Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free

Shepherd’s Pie Gluten and Dairy-Free

Comfort Food

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

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 shepherds pie in cast iron skillet next to white bowl



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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

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