Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

I am so glad this week is finally over. I have been hanging on by a thread, just trying to make it to the weekend, without whatever crud I have in my head turning into a full blown cold. This weekend is going to consist of nothing but naps, movies, and some delicious shepherd’s pie. Oh, and snow. Did I forget to mention snow?

What a crazy winter it has been in Lake Tahoe! I moved here as a little girl in 1990 and I have never seen this much snow in one winter, with more on the way. If I did, I was too young to remember it anyways. That tends to happen with an 8 year-old brain. Anyways, it has been a winter for the books. 50 feet (yes, feet) of snow have fallen from the sky this winter. At this rate, I don’t think we’ll see the ground till August. As much as I love snow, this kind of puts a damper on backpacking plans this season. I want to take a trip in June, but where can I go where I won’t lose the trail? If you have any great ideas that aren’t buried in snow on the West coast, let me know!

Now let’s talk food. I absolutely love it when my boyfriend says to me, “this should go on your blog!” That is a sure sign that something is boyfriend-approved and worthy of sharing with the interwebs. This is one of those recipes. Not only is the meat filling in this shepherd’s pie hearty while being guilt-free, but I finally nailed the perfect light and fluffy paleo mashed potato. These have always been a little bit of a struggle for me. I don’t like adding coconut milk because of the flavor. Chicken stock alone doesn’t really cut it. And loading them with ghee just makes them taste weird. But this recipe for mashed potatoes is definitely worthy of making as a side dish by itself. When you top the meat filling with these taters though, something magical happens. Trust me. Or don’t trust me and try it for yourself!

Paleo Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 4
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For the meat filling:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup beef or chicken stock

For the potato topping:

  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 Tbsp paleo mayo (good recipe here)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast


  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Get your potatoes started. Fill a large pot with water and set over high heat. Peel your potatoes, cut into rough chunks, and add to the pot. Once the water has started boiling, reduce heat to a low boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While your potatoes are boiling away, it is time to get started on your meat filling. Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet and add your onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add your ground turkey and garlic to the skillet. Crumble the turkey with a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Stir in your salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, turmeric, paprika, and dried oregano. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef stock and let simmer over low heat while you get your taters mashed up.
  7. By now, the taters should be just about done. Drain them in a strainer and return them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, ghee, paleo mayo, salt, and pepper and mash with a potato masher until light and fluffy. If you are one of those people that use a hand mixer for your taters, you could also do that here. Add more chicken stock until the desired consistency. You want them to be moist, but not runny, since they are going to go in the oven for a bit. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Transfer your meat mixture to an 8×8 glass baking dish (or you can do individual dishes that are oven proof) and even it out.
  9. Plop your mashed taters on top of the meat mixture and smooth out. You can also make fun little decorations with the back of your spoon. A little texture on the top will allow certain areas to become nice and golden brown.
  10. Sprinkle the potatoes with the nutritional yeast and little additional kosher salt.
  11. Place your dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until the potatoes on top have golden brown spots.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


This is a delicious and hearty meal on its own, but if you are looking to serve it with something, a little sautéed cabbage, onions, and apple cider vinegar hits the spot. Enjoy!

3 Comments on “Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

    • Thanks, Andrew! I just took an old classic, made some modifications based on flavors I like, and boom! You could get creative with it, too, and I am sure it would be a hit at a dinner party. Let me know if you try it.


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