This easy Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional Irish dish consisting of delectable ground lamb amidst beautifully flavored veggies. Topped with a creamy, dreamy layer of mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. Classic comfort food, made easy.
In the mood for some comfort-food? Shepherd’s pie is your answer! This meaty and savoury comfort-food classic has everything you need. Mouthwatering ground lamb mixed with delicious veggies topped with, my favourite part – mashed potatoes. I’m already hungry just thinking about it!
In under an hour, you can have this scrumptious meat pie on your table, ready to be devoured. Whether you’re feeding your family, guests or just yourself – Shepherd’s pie is easy, filling and perfect for anytime of the year, especially on those chilly fall or winter nights.
What is Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s pie, also known as “cottage pie” (when made with beef) is a crustless meat pie with a mashed potato topping.
Shepherd’s pie has a plethora of variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red-meat (usually lamb or beef) cooked in a gravy or sauce. Onions and other vegetables – typically; peas, carrots and sometimes celery are added and then finally, it is topped with a layer of mashed potatoes before baking. For added oomph Shepherd’s pie can also be topped with cheese to create a layer of melty goodness.
For Mashed Potatoes:
- Potatoes – I find that Russet or Yukon gold work best, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Butter – I used unsalted, softened.
- Half and Half – You can replace with one tablespoon of melted butter plus enough milk to equal 1/2 cup. Sour cream will work as a substitution as well.
- Salt and Pepper – To taste.
For Meat Filling:
- Olive Oil – Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil or avocado oil can be used as substitutions.
- Onion – I used a large onion, chopped.
- Carrot – Peeled and chopped.
- Garlic – Fresh is best! Minced.
- Lamb – I used ground lamb – you can replace with beef or other protein if you’d like.
- Salt and Pepper – To taste.
- Flour – I used all purpose.
- Beef Broth – I always use a low sodium or no sodium added broth.
- Worcestershire – If you don’t have any, you can substitute soy sauce or hp sauce – though the flavor might be a tad different.
- Italian Seasoning – Made up of oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil. If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can use a mix of any of the above.
- Corn – Frozen kernels, you can use fresh if you’d like.
- Peas – Frozen, you can use fresh if you’d like.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
- Make Mashed Potatoes – Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and add them to a large bowl. Add butter and mash until smooth. Add the half and half, salt, pepper and mash again until smooth.
- Preheat Oven – Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Make the Filling: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and sauté. Stir in garlic and sauté. Add the ground lamb, salt, pepper and cook until no longer pink. Sprinkle the meat with flour and stir everything to coat ingredients.
- Finish the Filling: Add the beef broth, Worcestershire, Italian seasoning and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until sauce thickens. Add the corn and peas to the mixture.
- Assemble the Pie: Spread the meat mixture evenly in a casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes.
- Bake the Pie: Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bake until potatoes begin to brown. Let cool before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Can I Make This in Advance?
Yes! Shepherd’s pie can be made a day in advance – making dinner prep a breeze. You can prep and assemble the pie the day before and store it in the fridge. Another tip – let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking! Voila, dinner made easy!
How to Serve It
There are tons of options to serve with your Shepherd’s pie! It is quite a hearty meal on its own, but it’s awesome served with a side of fresh or roasted veggies, something starchy like a homemade biscuit or even a salad! I like to enjoy mine with a cup of tea, simple and delicious.
I’ve listed a few options below if you want to add something else to your meal!
- Broccoli & cauliflower
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
- Roasted beets
- Dinner rolls
- Baked Beans
- Butter Biscuits
How to Store Leftovers
Your shepherd’s pie will be keep for around 3 – 5 days in the fridge. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store immediately after serving. Leaving your food out for more than an hour will cause bacteria growth.
Can you freeze your leftovers? Absolutely! Wrap leftovers tightly with aluminum foil, plastic freezer wrap, or place in heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it will keep for about 4 to 6 months.
More Comforting Recipes To Try:
- The Best Lasagna
- Chicken Alfredo Bake
- One Skillet Ham and Cheese Gnocchi
- Chicken Parmesan
- Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Steak and Mushroom Pie
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
- The Best Chili Recipe
Craving More? Follow Along:
- 1 1/2 lbs potatoes such as Russet or Yukon gold, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- Make mashed potatoes: Start by first cooking the potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes then add them to a large bowl. Add in the butter and using a potato masher, mash until smooth. Add the half and half, salt pepper and mash a bit a more until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Make filling: Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the ground lamb, salt, pepper and cook for 3 minutes, until no longer pink and browned. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and stir everything so the flour coats the meat.
- Finish the filling: Add the beef broth, Worcestershire, Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture.
- Assemble the pie: Spread the meat mixture evenly into a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and smooth with a spoon. Take a fork and rough up the top a bit.
- Bake the pie: Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving, garnish with parsley and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Your shepherd’s pie will be keep for around 3 – 5 days in the fridge. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store immediately after serving. Leaving your food out for more than an hour will cause bacteria growth.
- To freeze, wrap leftovers tightly with aluminum foil, plastic freezer wrap, or place in heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it will keep for about 4 to 6 months.