Butternut Cottage Pie (AIP, GAPS, Paleo, GF, DF)


As some of you may know, I'm an irish lass! 

That means I grew up on shepherd's pie and allll the potatoes.

Now that I am dealing with my autoimmunity (celiac & hashimoto's - actually much more common in the irish population!), I know that my native potatoes don't actually work for me.

Potatoes are a part of the nightshade family, meaning they contain glycoalkaloids that have the ability to poke holes in the gut lining and provoke autoimmune activation.

Good news is, there are plenty of root veggies that we can sub in for this less favourable food!

I often use sweet potato, as it is actually much different than white potato and does not contain these harmful compounds, but I have also used cauliflower, and all kinds of squash where potatoes may otherwise be!

In this case, I'm using butternut squash as the potatoey (i've decided that's a word) layer might otherwise be in this delicious cottage pie!

Just because certain ingredients no longer work for you doesn’t mean you have to give up on your childhood classics! Get inventive! There is a swap for everything!


Butternut Cottage Pie

TIME: 2 hrs 30 mins



1 butternut squash

1 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef

1 yellow onion (diced)

3 stalks celery (sliced)

4 carrot (thinly sliced)

1 zucchini (cubed or diced)

1 pinch sea salt

2 tsp thyme (minced)

2 cups bone broth (or regular beef broth if need be)

1 1/3 tbsp tigernut flour (coconut flour, cassava flour or tapioca starch are also suitable options))

1-2 tbsp coconut oil


1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

2) Cut the butternut squash in half and place on a parchment paper lined oven tray. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, clean and chopped the veggies as described.

4) In a large frying pan, soften the onions in some coconut oil.

5) Add the celery, carrots and zucchini. Saute until slightly softened - approximately 4 minutes.

6) Add the minced meat and cook until brown.

7) Add the thyme and sea salt to taste. Then, add about 350ml of bone broth. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8) Add the tigernut flour (or alternative) with remaining broth and simmer an additional 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally.

9) Once the meat and sauces are done, set aside.

10) Scoop out the meat from he squash with a spoon. In a bowl, mash the squash with a potato masher and add some coconut oil to taste.

11) In an oven proof dish, pour the meat & sauce and spread evenly

12) Top with the mashed butternut squash, pressing a fork or spoon across the surface to spread evenly.

13) Sprinkle with some thyme and bake at 180 degrees for 40 - 60 minutes until the top is crisp.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please leave a comment if there is a food you would like me to create a simple swap for! I up for the challenge!

If you make this dish, please tag me @realistic.holistic and use the hashtag #realisticholistic so that I can see how you liked it and share your creation! <3