Paleo Shepherd's Pie

What do you do when you're home alone on a rainy Friday night that also happens to be the first day of the Chinese New Year and Day 26 of your GAPS Introduction Diet?  First, you organize your condo top-to-bottom and do a cleansing meditation to bring in the new year.  Then you make Paleo Shepherd's Pie, of course!  Because by Day 26 of the GAPS Introduction Diet, if you're anything like me, you will be seriously craving some diversity in your dinner menu.  Bone broth, boiled meat and steamed vegetables never tasted more bland. Never fear - creative cooking to the rescue!  This Paleo Shepherd's Pie is both GAPS Introduction Diet friendly and divinely rich and delicious.  It's comfort food in a cast iron dutch oven.  With food like this, you might even be brave enough to invite over some friends for a real meal.  If you love hosting good people for a night of good conversation and good food like I do, the GAPS Introduction Diet can put  a real damper on your social life.  What in the world do you serve?  Oh, sorry Jeffrey, I thought ultra-dry chicken with a side of sauerkraut was your favorite mistake.  With this Paleo Shepherd's Pie, your friends will never even suspect that you're doing a crazy intense gut-healing protocol.  #winning!  PS - I wish I had a friend named Jeffrey who came over for dinner parties. I feel like he would be a classy British gentleman.

As you can probably tell, I've having a fun Friday.  I've finally gotten to a place in the GAPS Introduction Diet detox where I'm feeling pretty fabulous with plenty of positive energy to go around.  Which makes some creative cooking all the more enjoyable.  There's nothing better than good tunes (I highly recommend Songza's Mellow Indie Playlist if you're into that sort of thing), a dressy little apron and time spent playing in the kitchen to wind down from a busy work week.

If I'm gonna do the GAPS Diet gut-healing protocol, I might as well make the most of it.  I hope you are bringing in the year of the wood horse from a blissful and nourished place as well.  The astrological guides say it's shaping up to be a free-spirited adventure of a year!

paleo shepherd's pie

  • YIELD: 8 Servings
  • PREP: 30 mins
  • COOK: 1 hr 15 mins
  • READY IN: 1 hr 45 mins

Paleo and GAPS Introduction Diet friendly Shepherd's Pie is comfort food in a cast iron dutch oven


  • 1 organic onion diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 organic carrots diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 organic celery stalks diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1.5 lbs organic ground meat grassfed beef, sustainable pork or lamb
  • 8 oz organic mushrooms chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp grassfed ghee
  • 1 Tbsp fresh organic sage chiffonade
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup bone broth
  • 1/2 head organic cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 small organic winter squash butternut or acorn
  • organic virgin coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a spoon. Place face-down on baking sheet, lightly drizzle shells with coconut oil and bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle, then gently peel of skins.
  2. Put cauliflower florets in steamer basket and steam on high for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat.
  3. Chop onion, carrots, and celery into 1/2 inch cubes. Put in cast iron dutch oven with 1 Tbsp ghee and 1/4 cup bone broth. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Cover and cook on medium heat over the stove for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft and broth has almost boiled off.
  4. Add ground meat to dutch oven and break up into small pieces with the edge of a spatula. Cook over medium heat until just barely cooked through.
  5. Chop mushrooms into 1/2 inch pieces and chiffonade sage. Add to dutch oven, stir to combine, and cook covered another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked off.
  6. Use a potato masher to mash roasted squash and steamed cauliflower with 1 Tbsp ghee and fresh ground pepper to taste. 
  7. Flatten ground meat and vegetable mixture in dutch oven with the back of a spatula. Spread the mashed squash/cauliflower to evenly cover the top.
  8. Bake dutch oven, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the edges begin to get crispy.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve.