Southwestern Shepherd Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Top

When winter storms are in the forecast, crowds make bee lines to the supermarkets to stock up on provisions.  Instead I like to go pantry and freezer diving  and get creative in the kitchen while cleaning out the cupboards.  This Southwestern Shepherd’s pie was one of those delicious creations when our area was recently hit with a blizzard dumping 28 inches of snow on us.  It was so good I made it a second time a week later.  I used lean ground pork but you could use ground turkey.  The cauliflower mash was a revelation:  creamy with a fabulous texture that allowed me to pile it up as high as the snow banks!  So good it would convert any mashed potato lover to this healthier alternative.  Mine was mashed with sweet potato to bring out  Southwestern flavors but it could be made entirely with cauliflower. Being stranded in a blizzard never tasted so good!


Southwestern Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Top

  • 1-2 Jalapeno peppers, stems removed, seeded, diced
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground pork or turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 whole cauliflower, outer leaves removed, cored, cut in flowerlets
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t salt
  • 16 oz bag of corn, thawed and drained of any liquid
  • 2 T fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, brown the pork with the onion and the Jalapeno pepper, until the onion is translucent and the pork no longer pink. Season with the chili powder, the salt and pepper, the cumin, garlic powder and mix in the tomato paste.  Transfer to a deep casserole dish.
  2. Meanwhile, place the cauliflower and  sweet potato in a medium pot, add a few inches of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook about 20 minutes until the cauliflower and potato are soft.  Drain.  Add  the butter and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Using a hand held mixer, blend as you would mashed potatoes.  Reserve.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. On top of the meat mixture, spread the corn. Top with the mashed cauliflower.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.  To brown the edges of the mashed cauliflower, place under the broiler for 1 minute.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Browning the pork, onion and Jalapeno.


Assembling the layers.


Steaming the cauliflower and sweet potato.  This sweet potato was white which surprised me!


Look at that mile high cauliflower mash!


A minute under the broiler develops nice color and bits of crispy texture.


Dig in!



21 thoughts on “Southwestern Shepherd Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Top

    • Isn’t amazing how fluffy that topping turned out? Loved it! Now you can totally turn up the heat of the meat! I wrote it up for the general audience, not for those who like it hot!

      Johanne Lamarche


  1. THIS is the kind of shepherd’s pie I would DEFINITELY enjoy. When shepherd’s pie is normally the last on the menu I would order, I would order THIS ONE OF YOURS in a heartbeat. I really like that you incorporated cauliflower into it. LOVEEEE

  2. Pingback: 21 Fall Recipe Round-Up | French Gardener Dishes

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