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November 30, 2017

Mashed Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie

Written by: Shannon Corlett, MS, RDN, LDN

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Makes: 8 servings


For the Mashed Cauliflower: 

1 large head cauliflower

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

2 ribs celery

4 medium carrots

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 pounds ground turkey or lean ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups low sodium stock

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1 cup frozen peas


Eight 6 to 8-ounce ramekins

Food processor


  1. Prepare the vegetables. Using a food processor or by hand, finely chop the onion and celery. Peel the carrots and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the cauliflower into florets.

For the stew:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery are softened.
  3. Add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is brown.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste. Then evenly sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender.
  6. Stir in the parsley and peas and set aside.

For the mashed cauliflower:

  1.  While the meat mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a big pot, boil enough water to cook the cauliflower.
  2. Boil cauliflower until tender, about 5-7 minutes, and drain.
  3. Add cauliflower, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and garlic to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Cheddar cheese can be added to the mashed cauliflower if desired.

To combine:

  1. Divide the stew evenly between eight ramekins and top with cauliflower puree. Note: At this point, ramekin can be covered and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for future meals.
  2. Place the ramekins on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the mashed potatoes are browning and the meat mixture is bubbling.
  3. Remove from the oven and rest the ramekins for about 15 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: One ramekin

Calories: 353, Fat: 19g, Protein: 34g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 4g, Sodium: 328mg

Nutrition Tip: As the weather gets colder, it’s easy to find yourself craving comfort foods. This healthier shepherd’s pie recipe combines all the traditionally delicious flavors with lower fat and carbohydrate swaps to fit into a balanced diet. Make these ramekins ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze for a weeknight dinner that’s ready in 20 minutes.

Adapted from: and

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