Shepherd’s pie is a hearty dish made from a mixture of ground meat and vegetables. Learn how to make an easy shepherd’s pie with the recipe below.
To make an old-fashioned shepherd’s pie fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this dish for a dinner that your entire family will love.
Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
This Classic Shepherd’s Pie (also called a cottage pie) is one of those easy recipes that can be customized for your family’s taste (and what’s in your refrigerator and pantry). My friend, Sarah, made this for me years ago and I just had to have the recipe. Since then, my mom and sisters have added this recipe for shepherd’s pie to their meal plans as well. It’s one of those comfort foods everyone loves.
Easy Shepherd’s Pie
It is really easy to double the recipe or even portion it out into smaller dishes to either freeze or share with others. My mom often takes the recipe and puts a portion of it in a smaller dish for her and my dad. She then puts the rest in a larger casserole dish and sends it home ready for the oven with whichever sister stops by that evening.
Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Potatoes
One of the time-saving ingredients you can use in this recipe is pre-cooked mashed potatoes. You can make your own if you want, but my mashed potatoes never come out quite right. I am a big fan of the refrigerated Bob Evans original mashed potatoes. I have also used a packet of dried mashed potatoes before and this casserole turned out just as yummy.
If you are making from scratch mashed potatoes, make extra so you can fix these Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes later in the week.
- Ground lamb or ground turkey can be used for ground beef.
- Adjust the salt and black pepper if using pre-made mashed potatoes. You shouldn’t need quite as much as most of the refrigerated or packets of mashed potatoes include at least some salt and pepper in them already.
- The onion is optional if you have picky eaters but it does bring another layer of flavor to the dish.
- While the recipe calls for fresh carrots, you can use frozen peas and carrots instead. I’ve used leftover cooked peas in the past too. If your family doesn’t enjoy peas or carrots, throw in a cup of sweet corn.
- If you want your carrots extra tender, simmer a little longer than the recipe calls for.
- Use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of beef broth if preferred.
- If you double the recipe, use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish!
- Check out our Amazon Store for our favorite pantry ingredients and kitchen gear.
HOW TO MAKE SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH HAMBURGER
Step By Step Instructions
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onions; drain excess grease, and add beef and carrots back to the skillet.
- Meanwhile, prepare mashed potatoes according to directions on package, and set aside.
- Add flour, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. Next, add broth and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened. Pour into a greased baking dish.
- To the mashed potatoes, add a beaten egg, salt and pepper (if needed). Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes.
For the full recipe steps and ingredient amounts for ground beef shepherd’s pie, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Use ground lamb or ground turkey.
- Swap the carrots for green beans, corn, or any other frozen vegetable blend.
- Season the ground beef with onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire Sauce, garlic, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- To make it low carb, swap the mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash.
Our Favorite Ground Beef Recipes
Looking for more ground beef recipes?
- Hamburger Vegetable Soup with V-8 Juice
- Mom’s Hamburger Gravy
- Cheeseburger Quiche
- Aunt Shannon’s Extra Cheesy Beef Lasagna
- Crock Pot Ground Beef Acapulco Enchiladas
- Easy Crock Pot Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
- Easy Sloppy Joes
- Ground Beef Goulash
Easy Shepherd’s Pie – An Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- 22 to 24 oz. mashed potatoes real, refrigerated, frozen, dried – your choice
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 small onion chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup carrots sliced (we use baby carrots)
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons salt divided (may omit salt in potatoes if using pre-cooked mashed potatoes)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper divided
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Garnish: chopped parsley optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook potatoes according to package directions; set aside.
- Brown beef and onion (optional) in a skillet on medium-high heat.
- Drain and put back in skillet with carrots over medium-high heat.
- Stir in flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add broth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11 x 7-inch (or 9 x 9 inch) glass backing dish.
- In a mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, egg, 1 teaspoon salt (optional) and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. If using pre-cooked mashed potatoes, you may want to taste potatoes before adding the egg to see how they are seasoned. If they are already salted appropriately, you can omit the salt.
- Spoon over beef mixture and smooth evenly across the dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
- If using the 4-5 oz. dried mashed potato packets, you may want to use 2 packages for a thick covering.
- If you don’t have an 11 x 7 baking dish, use any 2 or 3 quart baking dish. Or separate into smaller baking dishes.
- This recipe is easy to double or triple. If doubling the recipe, use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Try our French Onion Shepherd Pie if you want a new version to try.
- Looking for more ground beef recipes? Try our Spaghetti Pie and Easy Taco Salad.
- The nutritional information below is auto-calculated and can vary depending on the products used. It should not be used for specific dietary needs.