Gluten and Dairy Free Shepherd’s Pie

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Here is the ultimate comfort food recipe to feed your family, this gluten and dairy free Shepherd’s Pie with seasoned ground beef, tender carrots and celery, and topped with a fluffy layer of creamy mashed potatoes.

Enjoy this delicious recipe on a chilly night or when you need a cozy, comforting meal that somehow makes everything better.

You won’t find a more filling and hearty meal that can be served on its own or with a side of steamed green beans and warm gluten free and dairy free rolls.

A 9x13-inch glass baking pan with a seasoned ground beef, carrot, and celery mixture topped with creamy, thick mashed potatoes. You'll see melted dairy free butter and little pieces of fresh parsley on top of the mashed potatoes. A spoon has scooped out a portion of the shepherd's pie..

The flavors and textures of this dish are truly fantastic. And those buttery and creamy mashed potatoes on top are absolutely mouthwatering.

You won’t believe the secret ingredient mashed potato recipe we use. It’s been a family favorite for years. And we serve this rich, mashed potato recipe to everyone– no matter if they’re dairy free or not. It’s that good!

Plus the meat filling is delectable with the right amount of seasoning, tomato paste, beef broth, and tender cut carrots and celery.

shepherd’s pie ingredients

  • oil– we cook with grapeseed oil
  • diced onion
  • fresh minced garlic
  • ground beef– ground lamb or ground turkey works too
  • diced celery
  • diced carrots
  • tomato paste
  • beef broth
  • spices–salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, cayenne, Always double check your spices are gluten and dairy free
  • potatoes- we recommend sweet potatoes or golden Yukon potatoes
  • dairy free milk— we use this unsweetened almond milk 
  • egg
  • dairy free butterEarth Balance Buttery Sticks are our favorite, they are soy free too
  • garnish— with fresh rosemary cut sprigs or fresh parsley
  • 9×13-inch baking pan— this recipe can also be cut in half and served in an 8×8-inch baking pan
  • serve with a side of green beans and a basket of warm dinner rolls from Udi’s or My Bread Bakery. Both brands have delicious dinner rolls we enjoy often.
  • optional— some readers like to add in corn, green beans, or peas

baking instructions

Preparing this recipe is not difficult at all. This recipe is best broken down into 4 steps– making the meat mixture, the mashed potatoes, assembling the casserole, and then baking it.

We find this meal comes together more quickly if the potatoes and meat mixture are prepared at the same time. So while the potatoes are boiling, prepare the ground meat mixture. 

A 9x13-inch glass baking pan with a seasoned ground beef, carrot, and celery mixture topped with creamy, thick mashed potatoes before it goes into the oven.

how do I pipe potato swirls on top

Those potato swirls definitely add an extra layer of amazingness to this dinnertime meal recipe.

 We use a Wilton 6B open flower cake tip like this for those swirls. But really– any large tip will make a beautiful design.

We also use the Wilton plastic cake decorating and pastry bags to make it even easier for this recipe. These disposable bags make for the easiest and fastest clean up… for cakes or the potato swirls. 

However, the swirls aren’t necessary.

We’ve eaten this dish plenty of times with the mashed potatoes spread evenly over the meat mixture using an angled spatula. This spatula helps evenly spread the potatoes into the corners and sides of the dish.

why is this shepherd’s pie recipe made with beef

Traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with lamb. However, over the years ground beef has become a frequent meat substitute for lamb in this recipe.

You may find recipes referring to shepherd’s pie with beef as Cottage Pie.

And you can substitute ground turkey or the traditional ground lamb in this homemade meal as well.

can this recipe be made ahead of time

Yes. Prepare the recipe as noted in the recipe card. Then once the casserole has been assembled, over the baking pan, and refrigerate up to 3 days. 

When you are ready to bake this dish, allow it to sit, uncovered, on the countertop for 15 minutes before transferring it into a preheated oven.

A 9x13-inch glass baking pan with a seasoned ground beef, carrot, and celery mixture topped with creamy, thick mashed potatoes. Melted dairy free butter and little fresh parsley specks are on top of the mashed potatoes. A spoon has scooped out some of the shepherd's pie.

more dinner recipes you’ll love

  • skillet lasagna— this no fuss recipe skips all the tiring steps of a traditional lasagna, but doesn’t skimp on the cozy lasagna flavor we love and want. Pin this meal idea now.
  • taco tater tot skillet— this kid-approved meal is served often in our home. The taco tater tot combination is brilliant and delicious.
  • the best chicken pot pie— you’ll love this hearty meal too. This recipe has a buttery and flaky crust and the most amazing filling ever. It’s so good!
  • taco bake— a reader favorite recipe this bake is packed with flavor and all your favorite taco toppings in a 9×13-inch baking dish

dessert recipes everyone loves

  • chocolate layer peanut butter brownies—  these brownie bars are stacked with 3 layers of heaven. The bottom layer features a soft, fudgy brownie topped with peanut butter. Then a top layer of sweet chocolate and marshmallows for the perfect brownie treat.
  • classic apple crisp— warm and cozy this is the ultimate comfort dessert, no matter the season. And what sets this recipe apart is there’s double the topping so everyone gets plenty.
  • chocolate loaf cake— moist and decadent slices of this loaf cake topped with homemade ganache. Rich and fudgy, this is the perfect cake for breakfasts, birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion. This is the chocolate dessert of your dreams.
  • vanilla buttercream frosting— this rich, creamy, and fluffy frosting is so good you’ll want to eat it straight out of mixing bowl


Just enjoy this delicious savory gluten and dairy free Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It is the best homemade comfort meal.

Your family will have no idea this meal is gluten and dairy free!

Have you checked out more recipes on our website? Did you know we have holiday recipe rounds ups too! Such as Christmas Desserts and Cookies, Thanksgiving Day Food, Best Fall Desserts, 4th of July Foods, Valentine’s Day Ideas, and even amazing recipes perfect for the your Super Bowl party.

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And like and comment often so you keep seeing our post show up in your feed.

Eat well and feel well,


Gluten & Dairy Free Shepherd's Pie

Course: Main Course
Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo
Servings: 12
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free


Ground Beef Mixture

  • 2 tbsp oil grapeseed works well
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef ground lamb or turkey work too
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • optional-- corn, green beans, and peas

Creamy Mashed Potato Topping

  • 4 large sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potates, peeled and cut
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup dairy free milk suggestion in the post
  • 2 tbsp dairy free butter suggestion in post
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Place potatoes in boiling water. After they are tender, drain. 
  • While potatoes boil, heat oil in the bottom of a large, deep skillet on medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent add in the ground beef. 
  • After the ground beef has browned, drain off extra fat. Add in remaining meat mixture ingredients and stir well. Place a lid on skillet and medium heat. Simmer for 25-30 mins while veggies soften and flavors mix. You'll find the mixture will thicken. 
  • After veggies have softened transfer the meat mixture to a 9 x13-inch baking pan. 
  • Place the drained potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add in the egg, dairy free milk and butter, and spices. Using a handheld mixer blend the potatoes until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Place creamy mashed potatoes on top of ground beef mixture with a spatula. Spread evenly.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. 
  • Optional: Place mashed potatoes in a pastry bag with a large decorative tip such as a Wilton 6B. Design potato swirls over meat mixture.
  • Garnish with a rosemary twig or fresh parsley.
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days. Leftovers are super delicious too.
  • For a smaller serving size of this recipe, half the ingredient measurements and prepare in an 8x8-inch baking pan. Adjust baking time as needed.


  • Nicole September 11, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Do you have to add the egg to the potatoes? My daughter is dairy and gluten free, including eggs.

    • Jill September 14, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Thank you for reaching out to ask. No, the eggs add an extra creaminess to the dish… but they are not needed. This dish will still be delicious without. Enjoy, Jill

  • Samual Klug August 19, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Wonderful, what a web site it is! This website provides valuable facts to us, keepit up.

    • Jill August 20, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Thank you! Happy eating gluten and dairy free, Jill

  • Connie July 29, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Can this be made earlier in the day and then baked at dinner time?

    • Jill August 7, 2020 at 9:59 am

      Thanks for reaching out Connie. Yes, you can prepare the pie earlier in the day, refrigerate, then bake. I actually do this often. Happy eating gluten and dairy free! Jill

  • watch June 28, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

    • Jill June 29, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      That’s wonderful. I hope you find the recipes easy and delicious. Jill

  • Bianca May 26, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Making this tonight! Looks delicious 🙂

    • Jill May 27, 2020 at 9:15 am

      Wonderful! I hope you enjoyed every bite. Jill

  • Niels April 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

    very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

    • Jill April 27, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Jill


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