Shepherd’s Pie Recipe: Healthier Version!

Shepherd's pie recipe - Dr. Axe

Shepherd’s pie is the quintessential wintertime comfort dish: It’s meaty, buttery, and, if you eat it throughout the season, you’ll emerge in the springtime a few pounds heavier. Uh oh. Because while shepherd’s pie is delicious, all those starchy white potatoes and copious amounts of butter can take their toll.

But eating healing foods doesn’t mean skipping your favorites. In fact, it’s just the opposite — it makes your favorites even tastier! That’s the deal with my lightened up Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to not only make this classic healthier, but to make it taste even better than the original.

I won’t lie to you: this recipe does take some time. You’ll want to plan ahead for this one. The end result, however, will be well worth it. Let’s get started!

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

Before touching any of these gorgeous ingredients, you’ll want to prepare my Mashed Faux-tatoes. By using a cauliflower mashed “potato,” we’re adding tons of cauliflower benefits, like loads of vitamin C and almost zero fat, sugar or sodium. Score!

Shepherd's pie recipe ingredients - Dr. Axe

Once that’s done, we’ll kick things off by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your ground beef, carrots and onions and cook for 10–15 minutes. Stir them frequently, until the beef has browned and the veggies are softening.

Shepherd's pie recipe step 1 - Dr. Axe

Remove the pan from heat and drain the meat and veggies, getting rid of any fat that accumulated in the pan. Then add the peas to the mix, combining them well. Pour the filling into an 8×8 baking dish and set aside. We’ll come back to this beauty.

Shepherd's pie recipe step 2 - Dr. Axe

Now it’s time to get the gravy going! This is my favorite part of shepherd’s pie and this version doesn’t disappoint. In a medium pot, add the stock, cauliflower, onion, salt and pepper. Leave it uncovered and heat until the ingredients are simmering. Let that simmer happen for 10 minutes. Then toss in the fresh thyme, rosemary and garlic and remove from the heat.

Let the mixture cool a bit and then, in a high-powered blender, add Worcestershire sauce and butter, then pour the stock mixture you just made over it. Purée it all up until it’s nice and smooth, then add in the digestion friendly arrowroot starch and purée again.

It’s amazing how creamy the cauliflower makes this gravy, even without milk or cream. And the arrowroot starch is great at thickening the sauce up. Mmm.

Shepherd's pie recipe - Dr. Axe

Now, take the gravy mix from the blender and pour it evenly over the filling in the baking dish. Then, take your faux-tatoes and spread them on top of the gravy. How great does this look right now?

Bake the dish at 400 F for 30 minutes or until the top is browned and the gravy begins bubbling, whichever comes first. Let it cool for 10 minutes — this stuff is hot! Garnish with any of the leftover fresh herbs you have and serve.

While this might not be a 30-minute meal, this shepherd’s pie is worth the extra effort. It makes a delicious Sunday dinner and the leftovers are stellar, too.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Shepherd's pie recipe - Dr. Axe

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to not only make this classic shepherd’s pie recipe healthier, but to make it taste even better than the original.




  • 1 pound ground grass-fed beef or lamb
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1½ cups green frozen peas, cooked according to package directions

2 recipes Mashed Faux-Tatoes


  • 2 cups beef or lamb stock
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup arrowroot starch


  1. Filling:
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, carrots, and onions and cook, stirring often, until meat is browned and vegetables have begun to soften, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and drain filling mixture to remove excess fat. Add the peas, stirring to combine. Pour filling in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  5. Begin making the mashed faux-tatoes.
  6. Gravy:
  7. In a medium pot, combine the stock, cauliflower, onion, salt and pepper. Heat, uncovered, over medium-high heat until simmering. Simmer 10 minutes. Add thyme, rosemary, garlic and remove from heat.
  8. In a high-powered blender, place Worcestershire and butter and pour stock mixture over top. Purée together until smooth. Add arrowroot starch and purée until smooth.
  9. Pour gravy evenly over filling in dish. Spread mashed faux-tatoes on top.
  10. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown and the gravy is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 40 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Category: Main dishes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


  • Serving Size: 1½ cups
  • Calories: 418
  • Sugar: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 754mg
  • Fat: 29g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9.9g
  • Trans Fat: 1.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.4g
  • Fiber: 4.8g
  • Protein: 23.9g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg

Keywords: shepherd's pie recipe, recipe for shepherd's pie

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 98

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Josh Axe

Get FREE Access!

Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

Free eBook to boost
metabolism & healing

30 Gluten-Free Recipes
& detox juicing guide

Shopping Guide &
premium newsletter


Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Recipes