If you’re looking for a hearty main dish recipe that is gluten-free, paleo, and Whole30-friendly, then you’ll love this delicious Cottage Pie.

cottage pie on white plate with rosemary sprigs and a gold fork

What is a Cottage Pie?

Cottage pie is an English traditional dish made using ground beef and vegetables baked with a layer of mashed potatoes on top. You might be more familiar with a Shepherd’s Pie, also an English dish, but it is traditionally made using ground lamb, not beef.

I modernized this Cottage Pie recipe by using grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, and a creamy layer of dairy-free mashed potatoes. Sounds pretty delish, right? And, of course, the whole recipe is made gluten-free and grain-free to meet Paleo and Whole30 diet standards.

Using Leftovers 

Cottage Pie is the perfect dish to make using leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes. In fact, if you were to make a Cottage Pie from scratch, I would recommend making the meat and veggie layer and mashed potatoes the day before, so it’s easier to assemble the Cottage Pie for baking.

What Vegetables Do You Use?

Traditional vegetables would include carrots, celery, onion, and tomato puree. I used celery and butternut squash because I like those better. Feel free to get creative and use whatever veggies you like the most or have on hand.

cottage pie ingredients

Choosing Grass-fed Meat

Grass-fed meat is my preferred choice when buying and eating red meat. Grass-fed and grass-finished means that the cows are never on a feedlot and eat what they were meant to eat. Grass-fed meat also has a healthier omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio than conventional, grain-fed meat, so it’s healthier for us, too.

If you’re looking for a convenient, quality source, then consider buying from US Wellness Meats (affiliate link). It’s where I buy the majority of my animal protein. This is the grass-fed ground beef I recommend for this recipe.

Recipe Steps

Making a cottage pie is easy, especially if you’re prepared the layers ahead of time. You literally just put the meat and vegetable mixed on the bottom of a baking dish, and then spread on a layer of mashed potatoes. The dish gets baked like a casserole, and served hot out of the oven.

cottage pie on a plate with fork and napkin

Here’s the printable recipe:

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Gluten-Free Cottage Pie (Paleo, Whole30)

cottage pie with gold fork

If you’re looking for a hearty main dish recipe that is gluten-free, paleo, and Whole30-friendly, then you’ll love this delicious Cottage Pie.

  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Oven and pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: paleo, gluten-free, whole30, grain-free
Scale

Ingredients

  • For the meat and vegetable layer:
  • 2 tablespoons, water
  • 12 ounces chopped butternut squash
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery (from about one large head)
  • 2 teaspoons dried herb blend
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • For the mashed potato layer:
  • 1 pound white, red, or gold potatoes
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. For the meat and vegetable layer:
  2. Add the water to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Next, add the butternut squash, chopped onion, chopped celery, dried herbs, and water to the meat. Stir to combine.
  4. Place a cover on the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cook for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until the butternut squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Carefully pour the vegetable mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  6. Next, add the avocado oil to the skillet over medium heat.
  7. Once the oil has heated, add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
  8. Cook the meat for about 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent it from burning.
  9. Once the meat has finished cooking, pour the vegetables into the skillet and stir to combine. This is your meat and vegetable layer.
  10. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a glass bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to make the Cottage Pie.
  11. For the mashed potato layer:
  12. Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half.
  13. Add the potatoes to the base of a pressure cooker, along with the water.
  14. Lock on the lid and push the button for pressure cooking. Set the time to 12 minutes.
  15. Once the cooking time is complete, use the natural-release or quick-release to unlock the lid.
  16. Use a potato masher to carefully mash the potatoes.
  17. Add the ghee and stir until combined.
  18. Pour in the almond milk and give the potatoes one final stir.
  19. When you are ready to bake the Cottage Pie, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  20. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  21. Add the cooked meat and vegetables into the casserole dish. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes on top.
  22. Bake the Cottage Pie for 30-35 minutes in the oven. Serve hot.

Keywords: cottage pie, how to make a cottage pie, gluten-free cottage pie, whole30 main dish, shepherd's pie with beef

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