A delicious Low FODMAP Shepherd’s Pie is exactly what is needed when a comfort food is needed. The ground meat is flavored with tomatoes, veggies, and spices and topped with creamy mashed potatoes baked to form a golden brown crust. It is easily fits into the low FODMAP diet, is gluten free with careful ingredient selection, and easily modified dairy free.
This hearty meal hails from Ireland and is a popular choice for St. Patrick’s Day or any time of the year. Traditionally, shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb. Shepherds do herd sheep, after all. When this dish is made with ground beef, it is called cottage pie. Apologies for any confusion. No matter what you call it, the concept of ground meat seasoned and topped with creamy mashed potatoes is perfection!
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
Ground Meat - Ground lamb, lean ground beef, or sausage are all great options. Be sure the sausage is FODMAP friendly.
Tomato Paste - Concentrated tomato flavor, perfect to flavor the ground meat.
Gluten-Free Flour - GF flour thickens the tomato sauce. Use all-purpose flour if you can tolerate fructans.
Frozen Veggies - Use frozen diced carrots, peas and corn. Using frozen makes it more convenient and quicker to get dinner on the table.
Spices - Use dried oregano, parsley, rosemary, Kosher salt, and ground black pepper - all pantry spices.
Green Onion Tops - Use only the green parts of the spring onion to keep it FODMAP friendly.
Worcestershire Sauce - The perfect umami flavor added to the tomato-flavored ground meat. Find a brand that is gluten free, like Lea & Perrins. It is worth noting the ingredients contain both onion and garlic. If you are in the elimination diet phase, skip this ingredient. However, if you are beyond the elimination phase and know your tolerances, Monash University has tested Worcestershire sauce safe at two tablespoons.
Potatoes - Russets or Yukon Golds are great options.
Milk - Use milk, lactose free milk, or a dairy free milk option like unsweetened almond milk.
Butter - Use salted butter, or if you cannot tolerate butter, use a dairy free butter spread.
Egg Yolk - This adds to the rich flavor of the potatoes and helps with the browning. I borrowed the idea from Alton Brown.
Parmesan Cheese - Shaved parmesan cheese adds the perfect salty flavor. If you cannot handle any dairy, omit this ingredient.
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions. Selected ingredients are based on current serving sizes measured by the Monash FODMAP App at the time of publishing. As always, follow your gut and modify as needed.Jump to Recipe
Step by Step Instructions
Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler and rinse with water. Dice into cubes with a sharp knife on a cutting board. Put into a saucepan.
Fill the large saucepan with water, covering the potatoes. Cook on high heat until boiling. Allow the chopped potatoes to boil 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.
Drain potatoes in a colander and return to the saucepan. Add the butter, milk, and salt—Mash with a potato masher or use a potato ricer until the potatoes reach the right consistency. Add the egg yolk and parmesan cheese and stir. Set aside
While the potatoes cook, start the ground meat filling. In a skillet, add the garlic oil and ground meat. Cook the ground meat until no longer pink, roughly 8-10 minutes.
Add the oregano, parsley, rosemary, salt, black pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
Next, add the gluten free flour, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for one minute. Next, add the beef broth. Stir again until tomato paste is mixed in.
Add the corn, carrots, peas, and green onion tops. Simmer for four minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Pour the meat mixture into the oven-proof dish and spread it out evenly.
Next, add dollops of the potato topping to the meat mixture. With a wooden spoon, spread the mashed potatoes evenly to the edge of the pan. This will seal in the meat mixture.
Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until mashed potatoes turn golden brown. The crispy potato edge was highly sought after in my house.
Top with chopped fresh herbs, parsley, or thyme, and serve warm.
Shepherd’s Pie Substitutions
Fresh Carrots - If you want to dice and chop fresh carrots, add them before adding the frozen peas and corn.
Broth Options - If you do not have any beef broth, swap in a low FODMAP chicken broth. Or use a beef stock cube and boiling water that is FODMAP Friendly.
Fresh Spices - If you want to use fresh spices instead of dried, increase the amount to one teaspoon of fresh. Fresh spices do not pack as powerful of a punch as dried.
Shepherd’s Pie Variations
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie - Swap in a sweet potato mash for the mashed potatoes. It is a tasty variation of the traditional white potato mash.
Turkey Shepherd’s Pie - Use ground turkey for the ground meat for a lower calorie option.
Dairy Free Shepherd’s Pie - In place of butter, use garlic oil or vegan butter. Instead of the milk, use unsweetened almond milk and omit the parmesan cheese, or use a vegan cheese you love.
Mashed Potatoes - Use leftover mashed potatoes, use my recipe to make Instant Pot mashed potatoes, or purchase ready-made mashed potatoes from the grocery store. Be sure the ingredients are FODMAP friendly.
Meal Prep the ground beef to have already cooked ground beef in the freezer and ready to go. It is the best time saver for busy families.
Storing and Freezing Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Heat leftovers in the microwave until heated through, cook on high for one to two minutes. It is okay to stir and combine the layers. It will still be delicious.
Freeze individual serving-size leftovers in freezer friendly containers and pop them into the freezer for a perfect hearty lunch on a cold day. Defrost the night before and heat in the microwave for one to two minutes or until heated through. Your taste buds will thank you.
Shepherd’s Pie is a complete meal on its own and one the whole family will love. Add a lettuce salad with some ranch dressing to add veggies. Additional side dish options include stuffing, corn pudding, and glazed green beans.
Make a double batch of this meal and freeze it for an already prepped and ready-to-go meal, waiting for you in the freezer. Assemble the pie and cool. Cover and freeze for up to two months. If you do not have time to defrost, it can go straight into the oven from the freezer as long as it is in an oven-safe dish. I would not recommend a glass pan for this. Bake a frozen pie at 350 degrees F for 1 ½ hours. If thawed, cut that time in half.
Additional Low FODMAP Recipes
- Low FODMAP Chili
- Gluten Free Dairy Free Swedish Meatballs
- Low FODMAP Pasta Sauce
- Low FODMAP Beef Stroganoff
Low FODMAP Shepherd’s Pie
Mashed Potato Topping:
- 4 medium russet potatoes peeled and chopped (about 5-6 cups)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- ½ cup milk Dairy or Dairy Free
- 4 tablespoons butter or Dairy Free
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup parmesan cheese or Vegan Cheese
- 2 pounds ground beef turkey, lamb, or sausage (or a combination of any)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic infused oil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley or 1 teaspoon fresh
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 teaspoon fresh
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce gluten free
- 2 tablespoons gluten free flour or all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- ½ cup corn kernels frozen
- 1 cup carrots and peas frozen
- ½ cup green onions tops only
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Dice into cubes and put into a saucepan.
- Cover the potatoes in the saucepan with water. Cook on high heat until boiling. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and return to the saucepan. Add the butter, almond milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mash with a potato masher. Add the egg yolk and parmesan cheese. Set aside
- While the potatoes cook, start the meat filling. In a skillet, add the garlic oil and ground meat. Cook the ground meat for 10-15 minutes or until it is no longer pink.
- Add the oregano, parsley, rosemary, one teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and worcestershire sauce to the meat. Stir to combine.
- Next add the gluten free flour, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for one minute. Next add the beef broth. Stir again until tomato paste is mixed in.
- Add the corn, carrots, peas and green onion tops. Simmer for four minutes on low heat. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
- Pour the meat mixture into the dish and spread it out evenly.
- Next add dollops of mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture. With a large wooden spoon, spread out the mashed potatoes evenly all the way to the edge to the pan. This will seal in the meat mixture.
- Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until mashed potatoes turn golden brown.
- Top with chopped fresh parsley or fresh thyme and serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.