Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional Irish dish made with ground lamb cooked with peas and carrots and topped with a mashed potato crust. Easy and tasty, all year round!

Shepherd's Pie with peas, carrots, mashed potatoes and cheese on a wood ladle

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious combo of ground lamb that has been cooked with carrots, sweet green peas and corn. The lamb mixture is then topped with a crust of creamy mashed potatoes. You will love how easy and convenient this dish is.  It can be made a day in advance, which makes dinner prep easier. This recipe is so easy that you have to try it.  If you are not a fan of lamb, you can substitute it with beef, and it will still taste delicious.

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s pie is a delicious casserole traditionally made with ground lamb.  Many people make this recipe with ground beef however, if you use ground beef it’s actually called Cottage Pie!  Either way, it’s a delicious crustless meat pie topped with mashed potato. The recipe can vary widely, but it is usually made with minced meat, cooked with onions, peas, celery, corn or carrots in a gravy.

Do you put cheese on top of Shepherd’s Pie?

Traditionally, a Shepherd’s Pie is not topped with cheese, but if you are an avid cheese lover, you can add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes, and it will taste even better.

Shepherd's pie garnished with cheese and thyme on a white plate with a fork. Serving dish in the background

Tips on how to cook the Shepherd’s Pie:

  • You can use a mix of vegetables: I used sweet corn and sweet green peas, as well carrots.
  • You can use homemade mashed potatoes or if you are in a hurry, you can use store-bought mashed potatoes. I used this recipe for mashed potatoes.
  • The cheese on top is optional, but totally delicious.
  • You can prep and assemble the pie one day in advance and store it in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking it.
  • To prevent the mashed potatoes from sinking, after you add the meat mixture, let it cool and then chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.  This will help keep the layers separated.
  • If your baking dish is very full, I recommend adding a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) under it in the oven to avoid any juices spilling in your oven.

Shepherd's Pie in a white serving dish with thyme garnish with a wooden spoon

Why is it called Shepherd’s Pie?

Originally a meat pie made with minced (or ground) meat and mashed potatoes was known as a Cottage Pie (and it was even sometimes made with pastry many years ago). It is very popular in Ireland, Scotland and England as well!   In the late 1800’s the pie was named Shepherd’s Pie if made with lamb (since the shepherd looked after the sheep) and if  made with beef it was called Cottage Pie.

Regardless of the name, this recipe is a classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe loaded with flavor and the perfect make ahead meal to serve all year long!

Shepherd's Pie with peas, carrots, mashed potatoes and cheese on a wood ladle
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes
Servings: 6 servings
Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
 
Author: Catalina Castravet
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: irish
Keyword: Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional Irish dish made with ground lamb cooked with peas and carrots and topped with a mashed potato crust.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 10 oz frozen peas and carrots defrosted
  • 10.5 oz can corn drained
  • 10 oz can tomato soup or mushroom soup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook lamb or beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  3. Stir in soup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, basil and pepper. Spread into the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with peas, carrots and corn.
  4. Spoon mashed potatoes overtop and top with cheese.
  5. Baked 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Note:  This recipe has been updated 10/8/2018.  Original recipe inspiration from Alton Brown, Food Network.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 648, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 730mg, Potassium: 916mg, Carbohydrates: 85g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 47g, Protein: 22g, Vitamin A: 55.5%, Vitamin C: 44.8%, Calcium: 18%, Iron: 13.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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Shepherd's Pie is a traditional Irish dish made with ground lamb cooked with peas and carrots and topped with a mashed potato crust. Easy and tasty, all year round! #shepherdspie #groundlamb #groundbeef #spendwithpennies #mashedpotatoes #easyrecipe

Catalina Castravet

Catalina thinks that time in the kitchen should be fun, and we should spend less time cooking and more time eating! As a successful business woman with a busy career on Wall Street, she creates fool-proof recipes for busy weeknights. Catalina will inspire you to experiment with flavors, try new ingredients, use your slow cooker and pressure cooker and create easy meals with less effort and more flavor. You can visit her blog Sweet & Savory Meals for delicious dinner and dessert recipes that are husband and toddler approved!

16 comments on “Shepherd’s Pie Recipe”

  1. Trying it out for the first time and making my homemade garlic mashed potatoes for it! I can’t wait! Never made/had shepherds pie before! Also, I’m baking it in an actual pie crust!

  2. I have never tried shepherds pie or cottage pie but this sounds good. Will test it out on the fam this week!

  3. Trying it out but added celery and oyster sauce (about 3 tbs) and ommitted the corn as it gives me indigestion even though I love the flavour. Very tasty.

  4. My family loves shepherds pie!! Sometimes for variety I use taco seasoning and add corn and black beans! Delicious!!!

  5. Where is your recipe for the mashed potatoes?

  6. We eat Shepherd’s Pie quite often.   This recipe sounds better than the one we have been using.   We’ll try it next time.

  7. Very good. I am so happy with everything I have tried from this blog. Totally trust Holly and I really appreciate her explanations why something should be done a certain way (or certain kind of ingredients), as well as the alternative options she offers.
    Cottage pie is one of my favorite dishes, period! Never been a super big fan of lamb, so I have not tried making a real Shepherd’s Pie.

  8. Wow! I have never tried Shepherd’s pie, it looks so good!! Thank you for the recipe, gotta try it.

  9. A splash of red wine makes it extra tasty.

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