This Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie recipe is baked in an oven proof skillet which makes the cooking process simple and easy. It’s also a budget-friendly ground beef recipe that’s paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and can be made low carb. With vegetables like carrots, onions, celery and peas mixed in with a flavorful gravy, the filling is a perfect companion for the creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty, cozy recipe that’s family friendly and also great for meal prep!
Related: 30 Whole30 Ground Beef Recipes
Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
For your Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie, you will need two categories of ingredients. The first are the fresh ingredients you’ll need. For those, this recipe requires 2 pounds of ground beef, a few diced carrots, a diced yellow onion, a few stalks of diced celery, and minced garlic. The final two vegetables are frozen peas, which get added to the filling at the end of cooking, and russet potatoes, which get boiled and then mashed.
For the pantry type ingredients you will need olive oil, tomato paste, coconut aminos, beef broth, canned coconut milk, ghee, and a few spices such as parsley, thyme, rosemary and salt. The beef filling mixture will be thickened with arrowroot flour, or if you’re not keeping it Whole30 you can use regular flour or gluten-free 1:1 flour.
All of these ingredients are easily accessible at major grocery stores, such as Target, Walmart, and Fresh Thyme (check out those posts for my Whole30 shopping guides!). You can also grab them online from Amazon, or at a discount from Thrive Market where I get all of my pantry ingredients (new members save 40% on their first order!).
Cooking Equipment Needed
- Large, oven-safe skillet such as cast iron or enameled cast iron
- Stock pot
- Potato masher, or immersion blender
Step by Step Cooking Instructions
There’s two parts to making a Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie, and they are both very easy and don’t require much beyond sautéing and boiling! This recipe may look like there’s a lot of steps but it’s really just making the ground beef filling and making the mashed potatoes. Once those two things (really, it’s easy!) are done you just have to bake.
Making the Ground Beef Filling
The first step is to make sure you have a large enough skillet that is oven proof. Cast iron or enameled cast iron is perfect for this. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. while you make your filling. Start by adding the oil and heating your skillet up. Next, add the carrots, celery, onion and minced garlic to the hot skillet. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water and the potatoes to a boil on a back burner.
Begin sautéing your vegetables, and cook them for about 4 minutes, just until they have begun to soften and the garlic is fragrant. Season the vegetables with the salt, thyme, parsley, rosemary and pepper. Stir those into the vegetables until the spices are combined with your veggies, then add in the coconut aminos and tomato paste.
You will stir the tomato paste and coconut aminos into the vegetables a bit, and then add in your ground beef. Use your spatula to break up the beef and begin browning and crumbling it. This will take about 8 minutes, and by that time it should be browned and combined well with the vegetables and tomato paste.
The last step here is to sprinkle over the flour, mix it in with the beef filling and then pour in your beef broth. Then you’ll allow it to come to a simmer and gently simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened. In the meantime, you’ll mash your potatoes.
How to Cook the Potato Topping
While the beef mixture is simmering and the broth is thickening, you will turn your attention to the potatoes. They should have now softened in the boiling pot. You’ll drain the water from the pot, and add in the coconut milk, ghee, salt and pepper.
Use a potato masher, immersion blender or just a large fork to mash your potatoes while mixing in the ghee, coconut milk, salt and pepper. The recipe instructions list to mash until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. However, if you like your mashed potatoes a little clumpy, you can stop mashing when the potatoes are at the consistency you and your family prefer.
Assembling and Baking Instructions
Once the potatoes are mashed and the beef mixture has thickened, you will stir the frozen peas into the skillet with the filling. These don’t need time to cook or sauté on the stovetop. The beef mixture will warm them and they will cook in the oven.
Once the peas are mixed in, flatten the beef and vegetables so the filling is in an even layer in the skillet. To finish off your Whole30 and paleo shepherd’s pie, begin spooning the mashed potatoes over the filling. Evenly spread all of the mashed potatoes over the filling. Make sure to go right up to the edge of the skillet so that the filling doesn’t bubble up on the sides while baking.
Top the skillet with parsley if you’d like, and place it into your preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. You can broil the shepherd’s pie for about 3 minutes at the very end to give the potatoes a nice golden color. This also slightly hardens the very top just a bit. I think it adds a nice texture, but it is completely optional.
Serving and Storing Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie
Let your shepherd’s pie rest for about 10 minutes prior to serving it to let the filling thicken a bit more and lock in the flavors. For serving, you really don’t need to add anything extra being this is a full meal all on it’s own. However, if you’d like to add a side, this is great with roasted or steamed green beans or roasted broccoli. A small side salad with leafy greens is great, too.
To store your shepherd’s pie, you will want to make sure you let it cool completely prior to storing. Then you can portion it out into individual containers that have air-tight lids. This recipe keeps really well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Low Carb Alternative
To make the Whole30 and gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie low carb as well, you will not want to use potatoes for the topping. Instead, you’ll make the topping from cauliflower. It’s really easy to make cauliflower mash, and the process is much the same as making mashed potatoes. Use this recipe for a flavorful, low carb cauli-mash. Using cauliflower mash does still keep this recipe Whole30, paleo and gluten-free as well.
Other Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love:Print
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups diced carrots (about 3–4 carrots)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (or 1 pound ground lamb, 1 pound ground beef)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or Worcestershire sauce)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour, flour, or gluten-free 1:1 flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 5 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup ghee (or butter)
- Pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- Begin by starting the mashed potatoes by adding them to a pot with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring it to a boil, and let cook while you’re making the filling, until the potatoes are very soft
- While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add olive oil to a large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the carrots, onions, celery and minced garlic. Saute for about 4 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Then add the salt, thyme, rosemary, parsley and pepper
- Stir the spices in with the vegetables for about 1 minute until combined, and then add the tomato paste and coconut aminos. Mix the tomato paste in with the vegetables
- Add the ground meat into the skillet. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the ground meat is browned and crumbled
- Sprinkle the flour over the beef mixture and mix it in to combine, and then pour in the beef broth. Bring to a simmer
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes until it’s thickened
- While the beef mixture is simmering, drain your potatoes
- Return the potatoes to the pot and add in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the coconut milk, ghee, and pepper. Mash with a potato masher over low heat until the potatoes are smooth and creamy, adding additional coconut milk or broth if needed
- Once the beef mixture has thickened and the potatoes have been mashed, stir the peas into the beef mixture. Then, evenly spread the potatoes over the beef filling, making sure to cover the edges so the filling doesn’t come up the sides. Smooth the potatoes with the back of a spoon to ensure it’s in an even, flat layer. Top with parsley
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. You can broil for 3 minutes at the end if you’d like to give the potatoes a nice finish. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes prior to serving
- You can use a casserole dish if you don’t have a large enough, or oven-safe skillet. Just transfer the ground beef mixture into the casserole dish prior to adding the potatoes
- Vegan butter can be used in place of ghee
Keywords: Whole30 shepherd's pie, skillet shepherd's pie, whole30 ground beef recipes, gluten-free, paleo
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