Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free

Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free

This easy Shepherd’s Pie (Gluten- and Dairy-Free) is savory, filling comfort food, with a little of everything! Easy to prepare in less than an hour and take to a potluck or young family’s house. Protein, vegetables, and a smooth, mashed-potato topping. Except for the cooking of the potatoes, a one-pot meal.


Beef Shepherd's Pie in cast iron skillet partly served


This is the fourth in a series of dinners that I have prepared for my daughter-in-law after her lactation consultant advised an elimination diet. (You can find out what we have been eating and more on this topic here.) 

I assure you that neither you or your eaters will notice anything missing! It’s really just a tasty layer of potatoes on a flavorful meat-vegetable mixture. I have written this recipe so that it is easy to use onions if you are eating them, and leave them out if not. 

Beef Shepherd's Pie Ingredients on white marble slab

Ingredient Tips

Though I have a “typical” set of vegetables I mix into my Shepherd’s pie, this could be a clean-out-the refrigerator type of meal. Carrots and celery seem a must. Onions are not on our list now but we hope to have them back soon and have asafetida to enjoy in the meantime.

Beef Shepherd's Pie with filling cooked in cast iron pan

Benefits of the onion family

It’s worth mentioning a couple of good things about the tasty onion (in the hopes that we can put them back into our food soon). Not only do they give a dish a great deal of flavor, but they also give texture to and thicken a sauce. I’ve seen at least one Paleo sauce that was thickened only with onions. Plus, they have antifungal properties, which is good for people who have issues with yeast. 

Beef Shepherd's Pie with potato topping in iron skillet

Yukon golds have become my favorite potato – they cook up well without being too starchy and have that wonderful, warm color — and they don’t disappoint in this topping.

Peas seem a natural here, too — in fact, it’s one of my favorite ways to eat peas! Otherwise, be creative! For example, I threw in the yellow squash because I didn’t have green beans and because — why not add yellow to the color mix?

beef shepherd's pie baked in iron skillet party served

If you have a chance to make this comforting, hearty recipe, please leave me a comment to let me know how it went!





Other recipes you may enjoy

Thai Massaman Curry with Beef and Potatoes

Spiced Beef-Lentil Stew

Two-bean Chili 2 Ways

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Beef Shepherd's Pie in iron pan partly served on white plate

Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free

  • Author: Beth of A Meal In Mind
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Skillet Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop & Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This easy Shepherd’s Pie is savory, filling comfort food, with a little of everything! Easy to prepare in less than an hour and take to a potluck or young family’s house.



For the filling:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

23 carrots, chopped fine, almost minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

½ cup yellow squash, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (omit for an elimination diet

1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine (omit for an elimination diet)

½ teaspoon Asafetida

¼ t nutmeg

1 lb ground beef, preferably grass-fed

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 Tb Arrowroot (Bob’s Red Mill) or tapioca flour

1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

8 ounces of frozen peas, thawed

3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tsp of marjoram or other herb of choice

For mashed potato topping

6 medium Yukon gold potatoes (if not eating nightshades, use sweet potatoes), boiled until tender and peeled

3 tablespoons coconut oil (or ghee, if tolerated)

¾ cup full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1/2 teaspoon pepper, or as desired


For the filling:

  1. Melt coconut oil over medium-low heat in large skillet or dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
  2. Saute carrots gently for 8 minutes. Add celery and saute for 2 more minutes. Add squash and stir for one more minute.
  3. Add the asafetida and nutmeg and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook until all pink color is gone.
  5. Add the salt and the arrowroot flour and stir until completely mixed. Add the tomato paste and mix in evenly. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Check the seasoning.
  6. If the mixture is not already in an ovenproof skillet or baking dish, transfer it to one. Spread the beef mixture evenly in the dish.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the potato topping:

  1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan so that they are covered with water. Boil until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Partly (or completely, if you prefer) peel the potatoes. Mash them with the coconut oil (or ghee), then stir in the coconut milk and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the salt, pepper and the fresh parsley. Spread the topping evenly over the meat mixture.
  3. Place the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Edges will be bubbly and starting to brown and the tomato paste in the filling will tint the topping orange. If you wish the top to be slightly browned, turn on the broiler for 5 minutes more.
  4. Allow the shepherd’s pie to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Keywords: Cast iron skillet dinner, beef pie, one-pot meal, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free

beef shepherd's pie baked in skillet pinterest collage with ingredientsbeef shepherds pie in cast iron skillet next to white bowl

10 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free”

    • Angela, so glad you plan to give this dish a try! And I appreciate the comment about using the vinegar, which I know you recommend on your great blog. Let me know how it turns out.

  • This is definitely my favorite so far. I can literally eat it all day every day. Soo good!!

    • Matthew, that feedback means a lot to me! It’s not easy to find a dish that still tastes good every day. This one has such a great mix of flavors, I’m so happy for your comment.

    • Yes, you are absolutely correct – yet it was what we called it growing up, basically my family’s recipe. Possibly it had been a recipe using lamb at one time but was adapted to beef? I’ll include a note to that effect. thanks!

  • I served this for Christmas Eve dinner, doubling the recipe for my family of eight. What a hit! I prepped the base the day before, so the day of, I let it sit at room temperature for twenty minutes, then warmed in the oven for fifteen minutes. After that, I finished the potato topping and baking as usual. Most of my guests had seconds.

    • Jenny, I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, since it always is at my house. I’m always glad to hear of success with advance-prep, and thanks for sharing what you did and how it turned out. And thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment!

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