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Healthy Shepherd's Pie

  • Serves: 8
  • Calories: 404
Paleo Shepherds Pie, whole 30 parsnip pie

This shepherd’s pie is dairy, grain, legume, and sugar free, but most importantly it just might be the tastiest thing you’ve made for dinner in a long time.

Well, here we are a few weeks into the new year and nearly all of TMP team is halfway through the whole30 and crushing it with one exception: me. At 27 weeks pregnant, I just didn’t have it in me to go strict with my eating regime this time around. As it is I’m happy if I make it a day without totally binging on some kind of delicious cheese and carb filled delicacy. Being pregnant August through April is no joke! In that span of time we hit every major holiday (with the exception of July 4th) and all the rich foods that go along with it. I had a long bout of nausea and am now battling some vicious heartburn, so I’m trying my best amidst the onslaught of temptations that surround me to make wise choices one at a time, while also showing myself a generous amount of grace.

Paleo Shepherds Pie 1
Paleo Shepherds Pie 3
Paleo Shepherds Pie 2

Even though I’m not partaking in whole30 myself, I have loved getting to brainstorm and test recipes that are compliant. I’m once again reminded that delicious and unhealthy are not synonymous, and I feel so much better with less grains and sugar in my diet. I’ve been making big batches of our signature guacamole and snacking on it with cut veggies throughout the day, and just this last week I made this Tikka Masala soup and these loaded sweet potatoes (one of my all time faves), both of which are whole30 compliant. Last week we shared this roasted chicken over cabbage recipe (which if you haven’t tried yet, you simply must) and it’s safe to say it will always be a staple in our home.

Paleo Shepherds Pie 4

So, maybe you’re like me and taking a hard pass on any food-related new year’s goals and you’re thinking “get over this whole30 kick already guys and bring back the good stuff!” And that’s just the thing- this is THE GOOD STUFF! I can 100% guarantee that we would never share a recipe with you that didn’t stand alone, healthy or not, as something worthy of gracing your family’s table. But...if it can be healthy AND delicious...why not? Take this shepherd's pie for example.

Guys, it’s so good! Your family and dinner guests would never guess that it is free of grains, dairy, alcohol and sugars. The parsnip purée is a perfect accompaniment to the rich and saucey meat and veggies below it, making this shepherd’s pie the ultimate bowl of comfort.

Paleo Shepherds Pie 5
Paleo Shepherds Pie 6
Paleo Shepherds Pie, whole 30 parsnip pie

So, what have we learned here today? 1) I’m allowing myself to be a bit lazy in the resolution department this year, 2) The baby made me do it, 3) With healthy and whole30 approved meals like this shepherd’s pie not even my wild cravings for rich food can keep me from eating healthy (most of the time).

Paleo Shepherds Pie 8

Healthy Shepherd's Pie

  • Serves: 8
  • Calories: 404


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 large or 4 small Carrots, finely diced
  • 3 ribs Celery, finely diced
  • 2 lbs Ground beef
  • 1 (28 oz) can Diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 1 Small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8-10 Parsnips, peeled, cut into 1” slices
  • 1 ½ cups Chicken stock
  • Parsley, minced, optional
  • Chives, minced, optional
  • Salt & pepper


Heat oven to 375° F.

In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and beef. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain the fat (only if there is a large amount) and add the tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Stir until tomato paste is blended into the meat mixture. Add the cabbage. Simmer until the sauce thickens and cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Place the mixture into a 5 quart baking dish; set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the parsnips. Cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes; drain.

Place the parsnips in a food processor. Slowly add the chicken stock until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the puréed parsnips over the meat mixture creating small “swoops” as you go.

Bake until top begins to brown, 30-35 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and chives.