A popular winter meal for all the family is low-fat cottage pie or shepherds pie. This recipe is a really easy way to make a different and unusual healthy cottage pie that you will truly love. It is a great healthy family meal.

Why this low-fat cottage pie is great to prevent comfort eating

It is easy when you are trying to lose weight to fall into the trap of comfort eating when you are feeling down. Enjoying filling stodgy, hearty meals is a good way to fill up on healthy meals that make you feel good.

Salad just doesn’t cut it, does it? A warming hearty meal on a wintery day makes you feel warm and cosy inside don’t you think?

Finding healthy snack alternatives for between meals can help you avoid weight gain too. You do not need to just snack on fruit and vegetables to be healthy, there are so many other alternatives.

pile of raw potatoes
Raw potatoes

A filling meal like low-fat cottage pie will keep you away from the snacks anyway!

If you find that you are regularly feeling down and snacking then maybe you need to address this as possible depression and consider seeing your GP.

We all have struggles every now and then so it really isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Another option instead of eating at all could be to find something else to do instead when you are feeling down. Give it some thought and see if you can come up with any strategies to help yourself.

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The importance of adding vegetables to your healthy cottage pie

Vegetables are low in calories compared to their density. This essentially means that they fill you up with very few calories.

The more vegetables you have in a meal either as a side dish or mixed in with the meal itself, the lower-calorie the meal tends to be. A filling but low-calorie meal is perfect for weight loss.

This low-fat cottage pie includes some vegetables already but add more as an accompaniment if you can for a better weight loss. Always choose vegetables that you enjoy because otherwise you will begrudge eating them and are more likely to stop cooking them at all before long.

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Making this a Quorn cottage pie for vegetarians

It is easy to make this healthy cottage pie recipe vegetarian. Simply swap the mince to your preferred vegetarian option. Quorn mince works really well or lentils if you prefer. Sometimes I make it half puy lentils and half Quorn mince and it is delicious.

If you are looking for other vegetarian recipes I have a guide full of vegan and vegetarian healthy recipes including gardener’s pie and butternut squash burgers.

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Why this cottage pie is perfect for dieters

This is a filling and nutritious meal which when made with lean mince can be really healthy and perfect for all the family, even those not dieting!

Other recipes you might like

If you love using potatoes in recipes like this low-fat cottage pie because they are so cheap and versatile you might find my healthy potato guide full of tips and recipes using potatoes helpful.

Easy and healthy family meals like this healthy cottage pie are essential when you are busy, aren’t they? Here are 20+ easy healthy family meal ideas.

Gardeners pie
Gardeners Pie

Weight loss and Exercise Support

I have a lot of weight loss guides and support if you want to exercise including if you have a condition like fibromyalgia.

Have a good look around and see how I can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Request my free resources to get you started too!

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Cottage pie

Healthy low-fat Cottage pie recipe

  • Author: Jen Mellor
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Portions 1x
  • Category: Main Meal
  • Method: Hob and grill
  • Cuisine: British
  • Diet: Low Calorie


A delicious recipe for healthy low-fat cottage pie with an alternative Quorn cottage pie that is great for vegetarians.



Low-calorie cooking spray

2 sticks of celery, shopped finely

1 leek, thinly sliced,

200g can of sweetcorn, drained

500g Passata

300g 5% fat minced beef or Quorn mince

2 tsp Marmite or other yeast extract

600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks


Spray a large lidded saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and cook on a high heat until hot. Add the minced beef, celery and leek and fry for 5 minutes. If you’re using Quorn instead, you can add this in the next step.

Add the sweetcorn, passata, yeast extract/marmite, Quorn mince (if using) and 300ml of boiling water then bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. If using beef mince, ensure it is cooked by the end of this period. If it still has pink bits, fry for a little longer until thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.

Drain, reserving around 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid, and mash, adding the reserved cooking liquid to make it nice and smooth.

Preheat the grill to medium heat and pour the mince mixture into a large dish. Add the mashed potato topping and grill until golden which should be around 5-10 minutes.

Keywords: winter meal, healthy cottage pie, low-fat cottage pie, Quorn cottage pie

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One Comment

  1. I’m a Marmite hater (don’t lynch me!), but it was a great addition to this meal – quorn mince is often quite bland when I make it, but not this time!