Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


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

Shepherd's Pie Recipe on plates with pot of Shepherd's Pie Recipe on the side

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious combo of ground lamb (although many people use beef) that has been cooked with carrots, sweet green peas and corn in a gravy or sauce. The lamb mixture is then topped with a crust of creamy mashed potatoes.

This 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! (You can also replace the meat for a vegetarian lentil version).Either way, this crustless meat pie is topped creamy mashed potatoes and baked until bubbly.

Do you put cheese on top of Shepherd’s Pie? Traditionally, a Shepherd’s Pie is not topped with cheese, but as you all know, cheese is my love language. You can add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes or just brush them with a little bit of butter before baking.

Ingredients for Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Ingredients

Shepherd’s Pie can be prepared fresh but it’s also a great way to use up any leftover meat, veggies, gravy or mashed potatoes.

    • MEAT Lamb is traditional but you can use any ground meat in this recipe (I most often use ground beef). Leftover roast works too!
    • VEGGIES Frozen mixed vegetables make prep quick and easy but leftover roasted veggies work perfectly too. If using fresh, steam them until tender before adding.
    • SAUCE Shepherd’s Pie is so versatile, I’ve given a couple of shortcut sauces in the recipe below but you can use leftover gravy (or gravy mix), tomato sauce… the sky is the limit here.
    • POTATOES Traditional mashed are what I most often use but garlic mashed potatoes add great flavor to this dish! If you are in a hurry, you can use store-bought mashed potatoes

Shepherd's Pie Recipe ingredients in a pot

Prep Ahead and Tips for Shepherd’s Pie

You will love how easy and convenient this dish is.  It can be made a day in advance, which makes dinner prep easier.

  • Layering After prepping the meat mixture, let it cool and then chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.  This will help keep the mashed potato layer separated.
  • Prep Ahead Prep and assemble up to one day in advance and refrigerate. Let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking it.
  • Quick Clean Up If your baking dish is very full, place it on a parchment lined baking sheet to avoid any juices spilling in your oven.
  • To Freeze Before Baking
    • Cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze.
    • Thaw overnight in the fridge. Bake for 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered

Shepherd's Pie Recipe in a pot

 

Serve this With…

And finish the meal with a belly warming Irish Coffee!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe on a white plate with parsley

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Shepherd's Pie Recipe on a white plate with parsley
4.98 from 49 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine Irish
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
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables defrosted
  • 10 ounces tomato soup or mushroom soup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cook lamb or beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in soup, mixed vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, salt, basil and pepper. Spread into the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish.
  • Spoon mashed potatoes overtop and top with cheese.
  • 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, Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 730mg, Potassium: 916mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 2775IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 180mg, Iron: 2.5mg
Keyword Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie Recipe in a pot

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 Recipe with a title
Shepherd's Pie Recipe in a pot with writing
Ingredients for Shepherd's Pie Recipe with writing
Shepherd's Pie Recipe on a white plate with a title

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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