Keto Shepherd’s Pie
This twist on the classic shepherd's pie replaces mashed potatoes with a creamy, cheesy layer of mashed turnips. Since turnip is a member of the tuber family, it provides a better replacement for potatoes compared to cauliflower, making it a better choice when making Keto Shepherd's Pie.
Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food, but it’s not the most low carb friendly. Maybe it’s because the classic version has a thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes on top. Most recipes for keto shepherds pie are topped with mashed cauliflower. If you are disgusted with the way cauliflower has been behaving in your food or you are tired of it always being the hero, then you should try topping your casserole with mashed turnips instead. Turnips are a better substitute for potatoes than mashed cauliflower since they tastes more like a potato!
Why this recipe beats the rest
- Doesn’t use cauliflower – I do love cauliflower, but it’s can’t always be the solution to replace high carb ingredients – especially a potato. Cauliflower and potatoes aren’t even in the same family! If you want to find a replacement for starchy potatoes, you have to at least a vegetable that is in the tuber family. Luckily, the turnip and rutabaga are low carb vegetables that are in the tuber family. They cook similar to a potato and you don’t have to squeeze out all the moisture like you do when making mashed cauliflower. The result is a keto mashed potato recipe that looks like the real thing and tastes like potatoes!
- Easy – The beef filling mixture doesn’t take long to cook. Since making mashed turnip is the same process as making mashed potatoes, this keto shepherd’s pie recipe doesn’t take any longer than a traditional cottage pie. It’s actually less effort compared to if you were making mashed cauliflower since you don’t have to spend time trying to squeeze as much moisture out of the cooked cauliflower as possible.
- Classic flavor – Cooking the ground beef, carrot, green bean and onion in a hearty sauce that serves to bind the components together but also infuses the dish with depth and warmth.
- Low carb – Using a turnip to replace the potatoes, keeps this comfort meal low in carbs with only 6.7 grams net carbs per very generous serving. If you wanted to try to get 10 servings out of this casserole (you could it would just be a smaller portion), the net carbs would be 4 grams.
How to make keto shepherd's pie
To make this creative and nutritious variation of the traditional, I like to focus on each layer – the mashed turnips & beef filling. To save time, the turnips can be boiling while you prepare the savory beef filling.
Mashed turnip layer
- Boil the diced turnips. Peel & dice the turnips into small chunks. Then boil in a mixture of chicken broth, water and a half of potato until tender. The half of a potato is added to neutralize the bitter flavor of the turnips. Once tender, drain and return the cooked turnips to the pan to cook the remaining moisture off.
- Puree until mashed. Add cooked, diced turnips to a blender, along with heavy cream, salt, butter, black pepper and cheddar cheese. Blend until smooth.
- Sauté the vegetables. Cook the celery, carrot, onion, and green beans in butter until tender. Then season with garlic and dried herbs.
- Brown the ground beef until cooked through.
- Add flavor components. Stir in tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt and pepper.
Assemble & bake
- Pour beef mixture into a casserole dish first. Spread until even.
- Spread dollops of mashed turnips over the top of the beef filling.
- Bake at 375 °F for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
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Mashed Turnips Ingredients
Shepherd's Pie Filling Ingredients
Keto Shepherd’s Pie Directions
Peel & dice turnips
Peel the turnips with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Discard the skins. Dice the turnips into ¾ inch pieces.
- 2 lb small turnips
Add turnips to a large saucepan. Place potato half on top of the turnips. Don’t dice the potato, leave skin on and whole. Pour in chicken broth. Then add enough water to the saucepan to cover the turnips and potato. Season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and let cook until turnips have softened enough for a fork to easily pierce through.
- 1/2 medium sized russet potato, unpeeled
- 1 cup chicken broth
Remove moisture & potato
Drain water and discard the potato. Return the cooked turnips to the pot and place back on the stove top over medium heat. Dry cook the turnips over the stove top until most of the remaining moisture is gone.
Transfer cooked turnips to a food processor or blender. Add butter, heavy cream and pepper. Pulse until pureed into a mashed “potato” texture. Season with salt if needed. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese. Set aside.
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add celery, onion and carrot and sauté until almost softened.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
Add seasonings and green beans
Stir in minced garlic, green beans, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup frozen green beans
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Add ground beef or lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook, breaking the meat up with a spatula until cooked through.
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Stir in tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in beef broth and let cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in chopped parsley. Season with salt & pepper if needed.
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Assembly & bake
Add beef mixture to a casserole dish. Top with dollops of mashed turnips and spread over the top. Place in a 375°F oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until top starts to brown.