Sage Shepherd's Pie - Enlighten Functional Medicine

Sage Shepherd’s Pie

Chilly winter days can mean deep cravings for hearty comfort foods that fill your belly and warm your soul. Traditional shepherd’s pie (a wondrously baked meat-potato-veggie combo) certainly fits the bill. However, if you’re like me, it’s a big no-no. The nightshades, dairy, eggs and other ingredients in the traditional dish gives me achy muscles and digestive ickiness. Waa-waa. So, here’s where we throw a pity-party, right? Nope. Enter this Savory Sage Shepherd’s Pie! Ta-da! It’s perfect for AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto. (By the way, even if you’re best friends with dairy and eggs, you won’t miss ’em in this hearty meal.)

Why this Meal is a Winner:

1. Following an AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto way of eating to look and feel your best? Subbing mashed cauliflower for potatoes makes this a low carb treasure.

2. Having trouble getting your little ones to eat more veggies? The “hidden” squash and radishes all covered in yummy meat sauce are an easy sell.

3. Simply trying to just eat healthier? Then try this out! (I know. I know. Some of you are not believing me because of the radish part, right? Trust me. You won’t even know they’re there.)

4. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and oh-happy-day nightshade-free, too! Boom! But don’t let that make you think it skimps on flavor. The first time I made this for dinner, my husband’s immediate response was, “Can we please eat this every single week?!” That’s rave reviews from a recent-radish convert, my friends. And, I will confess, while I was going to merely taste my new concoction that evening, I ended up eating waaaaaaaay more than my fair share. So, be forewarned if you think you’re gonna end up with leftovers with this dish. It doesn’t last long in our house!

Reinventing Leftovers:

Speaking of leftovers, you could actually MAKE this AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto Shepherd’s Pie by utilizing some of last night’s holiday fare.  This dish is perfect for reusing bits and pieces stored in the fridge after a big meal. Protein:  You can easily substitute the ground beef with leftover holiday turkey, roast, steak or even roasted chicken.  Got leftover breakfast bacon? Add it in as a secondary protein source.  It would be a super-yummy addition when sautéing your veggies. (You’re right.  Scratch that.  Who has leftover bacon?!)  Or if you’re just flat out feeling adventurous and want to try something new, consider using ground bison, ground lamb or even good ole ground turkey (that’s a good one for those of you wanting to keep your proteins on the lean side). Veggies:  Throw in leftover green beans or asparagus.  You’ll need at least 2 cups veggies to mix with your protein.  In addition, you’ll probably still want to sauté up some onions and mushrooms if you have them.  Consider adding those celery sticks from that veggie tray into your skillet sauté.   (You could even add a couple of carrots, but keep in mind it’ll alter the overall carb load.) Topping: If you just so happen to have an overabundance of mashed cauliflower from last night’s dinner, then SCORE you can add it here.  But that doesn’t happen at our house.  So, you’ll probably just need to make the mashed cauliflower.  For those who are earning their carbs by busting big moves at the gym, you could try leftover baked sweet potatoes mashed and spread on top.  Using a Japanese sweet potato would mean the topping was still white instead of classic sweet potato orange.  If you’re dealing with candida or are trying to shed some holiday pounds or if you know starchy carbs give you the bloat, stick to the cauliflower mash.

Ingredient Notes:

The fish sauce helps give this a bit of that umami flavor that traditional dishes might rely on tomato paste or Worcestershire sauce to achieve. I like the purity of Red Boat fish sauce. Warning, it is stout stuff; go easy. And if you have histamine problems, maybe skip it in favor of good ole coconut aminos–a soy sauce replacement. I can have histamine issues but do fine with the small amounts of fish sauce here. Feeling daring? Use both the fish sauce and coconut aminos to a double punch of flavor.

Running low on sage? Try subbing fresh thyme and/or rosemary. No broth? No problem. Just boil or steam the cauliflower in water. You’ll miss out on some of the flavors from the broth, but it’s not a deal breaker. Okay, no excuses. Following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Grab a skillet and get to cookin’! Let me know if you try some of the leftover suggestions and substitutions and how they work out for you.

Amy loves good food and learning about its effect on the amazing human body. She and her family follow an anti-inflammatory lifestyle to manage food sensitivities and autoimmune issues. Find her latest culinary concoctions and ponderings at

About Enlighten Functional Medicine

Known for her successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Dr. Emily Hecker and her team at Enlighten Functional Medicine combine an integrative, functional medicine approach with the appropriate lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders recognizes that lasting health depends on resolution of the root causes of your disease. Click here to learn more »

Scroll to Top