Low-carb shepherd’s pie was one of the first family meals I converted to a low-carb version. In fact, many family recipes can easily be adapted, as it is usually the side dishes or accompaniments that are higher carb.

So if you can do without the bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice you’re already on the right track.

Low-carb Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Mash
Easy low-carb shepherd’s pie recipe with cauliflower mash

What is shepherd’s pie or cottage pie?

A traditional shepherd’s pie is made from ground lamb and a cottage pie is made from ground beef.

A shepherd’s pie and cottage pie are very similar. Both recipes have a layer of cooked ground meat topped with mashed potatoes and covered in cheese.

Are you ready to create the ultimate 12-month blueprint for reaching your health & weight loss goals this coming year?

How to Lose Weight & Transform Your Health for Life

Our free on-demand video training will walk you through how to make 2024 THE year you set health goals…and keep them.

What’s inside?

A low-carb shepherd’s pie topped with simple mashed cauliflower and cheese is a great healthy winter dish. It only takes 20 minutes of preparation while the oven is warming up and the cauliflower mash is made while the mince is cooking away.

Packed with tomatoes, carrots and cauliflower, served with more low-carb vegetables, and your children won’t realise just how much they have just devoured. To encourage my children to eat their veggies, I always have some type of healthy fat on the table such as grated/shredded cheese, butter or cream cheese.

It just makes eating vegetables so more appealing to children and aids the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Low-carb shepherd\'s pie with a cheesy cauliflower crust being served from the baking dish

Step by step method

It appears to be complicated, but actually making a healthy version of shepherd’s pie is easy peasy.

Follow the recipe and this step-by-step guide. The full instructions and quantities are in the printable recipe below.

Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe Using Cauliflower Mash
How to make keto shepherd’s pie.

How to make keto shepherd’s pie

  • Fry the lamb (or beef) and stir until it is thoroughly cooked and browned.
  • Add the beef stock, tin/can of chopped tomatoes and grated carrots (optional).
  • Mix then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes while making the mashed cauliflower topping. Let the liquid evaporate so the mince thickens.

How to make mashed cauliflower topping

  • Boil the cauliflower until soft.
  • Drain and allow ALL the steam to escape.
  • Add the butter, salt, pepper and cream. Using a stick blender with a blade attachment, puree mashed cauliflower until smooth.

How to assemble.

  • Place the shepherd’s pie filling in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the cauliflower mash then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes and until the cheese is browned.

How to reduce the carbs further

You can easily reduce the carbs even further from the family-friendly low-carb version:

  • Omit the carrot – carrots are higher in carbs. Families love carrots in their pie but if you’re keto you can simply omit this.
  • Omit or reduce the tomatoes – my kids love the traditional flavour that the canned/tinned tomatoes bring, but they do add a number of carbs. To reduce the carbs significantly, why not only add half the tomatoes OR even add 2 tbsp tomato paste instead.
  • Don’t serve with a side dish then your meal is incredibly low-carb and high-protein too.

Best keto side dishes

Often the side dish is the highest area of carbs for a meal. By avoiding mashed potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice, you can make almost any dish far lower in carbs.

There are plenty of delicious keto side dishes such as keto garlic bread, cauliflower rice, creamy Brussels sprouts, and baked broccoli and cauliflower cheese.

A close-up of low-carb shepherd\'s pie being served from the serving dish sitting on the blue cloth
Low-carb shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash and cheese

Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe (with Cauliflower Mash)

A winter family winning meal – low carb Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash. Everyone loves this one.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Wheat Free
Keyword: Low-carb shepherds pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Thinlicious.com
Want to lose weight and get healthy for life—without dieting, drugs, or making yourself miserable?We can help! Tell me how!


  • Casserole Dish
  • Stick Blender
  • Frying pan


Shepherd’s Pie

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 500 g ground/minced lamb or beef
  • 2 cloves garlic minced crushed
  • 400 g tinned/canned chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • 60 ml beef stock
  • 3 carrots grated/shredded (optional)

Cauliflower Mash Topping

  • 1 small cauliflower cut into pieces
  • 55 g butter
  • 30 ml heavy whipping cream
  • +/- salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 g shredded/grated cheese


Shepherd’s Pie

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until cooked, but not browned.
  • Add the lamb and stir until it is thoroughly cooked and browned.
  • Add the beef stock, tin/can of chopped tomatoes and grated carrots (optional). Mix.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes while making the mashed cauliflower topping. Let the liquid evaporate so the mince thickens.

Cauliflower Topping

  • Boil the cauliflower until soft, this takes about 8-10 minutes.
  • Drain and allow ALL the steam to escape. Too much water left in the saucepan will make a ‘sloppy’ mash.
  • Add the butter, salt, pepper and cream. Using a stick blender with a blade attachment, puree until smooth.

To Assemble.

  • Place the shepherd’s pie mince/ground meat mix in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the cauliflower mash then sprinkle on the cheese.
  • Put the casserole dish on a baking try to catch any liquid that may bubble over.
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes and until the cheese is browned.


Serving: 1serveCalories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 21gFat: 38gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 5gVitamin C: 37.1mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 2.7mg


More keto dinners

Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe Using Cauliflower Mash

LOW-CARB FAMILY MEALS: Need help and inspiration how to cook healthy family meals? Get all the resources you’ll need – CLICK HERE

How to be a low carb family - 35 easy family melas with action plans, guides and healthy fast food. | ditchthecarbs.com

Get our FREE guide to finally fix your metabolism!

Losing weight & getting healthy is never easy, but lately you might feel like it’s suddenly become impossible.

Our Flip the Switch guide will help you clearly understand what’s been going on, as well as exactly what you can do to get your metabolism working again so that you can look and feel your best—it’s easier and more simple than you think!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I have made this several times for my family, even the little ones eat it. Very worth the effort, good comfort food and so healthy

  2. Have you ever tried freezing it? If yes, how did you reheat it?

    1. I have never tried freezing it, we usually eat the leftovers the next day. If you do freeze it, I would reheat in the oven, once defrosted, for 20 minutes at 180C.

  3. Love shepherd’s Pie. Tasty recipe. I used homemade beef stock, as Oxo cubes contain wheat.

  4. Made it today. Very tasty and pleasing to the eye. I live alone so have frozen the remaining portions. I’ve previously frozen traditional cottage pie with good results and see no reason why this shouldn’t be similar.

  5. This was incredible! But aren’t the carrots fairly high in sugar?

    1. Yes and generally I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who really needs to monitor their carbs strictly for weight loss or a health issue, but for many of my family meals, I don’t want my children to feel there is any vegetable that is out of bounds for them. My focus for them is whole foods and no processed carbs, with me monitoring their quantity of starchy vegetables. I hope that makes sense.

      1. Yeah that makes sense – but is it still only 7.6g of carbs? That seems low with all those carrots in there. Normally I wouldn’t worry about it too much, but I am trying to stay below 30g/day as I’m just starting low carb.

        1. Hi Lindsay, there are only 3 carrots and this makes a huge shepherds pie, serving 6-8. So in reality it is only less than half a carrot per person. You can omit this easily, it’s not necessary, I just like to sneak in extra veggies where I can for my children.

          1. I think maybe my carrots were really big or something. I did only put in one. Thanks for all your replies!

  6. Julie Hawkes says:

    Shepherd’s Pie, my husband’s favourite dish! Understandably I was nervous to mess with it by making it LCHF, but hey, I did it anyway. I made it exactly as your recipe stated, he said it was beautiful. Thanks

  7. This sounds amazing! Will definitely try 🙂

  8. OMG I love it. Added some nutmeg to cauliflower….

  9. if you omitted the carrots and tin tomatoes what would the net carbs be?

    1. There are a LOT of nutritional calorie/carb counting sites and programs online. Just Google them 🙂

  10. Absolutely amazing recipe, definitely a hit at my house! Thanks a bunch 🙂

  11. This looks amazing! Does it keep and reheat?

    1. Oh yeah! I can absolutely vouch for this one. Every time I buy more and more meat to make a bigger and bigger batch as my children LOVE this for breakfast. They reheat a bowl in the microwave and wolf it down.

  12. Avril Collins Martinez says:

    Oh goodness, how can you put garlic in this quintessential British dish!! No no no!!!

    1. When an Italian wants to pretend to be British 😉 the more garlic the better!!

    2. Lisa Margarete says:

      because it’s healthy and adds flavour – if it improves the original recipe why not?

  13. My family we do everything but we use tomato sauce. My mother always made it that way and would add green beans. Just another way to try. It’s very good. I make my own sauce. Less salt and sugar.

  14. Delicious…. Loved it, will do this on a regular basis, definitely a keeper. You can’t tell it’s not potatoes… Thanks for sharing.

  15. Can you lower the fat with a substitute for the heavy cream??

  16. My son said “mom, this is good!” And my daughter is actually eating it, cauliflower and all! Thanks Libby!

  17. Is that 10 net carbs in one serving?

  18. Could I substitute maybe broccoli for the carrots ? I know it would change the carb count but carrots have a lot of natural sugar in them. I am trying to watch my blood sugar levels.

    1. Sure thing, that would certainly reduce the carbs and keep happy stable blood sugars. I keep them in for the authentic look and taste for my children.

      1. I completely skipped the carrots and it’s still great

  19. Just wondering how you got the 10g Carbs?? I put this in My Fitness Pal and it came up with 18g, and that was without the carrots… Don’t really want to eat this if it’s actually at the 18-20g of carbs per serving?? Thanks

    1. I avoid MyFitnessPal, it is so inaccurate. I use cronometer.com and advise readers to calculate using the brand they have cooked with as they can vary so widely. The carbs are coming from the vegetables such as cauliflower, tomatoes and carrots. 18-20g sounds way off. I’d check to make sure you have divided by the number of servings.

  20. Victoria Olson says:

    Steaming the cauliflower on a steaming rack helps cut back on retained water. I then twist/squeeze it gently in a linen tea towel. I cut back on tomatoes (i use fresh halved cherry tomatoes) and carrots to lower the carbs, adding chopped celery to fill in. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  21. Hi Libby. I want to make the cottage pie.
    Thing Is, where I live i can’t find double/ thick cream.
    Any suggestions on what to do?
    Love all you recipes btw.

    1. I used whipping cream. Hubby loved it! And he hasn’t had Shepard’s pie in 18 years. I added a half can of diced carrots instead.

  22. Do you freeze this before or after baking?

  23. Stephen Costanzo says:

    I noticed this on your site and others, why do you say “1 small cauliflower” and “1 red onion” as opposed to giving weight? I buy organic and a ‘medium’ there is a ‘small’ non-organic. It makes it difficult to know if I can trust the nutrition data – or – if i’m even making the recipe right.

    Can this be updated in your future recipes or can you point me to a site which can help define those things? It’s very frustrating for those of us who must keep our carb counts low for medical reasons.


  24. This is great! Having made this a few times now I have found that we like it best with only one [good sized] carrot and I don’t bother with the beef stock as I never have it handy. I also add some home made pesto, [a couple of tablespoons],and 1 sachet [50 gm] of tomato paste. Letting the cauliflower steam after cooking is good advice, and if I don’t have cream I just add some extra butter. And it tastes even better the next day!

  25. Hi Libby, love the idea and it sounds all positive. What alternative would I use to make it veggie. Normally I would use lentils. Any ideas?

  26. What is the cholesterol level in this? I want to make it but have to watch me cholesterol.


  27. Wow! This turned out so tasty!! I was pleasantly surprised that it’s way better than “regular” Shepard’s Pie recipes I’ve made for my family. Since going Keto a few months ago I am always looking for low carb options of our familiar family meals. This one did not disappoint! It was full of flavor, filling, and a welcomed change from another chicken meal. I did not change a thing, made the recipe as is and it was delicious. This will be in regular dinner rotation in my household for sure!! Thanks for this amazing recipe 🙂

  28. Hi Libby
    Please can you confurm that 500g of mince is for 8 portions ?

    1. Hi Cathy, thanks for pointing this out. No, in fact, it should only serve 5. I have recalculated the nutrition. I’m not sure how the 5 turned into an 8. Apologies. And thanks for keeping me on my toes!

  29. Pingback: 6 easy keto meals
  30. Hi, in die video on youtube you add creamcheese to the mash. Ich guess this might be very tasty, In this recipe the creamcheese ist missing. Ist this for any reason? Did it turn out that it is better without the creamcheese?

    1. Hi there, I think you may have been watching another video, I haven’t shot a cooking video for this recipe yet, although I should, we enjoy this every single Friday night. You could add cream cheese, however, I always add a good dollop of butter to my cauliflower mash to make it super tasty and creamy.

  31. Hello!
    I liked your recipe. It’s a good base.

    Here’s what I did to the base.
    – Added 1 cup celery to base
    – Swapped 10 oz frozen spinach for canned tomatoes + 1 TBSP Butter
    – Swapped 1 small can mushrooms for carrots
    – Added 1 TBSP Garam Masala (*I like Indian spice lol)

    To the cauliflower mash, I added 1/2 a brick (4 oz) before immersion blending.

    For portion control, I put it in 4 small pans. I’m baking 2 now in toaster oven. Will put other two in later.

    Now I need to add the recipe I modified into to carb manager to get the stats so I can log it.

  32. 5 stars
    I wanted to know if I would be able to freeze this meal
    Thank you

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, this is the perfect family-friendly freezer meal. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.