‘Tis the season for comfort food! Warm, soups, easy casseroles, and one pot wonders. However, I’d like to try and not gain a bajillion pounds this year over the holidays and my fave comfort foods are no help in that department (macaroni and cheese? Mashed potatoes? you know what I mean).
Solution: Any one else a shepherd’s pie fan?? It does usually tend to be on the fattening side but I’ve got a delicious new recipe for you that tastes just as good with less calories! Say hello to lightened up shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash 😎.
In order to enjoy my shepherd’s pie without the guilt, I had to do a few substitutions and switcheroos. First off, that cauliflower mash.
To be fair, I had some concerns. Mashed potatoes are just soooo good. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how similar and tasty they are! Plus, they cook up a lot faster that potatoes. The only major difference is the texture and it still creams up just like potatoes.
Also, cauliflower has a little more substance than potatoes so you don’t have to add as much butter! Or sour cream…you can see why I had to create a lightened up shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash 🤣. To make sure the cauliflower reaches the same consistency as mashed potatoes, I used non fat milk to keep calories down but still add yummy flavor.
Oh and another thing. I cut the mash topping down by half. HALF and honestly when I was eating it I didn’t even notice. Bringing that calorie count DOWN 🙌🏻!
The other main substitution for this lightened up shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash? I switched out the beef for some lean turkey. It’s cooks up exactly the same way as the beef so its got the same flavors, just as tasty, and a lot healthier. Win win!
Oh and PS. You know how I am about left overs? Basically how I just don’t really eat them right? I ate this for daaaaaays, and I honestly forgot there weren’t any mashed potatoes. Cauliflower mash all the way! Recipe coming up in 3..2..Print
Shepherd’s pie without the guilt! Substituting turkey instead of beef and cauliflower instead of potatoes lightens up the calories for this comfort food classic.
For the Cauliflower Mash
- 1 lb cauliflower florettes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1–2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 cup skim milk (I used nonfat)
- Coarse salt to taste
For the Filling
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- Chives, thinly sliced and roughly chopped parsley for garnish
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prepare a 9X13 casserole dish or use an oven safe skillet to make the filling.
- Add cauliflower to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 6-8 more minutes until cauliflower breaks apart when pierced with fork.
- Drain the cauliflower. In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower, butter, sour cream, salt and milk and mash together until completely combined. Cover and keep warm.
- While the cauliflower is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, and carrots and sauté until they start to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or until fragrant.
- Add the turkey, salt and pepper, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute. Add the red wine and cook down for about 2 minutes while scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking down for another 10 minutes.
- Add the peas and stir to combine.
- If using a casserole dish, pour turkey mixture into the dish and press into a smooth layer. Add the cauliflower mash on top. If using an oven safe skillet, leave the filling in the pan and simply add the cauliflower mash on top! Seal in the sides to avoid too much bubble up from the filling below.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has just started to brown and any liquid on the sides is bubbling.
- Cool on a wire wrack for 10 minutes. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, parsley and chives.