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Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie

4.5 stars, average of 32 ratings

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Is there anything more comforting that curling up in the chair and dipping your fork into a big bowl of Shepherd’s Pie?

That combination of rich meat and low-carb gravy with a luscious creamy top just can’t be beaten.

Or can it? Try this perfectly Irish twist to a traditional Shepherd’s Pie and top it with delicious Irish style Colcannon instead of potato mash or even the most common alternative — cauliflower mash. It’s next level keto Shepard’s Pie. Enjoy!

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 1/2 cups

Allergy information for Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie

✔  Gluten free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1 1/2 cups)

Net carbs6.9 grams
Protein18.8 grams
Fat37.1 grams
Calories440 kcal
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 17%, fat 77%
Total carbs10.5 gramsFiber3.6 gramsSugars4.8 gramsSaturated fat19.3 gramsSodium597 mg(26% RDA)Magnesium64 mg(16% RDA)Potassium681 mg(34% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

Shepherd's pie filling:
  • 500 g ground lamb (1.1 lb)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (55 g/ 1.9 oz)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup beef stock or vegetable stock (240 ml/ 8 fl oz)
  • 1 cup sliced brown mushrooms, sliced (72 g/ 2.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste or sugar-free bbq sauce (60 ml/ 2 fl oz) - you can make your own BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari sauce (15 ml)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Colcannon topping:
  • 1/2 small green cabbage, sliced and tough stems removed (350 g/ 12.3 oz)
  • 1 medium cauliflower (600 g/ 1.3 lb)
  • 4 medium spring onions, sliced (60 g/ 2.1 oz)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (57 g/ 2 oz)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (28 g/ 1 oz)


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the filling.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  2. Place your minced lamb and onion in a large non-stick skillet and brown.
  3. Add the onion powder and the rosemary and stir through.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to soften. Add the bbq sauce and coconut aminos and combine well.
  5. In a jug, combine the stock and xanthan gum and whisk until well combined.
  6. Add to the filling mixture and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Leave to simmer gently while you prepare the colcannon topping.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  7. Prepare all the ingredients for the colcannon.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  8. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Place cauliflower in a steamer basket over a pot filled with 1-2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  9. Meanwhile, remove the tough stems and slice the cabbage. Place the cabbage into a deep pan with 1 tablespoon of ghee, stir to combine with the ghee and cover with a lid.
  10. Cook over a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the sliced spring onions and cook for another minute. When done, take off the heat and set aside.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  11. When the cauliflower is tender, take off the heat, remove the lid, and let it cool down for 5 minutes.
  12. Transfer the cauliflower into a blender, add the cream and butter. Process until smooth.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  13. Add the cooked greens and stir through. Preheat your grill or broiler.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  14. Place the filling into a serving dish and top with the colcannon. Sprinkle with grated cheese and pop under the grill for a few minutes until the top is browned and crisp.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie
  15. This keto Irish Shepard’s Pie can also be prepared in advance and cooked at 180 °C/ 355 °F (fan assisted), or 200 °C/ 400 °F (conventional) for 30 minutes. This dish can also be frozen.
    Low-Carb Irish Shepherd's Pie

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1 1/2 cups)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Lamb, minced (ground), 85% lean, 15% fat, raw
0 g14.3 g17.3 g213 kcal
Onion, brown (yellow), raw
0.6 g0.1 g0 g3 kcal
Onion powder, spices
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Rosemary, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Beef bone broth, beef stock
0.1 g0.6 g0.5 g7 kcal
Mushrooms (brown), fresh
0.4 g0.3 g0 g3 kcal
Tomato purée (paste, unsweetened)
0.7 g0.2 g0 g4 kcal
Coconut aminos (substitute to soy sauce)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Xanthan gum, thickening agent
0 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cabbage, green, fresh
1.9 g0.6 g0.1 g12 kcal
Cauliflower, fresh
1.5 g1 g0.1 g13 kcal
Spring onion, scallion, green onion, fresh
0.5 g0.2 g0 g3 kcal
Cream, heavy whipping, pouring, full-fat (30-40% fat)
0.5 g0.4 g7.6 g73 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.1 g7.6 g68 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g2.3 g20 kcal
Cheddar cheese
0.1 g1.1 g1.6 g19 kcal
Total per serving, about 1 1/2 cups
6.9 g18.8 g37.1 g440 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (10)

Looking forward to trying some new keto recipes

I hope you find your favourite! 😊

Have to ask what makes this ‘Irish Shepard’s Pie’ ?
I belief the dish originates from northern England and Scotland

Good point! I should have made that clear in the recipe description. It's the Colcannon topping used instead of classic mash or cauliflower mash. I'll amend it to clarify.

I am very excited to make this recipe but I’m wondering if I can use frozen cauliflower instead of fresh cauliflower? Is there any change that I will have to make if I choose fresh cauliflower?

That will work! I generally don't use it for making cauli-rice but it will work just as well as fresh for making cauli-mash 😊 No change needed although you may want to defrost before weighing and steaming.

If you were freezing this, could you reheat from frozen? If so would it be the same temperature just for longer? Thank you!

I would reheat in the oven on low - or defrosted. I think either will be fine as long as you keep the temperature low so it has time to heat through evenly.

We will definitely be making this hardy, delicious meal again. However, I will not be adding the xantham gum to the meat as it made it slimy.

You could use ground chia seeds OR my absolute favourite way to thicken sauces & gravies is by using egg yolks. Simply 1/2 cup chicken stock or bone broth + 4 egg yolks whisked together and slowly drizzled in the meat while stirring - until it thickens. Egg yolks really make the best gravies 😊