July 28, 2014

Skinny Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Mash Topping

Happy 600th recipe post to me!  My first recipe was in February of 2010, and I never would have imagined that my blog would come this far!  Thank you to all who have been following along in this exciting, tasty journey.  

When I was working on this blog post, I wasn't aware that this marked the 600th recipe.  I would have otherwise made something a little more "elaborate" to celebrate.  In any event, this is the one!  This shepherd's pie is "skinny" because I use creamy mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes for the topping.  I also used nonfat Greek yogurt, tomato paste, and some of the mashed cauliflower as thickening agents in place of flour.  The savory meat filling is cooked in a skillet, spooned into ramekins, topped with a creamy cauliflower mash topping, and then briefly broiled until bubbly.  Even though it's "skinny", it's delicious, full of flavor, and husband approved! 

Cauliflower Mash Topping:
Serves 3-4

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets  
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 

Meat Filling:  

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil 
  • 1/2 c onion, minced 
  • 1 c carrots, chopped 
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/4 lb lean ground beef 
  • Splash dry red wine 
  • 1/2 c beef broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1/2 c frozen peas
  • 1/2 c frozen corn 
  • 6 oz plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1/4 c mashed cauliflower 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 


Prepare the cauliflower mash topping.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the cauliflower to the boiling water and boil until soft.  A fork should easily pierce through the cauliflower.  Drain the cauliflower well.  Return the drained cauliflower to the pot.  Add the butter, garlic, and cheddar.  Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Reserve 1/4 c of the mashed cauliflower to use in the meat filling as a thickening agent.  Set aside.

Prepare the meat filling.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Add the beef and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the beef is no longer pink.  Add the wine, beef broth, Worcestershire, thyme, and parsley, peas, and corn to the mixture.  Continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn the heat down to low.  Stir in the tomato paste, 1/4 c of the reserved mashed cauliflower, and Greek yogurt.  Cook for 1 minute longer.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  

Assemble the shepherd's pie.  Spoon the mixture evenly into ramekins (I used three 6-inch ramekins) or a baking dish.  Spread the mashed cauliflower evenly on top.  Sprinkle some additional cheese on top, if desired.

Broil uncovered until the cauliflower topping is heated through and bubbly.  Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


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