Close up of Shepherd’s pie on a white plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

48 comments This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post.

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is the ultimate Irish comfort food. Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie) with hearty beef & fluffy mashed potatoes this pie will become a family favorite. It has tons of flavor and is hands down is one of my favorite recipes. This hearty dish is quick and easy to make. Perfect for a busy weeknight or perfect for a Sunday dinner.

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

For this to be a true classic shepherd’s pie recipe it would have to be made with lamb or minced beef. But, since I could not get my kids to try lamb. I will put a little American spin on it and use ground beef. I find using ground beef is a more affordable option as well. Others will say it is not a true shepherd’s pie if it does not include lamb. But as long as some people are still saying it “shepards pie” I think ground beef will be just fine.

One of the reasons that I love easy shepherd’s pie recipe so much. Is that it is the ultimate comfort food. It has the fluffy potato topping with the hearty ground beef filling. If you are looking for more comfort foods like this. You should try my Scalloped Potatoes or my Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. But if you are looking for some with beef. I suggest that you try the Best Beef Stroganoff Recipe ever.

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Meat filling

  • Olive oil – Keeps everything from sticking to the skillet and is a healthier alternative to butter.
  • Yellow onion – I like to use yellow onions for there mild flavor. But you can use any kind that you like.
  • Ground beef – use 80/20 or leaner ground beef. You can also substitute with ground lamb a more authentic cottage pie. Ground turkey also works very well in this recipe.
  • Salt – Season to taste, but I prefer less salt.
  • Thyme leaves – This is one of the herbs that adds so much flavor. If you don’t like thyme I suggest lowering the amount to 1/2 tsp.
  • Rosemary leaves – Is a key ingredient and you can substitute for fresh rosemary if you like.
  • Parsley leaves – Is also a key ingredient and you can substitute for fresh chopped parsley if you like.
  • Ground black pepper – I love black pepper so I tend to add more. You can season to your liking.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This is a key ingredient in the recipe and adds so much flavor. Don’t leave this one out.
  • Fresh garlic – Adds an aromatic background flavor to the recipe.
  • All-purpose flour – This helps thicken up the gravy and holds everything together. You can make it gluten free by substituting corn starch.
  • Ketchup – You can substitute with tomato paste.
  • Beef Broth – Adds a ton of flavor. If you don’t have this on hand you can substitute chicken or veggie broth.
  • Frozen pea and carrot mix – If you can’t find a frozen peas and carrot mix. You can use 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of frozen carrots.
  • Frozen corn kernels – If you don’t love corn you can half the amount.
Easy shepherd's Pie recipe meat Filling

Cheesy Potato Topping

  • Russet Potatoes – This potato has a high starch content which makes them perfect for fluffy topping.
  • Unsalted butter – You can use salted or unsalted. But I prefer to keep the sodium down.
  • Half & half – This is what makes the potatoes so creamy and smooth. If you don’t half and half. You can use equal parts heavy cream and milk.
  • Salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder and paprika – This is what makes the topping. You can add as much of you like to them.
  • Cheddar cheese – You can use sharp or mild.
All the ingredients to make this easy shepherd's pie recipe.

How To Make This Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • Preheat – Preheat oven to 400 Degrees and coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Then set aside.
  • Saute – First, you will need to saute the yellow onion in the olive oil until they become golden brown. Then add the ground beef and break it apart.
  • Cook Beef – Next, add parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes Stirring occasionally until meat is completely brown.
  • Saute Garlic – Then, add the garlic and let it cook for about 1 minute or until it is golden brown. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir until fully incorporated.
  • Thickener – Add flour and ketchup to the ground beef mixture. Mix until the flour make a nice creamy roux.
  • Add Veggies – The final step of the ground beef filling is to add the beef broth, frozen peas, carrots and corn kernels. Cook until the beef broth comes to a boil. Then, reduce heat and let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add To Baking Dish – Last, spread out the ground beef filling in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Make sure to spread it evenly and set aside.
The steps to make the shepherds pie meat filling.
  • Make potatoes – Peel and cut potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. Place the the potatoes into a large pot or saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. cook until tender and easily crushed with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to pot and mash. Incorporate the unsalted butter, half & half, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Mix until the potatoes are creamy and well combined.
  • Assemble shepherd’s pie – Then, Scoop the potatoes on top of the ground beef and smooth them with a rubber spatula. Finally, add the paprika and cheese cheese on top of the potatoes.
  • Bake – Place on a tin foil lined baking sheet and cook at 400 degree’s on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Let your Shepherd’s pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Steps to make the potato topping for the easy shepherd's pie recipe.

Tips For The Best Shepherd’s Pie

  • Use lean ground beef or lamb so that everything holds together and does not fall apart from the excess grease.
  • Use russet potatoes for the lightest and fluffiest potato topping.
  • Let the shepherd’s pie rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to absorb back into the meat and help everything stay together.
  • Broil the last couple of minutes to brown the potato topping.

Can I Make This Homemade Shepherd’s Pie Ahead Of Time?

Making a classic shepherds pie is not hard. But, it can be a bit time consuming. So you can make the meat filling or potatoes a head of time. Then, add them to a baking dish when your are ready to make the casserole. I find it is best to finish it within a couple of days of making the other ingredients. When you are ready to eat it. Remove it from the refrigerator and let it warm up at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then, uncover it and bake at 400 degree’s for 25-30 minutes.

Cut serving of this easy shepherd's pie recipe on a white plate.

How To Store Shepherd’s Pie

This easy shepherd’s pie recipe makes such good left overs. I love how all the flavors in the beef filling marinate and taste amazing the next day. When storing it in the fridge. Make sure to completely cover the the dish with plastic wrap. To try and form a air tight seal. The leftovers will keep for up to three days. If you plan on keeping it longer that that. Freeze the portions immediately that you are not going to use with in 3 days.

Can I Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, this is a great freezer meal recipe. The best way to freeze this casserole is to let it cool down to room temperature. Then place at least two layers of plastic wrap over the baking dish. This will help prevent freezer burn. I also like to place it in Jumbo Freezer Bags to help keep it fresh. It will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Once you are ready to heat up the shepherd’s pie. Place it in the refrigerator over night to thaw it out. Then Place in a 400 degree preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Close up of Shepherd’s pie on a white plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

This Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe is the ultimate Irish comfort food. Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie) with hearty beef & fluffy mashed potatoes this pie will become a family favorite.
4.82 from 76 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 538 kcal


Beef Filling

  • tbsp olive oil
  • cups yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I prefer to use 80/20)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp rosemary leaves
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups frozen mixed peas and carrots
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

Cheesy Potato Topping

  • 4 large russet potatoes or 8 small / medium russet potatoes (Cubed into ¾-inch squares)
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • cup half & half
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese (grated)


How To Make The Ground Beef Filling

  • Preheat oven to 400 Degrees and coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Then set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat add in olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes and break apart the ground beef with meat chopper or spoon. Stir occasionally until meat is completely browned.
  • Add in garlic and cook for an addition 1 minute.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, flour and ketchup to the ground beef mixture. Stir until fully incorporated and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the beef broth, frozen peas and carrots and frozen corn kernels. Cook until the beef broth begins to boil. Then, reduce heat and let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • In the prepared baking dish spread out the ground beef filling. Make sure to spread it out into an even layer.

How To Make The Cheesy Potato Topping

  • Peel and cut potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until the can be smashed with a fork. Cook time will be 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and add them to your KitchenAid mixer. I you don’t have a mixer a hand mixer or potato smasher will work fine.
  • Then, cut the butter stick into 1 tablespoon pieces and spread them evenly on top of the potatoes
  • Next, add the half & half, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and mix until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.
  • Scoop the potatoes on top of the ground beef filling. Carefully spread them into a even layer.
  • Sprinkle the paprika over the potatoes evenly. Then, add the cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes.
  • Place the in the oven and bake at 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the shelf under the pie. I have found that this recipe will sometimes boil over and the baking sheet will save your oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes.
  • Then, let cool for 10 minutes before serving and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!


*This shepherd’s pie recipe can easily be halved. Just place in a 9 x 9 baking dish and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
**Make sure to bake uncovered
***Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.


Calories: 538kcalCarbohydrates: 35.1gProtein: 29.1gFat: 31.8gSaturated Fat: 12.6gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 582mgPotassium: 1057mgFiber: 5.7gSugar: 6.7gVitamin D: 8µgCalcium: 82mgIron: 16mg
Keyword cottage pie, shepherds pie, shepherds pie recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Comfort Food Favorites


RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience. Getting feedback from you helps me and other readers too!

Also, if you share on INSTAGRAM, use the hashtag #modernmealmakeover and tag us (@modernmealmakeover) so we can stop by and give your post some love. Thank you!


  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious. I made it today! It was approved by my entire family! I am adding it to the rotation! YUMMMM

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t had shepherds pie in so long and I love how comforting this dish is. So delicious too!

  3. 5 stars
    What a filling and wholesome dinner! This recipe is comfort food at its best. Thanks for the step-by-step photos.

  4. 5 stars
    My family and I love shepherd’s pie! I can’t wait to make this recipe! Looks so delicious and tasty!

  5. 5 stars
    Perfect! I want to try this out asap! Another comfort food for me <3

  6. 5 stars
    So easy and absolutely scrumptious! Nothing beats a classic shepherds pie recipe for the whole family to love. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    Yum! Such a wonderful comfort food. I love the color on the top of those potatoes. So perfect for feeding a crowd.

  8. Carrie Robinson

    5 stars
    You just can’t go wrong with hearty comfort food like this! Looks delicious. 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this one.

  10. 5 stars
    This is total comfort food right here — and I am here for it! The mashed potatoes on top look so insanely fluffy! Adding this to our weekly meal plan now!

  11. 5 stars
    The best shepards pie I’ve ever had! I used ground turkey thigh and it was amazing!

  12. I do not see an amount for rosemary. I’m making this now! Excited to see how it turns out. I suppose I’ll wing the Roseanne rosemary.

    • I’m sorry I’m just getting back to you. The recipe card has been updated with the rosemary. I hope you enjoyed the recipe.

  13. Samantha Schwaniger

    Hi! This doesn’t show how much rosemary to use…

  14. Making this tonight!
    The rosemary wasn’t listed in the ingredient list, and I don’t think I have any! So hopefully it’s still as tasty

  15. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    I used brown gravy instead of beef broth and was excellent tasting Shepard pie 🥧 😋.

  17. 5 stars
    This was the best shepherds pie ever.

  18. 5 stars
    I made this today for my sick mom. She loved it! I added a little more veggies and cheese. Thanks for the recipe

  19. 5 stars
    I make this for dinner alot and the whole family loves it!!

  20. Adelia Hobart

    Do you use dried or fresh herbs in the recipe?

  21. Rhonda Anderson

    5 stars
    SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!

  22. 5 stars
    Best Shepherds pie ever! I was never a fan of shepherds pie until I discovered this recipe! My mom and I have both made it multiple times. Tonight I even made it for a friend that’s recovering from surgery. I hope they enjoy it as much as my family and I do! Thanks for such an awesome dish!

  23. This is my favorite recipe for shepherd’s pie. My husband and I loved it. I did leave out the corn and only used peas and carrots.
    I will be making it again.

  24. 5 stars
    Just made two one with beef & one with mixed ground Turkey & ground chicken (for the non red meat eaters)
    Huge success thumbs up from all

  25. 5 stars
    This was the best Shepherd Pie ever….my family loved it….going to add to my monthly rotation of meals….thumbs up from a MS Gulf Coast family

  26. Patricia

    Made this for the first time. My family and I loved it. I definitely recommend this recipe!

  27. 5 stars
    Making for dinner tonight

  28. 5 stars
    delish! girlfriend and kids cant get enough. even the dog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating