Carb-free/Paleo Cottage pie

Written by Sophie

This recipe is perfect for fulfilling that carb/comfort food craving, but is really low in carbs and calories….and is full of goodness and therefore guilt free.  There are no additives, it’s totally gluten free and all made with ‘clean’ ingredients.  It is also really straight forward and almost impossible to mess up!

The recipe below is for the cauliflower mash version, so just substitute some of the cauliflower for potato mash if you prefer.  I made two versions from the mince – 1 traditional cottage pie with potato, and the other was a paleo version made with the cauliflower mash, so you can see that there’s hardly any difference!

This recipe serves 8 people.



  • 500g beef mince
  • 1L Passata (make sure there is no added sugar, I would recommend the Organic Waitrose version)
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste/Concentrated tomato
  • 1.5-2 medium onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (each) Rosemary, oregano and thyme
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 2.5-3 cauliflowers
  • 3 medium/large leeks
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 30g Parmesan (optional)


Preheat the over to 180°c Fan.

1) Prepare all the veg for the mince – chop the onion into small chunks, crush the garlic cloves, cut the carrots and mushrooms into small pieces….

2) Using a wok, heat the olive oil and when it’s hot stir in the onion, garlic and herbs for about 6-7 minutes until they’ve started to soften (don’t allow them to brown).

3) Add the mince and mix well, cooking until brown throughout

4) Add the Passata and the tomato concentrate to the mince…

5) Then once this is well mixed and starts to boil, add the carrots, tamari, red wine, apple cider vinegar.  You can add more/less of these depending on what you prefer.  Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

6) Whilst this is cooking, chop up the leeks and the cauliflower.  Boil or steam the cauliflower (and/or potatoes if you’re using them) for 10-15 minutes until soft, and sauté the leeks in the coconut oil/butter with some salt and pepper until they are soft and starting to brown.

7) Once the cauliflower has cooked through, use a blender (standing or handheld) to break down to a ‘mash’ consistency.

8) Once smooth, mix in the leeks so that they are evenly spread throughout the mixture and so that the cauliflower has a chance to absorb the nice flavours and the oil.

9) Just before the mince is ready, add in the mushrooms and cook for around 5 minutes.  It is important to wait until you’re nearly ready to put everything together in ‘pie’ form so that they don’t reduce too much and are still chunky when you put them into the dishes as they will continue to cook in the oven.

10) Distribute the mince so that there is an even surface.  You can put it all in one large dish, or I chose to divide it up into two smaller and one larger ones.  It doesn’t make a difference to the cooking time at all.

11) Spread the mash over the mince evenly, grate some parmesan over and season with salt and pepper…

12) And then cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on how crispy you want it to be) and then you’re ready to serve up….bet you can barely tell the difference between which is potato and which is cauliflower…