This cauliflower and leek pie is a low carb vegetarian version of shepherd's pie. A mushroom and bell pepper filling is topped with a cauliflower cheesy mash for an easy comfort dish.
This recipe provides a lovely, hearty meal perfect for vegetarians or anyone who loves a comforting shepherd's pie!
Carbs in leeks
Leeks can be considered relatively low in carbohydrates compared to some other vegetables. They contain a moderate amount of carbs but are still lower in carbs compared to starchy vegetables like potatoes or high-sugar vegetables like carrots.
For context, a 100-gram serving of leeks typically contains around 14 grams of carbohydrates, out of which about 2 grams are fiber. This would mean approximately 12 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams of leeks.
Feel free to adjust the seasonings, herbs, or vegetable quantities according to your taste.
- Cauliflower - a firm medium to large sized cauliflower.
- Leeks - Look for leeks that have crisp, firm, and straight stalks with white bulbs. The leaves should be tightly packed and have a bright, fresh green color.
- Mushrooms - we used cremini mushrooms but any variety or combination of mushrooms can be used.
- Red onion - omit to reduce the carbohydrates or substitute with a yellow onion.
- Garlic - is 3 cloves of garlic enough? Add more if you wish.
- Bell pepper - red bell peppers give a sweet taste to the filling. Yellow or orange bell peppers could be used.
- Tomato paste - in place of using a tin of chopped tomatoes, we use tomato paste and add water (with an optional dash of red wine) to make a thick vegetable sauce. If you would prefer to use a can of chopped tomatoes, feel free!
- Seasoning - we used a mixture of dried thyme, oregano and sage to compliment the tomato mushroom filling.
How to make cauliflower and leek shepherd's pie
In terms of time, it is best to cook the cauliflower and leeks first. Whilst they are cooking, start the bottom layer. Then you can start the mashing of the cooked cauliflower whilst the bottom layer bubbles nicely on the stove. That's what I love about cooking...the timing! Can be down to a perfect art and is the ballet of the kitchen!
Cook cauliflower florets and sliced leeks.
Drain and mash with cheese and butter.
Sautee onions, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper.
Add dried herbs and tomato paste.
Spoon the mushroom filling in the bottom of a baking dish.
Cover with the cauliflower leek mash and bake until golden.
Allow the shepherd's pie to cool completely at room temperature before storing it.
Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or transfer it to an airtight container. Make sure the cover is secured to prevent air exposure, which can cause the pie to dry out or absorb other flavors in the fridge.
Place the covered shepherd's pie in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
If you wish to freeze individual portions, slice the pie beforehand.
Use freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil to tightly wrap the shepherd's pie or individual portions. Label and date the package for easy identification.
Place the wrapped pie in the freezer. It should keep well for up to 2-3 months.
Make this vegan by leaving out the cheese in the topping and replacing it with nutritional yeast.
For a meaty version, add minced beef or turkey to the mushroom mixture. This slow cooker ground beef chili recipe is a perfect choice.
When you're ready to enjoy the stored shepherd's pie:
Refrigerated Pie: Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-30 minutes or until it's heated through.
Frozen Pie: Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat as instructed for the refrigerated pie, ensuring it's heated evenly.
What to serve with cauliflower and leek pie
To complement a low-carb cauliflower and leek mashed-topped mushroom vegetarian pie, here are a few side dish ideas that would harmonize well and maintain the low-carb aspect of the meal:
Cauliflower & Leek Topped Vegetable Pie
- 1 medium cauliflower trimmed and cut into florets
- 2 large leeks washed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 oz mushrooms, chopped or sliced
- 1 red bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon thyme, dried
- 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
- 1 tablespoon sage, dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Make the mash topping
- Place the cauliflower and chopped leeks into a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until cooked. Drain.
- Mash the drained cauliflower leek mixture and add in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Add the half the salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
Make the Filling
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes on a medium heat until soft.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until they are brown.
- Add the peppers and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the dried herbs, salt, pepper and tomato paste.
- Add water or even red wine to make a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F degrees.
- Place the mushroom mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread evenly. We used a 9 inch circular dish but a 9x13 inch rectangle dish works too.
- Spoon the cauliflower and leek mash on top of the vegetable filling, spreading it out to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle grated Cheddar cheese on top if you wish.
- Place the assembled cauliflower and leek pie in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.
- Allow the pie to cool for a few minutes before serving
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.
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