Cheesy Cauliflower Topped Pie - all the goodness of a traditional cottage pie but topped with delicious tender cheesy cauliflower florets
Low Carb Cottage Pie
I had a cauliflower sitting in my kitchen that was just begging to be made into something delicious. Some of you may now be thinking, cauliflower and delicious do not go in the same category.
Well, you may be persuaded otherwise after trying this Cheesy Cauliflower Topped Pie, even my fussy kids are persuaded to eat some vegetables with this delicious topping.
After all, who can resist yummy golden melted cheese that covers almost every morsel of cauliflower florets? Even better is that the cheesy cauliflower covers a meat filling similar to that of a cottage pie, making it a delicious meal for the whole family packed full of healthy vegetables.
Cottage Pie with a Twist
There is something versatile about cottage pie. I mean yes okay traditionally it's topped with mashed potatoes.
But it really can be varied by all kinds of different toppings from the regular white potato, like sweet potato, butternut squash, swede, carrot or mashed Cauliflower like this delicious Healthy Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Spring Onion Mash.
Usually when I make a cottage pie for the whole family - I like to use a white and sweet potato mix as in this Syn Free Cottage Pie, it the perfect combination for a delicious mash without having to use huge amounts of milk, cream or butter.
Cottage Pie versus Shepherd's Pie
Many people call Cottage Pie Shepherd's Pie and vice versa, but traditionally there is a difference. Cottage Pie is made with a ground beef (beef mince) and Shepherds' Pie with a ground lamb (lamb mince), hence the shepherd part. Then to confuse matters even further, there is Cumberland pie which is usually a choice of meat, topped with mashed potatoes (or sometimes potato slices) and then breadcrumbs and cheese.
What you call it if you use vegetarian meat replacement is anyone's guess. I'll leave that one to you. However, you'll be pleased to know this can be adapted into a vegetarian version by using a meat replacement.
Making the Cheesy Cauliflower Topped Pie
First up is the oven proof dish, I just use a simple pyrex style rectangle dish from Ikea. But any shape is fine, use round if that's what you have. So long as it fits all the filling and topping that all that matters.
Next up is making the yummy filling. Beef mince, vegetables and keeping it healthier and gluten free. I like to make my own gravy using fat free beef stock (from a carton) as it's so much fresher tasting, along with some herbs, seasoning, and a little cornstarch (cornflour to thicken).
Of course, if you are not gluten free, you can use any beef stock of your choice, including stock cubes.
Next is the topping, fresh cauliflower lightly steamed and then mixed with some cheese (a combination of cheddar and parmesan is just the best for flavour).
Can I use frozen Cauliflower?
Sure!! If that is all you have, go ahead, it will work fine. Only thing I recommend, is letting it thaw and then draining off the excess liquid, otherwise, it's going to dilute all that lovely gravy. You won't need to steam the cauliflower either, as it's already partly cooked.
More delicious Pie Recipes
Can't get enough of yummy pie recipes like this Cheesy Cauliflower Topped Pie? Check out these:
- CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS NO PASTRY PIE
- CREAMY CHICKEN AND SPINACH PIE
- DAIRY FREE FISH PIE
- SHEPHERD’S PIE
- SPIRALIZED BUTTERNUT SQUASH TOPPED MEAT PIE
- LASAGNE PIE (INSTANT POT)
- CHICKEN AND LEEK PIE
- CRISPY POTATO TOPPED MEAT PIE
- MINI COTTAGE PIES
or head on over to my Full Recipe Index with over 850 delicious Slimming World and Weight Watchers recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, syn value and smart points etc
This recipe was originally created on 4 March 2010 and updated on the 12 September 2019
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- 1 head of cauliflower
- 455g (16oz) of extra lean minced beef
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- fresh thyme
- ½ cup (120ml) of frozen peas
- 600ml (2.5 cups) of beef broth (stock)
- 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, tapioca or arrowroot flour (1.5 syns)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 60g (2oz) of parmesan (2 HEas), grated
- 60g (2oz) of cheddar (2 HEas), grated
- salt and black pepper
- olive oil cooking spray
- Fresh Italian Parsley
- Separate cauliflower into florets and steam over a large saucepan of water for approx 10-15mins until slightly softened. Drain fully and add to a bowl along with the parmesan, cheddar and a pinch of salt and black pepper and roughly fold until the cheese melts and coats the cauliflower, slightly mashing as you do (don't over mash, you want big chunks of florets to remain). Set aside.
- Spray a frying pan over a medium high heat with some cooking oil spray and add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrot and fry until softened.
- Add the mince and thyme and cook until browned.
- Add the broth, onion powder, garlic salt, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. In a small bowl mix the starch with a couple of tablespoon of cold water and then add to the meat mixture and stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15-20 mins until sauce is rich and thickened. Taste and season as needed.
- Preheat oven to 180c or 350f (gas mark 4)
- Add the meat mixture to an oven proof dish. Stir in the frozen peas
- Top with the cheesy cauliflower mixture.
- Bake in the oven for approx 40-45 mins or until cheese is melted and golden.
- Top with some fresh chopped Italian parsley
This recipe is gluten free, vegetarian, Slimming World and Weight Watcher friendly
- Slimming World - 1 HEa and 0.5 syns per serving
- Vegetarian - use a meat replacement
- WW Flex/Freestyle Smart Points - 8 per serving
- Gluten Free - use gluten free stock and starch
*suitable for freezing
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 374Total Fat 15.1gSaturated Fat 8.1gCholesterol 94.9mgSodium 861.8mgCarbohydrates 20.7gFiber 5.9gSugar 6.5gProtein 40.6g