The Scots claim it as theirs, while some insist it originated in Ireland. Wherever shepherd’s pie comes from, we’re eternally grateful it exists, and this St. Patrick’s Day, we’re paying homage to the preferred pub dish with seven healthier ways to eat it. From Paleo to plant-based, there’s a shepherd's pie recipe for everyone.

1. Shepherd’s Pie With Cauliflower Topping
Photo: Oven Love Blog

Packed with lamb or beef mince and covered with bubbly cheese (or not, if you’re Paleo!), this looks like your traditional pub pie, but that mashed topping is actually made of cauliflower, not potatoes, for a lower-carb treat. It’s puréed with butter (or ghee, if you’re Paleo!) so you really won't be able to tell the difference.

2. Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins
Photo: Recipe Tin Eats

Plate up your pie a bit differently by serving it inside the spud you scooped. You’ll have a potato skin bottom, a potato purée topping, and meaty goodness in-between. Perfect.

3. Taco Shepherd’s Pie
Photo: Noshtastic

Here’s a culinary combo you may have never thought of before—all the ingredients of an Irish shepherd’s pie, kicked up with south-of-the-border flavors like cumin and ancho chili powder. A homemade taco seasoning mix ensures this recipe is gluten-free (but if that’s not a concern, you can always use the ready-made kind).

4. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie With Butternut Squash
Photo: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Using canned lentils makes these individually portioned pies infinitely easier to put together—they’re ready in less than an hour! Topped with butternut squash for a slightly sweeter alternative to white potatoes and sprinkled with just a bit of cheese for that savory, golden finish, this meatless meal is the definition of healthy and hearty.

5. Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
Photo: Fit Slow Cooker Queen

This one gets extra points for being a slow-cooker recipe (because those just make life easier)! It goes for the classic ground lamb/peas/carrots combo, but uses almond flour as a thickener, ghee for fat, and cauliflower as the topping, making it perfect for anyone on the Whole30 or Paleo eating plan.

6. Sweet Potato Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
Photo: Whitney Bond

The orange color of this pie gives away that there’s something deliciously nontraditional going on. Not only is the topping made of sweet potatoes and pumpkin purée, but the filling uses lean turkey instead of lamb to switch up the protein.

7. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie With Tofu and Cauliflower Crust
Photo: Uproot Kitchen

While most vegetarian shepherd’s pies use lentils, this one goes for tofu as its protein source. Combined with veggies and covered with a cauliflower mash that can easily be made vegan, it’s perfect for serving meat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free eaters alike.

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