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Paleo Cauliflower Cottage Pie


Good morning all you good lookin’ people!

I thought I’d start us off with a little Tasty Tuesday Treat.  How’s that for alliteration?  

So ever since I started The Whole30 (you can read more about my first week here) I have gotten LOTS of questions from family, friends and readers.  Lots of things like “How are you doing this?” and “What do you actually eat?”

Well, here’s something we’ve had twice now in the last 12 days…


Paleo Cauliflower Cottage Pie - The Learner ObserverYUM, you guys, YUM!!!

I have no photos of this whole thing in process, so let me just share this with you:  I called this a Cottage Pie because my friend April, who is awesome at cooking and life in general, dropped some knowledge on me with this post.  You can’t call a pie with meat on the bottom and potato on top a Shepherd’s Pie unless the meat is lamb!!!  Duh!  Sounds soooo obvious now, doesn’t it?  Shepherd… sheep… lamb… yep!  So when you use beef, it’s called a Cottage Pie.  Which I kind of like in this case because… Alliteration with cauliflower.  It just works!  Ok here is the recipe!

Paleo Cauliflower Cottage Pie
Serves 6
Low carb, Gluten Free, Paleo
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
  1. 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
  2. 1 large head of cauliflower
  3. 2 cups of mushrooms (chopped)
  4. 1 small onion (chopped)
  5. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  6. 2 cups of kale (chopped, fresh or frozen)
  7. 1 tablespoon of clarified butter
  8. Salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Trim and cut cauliflower into small florets. Steam until tender.
  3. While the cauliflower steams, add olive oil, onions and mushrooms to a frying pan and cook until onions are translucent. Set aside. Add ground beef to same frying pan and cook until browned/cooked through. Add kale, onions and mushrooms into the beef and mix well, season with salt and whatever else you'd like - I added some dried Italian seasoning to mine.
  4. Remove cauliflower from steamer once finished and grind in a food processor until it's the consistency of mashed potatoes. It doesn't take long in a food processor, but if you don't own one, you can use a potato masher by hand. Add in a tablespoon of clarified butter/ghee, a pinch of salt, and mix together.
  5. In a 9x9 dish, place the beef, onion and mushroom mixture then the cauliflower on top. Sprinkle with some more dried herbs (or fresh) if you wish.
  6. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes and you're done!
  1. The original recipe uses a lot of garlic in the mashed cauliflower, which actually sounds great! Also, you can substitute the kale for spinach and/or carrots if you need a change.
Adapted from Karen @ Living Low Carb
The Learner Observer

Paleo Cauliflower Cottage Pie by The Learner ObserverIt’s as tasty as it looks.  Wait… unless you don’t think it looks tasty, then that won’t work!

Though I didn’t add this to the notes above, this can absolutely be made with lamb, or pork, or perhaps even chicken or turkey meat.  Why not, right?  You can definitely change this recipe up a little but to satisfy your taste buds.  


Oh, if you don’t know what clarified butter is, find out more here.  Unless you’re on the Whole30 challenge or eating strictly Paleo, you don’t need to worry about this – just use regular butter!

Paleo Cauliflower Cottage Pie by The Learner ObserverIt even LOOKS like potato, right?  Oh and I just have to tell you that the cauliflower does taste great!  Honest… the first time we had this I forgot it wasn’t potato.

And there you have it.  If you’re trying to eat a little cleaner, this is a great way to do so while having a bit of comfort food.  All you Paleo people or those of you considering The Whole30, trust me… this will make you feel like you have no restrictions in your diet, which is huuuuuge during a 30 day cleanse, amIright?

If you have suggestions or questions, please let me know. I promise to get back to you!

Have a lovely Tuesday, my friends!

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  • Reply Tara

    Thalita – this looks delicious. I’m not eating Paleo, but I love to try new things and get more veggies into our diet. Pinned!

    February 19, 2014 at 1:34 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks, Tara!! My husband couldn’t tell it was cauliflower the first time, so it’s a good one to use if you wanna trick the kids ;)

      February 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm
  • Reply Amy ~ Love On Sunday

    I had NO idea that’s why they called it Shepherd’s pie. Thanks for dropping knowledge on me today. After watching Dr. Oz on family day, we’re considering more of a paleo diet. I’m such a sweets person and I’m trying so hard to cut out the sugar, bad carbs and just eat cleaner. I recently found spaghetti squash, it changed my life!

    February 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      I know right? That’s all thanks to April :)

      I know Paleo is super “trendy” right now, but it’s honestly not that hard to do. I’m also a sweets person – like, need sugar after every meal! Crazy! Replacing some of the carbs with veggies (which also have carbs, but not the bad kind, obviously) has made a huge difference and I feel amazing! Spaghetti squash changed our lives haha I donated all of the pasta in my pantry after I made it the first time!

      February 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Amy ~ Love On Sunday

    Oops, I hit submit too quickly. I love cauliflower so I’m totally trying out this recipe. Thanks Thalita! :)

    February 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      HAHA Love it! It’s amazing! Add a little garlic and butter to it, then put it back in the food processor for a bit and I swear they taste like potatoes!

      February 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Best of the Week | allputtogether

    […] paleo cottage pie recipe looks […]

    February 21, 2014 at 8:10 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much for sharing this!!! :)

      February 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply April @ Money Pit Love

    I love all of this! Adding it t my list of menu options. (PS- thanks for the shout out! I love you too :)

    February 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Whaaaaaa??!? You’re adding my recipe to your menu options? K… my week is made!

      February 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm
  • Reply The Whole30 - Intro & Week 1 - The Learner Observer

    […] 4-5 strawberries or a kiwi. Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner the night before like Cauliflower Cottage Pie, and some fruit or a handful of nuts.  Don’t you worry your pretty little face, […]

    February 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm
  • Reply The Whole30: It's Over! Plus, a Savory Burger Recipe - The Learner Observer

    […] too, not frozen!) and I never find myself bored with what I eat. Between all of the uses of cauliflower and always buying different vegetables instead of going for the same safe things every week, we eat […]

    March 11, 2014 at 5:11 pm
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