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Butternut Squash, Cauliflower & Beef Shepherd’s Pie

I love to get creative with classic dishes, such as this colorful version of shepherd's pie. Adding squash and cauliflower boosts the nutritional value and cuts the calories. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Bake: 35 min. + standing
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2-1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, syrup and pepper; toss with squash to coat. Roast squash in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan until tender, 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; mash until smooth, stirring in thyme.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir beef, crumbling meat, until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in soup mix and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • Top evenly with cauliflower. Sprinkle with garlic; drizzle with remaining melted butter. Spread squash mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, until cauliflower is tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 438 calories, 23g fat (11g saturated fat), 90mg cholesterol, 798mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 9g fiber), 25g protein.

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  • Jessica
    Apr 8, 2020

    This was verry good! I am always trying to find different recipes using ground beef because it's cheap and an alternative to having chicken every night! Will definitely make again, might add some different seasonings of my own next time, was thinking rosemary would be great!

  • Mackenzie
    Apr 30, 2019

    Delicious!! This is my new go-to dinner recipe - even my super picky 18 month old twins devour it. The only changes I made were to use homemade onion soup mix (super easy, basically a 1/4c of dried onion and spices), beef broth instead of water, and roasted the cauliflower with the squash so it needs less baking time. A seriously easy, creative, amazing dish!

  • Medic 716
    Jun 26, 2018

    First time I have ever made anything with butternut squash. This was easy and very delicious.

  • curlylis85
    Mar 26, 2017

    This was a great weeknight dinner, with lots of vegetables and still very delicious. I really liked the maple on the butternut squash for some subtle sweetness and added flavor. It was a thinner layer of squash than I thought it would be, so I'll grab a bigger squash next time.

  • ReneeMurby
    Feb 25, 2017

    Very tasty combination. I did make minor modifications by substituting the water with red wine and roasting the cauliflower in the oven along side the butternut squash, which reduced the final baking time to just ten minutes. Especially good leftover as well. Very good!

  • i_like_pie
    Feb 18, 2017

    We enjoyed the flavors very much. I'm sure you're supposed to mash the squash in order to make it like shepherd's pie, but I didn't find that step necessary. I just put the roasted, cubed pieces on top, and it was great. I agree that the 9 x 13 seemed to be too large of a pan; the height of the finished product is shorter than I expected. Also, the recipe says small florets, but what I thought was small ended up seeming too chunky. I would do them smaller next time.

  • dylan's mama
    Feb 4, 2017

    It was really yummy! I accidentally thawed out some extra lean (95%) ground pork instead of beef but it was so tasty. It is also very healthy and light tasting, not heavy. The flavors were just amazing. I only gave it four stars because there didn't seem to be enough meat for a 9X13 and because it was quite watery (not in flavor, but in texture. The flavors are divine!). I think next time i'll maybe add a bit of cornstarch/flour to thicken in slightly. To make the meat go farther I added 1 chopped onion, 1 1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms and 1/2 cup diced green pepper. I also think it needs a bit more squash--you need at least 3 lbs. to adequately cover the cauliflower. But, those are really small details--in the end the finished product is DELICIOUS and I will most definitely be making it again. Often!

  • annrms
    Jan 23, 2017

    I made this recipe for dinner. I made individual casseroles instead of the 9x13 baking dish. I was attracted to this recipe because of the creative use of the vegetables. I had never used onion soup in scrambled hamburger, and I think it is a delicious addition. The taste of the beef with the onion along with the sweet of the butternut and slight crunch of the cauliflower was delicious. The cheese topped it off perfectly. It's definitely a keeper! Thanks, Jenn for submitting!