This hearty, delicious Shepherd’s Pie is filled with veggies, flavorful ground beef (or lamb) and topped with creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a classic casserole that’s also called Cottage Pie. Soon it will be the most request dinner recipe you have!
For the heartiest and coziest dinner, you can’t go wrong with shepherd’s pie! A savory meat filling topped with creamy homemade mashed potatoes is our go-to dinner when we’re craving some serious comfort food.
Why This Recipe Works
- This recipe has three parts: making the filling, making the topping, and assembling it in a casserole dish to bake. All of it is made from scratch for the best shepherd’s pie!
- You can use ground beef, ground lamb, or even ground turkey to make the filling. We love to make beef shepherd’s pie – it’s our favorite.
- This is a great dinner to make and assemble ahead of time, and the leftovers are fantastic!
- I’ve made this for friends with new babies, and they love it – once it’s assembled, you can chill it, take it to a friend or family member, and all they have to do is bake it.
Cottage Pie vs. Shepherd’s Pie
This is a classic English dish traditionally made with lamb, but we always had it with ground beef growing up in Minnesota, and we still call it shepherd’s pie. Technically if it’s made with beef, it’s called a cottage pie, and if it’s made with lamb, it is called shepherd’s pie.
Both versions have a savory filling with meat, veggies, and seasonings with a creamy mashed potato topping.
I am so excited to show you how to make shepherd’s pie! It’s always a family favorite, and I know it will be a hit at your house, too.
The ingredient list looks long, but keep in mind that shepherd’s pie is a complete meal – you get meat, vegetables, and mashed potatoes all in one casserole!
- Olive oil
- Diced onion
- Ground beef or lamb
- Dried rosemary and thyme
- Frozen peas, carrots, and corn
- Minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Beef broth
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Peeled and chopped russet potatoes
- Garlic and onion powder
- Sour cream
- Half and half
How to Make the Filling
Brown: Cook the onions and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the onions are softened. Add the ground beef, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook until the beef is browned and then drain off the grease.
Season: Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic and stir. After one minute, add the flour and tomato paste. They will thicken the filling!
Simmer: Add the broth, peas, carrots, corn and bring the skillet to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, and then remove the skillet from the heat.
How to Make the Topping
Boil: Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot. Cover them with water, and then bring the pot to a boil. Cook them until they are tender. It should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain: Once they are tender, drain and then place them back in the hot pot. Let them steam for a minute so they release excess moisture.
Mash: Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mash until smooth. Or you can also use a hand mixer to cream them.
Shortcut Tip: Grab instant mashed potatoes and mix those together to use when you are in a time crunch!
How to Assemble Shepherd’s Pie
Spoon the meat filling into a 9×9” baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the filling into an even layer.
Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the filling and carefully spread it into an even layer.
Bake the shepherd’s pie at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until it’s browned and bubbling. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
If you want the mashed potatoes to have a nice golden crust, broil the top at the end of the cooking time. This is best if you use a ceramic or metal casserole dish – glass ones can shatter under high heat. If you are using glass, check the manufacturer for the maximum temperature.
You can sprinkle shredded cheese over the top for a twist. Cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese would work well. Wait to add it until the last ten minutes of the baking time.
To make it ahead, assemble it and then cover it tightly with plastic wrap. It will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days. When you bake it, you might need to add a few minutes to the baking time since it will be cold.
You can also freeze cottage pie and shepherd’s pie. Once assembled, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. It will keep well in the freezer for several months. To thaw, transfer it to the refrigerator ahead of time before baking it.
The aroma of this shepherd’s pie will get everyone to the dinner table! It’s a classic meat and potatoes meal that is so family-friendly it’s guaranteed to be in your permanent dinner rotation. Give it a try this week!
More Amazing Dinner Ideas!
- For another hearty dinner, try my cheese-stuffed Italian Meatloaf!
- The next time you get a take-out craving, try my Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken. It’s lighter than take-out and a lot less expensive, too!
- Pizza Casserole has favorite pizza flavors served up as an easy casserole you can make in a crockpot.
- Irish Beef Stew is made with beer, beef, and veggies for a hearty dinner!
Did you try and love this shepherd pie recipe? Rate it, please! Seriously though, a five-star rating below will make my day!
If you snap a photo, please be sure to tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy dish!!
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- ½ c. Onion diced
- 1 ½ lbs Ground beef or ground lamb
- 1 tsp dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp dried Thyme
- ½ c. Frozen peas
- ½ c. Frozen carrots
- ½ c. Frozen corn
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 1 ½ c. Beef broth
- 2 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp Flour
Mashed Potato Topping
- 2 lbs Russet potatoes peeled, chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp Onion powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅓ tsp pepper
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- ¼ c. Sour cream
- ¼ c. Half and half
- Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add in ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until meat is browned. Drain off grease.
- Add in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Then add flour and tomato paste. Stir until well combined.
- Then add in the broth and vegetables, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and set mixture aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- While oven is preheating peel and chop potatoes and place them in a large pot.
- Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- When potatoes are done cooking drain water and let potatoes sit in the hot pot for about 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
- Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to potatoes in pot.
- Mash the potatoes with potato masher or hand mixer until smooth.
- Spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Add meat mixture to prepared casserole dish. Spread out in an even layer.
- Spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.