healthy. BUT! Did you know that carb percentage of cauliflower is almost the same as in a bagel? Here are a couple of links: cauliflower – http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2390/2 bagel – http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2390/2 It’s just that the carbs in cauliflower are mostly fiber and in a bagel it’s starch and sugar. So OK, it’s a low starch recipe but low carb? No more so than with a grain crust. When will people stop labeling every Paleo recipe “low carb”? Carbs are not bad, you just have to be picky about the kinds you consume and their sources. For that you have to know the kinds. There’s Internet, run the search.
    P.S. I know I’m about to be publicly hated and flogged about now. But gosh it felt good to rant! Allergic to ignorance, makes me break out in (expletive deleted by blog owner). Nothing personal, I’m not perfect either.

    • Hi there. The issue is the amount of carbs and not just the percentage. (by the way, you had the cauliflower links for both of your links). For the cauliflower, there are only 5 g in 1 cup. For a small 3″ bagel, there are 29 grams. So that is a huge difference. Here is the link I used: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/4818/2

      It is for sure low carb due to the cauliflower. I agree that not all carbs are bad. I watch them but I still eat them and some days I eat more than others.

      No flogging or hatred – :). Feel free to respond is you have further comments. I do hope that you will not insult me if you make further comments, however. I am not ignorant but I do make mistakes. Well, I am ignorant about some things. Thanks again.

  4. This does look good, mostly, and I love the idea of a cauliflower mash topping! What a creative way to sneak in even more veggies! Unfortunately no matter how much I try, I just can’t stand the taste of bell peppers and celery. What veggies would you suggest as a substitute? Broccoli maybe? I know peas and carrots is traditional.

  5. Ooh, I have butternut squash in the freezer, I am going to have to try it!

  6. Butternut squash with garlic also makes a DELICIOUS replacement for potatoes on shepherd’s pie.

  7. nutritional count in this sheppard pie please! Thanks

    • Hi there. Sorry but I am not doing nutritional counts yet but I have heard you can plug the ingredients into certain sites to do that – are you aware of those? I don’t remember the names now but I can try to find them if need be.

  8. Hello and thanks for this great recipe! I followed the directions very closely but I think adding that much beef broth and vinegar isn’t a good idea because even after letting it simmer for a half hour, it was very soupy and I had to drain it off before putting it in the pan, which probably meant most of the flavor went down the drain! Nonetheless, it was a fantastic dish that my fiancé LOVED, as we’re both on the low carb way of eating! The roasted cauliflower really made the difference in flavor as opposed to just cooking and mashing. I would never have thought of that! So I was wondering if anyone has any nutritional info for this recipe per serving?

    • Hi Sarah,
      So sorry yours stayed soupy! I’m wondering if the fat content of the meat that makes a difference? I do cook my meat until there is no “liquid” left before I added the broth and vinegar. I will have to try it again and see what happens! I don’t have the nutritional breakdown but I think sites like cronometer allow you to input your own recipes. I hope that helps and I am glad it all worked out in the end and you enjoyed the dish!

  9. This looks fantastic! I am adding this to my February Meal Plan.

    I would love to have you hop over and share with us at Tell Me About It Tuesday (http://www.sweetsillysara.com/2014/01/tell-me-about-it-tuesday-3.html)

  10. Julian Napoleon says:

    What do you do with the vinegar and parsley?

    • Candace Ouimet says:

      Hi Julian,
      I apologize for the oversight. They are to be added in step 9. This has been updated!

      • Julian Napoleon says:

        I looked at a few other recipes and assumed as much, it’s in the oven now and smells amazing! I had to add a little arrowroot powder because the filling was still quite runny after 30 mins cooking down. I realize that adding starch kind of defeats the purpose of avoiding potatoes, but alas I’m too hungry to wait. Agar-agar would probably be a healthier choice.

        Great recipe!

  11. This looks really delicious! I’ve been playing around with a grain free shepherds pie, but looks like I don’t need to try to come up with a recipe anymore since yours looks perfect 🙂


  12. Joanne Peterson says:

    We have tried Shepherd’s Pie using lamb because my husband can’t eat beef or pork. I have not used all cauliflower, but part potatoes with the skin and part cauliflower and used coconut oil and almond milk for the mash, and used salt, pepper and nutmeg. I used chicken broth, and gluten free soy sauce, along with mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomato paste, along with a few green beans or peas, salt and pepper to taste, along with rosemary to simmer the deeply browned lamb and veggies, and thickened with arrowroot, this went into a 9 x 13 pan and was baked until the top was slightly browned and the gravy was bubbly.

    We also like chicken pot pie, but used the mashed potatoes and cauliflower for the topping. A roast chicken simmered in coconut milk is also pure comfort food.