This Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is low carb and keto! Made with a ground turkey and vegetable filling and topped with mashed cauliflower, one serving of this classic comfort food is sure to warm you up and leave you feeling satisfied.
Keep dinner on the light and healthy side with this low carb Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. A meaty and herbaceous turkey filling is layered in a casserole dish before being topped with mashed cauliflower. After 30 minutes in the oven, this keto comfort food is ready to be enjoyed by the whole family!
What is shepherd’s pie?
Shepherd’s pie is a type of casserole made with two layers: (1) a saucy, seasoned ground meat filling on the bottom and (2) mashed potatoes spread on top. It’s traditionally made with ground lamb but is commonly made with ground beef as well (also known as Cottage Pie). You’ll usually find a few vegetables and aromatics in the filling to help add flavor and substance.
Low carb shepherd’s pie is just as easy and comforting as the traditional version. Ground turkey is used instead of lamb or beef, and the mashed potato topping is swapped for a lighter mashed cauliflower mixture.
I also used common keto-friendly vegetables in the filling, like mushrooms, bell peppers, and peas, but you can easily use what you like instead. There’s plenty of ways to play with this recipe!
- Ground turkey - Classic shepherd’s pie recipes are made with ground beef or lamb. While it has slightly less protein compared to beef, ground turkey is lower in saturated fat, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Overall, turkey is a very healthy meat loaded with B vitamins, protein, zinc, and many more vitamins and minerals.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Salt and pepper
- Tomato paste - This will increase the acidity, creating balance in the turkey filling.
- Soy sauce - Gluten free tamari or coconut amino’s work just as well.
- Oregano - Fresh is best.
- Mushrooms - Cooked mushrooms are naturally meaty, helping this hearty meal feel extra comforting.
- Red bell pepper - Or use any kind of bell pepper you like.
- Peas - Frozen, fresh, or canned peas will all work.
- Cauliflower - The cauliflower florets are steamed, then blended with butter and nutritional yeast to create a flavorful mash to layer on top of the shepherd’s pie. It’s a delicious low carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Nutritional yeast - This cheesy seasoning brings an irresistible flavor to the cauliflower puree.
Can I use the leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead?
Sure! Shepherd’s pie is a fantastic way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. Swap the ground turkey for the shredded Thanksgiving turkey or roasted turkey breast. Keep the cauliflower mash as-is or, if you don’t need it to be low carb, use leftover mashed potatoes instead.
How to make a ground turkey shepherd’s pie
Preparing a keto shepherd’s pie for dinner is foolproof. Just follow these 6 easy steps for guidance:
Step 1: Saute the onion and garlic in a large oiled skillet until fragrant. Next, add the ground turkey and cook until it’s browned all over.
Step 2: Now you can add the vegetables to the skillet. Season them with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until the vegetables soften.
Step 3: Finish the filling by stirring in the tomato paste and soy sauce. If the filling is too thick, you can thin it out with 1-2 tablespoons of water or broth.
Step 4: Steam the cauliflower florets, then transfer them to a blender. Add the garlic, butter, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Step 5: Assemble the turkey shepherd’s pie by transferring the turkey filling to a casserole dish. Spread the pureed cauliflower on top into an even layer.
Step 6: Bake the shepherd’s pie until it’s bubbling and golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve individual scoops in bowls. Enjoy!
Make this recipe your own! Customize the flavors, add-ins, and ingredients any way you like or use these ideas for inspiration:
- Instead of mashed cauliflower - Use mashed sweet potatoes. You can keep the seasonings the same or add warm herbs and spices, like cinnamon, sage, thyme, Italian seasoning, or paprika.
- Instead of ground turkey - Make the shepherd’s pie with ground beef, lamb, or chicken.
- Use different vegetables - Frozen vegetables will speed up the cooking process while adding more fresh vegetables, like eggplant, diced spinach, or green beans, will bring more substance to the meal. Use what you like!
- Dairy free shepherd’s pie - All you have to do is replace the regular butter in the cauliflower mash with melted coconut oil or coconut cream.
Make it a meal by serving scoops of the turkey shepherd’s pie with any of these complimentary low carb side dishes:
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
- Cauliflower Fennel Soup
- Tomato Stuffed Eggplant
- Cauliflower Rice Salad
- Tomato Soup
Storing and freezing
Make ahead: You can make the meat filling, mashed cauliflower, and assemble the casserole up to 1 day ahead of time. Keep the layers separate or together in the fridge, then bake the next day.
Store: Keep the leftover shepherd’s pie stored in an airtight container (or covered casserole dish) for 4 to 5 days. They reheat well in the microwave or in a 350ºF oven.
Freeze: The unbaked and baked keto shepherd’s pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. You may need to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
Looking for more low carb dinner ideas?
- Ground Beef Fried Rice Bowls
- Zesty Tilapia with Charred Green Beans
- Garlic Chicken Thighs and Green Beans
- Keto Chicken Cobb Salad
- New York Strip Steak
Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped small
- ½ - ¾ cup peas frozen, fresh or canned
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Add oil to a large skillet. Sauté onion and 2 cloves of garlic until fragrant. Add ground turkey and cook until cooked through (about 8 minutes).
- Add in veggies (mushrooms, bell pepper and peas. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies start to soften.
- Stir in tomato paste and soy. If needed add a couple tablespoons of water or program approved broth.
- Meanwhile steam cauliflower florets in steamer basket until fork tender. Let it drain for a couple minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower to a blender cup. Add in remaining garlic, butter, nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth but don't over work it (about 25-30 seconds)
- Transfer turkey to a casserole and spread onto an even layer. Top with cauliflower mash.
- Bake at 400F degrees for 28-30 minutes. When done garnish with fresh thyme and serve.
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