Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie with a Cauliflower Twist

This recipe is an old favorite which I made gluten-free and without potatoes.  I use mashed “cauliflower” as the topping and no one even knows.  Not even my pickiest tester – my daughter.


INGREDIENTS for topping:

1 head cauliflower

2 tbsp butter or soy butter – not melted

2 tbsp rice milk (or milk of choice)

INGREDIENTS for filling:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion diced

3 celery stalks diced

2 carrots diced

2 cloves garlic diced

2 lbs ground beef (chicken or turkey)

¾ tsp chili or chipotle

2½ tbsp of cornstarch

6 oz peas (frozen or fresh sweet peas)


DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven 420



Steam cauliflower till soft in 2½ cups of water (drain and save water)

Place in bowl and mash with a fork

Take your Bullet, hand processor, Vita-Mix or blender and puree – (add butter and milk if you desire slightly creamier, but not necessarily at all)

Salt and pepper to taste.



Heat oil in large skillet.

Cook onion about 2 min on med

Add celery, carrot and garlic – cook about 8 – 10 mins.

Add beef for about 5 min – stir – break up pieces to be small

Add the cornstarch to 2 cups of your saved water from your steamer and whisk it – add to beef and boil around 1-2 min low

Pour filling into a 2 qt dish

Evenly distribute cauliflower mash over the top, sealing edges.

Bake approx 30 min

Tina Turbin

From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at)

About Us

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

14 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie with a Cauliflower Twist

  1. Mmmm yummy…I’m curious about the soy butter option. Does anyone have any experience using soy butter as an alternative? I would love to know if you like it or not because I’d like to try it. I don’t really like margarine and Smart Butter is TERRIBLE for cooking–yuck!

  2. I was just telling my husband that I need some more yummy oven-baked comfort food and then this recipe appeared on my computer screen. Can’t wait to make it!

  3. I will save this one for when the weather turns cold. There’s just something about casseroles that are perfect when it’s chilly outside!

  4. I couldn’t get enough gluten free shepard’s pie when I was pregnant, but to tell you the truth, I didn’t think it was that great. I bought it frozen and made it in the oven, but I always knew I could find something better. I’m not pregnant anymore, but I still look forward to trying this recipe. Homemade is just better!

  5. This is great with some cheese, if you can tolerate it. I added some inside and added some shredded on top to the crust. Yummy! My husband and boys love cheese with EVERYTHING so I had no choice but to add it but it seemed pretty good!

  6. @Deanna that’s exactly what I thought when I saw this–I’m saving this for October! It seems like a PERFECT kids dinner plus looks like it will yield good leftovers.

  7. @Trudy Yes, I have been using soy butter for the past month or so, and I find that it is a good alternative to butter. I haven’t tried melting it, but I have been putting it on toast and in my oatmeal and I tried it in a baking recipe too. Tastes pretty decent! It’s always worth picking some up I think and giving it a try yourself. At least you’ll know, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out that you really like it.

  8. Shepard’s Pie is my favorite! I used to order one of these (non-gluten free) from The Cheesecake Factory before I was diagnosed celiac and I was soooo unhappy that I couldn’t eat it anymore. But then I forgot about it and you reminded me now of my old favorite. Must make this sometime!

  9. This doesn’t look that bad. I haven’t really enjoyed Shepherd Pies I’ve tried in the past, but this seems to be more like a Shepherd’s Casserole, and I really like casseroles so I bet it’s going to be pretty good.

  10. I finally got around to making this and I did add potatoes actually but it was totally awesome. I didn’t really feel like eating something like this with the summer heat here in Austin, but once I took a bite I couldn’t stop eating!

  11. hahaha love how your recipes often call for a VitaMix mixer because I’m finally going to get one! I see it all the time at Costco and it seems like an absolute dream addition to your kitchen! Can’t wait to use it for your recipes. I’m sure it will make a big difference!

  12. Yum! We tried this last night and really enjoyed it. I entirely missed the “salt & pepper to taste” step for the cauliflower topping though – adding it in the ingredients section on my copy. I thought it was odd that the cauliflower was unseasoned, so I topped mine with salt, but it would have been much better integrated in!

    The chili powder adds a nice (subtle) kick and changes the flavor profile. I substituted homemade chicken broth for the steaming water and threw some zucchini in to the veggie mix. Thanks for the recipe!

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