Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect dish when the craving for comfort food strikes. Learn how to make this classic British dish at home! This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is full of savory flavor with a meaty filling, creamy gravy and perfect potato topping.
Sometimes only a good old fashioned meat-and-potatoes meal will do. This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe brings the flavors of the beloved English (and Irish!) meal to your table.
Reasons to Make This Recipe
- Easy ingredients. You can make this all from scratch or use shortcuts like instant mashed potatoes and canned gravy. It’s delicious no matter what shepherd’s pie ingredients you use.
- Use any ground meat. Make this recipe for shepherd’s pie with ground beef or swap it for ground turkey. If you want to be extra traditional, try it with ground lamb.
- Savory flavor. The ground beef simmers in a rich flavorful gravy that’ll have everyone begging for seconds.
- Picky eater approved. Everyone loves this tasty combination of beef, gravy and mashed potatoes.
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Did you know traditional shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb? In the United Kingdom, Shepherd’s Pie ground beef style is known as “cottage pie.” Whatever you call it, you can’t deny: it’s delicious.
This recipe is simple to make with easy ingredients. You’ll love how hearty and satisfying homemade shepherd’s pie tastes! Store bought shepherd’s pie just can’t compare.
What’s Needed To Make This Recipe:
Ingredients for Shepard’s pie at a glance, full printable recipe found below.
- Ground beef – I prefer a lean ground beef for this recipe.
- Oil – this flexible, whichever oil you prefer will suit this recipe.
- A sweet onion
- Garlic – while fresh is best, I am a big fan of frozen crushed garlic.
- Seasoning salt
- Flour – all-purpose works best, or a gluten free substitute if needed.
- Beef broth – beef stock works as well.
- Frozen vegetable mixture – your choice, we prefer a peas, carrots and corn mixture.
- Potatoes – Yukon gold are best but you may use red potatoes, or russet as well.
- Salted Butter – if you have unsalted on hand that’s fine.
- Milk – whichever variety you have on hand.
- Cheddar cheese – this is flexible, so try your favorite cheese.
- Green onions or chives – optional, but a nice garnish.
Steps To Take:
At a glance, full printable recipe found below.
- Cook ground beef, onions and garlic. Add flour, seasoning salt and pepper, followed by beef broth.
- Add the vegetables to the beef mixture and stir in. Allow to simmer.
- Make the mashed potatoes.
- Assemble ingredients in a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
Tips & Tricks for Best Shepherd’s Pie
- Peel potatoes first for best consistency. If you don’t mind a little peel in your mashed potatoes, you can cook them unpeeled too.
- Serve hot. Shepherd’s pie taste bests when it’s fresh from the oven.
- Top with cheese. You can make this without cheese if you like, but I can’t resist a layer of melty cheesy goodness over the potatoes. The cheese also helps the potatoes brown nicely in the oven.
- Serve with chives. The pop of fresh flavor makes eating shepherd’s pie even better.
Questions & Answers:
How do I store this?
Refrigerate leftovers in a well-sealed container for up to 5 days. To reheat it in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put the shepherd’s pie into an oven-safe container, and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. You may also choose to reheat it in the microwave until heated through.
Can this be frozen?
Yes, this shepherds pie freezes well. Make sure it is tightly sealed. You may also decide to assemble the shepherd’s pie and freeze it without cooking. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake it, thaw it in the fridge overnight. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for
Can I use different vegetables or leave out those I don’t care for?
Absolutely! Add whatever combination of vegetables you think your family will enjoy. Besides what is in the recipe, you could use corn, beans, or celery.
Can I use canned gravy instead of making a sauce?
Yes, you would want to use approximately 2 cups of beef gravy. Canned gravy usually comes in a 10-ounce can. So, for this recipe, you would want to use 1 whole can and measure out ½ a cup from the 2nd can. If you are like me and like extra gravy, feel free to add more to your liking!
Can I use leftover roast beef in this recipe, instead of ground beef?
Yes, be sure to just cut the meat into small pieces so that it will incorporate well into the sauce.
Can I make this with ground turkey?
Yes, ground turkey shepherd’s pie is just as delicious as shepherd’s pie with ground beef.
Can I use instant mashed potatoes?
Yes, instant potatoes are a great time saver and taste just as good.
How do I know when the potatoes are cooked properly?
Cook the potatoes just until they are fork-tender. If you overcook the potatoes they will become watery.
Can we make the shepherd’s pie without cheddar cheese?
Yes, You may leave the cheese off completely and the potatoes will still brown nicely if you brush the top of the casserole with a beaten egg before putting it in the oven. Or if you’d like to use a different cheese, Parmesan is nice as well.
More Recipes You’ll Love
If you love shepherd’s pie, give these other easy dinner ideas a try too.
- Crockpot Beef Stew
- Ranch Pork Chops
- Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
- Pot Pie Soup
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
- Cheeseburger Macaroni
One bite of this classic Shepherd’s Pie and you’ll feel transported to an English country cottage. Comforting and hearty, this easy meal makes everyone happy!
- 1 tbs vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup frozen vegetable mixture I used peas, carrots and corn
- 5 large potatoes
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- chopped green onions or chives for garnish optional
For the meat and vegetables
- Place oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook at medium heat until beef is lightly browned.
- Add seasoning salt, pepper, and flour. Mix until well combined. Gradually add beef broth and cook until thickened (approximately 5 minutes). Stir in vegetable mixture. Cover with lid and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
- For the mashed potatoes
- While the meat and vegetable mixture simmer, peel and cut potatoes into evenly sized pieces (about 8 pieces per potato). Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the potatoes. Cook potatoes for approximately 20 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted. Do not overcook or they will become watery.
- When potatoes are cooked, add butter and mash. Then stir in milk.
Assemble and Bake
- When meat mixture is thickened and cooked through, transfer to an 9 x 13 or oval baking dish. Cover meat and vegetable mixture evenly with mashed potatoes. Top with shredded cheese..
- Place in the oven and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives before serving, if desired.