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

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
5 from 13 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 Catalina Castravet
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.


  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables defrosted
  • 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

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  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, mixed vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, salt, basil and pepper. Spread into the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish.

  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: 2775%, Vitamin C: 37%, Calcium: 180%, Iron: 2.5%

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

Keyword Shepherd's Pie

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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

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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!

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  1. Thank you for posting this easy, tasty recipe for shepherds pie- and including the option of ground beef. It has become one of our favorite “comfort food” dishes!

  2. I have a gluten allergy, and can not have tomato soup. Has anyone tried this with tomato sauce? Perhaps another suggestion.

    Thanks, Holly for all the wonderful recipes! I really enjoy your site!

    1. Hi Jenny, I have never made this with tomato sauce but I would love to hear how it turns out for you. I have found gluten-free tomato soup at my local grocery store though that would be perfect in this recipe.

  3. Wow i didn’t know that sphere pie good asf anyone could make it this my second or third timid like making this or better I miss eating it it’s fye asf d like I’m so ready to do it cause imma love ❤️ these recipes cause thy are so good to me I ❤️ it

  4. To clarify, Is that a combined total of 10ounces of peas and carrots or 10 ounces of each? Wasn’t sure since the corn was listed seperately.

    1. Hi Jess, for this recipe I used a frozen bag of peas and carrots with a combined weight of 10 ounces.

  5. I’m making this dish right now but with some substitutes. I’m using ground angus meat. I didn’t use any soup either. My family loves cheese so I put a layer of shredded cheese on top of the meat mixture then the mashed potatoes and another layer of cheese!!!

    1. I hope you love the recipe Sue. We love cheese too, so adding a layer sounds like a yummy plan to me!

  6. This turned out great! I made it with the tomato soup. I varied mine in a few ways: a) instead of a can of corn and frozen peas and carrots, I used an equivalent amount of frozen mixed vegetables, which includes those three plus green beans, b) I didn’t add any salt as I didn’t feel it was necessary, c) instead of topping the whole thing with cheese, I used a Four Cheese Instant Mashed Potato box, which made d) 4 cups of mashed potatoes instead the three that the recipe calls for, which is fine because it seemed like it needed more potatoes to properly cover the entire thing.

  7. Have never made Shepard’s pie before..Got snowed in yesterday..Had ground chuck to use up..Also fresh mushrooms, So I followed your recipe except added cooked mushrooms and corn, along with seasonings, & mushroom soup, stirred it together, before I read layer it, tasted good,put homemade mashed potatoes on top and added the cheese.. put it in the fridge overnight, Am about to cook it soon and have promised it to a neighbor who loves my food, I’ll let you know how it comes out..Thank You for your recipes..I share a lot of food,Love to cook but can’t cook for one,

  8. I love Shephard’s pie and Cottage pie. Your recipe looks simple enough that I think even I can make it.

    Could you clarify please about the soup? These cans of soup say to add 1 can water or milk. Should I do that and make the soup or just put the contents of the can in without adding the water or milk?

    I was also wondering, in order to get 3 cups mashed potatoes, approximately how many potatoes and what size should I start with?


    1. You will need to add just the condensed soup (without adding the extra water/milk). To get 3 cups of potatoes, you’ll need about 1.5lbs (about 4-5 medium potatoes).

      1. Thanks for the reply. Good thing I checked with you because I was leaning towards adding the water/milk and now I know not to.

  9. This was absolutely delicious! Really was simple, and quick. I use different veggies because I didn’t have the ones in the recipe except for peas, and it came out great. I would probably even use 2 lb of ground beef next time to make it more meaty. Will be making again!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.