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
Say Hi To Coco Morante
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?
My Family Loves This Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe You Only Need Five Ingredients To Make This Delicious Comfort Food Casserole And It Cooks In Under 30 Minutes
Sometimes life gets cray cray and you need a quick dinner recipe, am I right?! This Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe has got your back!
It has only FIVE simple ingredients and is constantly requested by my family of hungry boys. Whenever I make this, my kids literally scream YAY out loud!!
Full disclosure: I usually eat pretty healthy. I mean, this website is called Yummy Healthy Easy for a reason, right? But sometimes you need a good ol comfort food dinner on a cold evening to warm you up.
This Easy Shepherds Pie recipe is one of my absolute favorite go-to comfort food dinners. Ive been making this for years and for some reason, I never thought to share it with you!
When I made it last week, I was like why have I not taken photos of this and put it on the website?! So, here you go!
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How To Make It Ahead
You can easily prepare your Shepherds Pie ahead of time for an easy make-ahead dish perfect for busy weeknights. Prep your Shepherds Pie all the way without baking. Cover well with foil or wrap and place into the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º, remove the wrap from the dish and bake until heated throughout, about 25 30 minutes.
Heres my Shepherds Pie recipe. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does.
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Roast The Vegetables For Deeper Flavor
This recipe calls for roasting the root vegetables before simmering in the soup. Why? Because roasting converts some of the starch in your root vegetables into sugars, bringing out more of the sweetness. Also, a little char on the vegetables can add a bit of smokiness and an extra depth of flavor to your soup.
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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!
Check out these great entree recipes.
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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How To Make Mashed Potato Topping
While the meat mixture is cooking, you will place your peeled potatoes into a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.
Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
Drain the potatoes reserving ¼ cup of the water.
Pour the potatoes back into the pan and add in the water then begin mashing.
When the potatoes are mostly mashed, add in the melted butter, heavy cream, and sour cream.
Stir and mash to combine.
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Shepherd’s Pie: A Dish Born Out Of Necessity
Now isn’t that something I thought to myself. Here we have a famous dish that came about from necessity. ……Then a train of thought hit me relating to Shepherd’s Pie that I never thought of…
Shepherd’s pie is of English origin…….. The English brought this pie recipe to Trinidad and Tobago during the colonial times …. The house slaves may have probably seen how to make it or made it because I’m sure some of them may have been cooks or kitchen assistants. The recipe, handed down in this manner, could have been a possible influence to our local pies like fig pie, dasheen pie, yam pie and eddoes pie for example. Hmmm!
Coming to think of it, these pies may have been made out of necessity too, because potatoes may not have been available to slaves. They would have used whatever was available to them, like ground provision. Even though it’s a thought, that is some real Trinidad and Tobago “pie history” to ponder on don’t you think?
Anyhow, however the history goes we have been making shepherd’s pie in Trinidad and Tobago for ages. The variations like the fig pie tastes just as well and have become a regular on the menu, especially the Sunday menu, in most homes. Personally, I like the fig pie but then “man does not live on fig pie alone” so Shepherd’s pie is welcomed from time to time. Of course, the extra cheese on top is also a plus
Tips From The Pillsbury Kitchens
- tip 1 Part of what makes this Shepherd’s Pie recipe easy is the fact that the ingredients are fully cooked before your layer them together in the baking dish, so youre just heating them up until hot and aromatic.
- tip 2 Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese onto mashed potatoes before baking for a cheesy topped Shepherd’s Pie.
- tip 3 A main-dish pie is a great way to use that extra pound of ground beef. Try a few varieties of frozen vegetables you have stashed in the freezer for a different twist on this Shepherd’s Pie recipe.
- tip 4 If you arent sure about the volume of your casserole dish, pour in measured amounts of water to be sure you wont overflow it with the pie filling.
- tip 5 Ground beef is the usual, budget-friendly go-to for weeknight meals, but stock up on other ground meats when theyre on sale. Ground turkey, chicken, or pork would be great in this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Cook the ground meat with the onion until thoroughly cooked continue with recipe.
- tip 6 Refrigerated mashed potatoes are easy and nice to have on hand. Try any flavored refrigerated mashed potatoes to top this main-dish pie.
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Shepherd’s Pie Vs Cottage Pie
So What exactly is the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?
Traditionally shepherd pie is made with lamb mince, whereas cottage pie is made with beef mince. I tend to make and serve both with the same sides and I tend to make both in a similar way.
I have a great recipe for Cottage Pie too.
Read The Labels On Your Worcestershire Sauce
Diving into the meat filling, youll see that Worcestershire is a key ingredient. This is a vinegar based sauce made from fermented onions and garlic, along with molasses, tamarind, anchovies, spices and more. Yep, you can say this sauce has an intense depth of flavor, making it perfect to add to meats.
But if youre gluten-free, youll need to be mindful of the brands you buy. Worcestershire often includes a wheat-based soy sauce to get that deep dark brown color. So, I recommend purchasing one of the below brands that are gluten-free .
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Tips For Homemade Shepherds Pie:
- Use a potato rice or food mill versus just mashing the potatoes if youd like silky smooth, lump-free potatoes.
- If possible use red wine for a robust finish.
- Use lean beef and dab up excess fat so dish isnt overly greasy.
- Avoid cooking in a glass dish as it may shatter under the heat of the broiler. If you dont own a cast iron pan use another deep oven safe pan or a metal or ceramic baking dish.
Types Of Recipes On This Site
While I am proud to be a dietitian, I do NOT only eat health food. So, thats not what this site is about. I strive to make the BEST recipes, the recipes you keep coming back to over and over because your whole family loves them. If I can convince one family to cook one of my easy recipes at home instead of going through the fast-food drive through, then I consider that a win!
The recipes on this site tend to fall into one of two categories:
Key Steps For Easy Shepherds Pie
- 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.
Tips For Freezing This Recipe To Cook Later
This is for those busy moms that like freezer meals. There is no better easy freezer meal than a shepherds pie! Its so fast and easy to whip up, you can make several at a time, wrap, and freeze them for later!
I prefer two methods for making this as a freezer meal.
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What To Serve With Shepherds Pie:
Youre welcome to serve this shepherds pie with extra gravy on the side, if you would like. Otherwise, we enjoyed ours with:
- A simple side salad: Such as my Everyday Salad recipe.
- A loaf of crusty bread: If youre interested in more carbs. )
- Corn on the cob: A simple and colorful side dish.
- A nice cold Guinness: Cheers!
Happy early St. Patricks Day, everyone! Hope you enjoy!
- 1/2 cup whole milk, or more as needed
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
Traditional Shepherds Pie With Lamb
Traditionally, Shepherds pie is made with lamb chops. However, lamb may be hard to find in your local store If you dont live in Britain, I believe! So I used mainly more common beef and a small amount of lamb mixed mince.
Moreover, lamb has a stronger, meatier flavor and its quite fatty. Tender and juicy lamb is a delightful dish, however not all like its flavor. Of course the flavor of lamb depends on how the animal was raised, fed and how old it was.
But to my mind it is totally worth making the dish with beef. This will be classic cottage pie. Any way, this meat pie is a great dinner idea, if you have leftover mince!
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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.