Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

When a cold rain was coming down in buckets last weekend, I decided a little paleo comfort food was in order.

whole30 compliant recipe markLike most weekends, I was busy in the kitchen trying out some new recipes. Since I really didn’t want to hit the grocery store in the pouring rain, I took inventory of the remaining veggies in my kitchen. With carrots, celery, and golden-skinned sweet potatoes on hand, I figured it was the perfect time to try a paleo version of just about everybody’s favorite cold-weather comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie.

I asked my hubby what he thought of the idea. His response? “I would die for a piece of that pie, and that’s no lie.” Really? Are you amazed we’re still married? Me too.

Truthfully, he said Shepherd’s Pie was a childhood favorite that he hadn’t enjoyed in a very long time. He encouraged me to go for it, so I did.

Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb, but I kept mine simple with grass-fed ground beef. So technically, I think this one should really be called a Cottage Pie. You also could make it with ground turkey instead and it would be just as good I’m sure. 

I added a little spice to the white sweet potato topping to give this one a little extra kick, but if you prefer to keep it more on the savory side with herbs, you can do that as well.

My husband started raving about this dish as soon as he dug in, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to love it. I’m usually not a meat and potatoes kinda girl. But then I tried it, and then I went back for seconds. My husband raised his eyebrows and looked at me with a crooked smile that said, “Yeah, told ya it was good.” He was right.

I will be making this one again and again.

This paleo Shepherd’s Pie recipe is like a warm hug on a cold night. Except it’s better because it leaves your tummy full and puts a big smile on your face. :)

Eat up!


A delicious paleo and gluten-free recipe for shepherd's pie made with ground beef.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

by Trina
Easy paleo comfort food recipe made with ground beef and white sweet potatoes
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine British (traditional)
Servings 6 servings


Meat & Veggies Filling

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed beef (or ground turkey)
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of beef broth
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs of olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing

Potato Topping

  • 2 large white-fleshed sweet potatoes (or 3 medium-size)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (or up to 1/4 tsp) adjust to taste!
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbs butter or add a little more coconut milk instead


  • Peel and cut potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water about 20 minutes until tender (or use pre-baked potatoes)
  • Sauté chopped onion, celery and carrots in a skillet over medium-high heat about 10 minutes with 2 tbs of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Add the ground beef (or turkey) to the sautéed veggies, along with the meat seasonings and garlic; pan fry until beef is cooked through
  • Next add the tomato paste and stir in the beef broth
  • Simmer together about 10 minutes – keep mixture moist by adding a little more broth if necessary
  • Spoon meat mixture into in an oven-safe glass pie dish or casserole dish
  • In a medium saucepan or mixing bowl, mash cooked potatoes and add about 1/4 cup of almond or coconut milk – you want the potatoes creamy but still stiff so they hold their shape
  • Optional: add 1 tbs of butter to the mashed potatoes (or a little more coconut or almond milk if needed)
  • Stir in potato seasonings, plus some salt and pepper to taste
  • Gently spread mashed potatoes over the beef filling
  • Bake at 350º F for about 30 minutes
  • Optional: after baking, place dish under oven broiler for 2-3 minutes to add a little brown crust (watch closely to avoid burning)
  • Serve steaming hot and enjoy!
Keyword shepherd’s pie, beef, white sweet potatoes, veggies, paleo, gluten-free

Join the Conversation

  1. Can I use chicken instead of beef? Will it taste significantly different or change the texture in any way?

    1. Ground Chicken, or Turkey will work just fine.

  2. I stumbled across this recipe last week and we loved it so much that I currently have my second go at it in the oven. It’s delicious!

    1. Thank you Lindsay! :)

  3. Is in the oven and smells great. Added some fresh green beans to cook with carrots. Can’t wait. Thanks.

  4. Made this last night for dinner. Everyone LOVED it – especially my picky 5 year old! It was all gone!

  5. this was simply delicous. My diabetic mother (newly diagnosed) and super picky eater loved this recipe…..It has such interesting flavor. Great Recipe!!!

  6. So delicious!!! Another keeper! Thank you so much for another fantastic recipe!

    1. Jenny you are so welcome! Thank you for coming back for more! :)

  7. Kristen P says:

    This was delicious! My husband and I are doing Whole30 this month so we’ve tried lots of great recipes and this is definitely one of our favorites. I doubled the recipe and used a 60/40 combination of cauliflower and red potato for the mash. It was phenomenal. I didn’t follow the recipe perfectly, I tweaked to our tastes but I used the same ingredients with the exception of above. Thanks a bunch!!

    1. Thank you so much! The cauliflower and red potato combo is genius…love it when home chef’s make their own personal tweaks. Best of luck with Whole30 Kristen!

  8. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou !! I am trying to find Paleo recipies my family will eat and this was an absolute winner !!

    1. Yay Kristy! So happy your family approves! :) I bet they would love the sweet potato sloppy joes! Give that a try. :)

  9. tiffany beaton says:

    Hey Trina,

    Just wondering what the measurements would be if I wanted to use all dried spices? or would they be the same?

    Thank you!

    PS. I just made your crockpot chili recipe and it was fantastic!!

    1. Thanks Tiffany! I’m so glad you like the chili! Typically if using dried, you use a bit less. It up to you and your taste.:) I hope you like this recipe as well!

  10. Absolutely! I’m indebted to you for making me a great cook and sharing wonderful tasting recipes with us that don’t make us sick:) So thank YOU!

  11. My 19 yr old daughter just took this out of the oven for me since I’m not home and she texted me:
    Dinner is pretty!
    It’s like a sexy farmer as a food;)
    Can’t wait to get home and try it because everything tastes good as I was making it:)

    1. Oh my gosh! That is the best comment ever! Can I share the recipe on my site with her comment? My husband and I love it! And I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you! :)

      1. I forgot to come back and let you know…it was every bit as yummy as it looked! Our only disappointment was that there wasn’t more;)

        1. Oh good! Didn’t want to let you girls down! :) xo

  12. This was a fantastic casserole! It is 1 degree outside right now & this was perfect winter comfort food. My picky family also loved it! Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Stay warm! Or come visit AZ. :)

  13. I made the Italian chicken nuggets tonight and they turned out amazing. Even my husband had to admit that they were delicious. So glad I found your website.

    1. Joan, thank you. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! :)

  14. Making it now, coming together nicely and the smell is amazing!

    1. Yay! hope you enjoyed it!

  15. Krystle Jackson says:

    Absolutely amazing! Made it last night for dinner and oooooh so good! I do think next time I will use 2 lbs of meat instead so it’s heavier on the filling rather than potatoes but the flavor was to die for. My husband and I loved it! And even my 3 year old ate it up! Thanks!

  16. A Preschooler's Mama says:

    I will be trying this tomorrow; it sounds delish!

    1. I hope you like it! :)

  17. Can you bake this then freeze it?

    1. It’s just mashed potatoes and beef, so it should freeze fine. Just make sure to use a good freezer proof container. :)

    2. Colleen – I always make an extra pan of shepherds pie and freeze one unbaked (Cool first in the fridge before wrapping and freezing to cut down on the ice crystals formation which makes cook-from-freezer foods watery). To prepare, either thaw in the fridge overnight (up to 48 hours) then bake a directed adding an additional 15-30 minutes to your baking time depending on how thawed your pie is. You can bake right from frozen as well, but plan to add at least an extra hour to the baking time (best to thaw to cook). Hope that helps!

  18. I found your website and couldn’t wait to try this, its my daughters favorite. oh wow, this was delicious! Hubby and daughter loved it! Can’t wait to make more recipes, thank you :)

    1. Oh Heather I’m so glad you all liked it! It’s big in our house too. Thank you so much for your nice comment. People like you keep me going! :)

  19. Instead of the sweet potatoes as a topping I do Mashed Cauliflower. Turns out AMAZING! I highly recommend it.

    1. Caryn, You are genius! What a great idea! I will make it that way next time. I love mashed cauliflower. :) thank you for taking the time to comment.

  20. I made this last night and loved it! Took the leftovers to a couple of my paleo friends and they too enjoyed it and have asked for your recipe. Thank you!

    1. Thank YOU Jamie! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for your comment. :)

  21. I didn’t have garlic, beef broth, tomato paste and cayenne.
    I used what i had on hand so I ended up using: 1/2 onion, ground beef, 2 carrots, 1 stalk of celery, 1/2 of a squash, 1/4 of an orange pepper and 1 tomato for the filling and just 3 regular sweet potatoes and coconut milk for the topping.
    My husband went all paleo on me so I made this for him thinking I couldn’t live without my non paleo shepherds pie but I don’t think I’ll go back to it. This was delicious! I’ll be making your raspberry jam for ice cream tomorrow. :)

    1. Bryanna, I’m so glad you made the recipe. I have used slightly different ingredients every time Iv made it and I think the beauty in it is that it’s flexible and always yummy. Thank you for commenting and I hope you like the jam! :)

  22. Where do you get white-fleshed sweet potatoes?

    1. Haley, most grocery stores have them, but if they don’t just use yams or regular sweet potatoes. It will be awesome! :)

  23. I did not find white fleshed sweet potatoes so I used ordinary ones – the golden/yellow ones. This dish came out really tasty and was excited for that. I am thinking of adding a layer of thin sliced pumpkin before topping up with the potatoes the next time I make it.
    Thank you Trina

    1. Chubz, you are most welcome! I like your idea with the pumpkin. Let me know how it turns out! Thanks for commenting on the recipe. :)

  24. My boyfriend and I have been trying out various paleo recipes we find online and this is one of our favorite so far! I’m making it tonight, so I thought while I’m double checking the recipe, I’d leave a note to say thank you!

    1. Yay Jessie! It’s one of our favorites too. It’s yummy comfort food made easy. The best part is it’s all good healthy ingredients you can feel good about. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it.

  25. I just put this in the oven cant wait to taste it! Although I have ” tasted” the mash and the meat mixture.

    1. I hope it turned out great! :)

  26. Jessica, thank you! I’m so glad you like it! :)

  27. Just finished making this and I am in LOVE. Easy AND delicious!

  28. tried, and Loved it!! this was my first time cooking Paleo, I never thought it would taste so good!! Thanks!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s always my hope that people new to paleo enjoy their first recipe. It’s then that you realize, paleo food rocks! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

  29. Erika Gray, Catherine Lyssy King

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