Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie

Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s pie was and is a Finnegan family classic. I grew up eating it, though probably in a slightly different way than most people. My mom would make the beef or veal filling and then the mashed potatoes seperately. It wasn’t baked, instead we’d pour the beef over the mashed potatoes. Nowadays, I do a combination of both the way my mom makes it and the traditional way; with the mashed potatoes spread over the top and the baked in the oven. This recipe for Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie is a variation on the classic. While baked in the oven, I’m going to use rutabaga instead of potato!

Rutabaga has also become a staple in my house, although much more recently. My Great Uncle Norm grew up eating mashed rutabaga at Thanksgiving and when they started joining our family for Thanksgiving dinner several years ago, he brought his favorite dishes along with him. I’ve been hooked ever since and eat it all year long, not just on Thanksgiving! 

It takes a while to cook through though. If you have an instant pot, I highly recommend you use it. On the stove, it takes close to an hour for the rutabaga to cook enough to mash. Rutabaga is slightly sweet, with a turnip taste to them. I feel like it’s a cross between a turnip and a sweet potato! They’re sort of yellow-orange inside, and look like a darker version of a purple-top turnip on the outside. I can always find these root vegetables at Sprouts and Safeway but it tends to be hit or miss at other area grocery stores. Here’s what you should be looking for 🙂


I love the hint of sweet on top of this savory dish. It pairs so well with the other flavors in this dish. If you’re having trouble finding rutabaga, or they just don’t float your boat, try mashed cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or the traditional white potato instead. You can’t go wrong with this great wintery dish! I’m sure Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie will quickly become a family favorite!


Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, shredded

1 1/2 cups French style green beans

1 cup celery, sliced

2 lbs rutabaga

1/2 cup almond milk

4 T butter or ghee

1 T fresh garlic

2 Bay leaves

1/2 cup beef broth

1 T Tapioca starch

1/4 cup oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Dice rutabaga into fairly small cubes (rutabaga takes forever to cook! The smaller the pieces, the quicker it cooks!). Add to boiling water and cook until tender, about 40-45 minutes.
  2. Drain rutabaga and hand mash slightly. Add almond milk and butter to pot. Using a hand mixer or immersion blender, puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and veal and cook until no longer pink. Set aside.
  4. Add vegetables to pan and sauté 5-6 minutes until carrots are tender. Mix in spices and stir to combine.
  5. Add tapioca starch to vegetables and fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in beef broth and simmer until sauce has thickened. Add meat back in to pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Coat a casserole dish or dutch oven in cooking spray. Add meat mixture to bottom of dish. Top with rutabaga. Back in a 400 degree oven, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and rutabaga are nicely browned (You may need to broil for the last few minutes to give it a nice brown on top). Sprinkle with parsley (dried or fresh). Serve hot.