Easy & Yummy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


This Shepherd’s Pie recipe is so good and will quickly be a family favorite! The classic yummy taste of Shepherds pie is hearty, tasty, savory, and rich. We love the versatility of this simple shepherds pie recipe that can be changed up anytime to make it fit your family. Not only do we have our favorite Shepherd’s Pie recipe below, but also some history of the shepherd’s pie as well! Let’s make this delicious dinner idea!

Favorite Shepherds Pie Recipe - Shepherd's Pie in a pan and on a plate with parsley on a braided mat and black and white towel
Shepherd’s pie is a classic dish that combines everyone’s favorite: meat and potatoes!

Favorite SHEPHERD’S PIE Recipe

Shepherd’s pie is delicious and great on any night. It’s meaty, full of vegetables, with a delicious mashed potato crust. It’s so good and a great hearty meal. This is a family favorite, everyone will love this shepherd’s pie recipe.

Shepherd’s pie is one of my go-to easy dinner ideas, because it’s simple and hearty! 

Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite dishes to make for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s such an easy, hearty meal that the whole family enjoys!

WHAT IS SHEPHERD’S PIE INGREDIENTS?

Shepherd’s pie is a yummy hot dish consisting of meat, veggies, and mashed potatoes. It’s a cross between a casserole and a pie! 

It’s not a completely grainless recipe, as there is a small amount of flour, and corn, but the flour isn’t used to make a traditional pie crust, it’s used as a thickener for the broth and sauce component of the dish. 

The cool thing about shepherd’s pie is that you can tweak it to fit many different dietary requirements, since the “crust” is made from mashed potatoes.

(There is more about vegan shepherd’s pie and gluten free shepherd’s pie below). 

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Supplies Needed To Make Shepherd's Pie- Spices, oil, peas and carrots, corn, flour, tomato paste, onions, garlic, potatoes, cream, broth, butter, ground beef
The best thing about shepherd’s pie is that you can tweak the recipe to use what you have in the fridge and pantry!

Meat Filling Ingredients for Shepherds Pie:

Mashed Potato Topping for Shepherds Pie:

  • 2lbs Russet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Half and half

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

I meal prep over the weekend, and make a pan of this to freeze in individual portions, for reheating on busy nights. If there is an ingredient that you don’t like, or can’t have, swap it out for a substitute and make this recipe your own! 

Shepherd’s Pie Meat Layer

Step 1- Dice onions and put them in the pan to cook down in the oil.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Dice onions and put them in the pan to cook down in the oil.

Step 1

Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Step 2- Add your ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme and the salt and pepper.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Add your ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme and the salt and pepper.

Step 2

Add in ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Step 3- Brown the meat.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Brown the meat.

Step 3

Cook for 6-8 minutes or until meat is browned. Once you cook beef until brown you can move on to the next step.

Step 4- Add the garlic and Worcestershire sauce.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Add the garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

Step 4

Pour in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, cook for 1 minute.

Step 5- Add your tomato paste and flour and stir until combined.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Add your tomato paste and flour and stir until combined.

Step 5

Next, add flour and tomato paste, stir until well combined.

Step 6- Now add the corn, peas and carrots, and broth and bring it to a boil. Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Now add the corn, peas and carrots, and broth and bring it to a boil.

Step 6

Mix in the broth and vegetables, bring to a boil.

Step 7- Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Don't forget to stir.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir.

Step 7

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 8

Remove from heat and set mixture aside, also preheat oven to 400*F

Potatoes on a cutting board and butter, spices, cream, Shepherd's Pie recipe
Now time for the potatoes!

Mashed Potato Topping

In my opinion, this is the BEST part of shepherd’s pie! I could live on mashed potatoes {giggle}.

If you are running short on time, you can use instant mashed potatoes to cut down on a few of these steps, too! 

Potatoes Step 1- Peel potatoes and boil until they are soft.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Peel potatoes and boil until they are soft.

Step 1

Peel and chop potatoes and place them in a large pot.

Step 2

Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Potato Step 3- Drain the potatoes and let them sit for about a minute. Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Drain the potatoes and let them sit for about a minute.

Step 3

Drain water and let potatoes sit in the hot pot for about 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.

Taters Step 4- Add your butter, half and half, sour cream, and spices. - Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Add your butter, half and half, sour cream, and spices.

Step 4

Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. You can use a few tablespoons of butter, but I like adding the whole stick since it is such a large batch of potatoes.

Potatoes Step 5- Mash your potatoes until they are smooth.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Mash your potatoes until they are smooth.

Step 5

Mash the potatoes and stir until smooth. These mashed potatoes will make a great mashed potato crust. Wanna change it up? Add some sautéed garlic or garlic powder to make garlic mashed potatoes for an even more flavorful crust.

Now time to assemble our Shepherd's pie! Shepherd's Pie filling in a pan and baking dish on white counter
Now time to assemble our Shepherd’s pie!

How To Assemble Shepherd’s Pie

Step 1

First, add meat mixture to a 9×9 or (13×9) baking dish.

Step 2

Then, spread out into an even layer.

Assemble Step 3- Add the potatoes on top of the shepherd's pie mixture.- Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Add the potatoes on top of the shepherd’s pie mixture.

Step 3

Next, spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.

Assembling Shepherd's Pie Step 4- Bake for 25-30
Time to bake for 25-30 minutes.

Step 4

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Step 5

Serve! Enjoy the rich potatoes, the meaty, vegetable, filled brown gravy. Want a side? Serve with fresh green beans.

Notes:

If you can not find the peas and carrots separate then use a frozen peas and carrots mix.

You can also make this in a large oven-safe skillet like a cast iron pan and easily turn this into a skillet shepherd’s pie.

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE YOUR LEFTOVER SHEPHARD’S PIE

This is also a simple recipe for a make ahead dish. This hearty dish is delicious and with a few freezer instructions you can eat this later if you have left overs.

To store this in the fridge, allow your shepherd’s pie to cool off fully and store in an airtight container.

To freeze, allow your shepherd’s pie to cool full. Wrap the pan in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. This will keep the food getting freezer burnt.

Glass pan of Shepherd's Pie with a piece missing
Meaty, gravy, savory, and hearty! Everything a good dinner should be.

GLUTEN FREE SHEPHERD’S PIE 

The only thing that needs tweaking in the original recipe, is swapping regular flour out for gluten free all-purpose flour. Check the ingredient labels on the rest of the ingredients, too, just to be safe!

Plate and fork of Shepherd's Pie
This would go great with some biscuits to soak up some of that gravy!

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SHEPHERD’S PIE 

In order to make vegan shepherd’s pie, you will need to omit the ground beef. You can replace it with a vegan meatless crumble (like Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Crumble).

Replace the beef broth with a vegan beef broth option (like Not-Beef Edward & Sons bouillon cubes, just follow the directions on the box to mix with water). Edward & Sons also sells a vegan Worcestershire sauce!

Replace the butter with a plant-based butter, and also swap out the sour cream for a vegan version (Tofutti makes a delicious one).

Instead of half and half, combine one part coconut cream with one part unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice.  

WANT A RICHER POTATO TOPPING?

This isn’t traditional necessarily, but can also make dinner a little more tasty if you wanna mix things up.

Adding a whole egg, egg white and egg yolk, and some parmesan to your potatoes will make them a little thicker, but also super rich and flavorful. 

I would avoid cheeses like cheddar cheese. Or no cheese and just an egg if you want a rich potato topping.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COTTAGE PIE AND SHEPHERDS PIE?

So, I also wanted to point this out, since cottage pie is also very popular and delicious and these two recipes often get confused.

Shepherds pie and cottage pie, while similar are different. Cottage pie actually uses a minced beef mixture while tradition Shepherds pie uses ground lamb.

History Of Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie actually was actually derived from cottage pie. It was and is the most popular dish in Ireland. Did you know that people started making it in the 18th century as a way to preserve food rather than waste it?

Ingredients

  • Meat Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • ½ cup Onion, diced
  • 1-2lbs Ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • ½ cup Frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • ½ cup Frozen carrots
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 ½ cup Beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • Mashed Potato Topping:
  • 2lbs Russet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Half and half

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add in ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until meat is browned.
  4. Pour in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Next, add flour and tomato paste, stir until well combined.
  6. Mix in the broth and vegetables, bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove from heat and set mixture aside, also preheat oven to 400*F
  9. Peel and chop potatoes and place them in a large pot.
  10. Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Drain water and let potatoes sit in the hot pot for about 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
  12. Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  13. Mash the potatoes and stir until smooth.
  14. Add meat mixture to a 9×9 or (13×9) baking dish.
  15. Then, spread out into an even layer.
  16. Next, spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Notes

If you can not find the peas and carrots separate then use a frozen peas and carrots mix.

MORE EASY DINNER IDEAS FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG:

It’s hard to find time for family dinners during busy weeknights! Let us help take some of the load off your shoulders with these easy dinner ideas that will give you more time to sit around the table with your family, with less time spent in the kitchen!

Do you have any secret ingredients for your shepherd’s pie? 



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