This French onion shepherd’s pie is a comforting take on a classic! This version is gluten-free, nightshade-free, and can be made dairy free.

A skillet filled with french onion shepherd's pie after being baked.

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food! It’s made with lamb and mirepoix of vegetables topped with a creamy mashed potato and herbs. I’ve tried a lot of variations on shepherd’s pie, but not I’ve never had one that I’ve loved as much as this one! The caramelized onion flavor elevates it a whole new level that you’re absolutely going to love.

It’s gluten-free and dairy-optional, and so nourshing!

Why you’ll love French Onion Shepherd’s Pie

  • Comfort food!! This French onion shepherd’s pie is comfort food to the max with the sweet potatoes and ground lamb.
  • Great for dietary needs. This dish provides a delicious dinner while being gluten-free, nightshade-free, and can be made dairy free.

The Ingredients for French Onion Shepherd’s Pie

  • White Sweet Potato. You can also use white potato or orange sweet potato if tolerated.
  • Coconut Milk. I use native forest simple canned coconut milk! You’ll want to stick with something full fat to get all of the flavor, creaminess, and healthy fat for this recipe.
  • Thyme Leaves, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper.
  • Ground Lamb. Technically, what makes it a shepherd’s pie is the use of lamb, but you can use ground beef as well. 
  • Coconut Aminos, Avocado Oil, and Beef Broth.
  • Yellow Onions.
  • Swiss Cheese. This can be left off to make the dish dairy-free.

All of the ingredients for French onion shepherd's pie before making the dish.

How to make French Onion Shepherd’s Pie

  • Step One. Boil the sweet potatoes and mash with coconut milk.
  • Step Two. Brown the ground lamb and set aside.
  • Step Three. Caramelize the onions.
  • Step Four. Add the coconut aminos and broth to simmer and the lamb and thyme.
  • Step Five. Add the cooked sweet potato over the mixture and bake in the oven.
  • Step Six. Add cheese if desired and enjoy!

Step by step photos of making the French onion shepherd's pie.

Can you make this shepherd’s pie with other meat options?

You can for sure make it with ground beef! In that case it would be a cottage pie, but still delicious.

Can you make the topping with sweet potato instead of potato?

Yes! The recipe photos are with white sweet potatoes. You can also use orange sweet potato or even mashed cauliflower, though the flavor will be different.

What skillet do you use? Could you also use a baking dish?

I like to use a large enamel cast iron dish, but you can also use a large baking dish or casserole dish.

A serving of French onion shepherd's pie in a bowl ready to be enjoyed.

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French Onion Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Unbound Wellness
  • Total Time: 85 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 lbs white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese


  1. Fill a large pot of water two-thirds of the way with water and bring to a low boil. Add the sweet potato to the water and boil until fork tender. Strain and use a potato masher to mash with the coconut milk until fully mashed and creamy. Lightly salt and set aside.
  2. Add the ground lamb to a large skillet and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Crumble and cook through, setting the ground lamb aside. Clean out the pan.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe pan on low heat and add the onions. Saute on low for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add salt at the 10-minute mark and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelized.
  4. Add the broth and coconut aminos to the pan, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Bring to a low simmer and add the cooked lamb and thyme. Stir to combine for 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F and carefully spoon the cooked sweet potato over the skillet, evenly spreading to cover the pan.
  6. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Add the shredded cheese and cook for another 10 minutes to brown the top.
  7. Serve topped with thyme leaves!


All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 mins
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: Global


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 515
  • Fat: 29.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.7g
  • Fiber: 6.6g
  • Protein: 19.3g

Photos by Jo Harding.