Simple Shepherd’s Pie With Leftover Mashed Potatoes
I love how quick and easy this Shepherd’s Pie comes together. With just a few tips, this one-pan meal will become a regular on your meal plan rotation.
Here are some ways to make this a super easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe:
- Be flexible with meat: depending on what’s on sale and what you have available. Ground lamb for Shepherd’s Pie and ground beef for Cottage Pie.
- Use frozen vegetables: grab a 16-ounce bag of frozen vegetables during your next market trip. Check your freezer – you may even have a long-forgotten bag in the back of your freezer. With so many bold flavors to disguise the freezer burn, those veggies are an ideal candidate for this meal.
- Leftover mashed potatoes: this is my favorite tip to maximizing my efforts in making mashed potatoes. Double the mashed potato recipe to include in a meal such as this one.
How To Make It
This easy Shepherds Pie comes together pretty easily. And if you want to make it even faster, you could use store bought mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes.
BUT, if you do make the potatoes for this recipe from scratch, you can begin making them while youre prepping the base of your Shepherds Pie.
Brown the ground beef in a skillet and then drain off the fat. Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook until softened.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook until darkened. Add the thyme and cornstarch, continuing to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the stock, peas, corn and garlic powder. Allow to cook until slightly thickened and transfer to a baking dish.
Top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown.
What makes this recipe so great is you can make it in advance and then just pop it in the oven when youre ready to bake!
To FREEZE your Shepherds Pie, allow the casserole to come to room temperature and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap again with foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat Shepherds Pie, allow the casserole to thaw and then bake according to recipe instructions.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie
And how is it different form Cottage Pie?
Shepherd’s Pie is a type of meat pie that boasts a mixture of meat and vegetable gravy and topped with crusty mashed potatoes.
Seeking for ways to incorporate leftovers, European housewives in the late 1700s and early 1800s came up with Shepherd’s Pie. The result was delicious.
Recipe for Shepherd’s Pie vary widely but they have the same basic tenet: meticulously simmered meat and vegetable gravy, topped with mashed potatoes. Traditionally, mashed potatoes also graced the bottom of the casserole dish as well.
But in the spirit of making this truly a one-pan meal, we’ll just do the top mashed potato crust.
So is Shepherd’s Pie the same as Cottage Pie?
No, but the difference is much less significant than you may think. The main difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie is the choice of meat.
Shepherd’s Pie is made from ground lamb . Cottage Pie is made using ground beef.
The ground meat can be used interchangeably with the rest of the ingredients and instructions the same.
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To Assemble A Shepherds Pie
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.
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.
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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.
How To Make Shepherds Pie
This easy recipe will make you feel like a pro when your family gets a taste. My kids loved it, and they all went for seconds, and some even thirds! Thats a sure sign its a winning recipe.
All youll need to do is brown your ground beef and add the seasonings and veggies. Youll spread your meat mixture in a baking dish and then layer the mashed potatoes mixture on top. Thats it! Dont skip the extra ingredients in the mashed potatoes. They really give it a wonderful flavor. Youll bake it for 20 minutes, and youll have an incredibly delicious meal for your family!
In my opinion, this is a stand-alone recipe, and theres nothing you need to serve with shepherds pie. Meat, veggies, potatoes, what more do you need?
Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances
Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Prep Tools & Utensils
This quick and easy recipe requires very few cooking utensils. These are some of the items youll need to prep and make this recipe:
- You need some food prep or mixing bowls and a wooden or silicon spoon to mix the warmed mashed potatoes with the cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese.
- I recently got this ground beef chopper to use when cooking ground beef. Im loving it because it makes it so easy to break the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks.
Appliances & Cookware
This recipe requires both stovetop and oven cooking. Here is what youll need:
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How To Make The Filling
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 Talerine Or Tagliarini Casserole
This dish is one of those “my grandmother used to make a casserole like this, but she called it something different” recipes. It seems that sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, the combination of ground beef, noodles, and cheese became a go-to base for adding all manner of vegetables and spices, and probably which vegetables and spices depended on the family’s cultural background.
Tagliarini and talerine are commonly found names for versions of this casserole. Tagliarini is a ribbon-shaped pasta, and home cooks often use that shaped pasta in versions of this dish. Perhaps talerine is a shortened version of the word tagliarini.
Whatever you call itbeef noodle casserole, tagliarini or talerine casserole, or even goulash it’s a delicious way to feed a crowd.
Ingredients In Shepherd’s Pie
The beauty about Shepherd’s Pie is that it calls for ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Ground lamb is the only unusual ingredient and even then can be replaced with ground beef.
Let’s look at the ingredients:
- Vegetables: we start with diced onion then add a bag of frozen veggies . Fresh will work too .
- Meat: ground lamb is star of this recipe but feel free to swap it out with ground beef
- Seasonings: bone broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and sea salt all add great flavor and richness
- Mashed Potatoes: my favorite way to give leftover mashed potatoes a second chance is to add them to a recipe such as this one. If you are following a diet like Paleo or Whole30, be sure your mashed potatoes are compliant.
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New Cookbook: The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook
This is absolutely my new favorite way to make Shepherd’s Pie, but there are plenty more recipes in this book that I’m excited to try.
I’ve actually already made the Sweet Potatoes Stuffed With Black Beans and Quinoa. Verdict: phenomenal. I love having this easy, meat-free meal in my back pocket.
A few that are next on my list:
- French Toast Casserole
- Hoisin-Glazed Spareribs
- Caramelized Onion Dip
Coco sprinkles her recipes with useful tips and suggestions for substitutions, which are all very useful for cooks like me who employ a mix of roughly 80% “follow the recipe” and 20% “wing it.”
Reading through the book, I also appreciate how straightforward and approachable all the recipes feel — though of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise since this is why I love featuring her recipes here on Simply Recipes as well! With its mix of basic recipes and recipes to make for dinner, I think this book would be a good one for new Instant Pot users and die-hard fans alike.
Ingredients You Need For Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe
To sum up, you will need only few ingredients for the Shepherds pie. Potatoes check. Any vegetables in your pantry and freezer like carrots, celery, peas, corn Check. The only thing you will need, if you dont have leftover mince put it on your shopping list.
Moreover, you will need few spices and a Worcestershire sauce . If you dont have Worcestershire sauce, dont panic, you can add soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic to your taste.
Also you may have a stick of butter and few tablespoons of milk in your fridge. Thats it!
Hope that you will enjoy this British meat pie with your family!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie How To Make Shepherd’s Pie
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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
The meat simmered in a luscious gravy with golden onions, carrots, peas, corn, green beans, or a combination of any of these. Followed by bold and rich flavors of Worcestershire sauce, homemade bone broth, tomato paste and aromatics.
This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe does not call for any flour or thickener. As long as the mashed potatoes are dairy free, this one-pan meal is paleo. And depending on ingredient list of Worcestershire sauce can even be Whole30. Here’s a homemade recipe for Whole30 and paleo Worcestershire sauce.
The meat and vegetable gravy is topped with leftover mashed potatoes and baked to golden perfection.
The result is a delicious, healthy, and comforting meal to the soul and the gut.
Suggestions And Substitutions For Shepherds Pie
A true shepherds pie is actually done with lamb, not beef . Cottage pie is the term traditionally applied to one made with beef.
Regardless of what you call it, you can make this with basically any type of ground meat you like, knowing that they range widely in fat content. Ground lamb, turkey, bison, venison, and beefor half and half of any of the aboveare all fair game.
Nothing beats fresh vegetables and cheese youve grated on the spot to make this recipe, but if youre short on time, here are a few shortcuts:
- Swap in frozen mixed vegetables for the carrots, celery, and peas. Use two and a half cups and add them to the dish when it instructs you to add the peas.
- Use pre-shredded sharp cheddar. Take a gander at the ingredients, since some brands use additives to keep the cheese from clumping. Less is more, if you ask me.
- Buy screw-top wine. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving time. Plus, fussing with a bottle opener isnt my favorite pastime. You dont need fancy wine for this anyway, just something dry and drinkable.
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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?