Settle in for a classic shepherd’s pie dinner just like Mom used to make… but better! This filling, comfort dish has been transformed, so it’s perfectly Paleo for a healthier, tasty option. Sorry not sorry, Mom. There’s nothing complicated here: You’ll find beef, veggies, seasonings, and a creamy topping in this crave-worthy comfort food dish that goes Paleo with mashed cauliflower as a topping instead of standard spuds.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

(Serves 4-6)


  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 head cauliflower, stem removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, diced
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • paprika, to garnish


1. To make the cauliflower mash: Add 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the cauliflower pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden. Add the water, reduce the heat slightly, and cover. Cook for 7-9 minutes or until soft. Drain the cauliflower and reserve the cooking water.

2. Add the cauliflower to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and pulse until smooth. Add another 2 tablespoons of the water as needed, and blend to the consistency you like. Set aside.

3. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and carrot. Cook until soft. Add garlic, bell pepper, and asparagus to the skillet with the vegetables. Add about 1/4 cup of the remaining cauliflower water to the skillet with the vegetables and cook until they begin to soften.

4. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a second skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the ground beef and cook until browned. When the ground beef is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the skillet with the vegetables. Add the cumin, coriander, salt, black, and red pepper to the mixture. Stir to combine.

5. To assemble: Transfer the mixture to a cast iron skillet (or a lightly oiled baking dish if using). Transfer the mashed cauliflower over the top of the mixture and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the paprika over the top.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

For more comfort food recipes, check us out on Pinterest.

(Photos via Patricia Conte / Brit + Co)