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Key Steps For Easy Shepherds Pie

SHEPHERD’S PIE RECIPE | how to make shepherd’s pie easy healthy
  • Buy some shortcuts. I actually find chopping to be quite therapeutic, but when it comes to shepherds pie, peeling and chopping carrots is the last thing I want to spend my time on. Instead, opt for a bag of mixed vegetables from the freezer.
  • Focus your efforts on the potatoes. You can totally make shepherds pie with store-bought mashed potatoes and you should if youre in an especially big hurry. But in the time it takes to make the beef filling, you can chop four large russets and cook them until tender. The resulting mashed potatoes will have more flavor and a better texture than store-bought.
  • Add a yolk to the potatoes for texture and structure. Another benefit to making the mashed potatoes from scratch: you can stir in an egg yolk. Just one yolk makes the mash ultra-creamy, and also helps the potatoes form a crispy crust in the oven.
  • Brown the beef in the same skillet youll serve from. This is key to the ease of this recipe. Use a large oven-safe skillet to brown the beef for the pie cast iron is best, if youve got it. Once the beef is brown, youll add your frozen vegetables and a few other ingredients to make a quick gravy, which is the base of the pie.

What’s The Difference Between Shepherd’s Pie And Cottage Pie

Shepherd’s pie was originally called cottage pie back in the 18th century in Ireland and the United Kingdom as a way to describe a dish made by frugal cottage dwellers to use up leftovers. These days, the two terms are often used interchangeably, but in general, shepherd’s pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. The mashed potato topper could be replaced with mashed turnips or other root vegetables, or even with a pastry crust .

Related: Our Top 10 Shepherd’s Pie Recipes

Everything You Love About Shepherds Pie But Way Easier

Shepherds pie and its brethren really got their start as a way to use up stewed or roasted meat and leftover vegetables, but it has since come to represent a comforting Sunday night dinner. Its a shame, really, that we dont eat Shepherds pie more regularly, because a chilly Tuesday night is actually when we need this cozy dish the most.

Here, weve figured out how to simplify the recipe without sacrificing the deliciousness of everyones favorite part: the potatoes.

Shepherds Pie Versus Cottage Pie

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What Is Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie is a delicious combo of ground lamb that has been cooked with carrots, sweet green peas and corn in a gravy or sauce. The lamb mixture is then topped with a crust of creamy mashed potatoes.

This casserole traditionally made with ground lamb. Many people make this recipe with ground beef however, if you use ground beef its actually called Cottage Pie! .Either way, this crustless meat pie is topped creamy mashed potatoes and baked until bubbly.

Do you put cheese on top of Shepherds Pie? Traditionally, a Shepherds Pie is not topped with cheese, but as you all know, cheese is my love language. You can add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes or just brush them with a little bit of butter before baking.

Baking And Serving Shepherds Pie


Once the filling is mixed up and the potatoes are mashed, youll just need to top the beef with the potatoes and bake until theyre browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Be sure to let the finished Shepherds pie cool for about 10 minutes before serving, which lets the gravy thicken a little more so its easier to scoop.

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The Best Quick & Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe Made With Ground Beef

If youre looking for cheap and easy dinner recipes for the family, this ground beef and potato casserole recipe is always a hit! Even your picky eaters will love this simple meal. Its also loaded with veggies, so consider it healthy enough to serve often.

The idea behind a classic shepherds pie is simply to mix ground beef or lamb with a good hearty tomato based sauce and mixed vegetables, top with mashed potatoes in a casserole dish , and then bake until the potatoes and cheese are well browned.

Prep Ahead And Tips For Shepherds Pie

You will love how easy and convenient this dish is. It can be made a day in advance, which makes dinner prep easier.

  • Layering After prepping the meat mixture, let it cool and then chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will help keep the mashed potato layer separated.
  • Prep Ahead Prep and assemble up to one day in advance and refrigerate. Let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking it.
  • Quick Clean Up If your baking dish is very full, place it on a parchment lined baking sheet to avoid any juices spilling in your oven.
  • To Freeze Before Baking
  • Cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze.
  • Thaw overnight in the fridge. Bake for 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered

Also Check: Campbells Soup Recipes For Chicken Pot Pie

What Is Shepherd’s Pie

Think of a deep-dish casserole filled with ground or minced meat, savory gravy, and chopped vegetables, all topped with mashed potatoes and baked until bubbling hot inside and golden brown across the top. This classic comfort food dish goes by different names in various countries where you’ll find local versions of shepherd’s pie: “hachis Parmentier” in France or “pastel de papas” in Chile, for example. You’ll also find it called “cottage pie,” but we’ll get into that next.

Get The Recipe For Nicole’s Traditional Shepherd’s Pie

The Best Homemade Shepherd’s Pie: Easy Simple Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste


  • Place potatoes in large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and place pot over medium-high heat bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain.
  • Return potatoes to the hot pan and set over the same burner. Add milk and 2 tablespoons butter allow butter to melt from the residual heat. Mash potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in Cheddar cheese, sour cream, egg yolk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F . Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  • Heat olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring constantly, until onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add lamb and beef and cook, crumbling with a spoon and stirring often until browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle meat mixture with flour, remaining salt and pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • Add beef stock, tomato paste, and Worcestershire cook, scraping any flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until thickened and vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in peas. Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish and top with the prepared mashed potatoes.
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    Why Is It Called Shepherds Pie

    Originally a meat pie made with minced meat and mashed potatoes was known as a Cottage Pie . It is very popular in Ireland, Scotland and England as well! In the late 1800s the pie was named Shepherds Pie if made with lamb and if made with beef it was called Cottage Pie.

    Regardless of the name, this recipe is a classic Shepherds Pie recipe loaded with flavor and the perfect make ahead meal to serve all year long!


    Simple Comfort Food The Entire Family Will Love

    The only issue with a traditional shepherds pie is that they usually require 10+ ingredients and a lot of prep. No, thank you! Because my family enjoys this dinner recipe so much, I came up with a way to make it super quick and easy with just 6 simple ingredients.

    • ground beef
    • cheddar cheese
    • mashed potatoes

    In a large pan, simply brown the ground beef and and drain the excess grease. Add the tomato soup, frozen veggies, seasoning and about half a cup of water to the pan simmer for 5-10 minutes.

    Evenly spread the beef mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.

    Spread your mashed potatoes over the top and then sprinkle with 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.

    Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.

    Even though this shepherds pie is incredibly easy to make, its not missing any flavor! I was pleasantly surprised at how good this simple recipe was, in fact, my husband thought it was better than the complicated recipes Ive made in the past.

    • 1-2cupsshredded cheddar cheese
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

  • Prepare the mashed potatoes according to the package directions .

  • Meanwhile, brown the ground beef on medium heat in a large skillet drain any excess grease.

  • Add the can of tomato soup, frozen mixed veggies, beef stew seasoning mix and 1/2 cup of water to the browned beef stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat.

  • Bake uncovered in the center rack for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

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    More About This Recipe

    • Shepherds pie is also commonly called cottage pie, but there actually is a key difference between the two. Cottage pie traditionally contains beef while shepherds pie is usually filled with lamb. Regardless of what you call it, if youre in search of a brilliant way to use up those uneaten leftovers, then youve found what youre looking for in this shepherds pie recipe. The holidays are particularly convenient time to throw in whatever meat and vegetables youve got lingering in the fridge into a shepherds pie recipe recipe thats all your own. Warm, savory and oh-so-comforting, this cheesy beef shepherds pie is everything you love about a hearty beef dinner and then some.

    Can I Prepare Shepherds Pie In Advance

    Reader Request: Shepherd

    Yes, this is a great make ahead dish! You cook it, assemble and leave it ready to bake, or freeze it to make another night.

    To Make Ahead: This is a great dish to prep and make ahead a few days in advance. Assemble and cover with foil. Refrigerate up to 2 days ahead, then bake in a preheated oven 400F about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

    Leftovers: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, transfer to a freezer safe containers for up to 1 month.

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    How To Make Shepherds Pie

    • Sauté some chopped onions in olive oil.
    • Add ground beef or ground lamb.
    • Add dried parsley, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
    • Stir and cook the meat mixture until the meat is browned.
    • Add minced garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
    • Cook the garlic for a minute.
    • Add flour and tomato paste.
    • Add beef broth, frozen mixed peas and carrots, and frozen corn kernels.
    • Simmer the meat gravy until it is thick.
    • Boil some peeled and chopped potatoes until they are soft.
    • Drain the potatoes
    • Add butter, half & half, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    • Mash the potatoes until smooth.
    • Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish.
    • Top it with the cheesy mashed potatoes.
    • Bake until the meat is bubbling and the potatoes are golden.

    Gluten Free Recipe Tips

    Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information.

    Many traditional recipes are not, as they contain a brown gravy thickened with flour. However, this one does not. So its easy to make it as a gluten free casserole.

    Just be sure to use Worcestershire sauce that is gluten free , as well as a gluten free beef broth.

    The topping is nothing more than mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese. So there are no gluten-containing ingredients there. Go ahead and enjoy this classic dish as part of your gluten-free St. Patricks Day without worry!

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    How To Make Shepherd’s Pie

    Find out how to make this classic comfort food casserole, and learn the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie. #goodtoknow

    Nicole McLaughlin, aka NicoleMcmom, shows you how to make her recipe for hearty shepherd’s pie, with loads of how-to tips along the way. But first, a few words about shepherd’s pie, because that’s how we roll.

    Can You Make Shepherds Pie With Ground Beef

    EASY Shepherd’s Pie Recipe ~ Easy Cooking

    Many people say you cant, and that the only way to make authentic shepherds pie is with lamb. However, in the United States, ground beef is easier to find and used more in American households than ground lamb.

    So then what is cottage pie, and whats the difference?

    Cottage pie is typically a mixture of minced beef and vegetables in gravy, baked in a casserole dish with a cap of mashed potatoes.

    So basically the same as Shepherds Pie, except that dish is traditionally made with ground lamb since a shepherd raises lambs. However, I personally dont like lamb, and I have always seen it on menus, even in Irish restaurants, with this name.

    And the cottage pie name doesnt make sense to me anyway since I dont know any cows who live in a cottage.

    Im joking, but the point is, make what you like.

    Since this dish and cottage pie are essentially the same thing, just swapping the protein, I think it is totally acceptable to make Shepherds Pie with ground beef instead of lamb.

    You can always call this recipe cottage pie or you can use ground lamb and stick with tradition. I have not claimed this recipe is traditional, I just call it easy and it happens to be delicious.

    Now Im not sure what shepards pie is, but many people seem to spell it that way.

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    Cook: 20min Ready In: 1hr5min

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the lamb and cook over a high heat, stirring well with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the onion. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly browned.
  • Add the carrots, celery and leeks and stir well, then add the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, stock and lentils. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Partially cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the meat mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare the topping. Place the potato and parsnip chunks in a saucepan and pour over boiling water to cover by 5 cm . Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 1520 minutes or until the potatoes and parsnips are very tender. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until hot.
  • Drain the potatoes and parsnips well, and return them to the pan. Pour the hot milk over them, then mash them until they are completely smooth. Beat in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Another idea

    Replace the lamb with lean minced venison or wild boar. Omit the leeks and stir 250 g fresh or frozen peas into the meat mixture after it has simmered for 15 minutes. In the topping, replace the parsnips with celeriac.

    Plus points

    Each serving provides

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