Pastel de papa (healthier version)

Pastel de papa (healthier version)

With Mother’s Day tomorrow I figured this is an appropriate dish to honor my mom and all that she taught me. Growing up in an Argentinian household, Pastel de papa was our version of comfort food. When asked what it is, I usually say..its our version of Sheppard pie. Don’t let the weird combo of ingredients fool you as everyone who tries it realizes it works with the savory of the meat, sweetness of the raisin, saltiness of of the olives it come together with an unique but great flavor.

I learned how to cook from my mom. She was always the best cook I knew. I can’t remember her ever making a bad dish. Now that she isn’t with us anymore I look back and wonder how she did it. She always had the house clean and a perfect meal on the table every night. Having two kids of my own, I realize how much work this takes but she seemed to make it look easy. Some of my favorite dishes I remember was her unbelievable tomato sauce, her empanadas and her pastel de papa just to name a few. But I do remember how my mom made her mashed potato with a lot of butter and even mayo. I have decided to make a healthier version for my family to enjoy. The great thing is this doesn’t taste too much different from her version. You can substitute the beef with ground turkey to even make it healthier, but the beef I use is from  the grass feed organic steer I buy every year and is very lean (probably 90/10 or maybe even leaner). So I hope you have a great Mother’s Day and Mom, I will be thinking of you tomorrow.

Pastel de Papa (Healthier version)

This is a healthier version of Pastel de Papa. Growing up in an Argentinean household this was our comfort food.
Course: Main Course


Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 Large Head Of cauliflower
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2-3 Cloves Of garlic
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese (Save a little to top at end of recipe)

Meat Filling

  • 2 Pounds Ground beef or turkey
  • 2 Medium Red onions
  • 2 Large Hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Stuffed Manzanilla Olives
  • 3 Tbsp Oregano
  • 3 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Room temp water


Mashed cauliflower

  • Cut up cauliflower head into small florets 
  • Smash and peel garlic
  • Add cauliflower, garlic and milk to pot (I prefer a Dutch oven). Add a few good pinches of salt.
  • Cook on medium high for 15-20 mins until cauliflower is tender 
  • While cauliflower is cooking go ahead and chop the scallions
  • Drain all the milk expect about a 1/4 cup.
  • Mash or blend cauliflower and garlic. I like to use an immersion blender to get a smooth texture.
  • Add scallions, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool

Meat Filling

  • Chop onions, olives, eggs.
  • Heat pan with about 1/4 cup of olive or avocado oil to medium high
  • Sautéed onions for 10-15 mins until tender
  • Add meat and brown
  • Add oregano and paprika and salt and pepper to taste
  • Add water
  • Sprinkle flour over meat and stir
  • Turn heat off and add eggs, raisins and olives

Making the Patel de Papa

  • Spread mashed cauliflower on bottom of oven safe bowl and up sides making a bowl for meat to sit in.
  • Add meat mixture 
  • Top meat with more mashed cauliflower 
  • Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake covered for 45 mins. Uncover and cook additional 15 mins till golden brown and bubbly.. Enjoy!

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