Nightshade-free Shepherd's Pie

Nightshade-free, dairy-free shepherd's pie (autoimmune paleo)

Shepherd's Pie, in some variation or another, has been a comfort food for me for a very long time. I wasn't about to let being on the autoimmune paleo diet stop me from enjoying it! There are so many wonderful starchy substitutes for potatoes to put on top to keep it nightshade-free. I'm sorry, but cauliflower mash just does NOT cut it for me on top of  a shepherd's pie. 

I've found a renewed appreciation for three delightful tropical starchy staples since going on the autoimmune paleo diet: malanga, taro, and yuca. I've written more about these roots in my recipe for Puerto Rican Sancocho (meat and starch stew) and in my recipe for how to use all three as a mashed potato substitute, which you can enjoy as a side dish or as the topping for this shepherd's pie.

Nightshade-free shepherd's pie

I've also found a deeper appreciation for the classic French mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) and I've been using it quite frequently while on the AIP. It's amazing how much flavor it lends to so many dishes. I prep a lot of it all at once and freeze it in portions that I can quickly pull out of the freezer for recipes.  It's really all you need to accompany the ground beef as the filling for shepherd's pie. 

This recipe is easy to put together in a hurry and makes a large enough batch for you to have plenty of leftovers. I've made it with malanga and taro on top and I think that yuca/cassava would also go very well, but haven't tried it yet myself.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Nightshade-free, dairy-free shepherd's pie

Nightshade-free Shepherd's Pie

Recipe by Amanda Torres @ The Curious Coconut

Warm, nourishing, nightshade-free shepherd's pie made with tropical starch. Autoimmune paleo & dairy-free.


  • 2 lbs malanga, taro, or yuca
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup fat of choice for mash (olive oil, lard, ghee, butter, palm shortening)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups + 1/2 cup beef or chicken bone broth
  • 2 lbs ground beef (grass-fed if possible)
  • 8 cups diced mirepoix (made of 4 cups yellow or white onion, 2 cups celery, and 2 cups peeled carrots)
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Cooking Directions

  1. Prepare your malanga, taro, or yuca according to the instructions in this recipe. You will use about 2 cups of broth for this, be sure to save 1/2 cup for the pie filling.
  2. Brown ground beef in a large pan over medium low heat. Drain beef and set aside. Remove excess rendered fat from pan. You want to leave behind about 2 Tbsp to cook your veggies in.
  3. Add your mirepoix, herbs, and salt and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the carrots have softened. Add garlic and continue to cook another minute or two longer, until garlic is fragrant. Go ahead and start to preheat your oven to 450F. Mine takes about 10 minutes to heat up.
  4. Add bone broth and allow to simmer several minutes. Add ground beef back to the pan and stir everything together well. Let simmer another minute or two then remove pan from heat.
  5. Get a 9"x13" baking dish and add ground beef mixture, spreading evenly.
  6. Using a large spoon or a spatula, carefully cover the top of the meat mixture with your mash. Be sure to spread it evenly.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes at 450F.
  8. Let rest about 5-10 minutes before serving. This can be a meal in itself, or pair it with your favorite leafy greens as a side.

Recommended Tools and Ingredients

This post contains affiliate links for things that I use in my own kitchen and believe you will enjoy, too. My full affiliate disclosure is here. Thanks for your support! :-)

P.S. If you want to learn a ton more about bone broth, how to prepare it, and why it is so good for you, check out The Gelatin Secret. I have a review copy and I think it's the bee's knees! You'll be a bone broth expert after giving this book a read, and, if you are like me, will become enthusiastic about consuming it daily.