Easy Shepherd’s Pie – An Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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This old fashioned shepherd’s pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd’s Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.

Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

If you are a regular reader, you may know that Barbara is the primary recipe tester on this site and I am normally the photo editor and writer on these posts. However, I do have a handful of recipes from friends and family that I am known for in our family. They all have one thing in common…they are really, really easy to make!

This Easy Shepherd’s 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.

 

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Barbara even adapted this recipe and added a can of condensed French Onion Soup for a whole new French Onion 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.

You can use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.

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.

Notes About Recipe for Shepherd’s Pie

  • Adjust the salt and 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.
  • Use chicken 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

  1. Brown ground beef and onions; drain excess grease, and add beef and carrots back to the skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare mashed potatoes according to directions on package, and set aside.
  3. Add flour, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. Next, add broth and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened. Pour into a greased baking dish.
  4. To the mashed potatoes, add a beaten egg, salt and pepper (if needed).  Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven.
  6. 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.

Our Favorite Ground Beef Recipes

Looking for more ground beef recipes?

This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
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4.84 from 6 votes

Easy Shepherd's Pie - An Old Fashioned Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This family-favorite meal uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy shepherd's pie, ground beef shepherd's pie, old fashioned shepherd's pie, shepherd's pie with ground beef, shepherd's pie with instant potatoes
Servings: 6
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 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 2 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: chopped parsley optional

Instructions

  • 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.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Drain and put back in skillet with carrots over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Add broth. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11 x 7-inch (or 9 x 9 inch) glass backing dish.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • 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.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Spoon over beef mixture and smooth evenly across the dish.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Sprinkle with cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
    This old fashioned shepherd's pie recipe uses ground beef and your favorite vegetables. To make it fast and simple, use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.

Notes

  • 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. 

You can use pre-cooked mashed potatoes to quickly whip up this Easy Shepherd's Pie for a dinner that your entire family will love.

 

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22 Comments

  1. If you’re going to make this easy, might as well skip the roux & use jarred or instant brown gravy mix. Interesting take using an egg, which I’ve never seen in a shepherd’s pie recipe.

  2. This was delicious and super easy, especially if you use leftover mashed potatoes. I used frozen mixed veggies, and I didn’t have beef broth on hand so I subbed chicken broth, the flavor was great!
    The cheese seems optional to me, as was the dollop of sour cream I chose to add to my individual serving-just enough acidity to balance out the rich flavors! Certainly will become a fall comfort food favorite in our home.

  3. I used this as a make-ahead recipe. I removed the casserole from the fridge about 30 minutes before placing in the oven. I realize making the roux is a healthier option, but I used a can of cream of mushroom soup & added some canned mushrooms. I used canned mixed vegetables, drained, because I was afraid frozen wouldn’t soften enough. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  4. This was intensely salty. Two teaspoons of salt is too much especially if using refrigerated potatoes. I would omit the teaspoon of salt in potatoes in the future. That said, aside from the saltiness, this dish had good flavor and was easy to assemble. I would try it again.

    1. Thanks for the note. We’ll make a note in the recipe. We adjust the salt to taste at times too and I should have included that in the recipe. Sometimes I forget those side notes when typing up a recipe. Please try it again, it’s a favorite in our house!

  5. Curious to know why the egg. I omitted it as I didn’t see a purpose for it, plus I modified a lot due to lack of ingredients. I used a can of mixed veggies, and used a beef boulion with 1 cup of water for flavor, plus the worch. sauce. Then realized I wouldn’t have much a gravy, so added a cup of ready prepped gravy. My husband is from England and he loves it.

    1. In all honesty, I don’t know why the egg! We’ll have to make it without and see if we can tell a difference! We’ve had lots of folks ask about adding gravy so am glad to hear it worked out and was a hit!

  6. Eggs help to puff up the potatoes. My own recipe is from advanced cooks, but I’m going to try this one because it’s so easy.
    I will use canned peas and mushrooms and will add the cream of mushroom soup instead of making my own roux.
    Thank you for all these old recipes.

    1. We have heard of adding the brown gravy packet before and it sounds like a perfect complement to the dish!

  7. I have leftover roast beef that was too well done. I am going to put it in the crock pot with beef gravy and cook it on low to hopefully tenderize then make this recipe with it. Wish me luck because I hate to waste food.

    1. Tina – Let us know how this goes! We cut up some leftover steak a few weeks ago and made this dish with it and it was delicious. Good luck!

      1. It worked out well. Since the beef was cut up very small and mixed with thr veggies (I used frozen mixed vegetables and made mu own mashed potatoes). My hubby really liked it. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Wife loves it! Save time, use fresh onion and carrots with browning of meat but added bag of frozen veggies and mcCormick gravy mix. Skip the clumpy flour and salt. Premade potatoes have enough salt. Someone mentioned mushrooms – good move! I put in a can of Campbells cream of mushroom. (forgot it once – not the same dish) Happy cooking! Richie

  9. So Good! (KISS) add 1 bag of frozen veggies ( this will account for the water needed in the McCormick gravy mix you add, I used Bob Evens potatoes. I also add a can of Cream of Mushroom and a light sprinkle of cayanne pepper. So easy! ( I have a mother -in-law that lives alone and close, add a bag of veggies’ double the gravy mix, can of cream mushroom, make her a 4×10 dish for her house)

  10. I use the basic recipe but add peppers and onions stir fried before adding the ground beef. Then cooked some frozen mixed veggies(salted) and put on top. Add Bob Evans mashed potatoes and cheese and bake 350 degrees till heated through and cheese is melted. Good and simple.

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