This Bison Shepherd's Pie is made with a handful of clean ingredients like ground bison, Yukon gold potatoes, and savory herbs, making it gluten-free, Whole30, and Paleo-friendly.
This easy gluten-free shepherd's pie is a healthy twist on the traditional version. Most shepherd's pie recipes call for heavy cream and sour cream in the potato topping. This recipe uses non dairy milk and lean ground bison to make a healthier version of the classic comfort dish.
Tomato paste- I love buying tomato paste in the tube and not the jar. It makes for easy storage in the refrigerator and lasts a lot longer.
Ground Bison- You can substitute ground beef, ground turkey, ground lamb, or ground pork for the ground bison in this recipe. Really any ground meat will work!
Potatoes- You can use russet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, or red potatoes. You can also use sweet potatoes if you want a mashed sweet potato topping.
Dried Thyme and rosemary- If you happen to have fresh thyme or fresh rosemary on hand then you can use that instead of dried. If you use fresh herbs, I would use a tablespoon of each herb.
Coconut aminos- If you don't have coconut aminos then you can use Worcestershire sauce. Using Worcestershire sauce will make this recipe no longer Whole30 or Paleo-friendly.
Tomato paste- You can use tomato sauce if you don't have tomato paste. Use 1.5 tablespoons of tomato sauce in place of the tomato paste.
Ghee- You can use avocado oil or olive oil in place of the ghee to saute the onion and the cloves of garlic.
Dairy free milk- You can use whatever kind of dairy free milk you like. If you are wanting to keep this recipe Whole30 or Paleo then stick with almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. You can also use chicken broth or beef broth in place of the milk if you like.
Step by step
- Dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic cloves.
- Add the ghee or oil to a large sauce pan or skillet and heat to medium heat.
- To the melted ghee or oil, add the onions and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they are translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the ground bison and cook until browned (about 8-10 minutes).
- While the bison is browning, chop the potatoes and add them to a large pot filled with water, boil on high until the potatoes are fork tender, about 8 minutes.
- To the browned bison, add the frozen green peas and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Then add the coconut aminos, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to get the brown bits from the bottom of the pan incorporated and let cook on low for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain the potatoes. Add them back to the pot you cooked them in and place them back on the stove over low heat.
- Add ghee, dairy-free milk, salt, and pepper to the potatoes and mash them using a fork, potato masher, handheld mixer, or immersion blender.
- To a greased cast iron skillet or 9x9 baking dish, add the bison meat mixture in an even layer then using a large spoon or rubber spatula, smooth the creamy mashed potatoes over the bison mixture making sure to cover it completely.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Optional- after it's baked for 30 minutes you can turn the oven to broil and let the dish broil for around 5 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
Is bison healthier than ground beef?
The most significant difference between bison and ground beef is the fat content. Bison is leaner than beef, making it have about 25% fewer calories than beef. It also has less saturated fat than beef and more protein.
Another big difference between bison and beef is the way they are farmed. Bison is more likely to be grass-fed, unlike beef which is usually pasture-raised. Beef is usually fed a grain diet mainly made up of corn and soy, making the cow grow quicker.
Because of federal laws and industry regulations, most bison meat sold in the U.S. is free of antibiotics and added hormones.
Bison and beef taste very similar so if you are looking for a healthier option, bison is the clear winner. Bison is going to be slightly more expensive than beef. At my local grocery store, the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished 97/3 ground beef and ground bison is about $3.00.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! All types of potatoes are Whole30 compliant. You can mash them, roast them, or bake them but french fries are still not Whole30 compliant.
Traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb and a Cottage Pie is made with ground beef.
Shepherd's pie is a common and inexpensive British dish originating from the sheep country in Scotland and northern England.
Storing and reheating
You can store this gluten free shepherd's pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can reheat this in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1.5 minutes depending on how big the serving is that you are reheating.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating or comment! Your feedback is so important to me.
Bison Shepherd's Pie
- 1 lbs ground bison
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound potatoes
- ½ cup unsweetened nut milk
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Heat ghee or oil in a pan on medium heat then dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Add the diced onion to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.
- Once the onions are translucent, add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the ground bison to the onions and garlic and brown for 8-10 minutes.
- While the bison is cooking, dice the potatoes and add them to a pot with boiling water and let boil till tender (about 8 minutes).
- To the bison, add the frozen peas and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the tomato paste to the bison, stir well, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the coconut aminos, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Let cook on low while you finish the potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot on the stove on low heat.
- Add the ghee, dairy free milk, salt, and pepper to the potatoes and mash them using a fork, potato masher, handheld mixer, or immersion blender.
- To an oiled cast iron skillet or 9x9 pan, add the bison mixture in an even layer then cover the bison with the mashed potatoes using a spoon or spatula to evenly spread the potatoes over the bison completely.
- Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Optional- turn the oven to broil once the shepherd's pie is cooked and broil it for 5 minutes till the potatoes are golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- sauté pan
- cast iron skillet or baking dish
*nutrition information is an approximateShare this recipe on Facebook