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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cups yellow onion (diced)
- 2 lbs ground beef (I prefer to use 80/20)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp rosemary leaves
- 2 tsp parsley flakes
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ⅓ 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
- ⅔ cup half & half
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ 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!
More Comfort Food Favorites
- One Pan Creamy Chicken And Bacon
- Gourmet Mac & Cheese with Tuscan Chicken
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Hamburger Casserole
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
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