Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Creamy mashed potatoes mixed with melted cheddar top this classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe.  Vegetables and ground beef stew in a savory gravy under a blanket of cheesy mashed potatoes for a “stick to your ribs” dinner that anyone will love. 

Overhead shot of shepherd's pie in a white casserole dish with a serving spoon.

Originally published March 2015 and updated March 2020.

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us.  It’s almost here and that makes me want to eat hearty things filled with beer.  And beef.  And then follow them up with something sweet…filled with booze, like Nutty Irishman Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting.  It’s one of the only times of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to put booze or beer or beef in all the things.

EASY SHEPHERD’S PIE

Shepherd’s Pie is a meat pie baked with a topping of mashed potatoes.  It’s classic comfort food that’s hearty and filling. Technically, a classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe is made with ground lamb and is an Irish dish. Cottage Pie is made with ground beef and is an English dish.

But, growing up we always made out Shepherd’s Pie recipes with ground beef, vegetables and a homemade mashed potato recipe topped with cheese. This is just like the one I remember eating when I was young.

Shepherd's Pie on a white plate.

HOW TO MAKE SHEPHERD’S PIE

This easy Shepherd’s Pie comes together pretty easily. And if you want to make it even faster, you could use store bought mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes.

BUT, if you do make the potatoes for this recipe from scratch, you can begin making them while you’re prepping the base of your Shepherd’s Pie.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet and then drain off the fat. Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook until softened.

Ground beef in a skilletStir in the tomato paste and cook until darkened. Add the thyme and cornstarch, continuing to cook for 2 minutes. 

Vegetables in a skillet with tomato paste.

Add the stock, peas, corn and garlic powder. Allow to cook until slightly thickened and transfer to a baking dish.

Shepherd's Pie filling in a casserole dish.

Top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown.

Shepherd's Pie in a casserole dish with mashed potatoes being piped on top.

What makes this recipe so great is you can make it in advance and then just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake!

To FREEZE your Shepherd’s Pie, allow the casserole to come to room temperature and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap again with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To reheat Shepherd’s Pie, allow the casserole to thaw and then bake according to recipe instructions.

Shepherd's Pie in a casserole dish

WHAT TO SERVE WITH SHEPHERD’S PIE

Because this is a crustless meat pie topped with mashed potatoes, it’s basically a one pot dinner. But if you want to round it out with some sides we love these Irish Soda Bread Muffins to make it a very Irish dinner.

Or you could serve it with a fresh green salad to balance out the heartiness of the Shepherd’s Pie. We’ve also served it with a pile of sauteed green beans.

Serving of shepherd's pie on a serving spoon.

And don’t forget to close out the night with a Nutty Irishman Coffee.  It’s soooooo amazing.  And soooo easy!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for even more easy family favorites!

If you love this recipe, you may also like this Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole and this Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole.  We’re also totally making this Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole on the regular.

Overhead shot of tater tot casserole hotdish in a blue and white casserole dish.

 

Shepherd's Pie on a white plate.

Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Kellie
A one pot dinner, this Shepherd's Pie is the ultimate comfort casserole.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, irish, one pot
Servings 8 servings
Calories 548 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 7 yellow potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 vidalia onion diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 cup Sweet Peas
  • 1 cup Sweet Corn
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, add the potatoes and fill with water just to cover. Season with kosher salt and bring the potatoes to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer until tender, approximately 25-30 minutes. Drain and transfer to mixing bowl. Add the butter and cream. Using a hand mixer, beat the potatoes until creamy. Fold in 1 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  • In a large skillet, brown the beef over med-high heat until completely cooked and no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and add the onions. Cook until softened. Add the carrots and continue to cook until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add the tomato pasted and cook until deep burgundy in color, approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cornstarch continuing to cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in the beef stock, peas, corn and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cook until slightly thickened and then transfer to a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes in an even layer over the beef mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. (If you're top is not turning golden brown, broil for 2-3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Notes

The beef mixture and potatoes can both be made in advance and stored separately in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0gCalories: 548kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 33gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 510mgPotassium: 1530mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3797IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 276mgIron: 10mg
Keyword casserole, shepherd's pie
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19 comments on “Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe”

  1. I already said this on your Facebook page, but I’ll say it again…I want to make this right now! What an amazing looking Shepherds pie, and it’s even better with the dose of alehouse cheddar.

  2. Shepherd’s Pie is one of my Dad’s specialties. I love the alehouse cheddar mashed potatoes on top of yours!

  3. This is my idea of the perfect comfort food!

  4. I am going to have to look for this Cheddar next time I’m at Aldi! Can’t wait to try this shepherd’s pie.

  5. I’ve never had shepherds pie but I would love to try it.

  6. Shepards pie is one of my all time favorites!!

  7. This is totally the kind of comfort food I love – meat and taters! It looks gooder than good! 😉

  8. This looks absolutely AMAZING! Your photos are making me drool. Pinning this to make later!

  9. I big puffy heart Aldi, it has affordable items that I can buy that I may not get from anywhere else because of the price. This looks amazing by the way!

  10. This would have been perfect for tonight! It looks amazing! Making this soon!

  11. Oh my gosh, I want to shove the entire thing in my face. This is the best shepherd’s pie I’ve seen all day, and I’ve seen A LOT of shepherd’s pie today. This is just fabulous.

  12. What a great looking dish! I LOVE Aldi and have been shopping there since I was a little kid. That alehouse cheddar sounds great…yum!

  13. I love your dishes, they’re beautiful! Shepards Pie is one of my favorite winter comfort foods and I looove that you added alehouse to it!!

  14. This is perfect for the holiday. And considering it’s still frigid here, a great belly warmer. Love the flavors!

  15. Shepherds pie is one of my favorite comfort foods! mix it up this way and it is AMAZING!

  16. I loved this recipe. Family loved it. I was surprised how easy it was to make the mashed potatoes look so pretty on top. Thanks for the easy to follow and yummy dinner!

  17. This was sooo delicious and soo simple!! Thanks for sharing!

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