Whole30 and Paleo Friendly Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Cooler weather here in Texas + November vibes = casseroles! We had unseasonably cold weather last week, but I wasn’t quite ready to admit that warm weather is gone. I was still wanting warm weather food, but now that we are just over two weeks away from Thanksgiving, I am starting to feel that need for comfort food at last. This Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie recipe is the ultimate comfort food and one of the original casseroles.

What’s in Shepherd’s Pie?

This very traditional dish is made quite untraditionally with ground turkey instead of lamb and topped with a Whole30 compliant version of mashed potatoes. It’s comforting but light all at the same time. To add color and nutrition, there are onions, celery, and carrot in the filling. You can certainly add others, but I wanted to keep it super simple without a lot of extra flavors. Tiny English peas are traditional and add more color, I just happened to not have any and my fam isn’t crazy about them. Feel free to use leftover shredded turkey or chicken if you want to instead of the cooked ground turkey. Yes, it’s even more untraditional, but it’s a great way to use up leftovers, am I right?

What is the topping for Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie Recipe?

I used my Creamiest Cauliflower Mashed Potato recipe for the topping to get even more veg inside this dish but regular mashed potatoes are traditional. My recipe uses cauliflower and potatoes along with garlic for tons of extra flavor. To give the mashed potatoes a little tang and balance the natural sweetness of the veggies in the filling, use a tablespoon or two of dairy-free yogurt in place of some of the ghee or butter or add 1 tsp of lemon juice.

What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie (at least my version) has everything you need for a balanced meal, but I’m a veggie freak and usually add a salad or green veggie, like roasted brussels sprouts. Feel free to make individual ones if you’re serving guests since it’s not really beautiful once you scoop out the first serving. 16 oz oven-safe bowls would be perfect.

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie with Leftovers

This is the perfect way to use leftovers after Thanksgiving or Christmas or with a rotisserie chicken. Just use 3-4 cups shredded turkey or chicken in place of the cooked ground turkey. Use leftover mashed potatoes for the top and leftover gravy for the sauce. Just saute some celery, carrots and onions then add the gravy and turkey. Add some green peas if you have them for color. Transfer to baking dish (or dishes for individual) and cover with mashed potatoes.

Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Recipe by Christi Flaherty

This classic dish is updated to make it lighter and Whole30 friendly.


  • 1 recipe Creamiest Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or your favorite mashed potato recipe

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, preferably organic

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, finely chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp dried thyme

  • 2 tbsp almond flour

  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • Chopped green onions or chives for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare mashed potatoes.
  • Cook turkey until no longer pink then add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook over medium heat until vegetables start to soften. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
  • Mix almond flour and tapioca flour in a small bowl then sprinkle over the turkey veg mixture. Stir well then gradually add the chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Transfer to a medium (11 cup or so) baking dish.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes over the top evenly. To make the top brown in a pattern, use a fork and quickly press and lift evenly all over the top of the mashed potatoes.
  • Bake at 350 until bubbly then turn the broiler on and broil (watching carefully) until the top is browned. Sprinkle with chopped green onions or chives to garnish. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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