Paleo Cottage Pie (low carb, nightshade free)

This is made without nightshades, and is low carb. There are vegetarian, dairy free and other options below.

You may have seen recipes using cauliflower for pizza bases, or for faux “rice”, now here’s a recipe using it for mashed potato, or as some say “faux-tato”.

This recipe was developed for a person who reacts to nightshades, so has no potato, tomato or peppers (bell peppers, capsicum, chilli peppers, cayenne, paprika).

Meat layer

• 400-500gms ground meat of your choice
• 1-2 Tbs pork lard, or other fat of your choice
• 2 onions (I like red)
• 4 large flat mushrooms
• ½ cup frozen peas (optional)
• Generous sprinkling of oregano, basil or other herbs of your choice
• 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
• Pepper (from peppercorns)


• 1 head cauliflower
• 1 tsp sea salt
• Butter or ghee
• Milk or cream – preferably raw, unpasteurised (optional)
• 1-2 cups of grated cheese (I use tasty cheddar)

Slice the onions thinly, and sauté them in the lard, in a large frying pan, till tender. If you have time to cook them very slowly, on a low heat, with the lid on, they will become very sweet and tender.

Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into pieces and put them into a medium sized pan.

Sprinkle the sea salt into the pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer till cauli is soft.

When the onions have softened, push the nearly done onions to one side of the frying pan, add a little more fat, and add the ground meat. When one side is a little browned, turn it over and start breaking it up with your spatula. Keep turning and breaking up, till the texture is fairly fine and it’s all coloured. (The ground meat in the photo below is turkey, so is quite pale, beef would be darker)

Mix them together, and leave simmering. Add chopped mushrooms, herbs and salt, and simmer till the mushrooms are cooked. Add pepper and extra salt if needed and stir in the (optional) frozen peas. Leave on the element, but turn off the heat.

The cauli should be done by now, so drain off the hot water, and add a generous chunk of butter or ghee to the pan. Start by using a knife to chop the cauli into smaller pieces, mixing it round as you go to incorporate the melting butter.

Then mash it finer. I find a masher doesn’t really work, so I just use a fork to get a rough mash. If you wanted to get it finer and closer to a mashed potato texture, a hand held blender is best.

If you like your mashed “spuds” extra creamy, feel free to add in some milk, cream or a little grated cheese at this point.

Get an oven proof dish, and put your meat layer in.

Then spoon the mashed cauli on top and smooth it down.

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Cook at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, till browned on top. If it’s still not ready and you want to speed it up, turn your oven to fan forced.

Serve with a salad or other vegetables of your choice.


• If you have more or less of any ingredient, it will be fine
• Feel free to add in any other vegetables, herbs or spices that you like
• If you like tomato – add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste or puree
• If you can’t have mushrooms, but can have nightshades – use tomato paste instead
• If you can’t have either tomato or mushroom – stir through some precooked and mashed pumpkin at the end
• If you’re vegetarian or vegan – use your own favourite bean stew under the cauli topping
• If you’re vegan or dairy free – omit the butter from the mashed cauli, and use a topping of ground almonds mixed with some turmeric or other spice.
• If you’re vegan or dairy free, or just hate cauli – you might find mashed pumpkin to be a nicer topping. Although not strictly low carb, it’s lower in starch then potato.


This was a new recipe that I put together for Steemit. You can see the original post here:

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