Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings

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This Shepherd’s Pie is a classic cozy comfort food! Juicy ground beef and veggies simmered in a rich tomato sauce, then topped with creamy mashed potatoes.

shepherds pie in a blue cast iron skillet.

Shepherd’s Pie is one of those classic comforting meals that you can whip up any time and it just sounds good.

Flavorful ground beef in a rich tomato-y sauce with the perfect blend of veggies all topped off with a layer of buttery, creamy mashed potatoes. I mean, does comfort food get any better than that?

I know we all have our own version of this classic (and yes, we’ll get into the lamb v. beef debate down below!), but this is mine, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Looking for more Shepherd’s Pie-inspired recipes? Check out my BBQ Chili Shepherd’s Pie, Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, or Meat Lover’s Shepherd’s Pie!

Ingredients Needed:

  • Oil: use a neutral flavored oil to sauté the veggies and brown the beef.
  • Aromatics: we’re creating a flavor base with the classic veggie trio made up of carrots, celery, and onion.
  • Seasonings: a simple blend of salt, minced garlic, and black pepper kick the flavor of the ground beef up a notch.
  • Ground Beef: use lean ground beef so it isn’t too oily. You can also swap this with ground pork, turkey or chicken.
  • Beef Broth and Cornstarch: whisked together to form a slurry which helps absorb moisture and thicken the beef mixture.
  • Ketchup and Tomato Paste: adds richness and flavor to the sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: provides the tomato sauce with a subtle salty tang.
  • Frozen Veggies: we’re adding some extra color and texture with the addition of frozen peas and frozen corn.
  • Mashed Potatoes: we’re making a quick homemade mashed potatoes recipe with russet or golden potatoes, milk, butter, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
wooden spoon scooping shepherds pie.
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How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

This classic comfort food recipe takes just 15 minutes to prep!

  1. Sauté the aromatics and beef: In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, then add in the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until translucent, then add in garlic, salt, pepper, and beef. Continue cooking until the beef is browned.
  2. Make the sauce: In a bowl, whisk together broth and cornstarch. Add that to the skillet, then mix in ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, peas, and corn. Cook until thickened.
  3. Make the potatoes: Place potatoes into a pot of cold water, salt well, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until softened, then drain the water. To the potatoes, add milk, butter, and seasonings. Mash until smooth.
  4. Assemble the pie: Spread mashed potatoes over the beef mixture, then brush the top with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake until heated through.

Shepherd’s Pie FAQs

What is traditional Shepherd’s Pie made of?

Traditional shepherd’s pie is a minced meat pie made up of a mixture of ground lamb, veggies, and seasonings topped off with mashed potatoes.

What is the difference between a cottage and shepherd’s pie?

The key difference between cottage pie and Shepherd’s Pie is the meat. Traditional shepherd’s pie is actually made using ground lamb, while cottage pie is made using ground beef. So, I guess this recipe is technically a cottage pie, but we always called it Shepherd’s Pie growing up!

How to store:

Leftover Shepherd’s Pie will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm covered in the oven or in the microwave until heated through.

shepherds pie on a plate with a sprinkle of parsley.


  • Use another meat. Ground lamb or ground turkey would also be delicious.
  • Try other potatoes. You can put any mashed potatoes you like over your ground beef and veggies. Try Cheesy Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes.
  • Add more veggies. Sauté more veggies with the onion, celery, and carrot or add frozen mixed veggies with the peas and corn. You really can’t go wrong!
  • Make it vegetarian. Swap the ground beef out for a meatless variety or add more veggies to bulk it up.
  • Make it cheesy. Layer on a handful of shredded cheddar for a gooey, cheesy finish.

Serving Suggestions

This Shepherd’s Pie can totally be a complete meal all on its own, but if you want to bulk it up a bit, feel free to serve it alongside any of your favorite side dishes.

I love a slice of Garlic Bread, a pile of Roasted Green Beans, or Roasted Vegetables.

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Shepherd’s Pie

4.99 from 55 votes
This Shepherd's Pie is a classic cozy comfort food! Juicy ground beef and veggies simmered in a rich tomato sauce, then topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 418cal


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ¼ cup tomato ketchup optional
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 ½ lbs russet or golden potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces)
  • ¼-½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet (about 3 quarts or 12" diameter) over medium-high heat. (If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, simply transfer the beef mixture to a baking dish after cooking).
  • Add carrots, celery and onion and cook until onion is softened and translucent. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
  • Add beef and cook until completely browned.
  • Whisk together broth and corn starch. Add broth and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, frozen peas and corn. Cook until slightly thickened.
  • Set aside.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Salt well and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes. Add ¼ cup milk, ¼ cup butter, parsley and season to taste. Mash until smooth, adding more milk as necessary.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Spread mashed potatoes over beef mixture.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush over the top of the potatoes.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown and heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 418cal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 898mg | Potassium: 1268mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4158IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg
Keywords cottage pie, shepherd’s pie

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Debra Collins says

    y Ashley I love this shepard pie and I want to try the turkey one next but you made it the way my mama did when I was a little girl. It is so good we never had lamb in the country so beef she use sometimes it was just veggies and potatoes on top. Thank you Ashley for sharing this I appreciate it. It took me back to my home as a child but very few recipes do that Thank you Ashley

  2. Jan says

    Over look people with bad manners. It just goes so their parents didn’t rise they properly.
    My parents taught my siblings and me that if we had nothing nice to say then keep your mouth shut. I guess their parents didn’t teach them that. My and alot others enjoy and appreciate the recipes you take the time and thought to create so we don’t have to take the time ourselves.
    Thank you and god bless

  3. WurmHouse says

    Ashley I have enjoyed your recipes for sometime. It was your recipes for the instant pot that first turned me on to your site. I appreciate you taking the time out to create these recipes for the rest of us to try. I do apologize for these folks that are quick to point out what you did wrong; but not take the time to create their own websites. I hate that you have to deal with that stuff. Really hope you have thick skin by now. I am sorry you have to deal with these haters. Folks like Bob and Daniel and the supposed 25 year Chef are out of line. Thank you for what you do .

  4. marion says

    Oh dear Ashley ,? how can we get through to everyone with what makes a “true” Shepherds Pie,, YES its the meat,, and NO vegies in it ,,,
    Pieces of “left over” Roast Lamb put through your mincer, (with some Pickled Boiled Lamb pieces if you have any, can be added) mix well with Tomato Sauce, press this -then minced meat, -into your pie dish,, and top with Mash Potato, brown top under grill, and serve with lots boiled vegies,,, the meat is already cooked,, The delicious texture and taste of the Roast meat is totally different to Cottage Pie,,,
    I watched my German Grandma make this way back in 1940’s War Years,,, us kids loved it, and we still make it, you can add some Silverside ?!?! you just need a mincer,,,

  5. Tiffany Seltzer says

    Some might call this a Cottage Pie – others a Sheppard’s Pie. No matter what you call it, don’t forget to add DELICIOUS to the list of names. I plan to add this to our fall/winter rotation. It’s the perfect comfort food as the weather begins to change and meals become a bit more hardy. Thank you for yet another great recipe, Ashley!

  6. Connie says

    Bob you are rude and not a gentleman.
    It was delicious and perfect comfort food for the approaching Fall season.
    I plan to make this often.
    Thank you for a great recipe.

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