Eating with diabetes can seem daunting, and involves paying attention to carbohydrates and portions. Things like potatoes and bread are often cut out, due to their high carbohydrate count. While these foods certainly don’t need to be cut out completely, portion size is extremely important. Especially when it comes to dishes like Shepherd’s Pie! There are also lower carb substitutions that can be used, particularly when it comes to the potato. This is when the wonderful cauliflower comes into play. Cauliflower has the wonderful ability to transform into pizza crust, mashed “potatoes,” and even rice. While you don’t have to avoid the traditional versions of these foods, it can be helpful to substitute the lower carbohydrate version.

When cauliflower is steamed, mashed, and pureed with milk and a touch of butter, it takes on a creamy texture and flavor similar to that of mashed potatoes. This can be served on it’s own, or as part of a dish, like Shepherd’s Pie.

Shepherd’s Pie is a hearty and delicious meal that is perfect for a cold day. This also holds up well and can be made in advance when meal prepping for the week.

1. Prepare the Cauliflower

First we start with the mashed cauliflower. Cut 2 heads of cauliflower into florets, and place in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Add ¼ cup water, and microwave for 7-8 minutes, checking occasionally. The cauliflower must be very soft to mash into a smooth consistency. Go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

cauliflower shepherd's pie


Place cauliflower in bowl with milk and butter. I started with a potato masher, but didn’t get the consistency I wanted. I transferred my cauliflower to a blender and blended until smooth. That was the ticket!

mashed cauliflower shepherd's pie


2. Get the Veggies Ready

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.


veggies shepherd's pie


3. Protein

Now it’s time for our protein. Add ground turkey to the pan, along with your broth of choice to keep the mixture moist. Continue to cook until turkey is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.


turkey mixture shepherd's pie


4. Assemble

When turkey is fully cooked, it’s time to assemble the Shepherd’s Pie. Place the turkey mixture into a casserole dish and top with that creamy mashed cauliflower. Everything is always better with cheese, so go ahead and sprinkle it on top.


assemble shepherd's pie

5. Bake

Place casserole in the oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. I made this on my “meal prep Sunday” so I let it cool and then portioned into individual containers.


baked shepherd's pie

6. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

portioned shepherd's pie


Full recipe here!

If you would like to get help managing your diabetes, make an appointment with one of our nutrition professionals! Click here or call 301-474-2499. 

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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.

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