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.

Shepherd’s Pie

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.

What is 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, an authentic Shepherd’s Pie recipe (also known as Shepards Pie) 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.

Using ground beef makes this recipe easy and accessible for everyone since ground beef is more readily available in grocery stores.

Shepherd's Pie on a white plate.

How To Make Shepherd’s Pie

This easy Shepherd’s Pie comes together 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.

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet and then drain off the fat. Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook until softened.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until darkened. Add the thyme and cornstarch, continuing to cook for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the stock, peas, corn and garlic powder. Allow to cook until slightly thickened and transfer to a baking dish.
  4. Top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown.
  5. 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!

How To Freeze Shepherd’s Pie

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

Serving Suggestions

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.

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

Serving of shepherd's pie on a serving spoon.

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More Casserole Recipes

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

Get the Recipe: Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

A one pot dinner, this Shepherd's Pie is the ultimate comfort casserole.
4 from 4 votes


  • 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


  • 1 baking dish


  • 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 13×9 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.


The beef mixture and potatoes can both be made in advance and stored separately in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Serving: 0g, Calories: 548kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 131mg, Sodium: 510mg, Potassium: 1530mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 3797IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 276mg, Iron: 10mg