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I asked my hubby to close his eyes. He never guessed I made a low-carb version of his favorite comfort classic

Introduction

If you’re on a Keto or low-carb diet, you probably aren’t eating potatoes because they’re filled with starches that can hinder your weight loss goals. Many shepherd’s pie recipes use sweet potatoes instead, as they have less starch and a lower glycemic index than white potatoes. While these recipes are fine, they can sometimes be a bit too sweet for a dish with the savory flavors of shepherd’s pie. The recipe below uses cauliflower instead, creating a delicious low-carb alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Close your eyes, and you’d never know this is a low-carb version of the comfort classic. The airy and fluffy nature of the riced cauliflower perfectly mimics mashed potatoes. Ground turkey is used in this version to keep things healthy, but feel free to swap in your favorite pork sausage, ground beef, or even cooked lentils for a vegetarian option.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 shallot, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish with butter or nonstick spray and set it aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Cauliflower

Steam the cauliflower until tender, about 15 minutes. Using a tea towel, wring out all the excess water from the cauliflower and place it in a food processor.

Add the butter and heavy cream, then puree until smooth. Drizzle in water as needed until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.

Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the shredded mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

Step 3: Cook the Turkey and Vegetables

Meanwhile, cook the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat until it is almost cooked through.

Add the diced shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add a splash of water if the tomato paste sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4: Assemble the Casserole

Transfer the turkey and vegetable mixture to the prepared casserole dish, smoothing it out so it forms an even layer.

Top the turkey mixture with the mashed cauliflower, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the top.

Sprinkle the mashed cauliflower with the Parmesan cheese.

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Step 5: Bake

Bake for 20 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Allow the casserole to sit for 20 minutes before slicing into it. Serve and enjoy!

Variations & Tips

Variations

  1. Protein Options: Substitute ground turkey with ground beef, pork sausage, or cooked lentils for a vegetarian option.
  2. Cheese Choices: Experiment with different cheeses like cheddar or Gruyère for a different flavor profile.
  3. Extra Veggies: Add more vegetables like peas, green beans, or mushrooms to the turkey mixture for added nutrients and flavor.

Tips

  1. Perfect Cauliflower Texture: Ensure all excess water is removed from the steamed cauliflower to achieve the perfect mashed consistency.
  2. Even Layering: Smooth out the turkey and cauliflower layers evenly to ensure consistent baking.
  3. Resting Time: Allowing the casserole to sit for 20 minutes after baking helps it to set, making it easier to slice and serve.

FAQs

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the casserole in advance. Assemble it as directed, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. When ready to bake, add an additional 10 minutes to the baking time if starting from a cold state.

Can I freeze this shepherd’s pie?

Absolutely! Assemble the shepherd’s pie, then cover it tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake for about 60 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.

What can I serve with this shepherd’s pie?

A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette or steamed green vegetables like broccoli or green beans pair perfectly with this dish. For a heartier meal, consider serving with low-carb bread or rolls.

How can I make this dish dairy-free?

To make this shepherd’s pie dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter alternative and substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream or another dairy-free milk. Use dairy-free cheese or omit the cheese altogether.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower. Just make sure to steam it until tender and remove any excess water before pureeing.

Conclusion

This Low-Carb Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie is a fantastic, healthy alternative to the traditional recipe. It combines the comforting flavors of shepherd’s pie with the lightness of cauliflower, making it perfect for those on a Keto or low-carb diet. The combination of ground turkey, hearty vegetables, and creamy cauliflower will have everyone at your table asking for seconds. Enjoy this delightful, guilt-free comfort food!