This easy shepherd’s pie recipe is hearty and comforting! Every bite has cheese, mashed potatoes, and savory beef and vegetables. A classic Irish casserole Americanized by using ground beef instead of lamb.
Sometimes it’s called cottage pie, sometimes it’s called Shepards Pie. Whatever you call it, it is absolutely delicious, and easy to adapt to your family’s taste!
What is Shepherd’s Pie?
It’s a hearty dish made with ground meat and vegetables in a savory sauce topped with mashed potatoes and baked. It originated in the United Kingdom, and is typically considered an Irish dish.
Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb. (Hence the name “shepherd”s – they take care of sheep/lambs.)
Here in the U.S., lamb can be hard to find because it’s not readily used by most households. So technically this recipe is cottage pie, but I’ve known it as shepherd’s pie since I was little, so I’m sticking with it!
Over the years it has become such a popular dish that there are dozens of delicious varieties to choose from. I make my shepherd’s pie with tomato soup, so it’s extra easy to whip up.
PERFECT MAKE AHEAD MEAL
Simple shepherd’s pie is perfect for meal prep because all of the elements can be made ahead of time. A win for busy moms everywhere!
The mashed potatoes can be prepared up to three days before and refrigerated.
The meat mixture can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
And of course you can assemble the entire casserole, cover and chill it until you are ready to bake it. Just keep in mind that if it is cold, the cooking time will be much longer.
How do you make shepherd’s pie?
Homemade shepherd’s pie is actually pretty easy to whip up, especially if you have leftover mashed potatoes! There are just a few simple steps:
- VEGETABLES: If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, make mashed potatoes from scratch, or use instant mashed potatoes. Chop the onion and celery. Peel and shred the carrot.
- PREP: Spray a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- FILLING: In a large skillet, brown ground beef with the onion, celery, and shredded carrot. Drain off any fat. Stir in tomato soup, green beans, and black pepper.
- Heat through and pour into the prepared casserole dish.
- TOPPING: Spread the mashed potatoes over the filling. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the top.
- BAKE: Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. For gooey cheese, cover with foil before baking. For a crispy cheese topping, bake uncovered.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. We like to just reheat individual servings in the microwave.
- You can use any vegetables that your family likes. I typically make it with green beans, but frozen peas, mixed vegetables, and corn are also tasty.
- For an extra savory, beefy flavor, add a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture.
- Instead of adding the cheese on top, you can add a layer of cheese between the meat and potatoes. Or do both!
- Feel free to use ground lamb, ground turkey, or ground chicken in place of the ground beef. All will be delicious.
- We love our shepherd’s pie with cheese, but you may not. For a dairy free version, use mashed potatoes without butter or milk and omit the cheese topping. Try baking the dish at the top of the oven so the potatoes get browned.
- In a pinch? Use instant or store bought mashed potatoes instead of homemade.
- It’s also fun to make this dish in ramekins for individual serving sizes.
Oh yum, just look at all those tasty layers!
Looking for a side dish for shepherd’s pie?
- A simple green salad with ranch dressing.
- Sweet carrots
- Green vegetables such frozen green beans, peas, broccoli, or brussel sprouts.
- Irish soda bread
- Making it for St. Patrick’s Day? How about pistachio cupcakes for dessert?
MORE EASY GROUND BEEF RECIPES:
RECIPE FOR SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH GROUND BEEF
Easy Shepherd's Pie
This classic recipe is hearty and delicious, and a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Perfect comfort food!
- 1# lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 10.75 oz can tomato soup
- 1 15 oz can green beans
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- If you don't have mashed potatoes, prepare those first. Chop the onion and celery and peel & grate the carrot.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown meat with onion, carrot, and celery; drain off any fat.
- Add soup, green beans, and pepper and pour into prepared casserole dish.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or till hot and bubbly.
For gooey cheese, cover the dish before baking, for browned cheese topping, leave it uncovered.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 786mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 15g
Looking for an easy, make ahead dinner recipe that is tasty and filling? Give this simple shepherd’s pie recipe a try!
If people complaining would actually read what you stated instead of trying to prove THEIR point, they’d see you acknowledged the difference between shepherds and cottage pie. I grew up also calling it shepherds pie… who cares? It’s what makes it”home” for us. Not all of us are professionals. We are just trying to make good that our kids may relate to home. Thank you for this recipe!!! Delicious!!!
Haha, yes, people do get up in arms about the silliest things. I’ve got so many more important things to worry about than what my food is called. I just want it to taste good! 🙂
I’d bin it, as Shepherd’s Pie is a special treat, and since you made it with ground beef, it is now nothing.
please, is anybody out there understanding the huge difference between SHEPHERDS PIE and COTTAGE PIE,, there is no comparison at all,, — ground “cooked” Lamb is not “mince lamb” from the butchers shop, the pie has a completely different and deliciousTEXTURE,,, and no vegies are cooked in Shepherds Pie,, only boiled vegies served beside,,, marion
While I do understand the difference between the two, where I live this is what everyone calls Shepherd’s pie. So correct or not, it’s what I grew up with, and what everyone else is expecting. If I called it cottage pie, I would get all sorts of confused readers. And when it really comes down to it, I don’t care what my food is called, I just want it to taste good. 🙂
please,, NO. NO. NO. SHEPHERDS PIE is traditionally not made with mince meat from butcher,, and has no vegies in it,, – that is a Cottage Pie,,, SHEPHERDS PIE,, left over Roast Lamb minced at home and mixed with Tomato Sauce, a dash if worcestershire sauce, topped with mash. potato,browned under grill and served with boiled vegies.. A truly delicious different taste and texture to a Cottage Pie,, please do try it,, I grew up loving the way my German Grandmother made it.. —us kids in 1940’s -50’s helped turn the handle of the mincer screwed to the kitchen table, with her saying “dont put your fingers in it”
Yep, I explained in the post that this isn’t technically shepherd’s pie. Lamb isn’t readily available in my area, but ground beef is, so that’s what most people use. But your grandmother’s recipe sounds delicious!
Best shepherds pie ever!! It was perfect. The entire family loved it!!
Yay! I’m always happy to hear that one of my recipes is a hit with the whole family! 🙂
Enjoyed this for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint! So hearty and delicious; my whole family loved it!
So glad it was a hit at your house Sara!