Keto Ground Beef Casserole with Low Carb Cauliflower Mash – Keto Shepherd’s Pie Freezer Meal Prep Casserole!
Chow down on the indulgent comfort of a KETO shepherd’s pie by nixing the crust and baking it up casserole style! Rich, savory beef and veggies with a layer of creamy mash on top, baked and broiled to perfection.
Without the fuss of a pie crust, this keto shepherd’s pie casserole is SO simple to make, and each piece contains only 5g net carbs. Just layer your beef and mash into your casserole dish, and bake! But, it’s not just the pie crust that’s the carb culprit in a traditional shepherd’s pie...
For a truly low carb keto casserole recipe, I’ve replaced the classic mashed potatoes with a silky-smooth CAULIFLOWER mash! But seriously, it still tastes like a true shepherd’s pie – you’d never guess there are no potatoes in it. That makes this keto casserole an extra-nutritious, veggie-packed, and an unbeatable keto meal prep dinner option.
Plus, I’ve designed this low carb dinner as a make ahead FREEZER meal that you can prep in advance and freeze for up to 3 months! I’ll show you exactly how to do it, and my special freezer meal method so you can keep your casserole dish. (Instead of leaving it in the freezer for months...)
A Lifetime of Keto Shepherd’s Pie – with FREE Ground Beef FOR LIFE?!
Let’s be real, the fatty, umami goodness of ground beef makes it a crave-worthy keto meat option—but quality matters. In this keto shepherd’s pie casserole, what really steals the show for me is the high-quality beef that I got from Butcher Box!
Butcher Box is an online distributor of high-quality meats, shipped right to your door, at a price I’ve yet to see anywhere else. Not only is my mind at ease knowing that their beef is humanely raised and grass-fed, with no hormones or antibiotics, but I can also taste the difference.
Plus, for the purposes of this keto shepherd’s pie and keto cooking in general (and overall healthy eating, in my opinion), I think it’s so important to choose grass-fed and pasture raised meats when we can. The standard grain-fed diet is not the natural diet that healthy cows would eat in the wild, resulting in a lower-quality, inflammatory, and not-as-nutritious meat.
Luckily, you can TRUST in the quality of Butcher Box meats. And, they’re offering a limited-time offer that includes FREE shipping, $20 OFF your first box, and FREE GROUND BEEF FOR LIFE—just use THIS LINK and enter your email to get the deal! Offer applies for the first 100 orders, so sign up while you can and enjoy as much keto shepherd’s pie as you can eat!
How to Make Keto Shepherd’s Pie Casserole
Making keto shepherd’s pie is as easy as cooking your meat, mashing your cauliflower, and layering it in a casserole dish to bake!
I’ll also show you how to prep this as a make ahead casserole for keto meal prep purposes, along with my special freezing method. If you don’t want to sacrifice an entire casserole dish, I’ve got a trick that lets you keep your dish while still leaving your keto casserole prepped in the freezer... Say whaaat??
#1 Keto Ground Beef Casserole Meat Mixture
To start, the first element of our keto shepherd’s pie is the MEAT, of course.
Add a bit of oil to a saucepan and sauté chopped onion until tender. Next, add in some garlic and celery to cook for another few minutes. Celery is a great keto veggie option because it’s low in carbs! But, as much as I LOVE garlic, be mindful of how much you use in this keto casserole because it can raise the carb count quickly.
Once the celery has begun to soften, add in your ground beef. (If you take advantage of that Butcher Box deal, you could be making this keto ground beef casserole with FREE beef! For life!) Break up the meat with a spoon and cook through until it’s no longer pink.
Then, stir in some canned fire roasted tomatoes and diced zucchini, which are also great low carb vegetable options. Some people are wary of tomatoes on a keto diet because they assume they’re high in carbs, but tomatoes actually have fewer carbs per gram than many other veggies—like broccoli and Brussels sprouts!
Continue to cook the meat mixture until the veggies soften, just a few minutes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, add some broth along with fresh thyme for a comforting, fragrant flavor, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so to integrate.
Once the bottom layer of your keto shepherd’s pie casserole is ready, set it aside and you’re ready to make your low carb mash!
#2 Low Carb Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
A traditional shepherd’s pie recipe features mashed potatoes on top, and that fluffy, comforting layer is pretty essential to this classic comfort food dish... So, for a KETO shepherd’s pie recipe, I had to get creative with my mash. Luckily, this low carb CAULIFLOWER mash is deceivingly similar in color, texture, and taste—but without the hefty carb count!
First, add cauliflower florets to boiling water and cook for about 8-12 minutes, until fork tender. Drain, carefully transfer to a clean towel, and allow to cool and dry for 5-10 minutes. Then, add your cooked cauliflower to a food processor or blender (or mash by hand), along with your other keto shepherd’s pie mash ingredients.
I used almond milk as my milk of choice, but you could use any plant-based milk, dairy milk, or even heavy cream if you’d like. Also, I LOVE butter in my mashed potatoes and it’s a great keto friendly ingredient, but it’s totally optional if you’d rather omit and keep this keto shepherd’s pie dairy free.
TIP: If you’re open to dairy on your dietary menu, sour cream would be a great addition to this keto cauliflower mash!
For flavor, I added some garlic, fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper, but few free to use any flavorings you like. And all that’s left to do is blend that low carb cauliflower mash until it’s silky-smooth.
Of course, you’re welcome to mash this by hand, and I personally prefer a chunkier mash in most cases. But, for this keto shepherd’s pie casserole, I think it’s best to get the mash as smooth as possible!
#3 Assembling Keto Shepherd’s Pie Casserole to Cook
With your beef cooked and low carb cauliflower mash nice and smooth, your keto shepherd’s pie is ready to assemble! I used a 9x13-inch glass baking dish for this keto casserole recipe, but anything oven-safe will work.
But, if you plan to prep this as a keto freezer meal as well, be sure to use a freezer-safe dish. Also, I recommend using a dish with a lid if you have one! If not, don’t worry—I’ll show you how to prep this as a make ahead casserole even without a lid. (And, how to keep your casserole dish instead of leaving it in the freezer...)
First, add the cooked meat for your keto ground beef casserole into the bottom of your dish so it’s in an even layer. Next, pour your low carb cauliflower mash on top, in the center of the meat. That way, it’s easier to spread the mash out to the edges of your dish, so it’s nice and smooth.
Finally, your keto shepherd’s pie casserole is ready to bake! Toss it in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes, until it’s golden. If you’re like me and enjoy a bit of browning around the edges, feel free to broil at the end for 2-3 minutes! Slice and serve fresh, or store your keto shepherd’s pie in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week.
Storing or Freezing this Keto Ground Beef Casserole for Meal Prep
For a make ahead casserole that you prep and cook later, simply prep this keto shepherd’s pie as described and store before cooking it in the oven.
If your casserole dish has a fitted lid, just pop that on top and store in the fridge for 2-3 days, until you’re ready to cook it. Even if you don’t have a lid, simply cover the dish in foil, plastic wrap, or a plastic free alternative like beeswax food wraps. Make sure to seal well around the edges, and it’s ready to refrigerate.
For a freezer meal prep casserole, you can also use these same storage methods! Just cover with a freezer-safe lid or the food wrap of your choice, and store the entire dish in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Now, if you want to prep this as a keto freezer meal but you don’t have tons of casserole dishes to spare (as most of us don’t), here’s a nifty freezer meal prep hack you can use...
Freezer Meal Prep Hack – Store your Keto Casserole but KEEP the Dish!
You can see the full details of this hack with photos in my Keto Taco Casserole post, but here are the basics:
First, before you start assembling your keto shepherd’s pie casserole in the dish, create a foil lining. Layer multiple pieces of foil on top of each other, and use long enough pieces to fold over the top and cover the casserole.
Fill up your foil-lined dish with the keto shepherd’s pie components, fold the long edges of foil over to cover, and freeze the entire dish overnight. The next day, remove the frozen block of keto casserole from your dish—leaving the foil-wrapped casserole in the freezer, and keeping your casserole dish to use as you’d like!
It’s still safe to store like this for days, weeks, or up to 3 months after freezing it. When you’re ready to bake it, simply transfer your frozen keto shepherd’s pie back into the dish, thaw it out overnight in the fridge, and then cook it as you would normally!
Same oven temperature and cook time, though you may need to leave it a few extra minutes if it’s still frozen in the middle. And, voila! A nutritious keto freezer meal that’s ready when you want it, with all the deliciousness of a freshly-cooked meal.
Whether it’s part of your weekly meal prep or for a holiday family gathering, this keto shepherd’s pie is low carb comfort at its finest!