Give Me The Recipe For Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s Pie Recipe | How to Make Perfect Shepherd’s Pie

Ahhhh I am so glad you asked that question! The light, fluffy, FLAVOURFUL mashed garlic parmesan whipped potatoes on top is what sets this Shepherds Pie apart from any that you have ever had before. This Shepherds Pie is topped with Garlic Parmesan Whipped Potatoes .

Garlic and Parmesan Cheese are my not-so-secret ingredients. Before baking the Shepards Pie I also topped it with fresh Parmesan so that the cheese would form a delicious crust on top. Yummy to my tummy!

In this recipe I share the stove top directions for the whipped potatoes, but if you prefer, you could use my Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe to save time and effort.

What Is Shepherds Pie

Originating from the early 1800s, shepherds pie is a traditional Irish recipe. Its a hearty dish where women had to get creative with leftovers. Similar to how we create leftover casseroles today!

The basic structure is having a savory minced lamb filling topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. The filling is usually simmered with onions, carrots, celery, and peas.

Sounds like a cottage pie right? Except, cottage pie uses beef and shepherds pie uses lamb or mutton. So when you eat a Shepherds pie in the US that swaps ground beef for lamb, thats truly a cottage pie, not a Shepherds pie. Oh, semantics.

If you dont eat a lot of lamb, I say give this traditional version a try. I think youll love it! But no matter which type of meat you choose, this is true comfort food that will warm you from the inside out during the winter months.

Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients:

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour this is used to make the base of the pie crust. Standard bleached flour will work too if thats what you have, unbleached just has better flavor.
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar the white sugar is used in the pie crust to add a faint sweetness and the brown sugar is used for the filling. The added molasses of the brown sugar pairs perfectly with the sweet potato flavor.
  • Salt this brings out the flavors of the pie crust and filling so it doesnt taste flat.
  • Unsalted and salted butter unsalted butter is used in the pie crust , and salted butter for the filling. Salted browned butter tastes so much better than unsalted.
  • Ice water be sure to add lots of ice to the water, stir and rest before you use it. This helps the butter stay cold so you end up with a flaky crust.
  • Sweet potatoes I like to use red garnet variety. Other orange varieties work as well but dont use white or purple sweet potatoes.
  • Evaporated milk I like to use the small 5 oz. can so I dont have leftover but if you only have a larger can that will work but be sure to measure amount listed.
  • Eggs this helps bind the pie filling together and make a custard type filling. They are crucial to the recipe.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with the ratios here I recommend sticking with each separate spice rather than using a spice blend.
  • Vanilla extract this adds another faint background flavor in the pie. Use real vanilla for best flavor.

Scroll down for full printable recipe.

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How Long To Boil Eggs For Deviled Eggs:

  • Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a rolling boil. This can take between 7-12 minutes, depending on the size of your pot and how much water you use. To speed things up, I use hot tap water and keep the lid on the pot until the water is boiling.
  • Carefully and gently add the desired amount of large eggs to the boiling water. A mesh strainer works well for gently lowering more than one egg at a time into the hot water.
  • Boil the eggs for 13-14 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so that the water doesnt boil over.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Drain the hot water from the pot while keeping the eggs in the pot. You could use the lid of the pot or a strainer to help keep the eggs in the pot as you drain the hot water.
  • Add cold water to the pot until the eggs are covered in cold water. Pour that water out. Repeat with more cold water.
  • Add 2 cups of ice to the pot. Gently stir the eggs. If the ice melts, add more until the water stays ice cold.
  • Let the eggs rest in the ice cold water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs from the cold water. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week until you are ready to use them.
  • Gently crack the egg shells and peel the eggs.

Can I Use Store Bought Mashed Potatoes To Make This Recipe:

shepherds pie, easy shepherds pie, shepherds pie with beef ...

Yes, you can, but this recipe wont taste as good if you do. Store bought mashed potatoes can be used or leftover mashed potatoes. The Garlic Parmesan whipped potatoes is what gives this recipe its flavour. To save time and effort, make the mashed potatoes by following my Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes recipe.

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Yes You Can Make It Ahead

Once you have topped the filling with the potatoes and sprinkled the last bit of cheese over it, let it cool completely, then cover it with plastic wrap. You can keep it assembled, but unbaked, in your refrigerator for up to three days.

To bake the pie, remove the plastic wrap and take it straight from the fridge to the oven. Add an extra 15 minutes to the baking time. Check the pie after 30 minutes.

Cover it loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

What Can You Serve With Shepherds Pie

The great thing about Shepherds Pie is that is a complete meal just by itself! With combination of meat, vegetables and mashed potatoes, there really isnt a need for any side dish. But you could also serve this with a salad or some bread or biscuits to dip into the rich sauce!

We hope you enjoy this recipe for an easy Shepherds Pie. Let us know what you think in the comments!


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What Ingredients Make The Filling Taste Better

Once the meat is selected, other vegetables and herbs are added to make the filling more interesting. Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic are sauteed to give texture and aroma. Rosemary and thyme are robust herbs that complement the unique flavor of the lamb. Tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness to the dish. Tangy Worcestershire sauce provides balance and makes the flavors in the filling more vibrant.

Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe | How to Make The Perfect Shepherd’s Pie

by Kathy

This Classic Shepherds Pie Recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Hearty ground beef is mixed frozen vegetables like peas, carrots and corn and topped with a garlic potato topping. This will warm you up on even the coldest day!

Rich gravy, hearty meat, plentiful vegetables and a garlic mashed potato layer that is baked to a golden brown. This Shepherds Pie is a classic dish that has been filling bellies for centuries!?!? Weve made our version as easy as possible along with some shortcuts and substitutions to make it even easier, quicker or healthier. Read below to find out more or jump to the recipe card to get cookin!

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What Is A Shepherds Pie

Ok, so before you head to the comments section to really give me a history lesson, we know this isnt a true Shepherds Pie. It is more of a Cottage Pie, which is an English dish and traditionally made with ground beef. A traditional classic Shepherds Pie recipe hails from Ireland and is made with ground lamb . But, like many cultural and traditional cuisines over the years, the lines have been blurred here in America. So you will often see the dish we are making here referred to as a Shepherds Pie.

Notes Tips And Variations

  • USE A LARGE SKILLET This recipe is a lot easier with a nice, large skillet to cook all the ingredients together. We love to use this Farberware NonStick Dishwasher Safe Saute Skillet. Its 6 quarts, which means its big enough to get any recipe started no matter how many ingredients you are adding!
  • HEALTHIER VERSION This is true comfort food, designed to give humans much needed calories during the winter. So there isnt really a way to make this health food. But you can trim some calories by using ground beef or ground turkey. Or by Using skim, low fat or almond milk instead of regular milk in the mashed potatoes. Or, if looking for a low carb option, you can also substitute the mashed potatoes for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!
  • LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES You can make your own mashed potatoes for this recipe or use Instant Mashed Potatoes. But this is also a great use for leftover mashed potatoes too.
  • ADD WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE Youll see some versions of this recipe that add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce. We opted not to do that. But feel free to if that sounds good to you!
  • TOP WITH CHEESE Sprinkle some Cheddar Cheese on top of the potatoes.

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Ingredients For Sweet Potato Pie

  • Sweet Potatoes I like to use medium sweet potatoes.
  • Butter Softened butter will mix more easily into the baked sweet potatoes when making this pie.
  • Sugar My family has traditionally used granulated sugar for this pie.
  • Vanilla extract The vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the pie. I do recommend using pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla flavoring as I believe you can taste the difference in the baked pie.
  • Eggs Youll need 3 large eggs for this pie recipe. I also like to have them at room temperature to mix into the pie filling more easily.
  • Milk Use whole milk or evaporated milk in this recipe. You will not want to use a lower fat content milk.
  • Unbaked Pie Crust There is NO need to pre-bake these pie crusts. While I hope you try my homemade pie crust recipe, you can also use your favorite 9-inch pie crusts from the store if you wish.

Main Dish Recipe Index


Browse main dish recipes that are tried and tested. From meatloaf to chili to chicken recipes. These are great options for the busy family any day of the week!

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Hi, Im Amanda Finks

Im a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. Im an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! Im trained in Food Science & recipe development. Its my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love! See More.

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To Assemble A Shepherds Pie

  • Transfer the Meat Sauce into a pie dish or casserole.
  • Top with scoops of potatoes then spread potatoes evenly over the filling. An ice cream scoop makes this easy.
  • Drizzle with melted butter and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes or until potatoes start to turn golden.
  • Pro Tip: Shepherds Pie can be made ahead which is perfect for the holidays or busy weeknights. See the Make-ahead section below for tips on refrigerating or freezing the pie.

    The History Of Southern Sweet Potato Pie

    Sweet potato pie actually originated among the African American slave community in the southern United States during the colonial time period.

    While yams were a more traditional ingredient in African cooking, they were not readily available in the Americas. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were a native vegetable and in great supply in the south, especially compared to the more popular pumpkins in the north. Combining European baking techniques of the classic custard pie with the the expertise and traditions of the African American community brought forth the delicious, soulful sweet potato pie we know and love today.

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    How To Make Shepherds Pie:

    To make this Irish shepherds pie recipe, simply:

  • Cook the mashed potatoes. Cook the large potatoes in a large stockpot until tender. Then drain, mash, and stir in the remaining mashed potato ingredients until combined. Set aside for later.
  • Brown the meat. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef or lamb in a bit of oil until browned, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Then transfer it to a separate plate with a wooden spoon, reserving any grease that it has left behind.
  • Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic in the leftover grease until they are softened as well.
  • Add in the flour and wine. Stir in the flour to help thicken the sauce. Then add the wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon to loosen any of those tasty brown bits.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, herbs and frozen peas. Then give everything a good stir, and cook the mixture until it reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to let it simmer for a few more minutes, so that those herbs can really season the sauce. Then remove the herbs , stir in the cooked meat, give the mixture a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Layer it all up. Transfer the filling mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and spread it out in an even layer. Then spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread them out in an even layer as well.
  • Say Hi To Coco Morante

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

    One last treat for all you readers out there: I thought it would be fun for you to get to know Coco a little more. Here’s a quick Q& A with the author herself!

    1. How many Instant Pots do you own?

    Right now, four. I’ve also given some to friends and family as I’ve upgraded or received new units for review. Currently I have two 6-quart models , as well as 3-quart and 8-quart pots.

    2. Whats one recipe from this book that you really want people to try and fall in love with?

    Cincinnati Chili . I adapted the recipe from a stovetop version shared with me by my friend Diana Pray. It’s full of spices, including a healthy dose of cinnamon — the Midwestern-meets-Greek flavor is so unique and delicious. You have to try it !

    3. What three recipes from this book are best if you just got your first Instant Pot?

    Risotto , because it’s so easy you won’t believe it. Split Pea Soup , because it tastes like my grandma’s did — I’m transported back to her kitchen when I eat a bowl. And Succotash — most all the ingredients come from the pantry or freezer, so you can make a hearty, nutritious vegetable side dish any time. Those are all really straightforward recipes that don’t require you to buy additional accessories, so you can make them right when you take your Instant Pot out of the box.

    4. Latest food obsession?

    5. Three ingredients that are always in your pantry?

    Nutritional yeast, almond flour, and San Marzano-style canned tomatoes.

    7. What are you working on now?

    Thanks, Coco!

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