Easy Cheesy Cottage Pie

A word from Chef Craig: This one is a winner for the colder months. You can prepare the pie in advance and then bake it as and when you need it. Cauliflower is in season now, so making mash is a good way to get them into your every day diet.

A word from the Whole Food Dietitian, Caryn: Cottage pie…hhmmmm the perfect comfort meal for those of us that are about to welcome the colder weather, but without the stodge! Cauliflower to the rescue – again! You might just need to wait until the price comes down though – the cauli shortage is pushing up the price – must be from the LCHF word getting out! Nutritionally, this dish ticks all the LCHF boxes. For extra nutrients, serve with some green veggies, but even if you’re feeling lazy, the onion, tomato and cauli has it all covered.

A word from The Fat Professor, Grant: This is a great family dinner – make an extra big one so you have enough for lunch the next day, too.

Prep time: 20 – 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour (mince), 20 minutes (mash), 30 minutes (pie)
Carb count: 6g per serve
Serves: 4 – 6


  • 800g Mince (beef, lamb etc.)
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 standard can (400g) of tomatoes
  • 1 standard can (400ml) of water
  • 1 Cauliflower cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp (45g) Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Egg yolk (optional)
  • ½ cup (60g) Cheese grated (cheddar or any melting cheese)


Heat a medium-sized pot and add the mince to the pot, cook the mince until it begins to brown. Chop the onions, carrots and garlic and add to the mince. Add the can of tomatoes to the pot along with a can’s worth of water, bring the pot to the boil and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally – towards the end of cooking add in some dried herbs or even some fresh thyme or rosemary if you wish.

Meanwhile, boil the cauliflower in a pot of salted water until it is tender, drain the cauliflower in a colander and allow to steam dry, this will help the cauliflower dry out and make a stiffer mash. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender and add the butter and the egg yolk (if using). Blend the cauliflower until it is smooth and season to taste. Once the mince has cooked, spoon it into a baking dish and carefully top it with the cauliflower mash.

Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 160C. Serve the pie with some buttered green vegetables or a tossed salad.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Ellen says:

    To Jean, as an alternative to the tomatoes in the meat base I have used mixed mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, worcestershire sauce, splash of wine and some cream and mixed in with the cooked ground mince. Have also made a curry version with chopped zucchini, handful of peas, celery and or chopped carrots, peppers/capsicums. Not traditional cottage pie but in the spirit. With the mushroom version shredded gruyere, comte or even blue cheese is lovely on top of the cauli mash! Cheers, Ellen

  • Jean says:

    I have an allergy to nightshades so I’m really keen to find an alternative for all the recipes like this one that include a tin of tomatoes. Any ideas

    • What The Fat? says:

      That really is a hard one – the tomato is so flavoursome and versatile that it has conquered cuisines wherever it has been introduced. A quick look on the internet turned up the suggestion that a pumpkin base be flavoured with tamarind (to give a little sourness), you might also add a trace of miso for the umami effect of tomato paste, and beetroot for colour – but balancing these flavours and colours will be tricky, and need a fair bit of experimentation!

  • Alun says:

    I made this for my kids and I last night. It was really nice and the kids loved it! Served with some steamed veges with butter. It isn’t always easy to get them to eat low carb but when I find a meal they like, its gold! Thanks so much!

  • Kathryn says:

    This may be a silly question but for making the cauliflower do you have to use a food processor? Could a stick blender be used?
    Thanks in advance!

    • What The Fat? says:

      Hi Kathryn,

      I think a stick blender should give the same results, if it usually gets this sort of mixture smooth.

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