Shepherd’s Pie with Healthier Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes


For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground lamb for traditional shepherd’s pie)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Cauliflower-Potato Mash:

  • 2 large potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), peeled and cubed
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup milk (low-fat or plant-based is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)


Make the Filling:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add ground beef (or lamb) and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain off excess grease.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, broth, and frozen vegetables. Bring to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flour into 2 tablespoons of the broth mixture. Add this back into the skillet, stirring until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the filling to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Make the Mashed Topping:

  • While the filling cooks, place potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot. Cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Boil until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and cauliflower well. Return to the pot.
  • Add milk, butter (or olive oil), salt, and pepper. Mash until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Spread the mashed potato-cauliflower mixture evenly over the filling in the baking dish. You can make a decorative pattern with a fork if you’d like.
  • Sprinkle the optional cheddar cheese on top, if using.


  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and topping is lightly browned.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


  • Make it creamy: For an extra creamy mash, add a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt along with the milk.
  • Customize it: Swap out the ground beef/lamb with ground turkey for a lighter version. Play with different frozen vegetable combinations to suit your taste.
  • Spice it up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little heat.

Enjoy your comforting and healthier Shepherd’s Pie!


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