How Long To Bake Shepherd’s Pie

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Easy Shepherds Pie Variations:

How To Bake Shepherds Pie

Want to customize your shepherds pie recipe? Feel free to:

  • Make it vegetarian. To make a vegetarian shepherds pie, just omit the meat and double the amount of mushrooms. And of course, use veggie stock instead of beef stock, and vegan Worcestershire sauce .
  • Make it vegan. Do the above, plus use vegan butter, milk and cream cheese in your mashed potatoes.
  • Make it gluten-free. Nix the flour and whisk 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch together with the stock before adding it to the sauce. Also be sure to double-check, as always, that all of your other ingredients are certified GF.
  • Use sweet potatoes: For an amazing sweet+savory combo, feel free to use sweet potatoes instead of Russets or Yukon golds in your mashed potatoes. So good!!!

How To Freeze Shepherd’s Pie

Cool and cover the baked shepherd’s pie loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer for two to three hours, or until its fairly firm. Remove the frozen pie and cover it firmly with plastic wrap. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on the counter. Set the baking dish on top. Bring the sides of the foil up and over the pie. Crimp or fold the edges all around to firmly seal the pie in the foil.

When ready to serve the shepherd’s pie, take the casserole from the freezer and remove the foil and the plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.

Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown. To shorten the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes, defrost it in the refrigerator one day before you plan to bake it.

Top Your Classic Shepherd’s Pie And Bake

Make sure the mashed potatoes are spread out in an even layer, and then top the dish with evenly spread-out cheese and breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are not essential, but they do add a nice crisp, toasty layer plus, they make a great-looking dinner.

Bake the prepared shepherd’s pie at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until cheese is browned and the filling is bubbling. Finally, pull the classic shepherd’s pie out of the oven and let it rest for at least ten minutes before you serve and enjoy!

And if you want to make extra work for yourself but impress your guests , you can always build individual servings of shepherd’s pie in oven-safe ramekins and serve it right like that.

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Cook Veggies And The Meat Then Add Herbs To Your Classic Shepherd’s Pie

In a large sauté pan cook, heat the olive oil over a medium to high heat, then cook the onions and carrots, tossing in a pinch of salt. Stir and cook until the onions start to brown and caramelize, which will take about ten minutes.

Now, add the ground beef for your classic shepherd’s pie and cook, stirring often, until it browns, which takes about five minutes. Next, toss in your minced herbs and stir well, cooking everything for about another five minutes. Finally, add the peas, stir, and then turn off stove.

Boil Water Prep Veggies And Pre


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and toss in a pinch of salt. Then wash and cut the potatoes into quarters you don’t have to peel them, you’ll do that later. Once the water is boiling, place the potatoes into the pot.

Now, wash and peel the carrots, then chop them roughly. Then, dice the onions and, if need be, mince the thyme and rosemary. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Shepherds Pie Vs Cottage Pie

When Shepherds Pie first originated, it was made with lamb. It has since evolved, especially in America, to include a variety of red meats . Per Wikipedia:

Shepherds pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato of English origin. The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked

Gather Your Ingredients For This Classic Shepherd’s Pie

Provided you have a large enough baking dish or you want to break the classic shepherd’s pie into a couple different dishes, you can easily scale up this recipe to serve a large party of diners. As measured here, you’ll have adequate servings for four to six people, depending on their appetites.

You’ll need two medium russet potatoes, a pound of ground beef or ground lamb, one yellow onion, diced, one cup of peas, one cup of carrots, diced, one cup of cheddar cheese, shredded, a pinch of rosemary and a pinch of thyme, a half cup of breadcrumbs, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two heavy pinches of salt.

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Tips To Save You Time

This recipe takes a little more time than the average weeknight meal, but its so worth it. Here are a few tips to save you some time and energy.

  • Use a mixture of butter and flour to thicken the sauce: Instead of a roux , I mix the flour and butter in a bowl and whisk it into the sauce to save on cooking time. This is known as beurre manié in French cuisine. Also, I always think its easier to clean a small bowl than a pot!
  • Choose large potatoes: Im not a fan of peeling potatoes, but the larger they are, the fewer there are to peel! And the less time I need to spend doing it. If you dont mind the skins, you could skip the peeling altogether, but thats an aesthetic choice. It doesnt affect the overall taste, but perhaps the potatoes wont be quite so melt-in-your-mouth creamy.
  • Buy grated cheese: Usually, I like to grate my own cheese because packaged cheese often has added cellulose to keep the shreds from clumping. That said, there are brands that have only a few additives, and I find skipping this one step just moves things along faster.

Prep This Ahead Of Time

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

If you plan to make this ahead of time, I suggest keeping the mashed potatoes and filing separate at first. Store them away in the fridge in sealed containers. When youre ready to bake, let the potatoes and filling sit at room temperature to soften before assembling. Then, pop it right into the oven for baking.

When it comes time to freeze leftovers, just place them in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. This could be a great option if you also plan to meal prep this on a Sunday night. Just bake it, divide it into 6 sections, and freeze it!

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To Make Mashed Potatoes:

Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them in about 1 inch chunks. Cutting the potatoes will make it faster to cook and easier to mash.

Cook potatoes in a pot of water with a bay leaf. Season water with some salt and pepper. Cook potatoes over medium heat until potatoes are tender enough to be pierced with a fork.

Drain potatoes but save some cooking water. Add butter, heavy cream, about 1/4 cup of cooking water, garlic powder and salt. Mash potatoes until all lumps are broken and its smooth. If you need to, add another 1/4 cup or so of cooking water to reach desired consistency. Mashed potatoes should be soft enough to easily spread over the beef.

Is Shepherds Pie Healthy

Because Shepherds Pie uses lamb mince it can be quite high in fat.

If youd like to reduce this, when you brown the mince, you can drain off an fat in the pan at that point before you add any other ingredients, that will reduce the fat you are actually consuming.

You can try to buy lean lamb mince but its quite difficult to find.

To add some more nutrients, you could also replace the regular white potato mash with sweet potato mash if you fancied.

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Shepherd’s Pie Including Directions For Freezing

Higher starch potatoes like Russets or Yukon golds make for the fluffiest mashed potatoes. Start potatoes in cold water or theyll cook unevenly with the outside starting to fall apartwhile the inside remains uncooked. Drain well after cooking you might even heat the potatoes gently on low heat on the stove top for about a minute. Avoid mashing potatoes in a food processor as it can turn them into glue. By the way, did you know one medium-size potato has only 110 calories?

Serves 6Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds of potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz. Neufchatel or cream cheese, cubed and softened at room temperature.
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables , thawed
  • 1 cup savory beef gravy, purchased or homemade


  • Wash, peel and quarter potatoes, cutting into even chunks. Place in a large sauce pan add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Salt water, if desired. Cover pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While potatoes are cooking: Brown ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Break beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles and add the onion while beef is browning. Remove from burner and drain.
  • Stir vegetables and gravy into meat. Spoon into a 9-inch square pan or 2 8-inch pie pans.

  • Wrap cooled pie in a l
  • yer of plastic
  • Layer In The Filling Mash The Potatoes And Make This Classic Shepherd’s Pie

    Simple Shepherd

    Layer the meat and vegetables into a casserole dish that has been lightly greased, ideally with olive oil. Now, remove the potatoes from the boiling water and let them cool for five to ten minutes. Then, remove the skin and mash the potatoes.

    Of this whole classic shepherd’s pie recipe, Lee says: “Biggest challenge: mashing the potatoes. I like using a sieve for the smoothest potatoes, but you can use a ricer or mash them by hand with a spoon. Either way, it’s a bit of a workout, but do not blend or beat russet potatoes!”

    Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat filling.

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    Can You Reheat Shepherds Pie In The Oven

    Option 1: Prepare the recipe as written including the baking time. Let the shepherds pie cool completely and then refrigerate. Reheat the whole thing in the oven, or microwave individual servings. Refrigerate the shepherds pie until you re ready to serve, then preheat the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

    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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    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.

    Yes You Can Make It Ahead

    Lea & Perrins SORTED food – How to make the family favourite Shepherd’s Pie

    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.

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    How Long Can I Keep A Cooked Shepherds Pie In The Fridge

    Freshly baked shepherd s pie will keep for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge refrigerate covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Can you freeze shepherd s pie? Yes, to freeze: wrap shepherd s pie tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in heavy-duty freezer bag.

    To Make The Mashed Potatoes:

    • Add potatoes to pot with water: Place potatoes in a medium pot or large saucepan. Cover with water by 1-inch and season water with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    • Cook potatoes until tender: Let gently boil until potatoes are fully tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under hot water for about 5 seconds to remove excess starches .
    • Rice Potatoes: Drain potatoes then pass through a food mill or potato ricer into same pot .
    • Stir with liquid ingredients: Melt 5 Tbsp butter and add to potatoes along with half and half and sour cream. Stir just to combine while seasoning with salt to taste. Cover and set aside if filling isnt yet complete.

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    Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

    Can you freeze Shepherds Pie? A Shepherds Pie is the perfect make ahead food. Once your pie is assembled you can chill and then freeze for up to one month. It can also be cooked from frozen. To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if needed.)

    Beef Shepherd’s Pie. Our classic shepherd’s pie is made with seasoned beef, carrots, and corn in a rich, savory gravy all topped with mashed potatoes. This meal is made with no artificial flavors and no artificial colors. See ingredients, nutrition, and other product information here. Smartlabel Info. Buy Now.

    Bake and eat the shepherd’s pie within two to three months. After that time it will remain edible, but its flavor and quality will begin to diminish. Leftover Shepherd’s Pie Step 1 Prepare and bake the shepherd’s pie as you normally would. When you’ve finished serving the meal, set your casserole dish in a well-ventilated location to cool.

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