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paleo italian shepherds pie with bolognese sauce and whipped parsnips {paleo}

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Paleo italian shepherds pie with bolognese sauce and whipped parsnips! A delicious and easy casserole packed full of veggies and delicious flavors – perfect for a healthy cold weather dinner!


  • 2 tbsp bacon fat, ghee or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 2 small carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3/4 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pastured pork
  • 1/2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 25 oz jar of your favorite organic pasta sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of red wine vinegar
  • 5 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch sized pieces
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or cashew cream (if using cashew cream add 1 tsp of lemon juice to mimic the flavor of sour cream)
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ghee or avocado oil for brushing the top of the casserole
  • Freshly grated parmesan (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Saute diced onion, celery and carrots with a large pinch of salt over medium heat until vegetables start to soften and brown slightly.
  3. Add zucchini and garlic and cook another few minutes until zucchini starts to soften and garlic is aromatic.
  4. Move vegetables to the edge of the pan, creating a circle of open space in the hottest part of the pan.
  5. Add ground beef and pronto the center of the pan and press into a flat disk. Turn heat up to medium high and season liberally with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook for a few minutes, and sort of flip the meat and press it into the pan to brown the other side. After the other side is nicely browned you can break up the meat and stir back in the vegetables.
  6. Tilt the pan and spoon off as much of the extra fat as you can.
  7. Add in tomato paste, canned tomato sauce and oregano. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for roughly 30 minutes – about the amount of time that it will take to make the parsnips.
  8. Place parsnips and potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. Drain parsnips and potatoes and put in a large food processor along with sour cream (or cashew cream + lemon juice), ghee, salt and pepper. Parsnips and potatoes can also be whipped in a stand mixer, blender, or by using a handheld potato masher.
  9. Before transferring to the casserole season meat sauce with salt, a splash of red wine vinegar, and then add the baby spinach. Cook a few minutes, just until wilted.
  10. Pour meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan, only filling about halfway – you may have some extra sauce – the less watery the sauce is the better your casserole will turn out and the less risk you run for bubbling overflow in the oven! If you’re concerned your casserole might cook over place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the rack below the casserole – just in case.
  11. Spoon parsnip and potato mixture over the top, gently spreading into an even layer.
  12. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes minutes, until bubbling hot.
  13. The next step is totally optional, but will give you a nice brown crust on the top of the casserole. Remove from oven and brush the top with a little melted ghee or avocado oil, and turn the oven onto high broil. Broil for just a few minutes, keeping a very close eye on the casserole so it doesn’t burn! Take out of oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  14. Serve, topped with some freshly grated parmesan if desired.
  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: paleo, gluten free