Traditional Cottage Pie is a meat pie with a mashed potato topping. But today I’ve got a healthy low carb twist on the classic for you. We’re subbing ground turkey for the beef, and topping it off with a creamy cauliflower mash that’s loaded with garlic and cheese! The fresh ingredients in this cottage pie recipe make it’s flavor that much more outstanding. The best part is, it most definitely feels like comfort food, but won’t load you up on carbs. If you’re looking for low carb recipes or keto friendly dinners, this is worth your time!
Interestingly enough, I actually made this and am posting it on Pi day! My smart kids tipped me off, I hadn’t realized it! And they all loved it and asked for seconds.
It’s similar to Shepherd’s pie, but I’m not sure the kids would’ve noticed if I didn’t tell them. They did not miss the carbs!
Is Cottage Pie Healthy?
“Healthy” is such a broad term, isn’t it? So I think a better question is “Is it healthy for you?”. Some would argue that ground turkey is healthier than ground beef, but, it depends. What’s the meat/fat ratio? And is the ground turkey white meat or dark or a blend? All of that makes a difference.
And what about white potatoes? Perfectly fine if you are not on a low carb diet. However, if you are, there are better for you options.
And then there’s the cheese. Some people would say cheese is fattening, but again, it depends on what’s best for your body and your needs.
So, in my opinion, using fresh all natural, real food ingredients, yes, this recipe is healthy! We’re using lean meat, no white starches, garlic, vegetables, and fresh herbs.
How to make low carb cottage pie
Cottage pie with cauliflower mash comes together in a few easy steps.
Step one: Prepare the cauli mash
- Place the cauliflower florets in a large sauce pan with the garlic, and just cover with water.
- Heat until boiling, then cover, lower the heat, and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Strain the cauliflower and garlic, and place in a food processor
- Add butter, cream cheese salt, & pepper, and process until smooth. Set aside.
Step two: Prepare the filling
- Saute’ the onions in olive oil until translucent
- Add the ground turkey, and brown it while breaking it up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper.
- Add peas, carrots, and garlic, stir. Then add tomato paste, rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour and stir again to blend
- Add the broth, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Step three: Bake
- Pour the filling into a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
- Carefully spread the mashed cauliflower on top
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Add freshly grated parmesan cheese and bake another 5 minutes (optional).
- Garnish with fresh parsley (optional).
How do you keep cottage pie topping from sinking?
If you follow the instructions in this post, you shouldn’t have a problem. If the topping is sinking, it’s probably that both the topping (whether potato or cauliflower), and the filling, are too warm. So they just kind of melt into each other.
I find that once I set the mashed cauliflower aside, it cools enough while I’m preparing the filling. However, another option would be to also let your filling cool before you put it together.
Can you freeze cottage pie?
Absolutely! For best results, make the topping, then the filling, and let them completely cool. Then put the pie together, cover well, and freeze.
To reheat Cottage Pie, you have two options:
- allow the pie to thaw completely in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered for 30-40 minutes.
- Bake the pie from frozen. Cover it with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
What should I serve with Cottage Pie?
I always get stuck on the side dishes with casserole dinners, because they are all inclusive, they have all the food groups. Here’s my suggestions:
- a garden salad (you can never have too many greens and veggies, right?)
- fruit salad, or just fresh fruit. One of our fav’s is cut up fresh fruit topped with vanilla yogurt.
- A green salad that contains fruit, like this salad with blackberries and pears. Or as you see pictured, a simple spinach salad with strawberries and toasted walnuts.
- If you’re making a smaller amount, you can skip the 9 x 13 pan and use an 8 x 8, or just bake it all in a cast iron pan. I’d recommend this if you actually are using a cast iron pan or oven safe pan to cook your meat and vegetables in. Yay for less mess!
- you can make this a more traditional cottage pie by using ground beef. Or, make it Shepherd’s pie by using ground lamb.
- Gluten free? Use a gluten free flour, a corn starch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder with 1 tbsp cold water), or 1 teaspoon xantham gum instead of the flour. It is such a small amount that for the carb factor I don’t count it.
- Dairy free? Skip the butter and cheese! The cauliflower mash will still taste great. Or use your favorite dairy free substitute
- To lighten it further, use non fat plain greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese in the topping.
More Low Carb Recipes
- Low Carb Mexican Meatloaf
- Low Carb Ricotta Pancakes
- Slow cooker Taco Soup
- Asian Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Do you like this recipe? Please give it a five star rating and leave a comment. Also, I love to see what’s on your table, so tag me on Instagram @artfrommytable or #artfrommytable. when you make one of our recipes!
Low Carb Cottage Pie Recipe
Low Carb Cottage Pie
A healthy twist on a classic, we made this delicious meat pie with ground turkey, fresh vegetables, and a creamy cauliflower mash topping loaded with garlic and cheese. It will not disappoint. True comfort food without the carbs!
Low Carb Cottage Pie Ingredients
For the Cauliflower mash topping
- 1.5 heads cauliflower cut into medium florets
- 10 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 ounces l/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
For The Filling
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 lbs lean ground turkey 93/7 preferred
- 2 cups peas and carrots frozen blend
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary minced
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken bone broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated (optional garnish)
- parsley optional garnish
Make Cauliflower Mash
Place the cauliflower florets in a large sauce pan with the garlic, and just cover with water.
Bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat, and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork tender.
Strain the cauliflower and garlic, and place in a food processor
Add butter, cream cheese salt, & pepper, and process until smooth. Set aside.
Make the Filling
Saute' the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add the ground turkey, and brown it while breaking it up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper. Drain if necessary. Add the broth, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Add peas, carrots, and garlic, stir. Then add tomato paste, rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour and stir again to blend
Add the broth, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Pour the filling into a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Carefully spread the mashed cauliflower on top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes
Add freshly grated parmesan cheese and bake another 5 minutes (optional). Garnish with fresh parsley (optional).
Gluten Free Option: Use gluten free flour, almond flour, cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbs water), or 1 tsp xantham gum in place of the flour.
Dairy Free Option: Eliminate the butter and cheese from the topping. It will still taste great. Or substitute with your favorite dairy free option.
To lighten the recipe further: Use plain non fat Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese.
Make it more traditional by using ground beef instead of ground turkey.
Don't have a food processor? No problem, you can mash the cauliflower in a blender, a stand mixer, or an old fashioned potato masher.
You may need to mash your cauliflower in two batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
To Make Low Carb Cottage Pie You May Need
The following are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Thanks so much for being a part of Art From My Table