Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (2024)

This Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Hearty ground beef is mixed frozen vegetables like peas, carrots and corn and topped with a garlic potato topping. This will warm you up on even the coldest day!

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (1)

Rich gravy, hearty meat, plentiful vegetables and a garlic mashed potato layer that is baked to a golden brown. This Shepherd’s Pie is a classic dish that has been filling bellies for centuries!?!? We’ve made our version as easy as possible along with some shortcuts and substitutions to make it even easier, quicker or healthier. Read below to find out more or jump to the recipe card to get cookin’!

Contents hide

1 What Is A Shepherd’s Pie?

2 How To Make An Easy Shepherd’s Pie



3 Can You Make Shepherd’s Pie Ahead Of Time?

4 Storage and Freezing

5 Notes, Tips and Variations

6 What Can You Serve With Shepherd’s Pie?

7 Shepherd's Pie Recipe

7.1 Ingredients 1x2x3x

7.1.1 Ingredients for the Meat Layer

7.1.2 Ingredients for the Potato Topping

7.2 Instructions

7.3 Nutrition

What Is A Shepherd’s Pie?

Ok, so before you head to the comments section to really give me a history lesson, we know this isn’t a true Shepherd’s Pie. It is more of a Cottage Pie, which is an English dish and traditionally made with ground beef. A traditional classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe hails from Ireland and is made with ground lamb (Shepherd’s would eat it while tending to their sheep). But, like many cultural and traditional cuisines over the years, the lines have been blurred here in America. So you will often see the dish we are making here referred to as a Shepherd’s Pie.

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (2)

How To Make An Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Our recipe is SO EASY. And really only uses some common ingredients I’ll be you already have laying around your house! We use homemade mashed potatoes for this recipe. If you are in a real time crunch, you can also just use instant mashed potatoes. We won’t judge!


  • GROUND BEEF – We used 80/20, but any ground beef will work. If you want to make this a little healthier, you could substitute for ground turkey or ground chicken. Make sure you drain the grease before adding the other ingredients.
  • ONION – Just one small onion should do the trick. Dice it up into small pieces and sauteing it with the ground beef and garlic.
  • GARLIC – Fresh garlic, minced. This will smell SO good cooking with the onion and ground beef mixture.
  • SALT AND PEPPER – To taste.
  • SPICES – We add additional depth of flavor with dried rosemary, thyme and parsley. You’ll add these to the ground beef before the frozen vegetables.
  • FROZEN VEGETABLES – We use frozen peas, frozen carrots and frozen corn. You can use fresh vegetables if you’d like.
  • BEEF BROTH – Helps this Shepherd’s Pie have that authentic, rich flavor.
  • CORN STARCH – Use this to thicken your broth. We use 1 tablespoon, but you can use more or less depending on how thick or thin you want it to be. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can substitute for flour. You’ll need to add about twice the amount of flour than you would cornstarch since it has about half the thicken power as cornstarch.


  • POTATOES – Russet Potatoes. Peeled and cubed. You’ll be boiling these until they are soft and mashable.
  • SALT AND PEPPER – Once again, to taste.
  • GARLIC POWDER – Because we ALWAYS put a little garlic in our mashed potatoes.
  • BUTTER – Unsalted.
  • MILK – We use 2%. But you can use whatever you’d like.
  • PARMESAN CHEESE – Because, just like garlic, we ALWAYS put cheese in our mashed potatoes too!

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (3)

Can You Make Shepherd’s Pie Ahead Of Time?

This Shepherd’s Pie recipe consists of two parts, the meat layer and the mashed potato layer. You can prepare each layer separately and put them in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, just put the mashed potatoes on the meat and veggies and bake according to the directions.

Storage and Freezing

You can keep leftovers for a couple of days in your fridge. We often use our Le Creuset Casserole Dish because it comes with a lid! You can just keep your leftovers right in your casserole dish in the fridge!
Or, if you are looking for something a little less expensive,
this one works great too!

Shepherd’s Pie freezes pretty well too. Just let it cool and wrap it in freezer wrap. It will be good in your freezer for up to 4 months. When you are ready to reheat it, you can either thaw it out overnight in your refrigerator or throw it in the oven frozen. It should take about 25-30 minutes at 350 to bake when thawed. You’ll need to double that if frozen. Bake it covered.

For the last couple minutes of baking, remove the cover and broil the top to get that golden mashed potatoes we all love.

Notes, Tips and Variations

  • USE A LARGE SKILLET – This recipe is a lot easier with a nice, large skillet to cook all the ingredients together. We love to use this Farberware NonStick Dishwasher Safe Saute Skillet. It’s 6 quarts, which means it’s big enough to get any recipe started no matter how many ingredients you are adding!
  • HEALTHIER VERSION – This is true comfort food, designed to give humans much needed calories during the winter. So there isn’t really a way to make this “health food”. But you can trim some calories by using ground beef or ground turkey. Or by Using skim, low fat or almond milk instead of regular milk in the mashed potatoes. Or, if looking for a low carb option, you can also substitute the mashed potatoes for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!
  • LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES – You can make your own mashed potatoes for this recipe or use Instant Mashed Potatoes. But this is also a great use for leftover mashed potatoes too.
  • ADD WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – You’ll see some versions of this recipe that add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce. We opted not to do that. But feel free to if that sounds good to you!
  • TOP WITH CHEESE – Sprinkle some Cheddar Cheese on top of the potatoes.

What Can You Serve With Shepherd’s Pie?

The great thing about Shepherd’s Pie is that is a complete meal just by itself! With combination of meat, vegetables and mashed potatoes, there really isn’t a need for any “side dish”. But you could also serve this with a salad or some bread or biscuits to dip into the rich sauce!

We hope you enjoy this recipe for an easy Shepherd’s Pie. Let us know what you think in the comments!



Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (4)

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (5)

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Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Course Main Course

Servings 6

This Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe is the ultimate comfort food. Hearty ground beef is mixed with all sorts of goodies and topped with a rich garlic potato topping. It can keep you warm on even the coldest days!

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 50 minutes mins


Ingredients for the Meat Layer

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Ingredients for the Potato Topping

  • 4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the diced potatoes and cook until tender. Remove from water and set aside.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, brown the ground beef in a large skillet with the diced onion and minced garlic. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and rosemary.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (6)

  • Stir in the frozen corn, peas, and carrots.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (7)

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the beef broth and corn starch until well combined. Pour over the beef mixture and simmer over medium low heat until thickened.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (8)

  • Pour the meat mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.

  • Prepare the potato topping by seasoning the cooked potatoes with salt, pepper and garlic.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (9)

  • Stir in the butter, milk, and parmesan cheese. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (10)

  • Spread the potato mixture over the top of the meat mixture.

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (11)

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the potatoes have begun to brown and the sauce is bubbling.

  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for five to 10 minutes before serving.


Calories: 331kcal

Love this recipe?Follow @bubbapie for even more delicious recipes!!

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (12)

Reader Interactions

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    Comments & Reviews

  1. Linda Treend says

    Delicious! I loved the seasoning. Thanks for detailed instructions.


    • Kathy says

      You are welcome! I am so happy you enjoyed our recipe!



    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (13)
    Love This first time I ate it yummy


    • Kathy says

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment!


  3. Donna says

    Delicious😊I changed up the spices to parsley, cayenne, and turmeric and no parm or milk in potatoes and it was amazing😊


    • Kathy says

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing!


  4. Isabella says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (14)
    My mother and I loved it! I’ll be making it again tomorrow to take to work for a few days!


    • Kathy says

      Thank you for sharing. I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe!


  5. Dawn says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (15)
    I made I for my family of 5 and even my mom veggie eaters enjoyed it and wanted to know when I am going to make it again.


    • Kathy says

      I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it!


  6. Lori says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (16)
    First time making Shepherds Pie and this is so yummy, I doubled the recipe and made 2 smaller ones to freeze. Now to see how it turns out when coming out of the freezer for hubby while I’m convalescing from surgery.


    • Kathy says

      Thank you! I hope it works well to freeze. Come back and let us know. Wishing you speedy healing on your surgery.


  7. marion says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (17)
    great recipes ,, but no,, no,, Shepherds Pie is made with left over roast Lamb and pickled boiled Lamb, minced together and added with tomatoe sauce and worcestershire sauce, a pinch if seasoning,, no vegies added,, only mashed potato on top, the pie is heated through in oven (as meat is already cooked) then put under grill to brown potato,, and serve with beans, carrot and cabbage,, the texture and taste is amazing ,,, but you need a meat mincer,,
    Cottage Pie is made with mince meat to be cooked andvegies added from the cottage garden,, a huge difference !!!


    • Kathy says

      Thank you for the comment. That is great info!
      As I mention in the recipe, I say that it is not an “authentic” Shepherd’s Pie, it’s sort of our “blurred lines” version of a cross between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie.


  8. Brenda Virgin says

    I am from UK. I use ground beef, and then boil the mince with chopped onion in 2 cups water until mince is cooked. I add 3 English Oxo beef cubes so no salt needed. I separate meat from gravy, and when cool I put gravy in fridge. I sometimes do this day before. Next day there is 2” of hard fat on top of gravy which I remove and discard. Mashed potatoes. on top and put in oven for l hr. This extra time makes a brown crust on top. The gravy is like jelly due to all the protein from the meat. Heat and serve gravy – most people love the gravy – so rich. No fat visible but LOADS of flavour. I am going to make my next pie your way. Sounds delicious. I always serve a cruciferous veggie on the side – usually cauliflower or brussel sprouts.


    • Kathy says

      Thank you for sharing your method. I hope you enjoy our recipe when you try it. Let us know what you think.


  9. Craig says

    Shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb anything else made with ground beef or a meat mixture of is called cottage pie/ mutton pie please actually do research and produce the right information for the right meaning of the dish.


    • Kathy says

      Did you read my post? That is actually exactly what I said in the post. Please actually read the whole post before making a snarky comment. Thanks! 🙂


    • Cheryl says

      To: Marion & Craig……your criticism.
      If these people are going to criticize your way to make Shepherds Pie, I’d tell them to take a flying you know what & don’t read your recipe. You didn’t post it to get criticized!!! Come on people, isn’t there enough of cruelty & judgement in this world already?!!! Try & be nice- it’s pretty darn easy….


      • Phyllis Drader says

        So true , people criticize almost everything.
        I am going to make the shepherds pie today and freeze , and yes out of hamburger. Haven’t tried this recipe before but it sounds great ..n


      • CharlotteJ89 says

        Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (18)
        Exactly!! Some of these comments are ridiculous!


    • S.N. says

      If you don’t care for their recipe, then don’t make it. You don’t need to be a smat elic about it!


  10. Cheryl says

    Question, do you use an electric mixer/masher for the potatoes? I mashed mine manually and found that there was barely enough potato to cover a 9×13 dish. Thankfully I had some leftovers garlic mashed I mixed in to save the day lol. Wondering if I should double the potatoes? Thanks 😊


    • Kathy says

      We just mashed ours with a potato masher and had plenty for the recipe.


  11. Mary W says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (19)
    I was able to use left over baked potatoes for this recipe (heated and mashed them) along with some other veggies. Recipe made an amazing dinner! Thank you.


    • Kathy says

      Great idea!


  12. Cathy Mockler says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (20)
    You know what, all you Shepherd’s Pie aficianados, I used to make this almost identical recipe about 40 years ago, at least once a month. My kids grew up loving it. Not one of them complained about the lack of lamb, which we all like, btw. I stopped making it years later because, you know, potatoes! Heck with that. This recipe is making my mouth water, so I will make it tonight. You all might want to stop your griping and try it. You don’t know what your missing. Thank you for this recipe!


    • Kathy says

      Ha! Thanks so much Cathy. That made me smile!


  13. Bob says

    Since you know that Shepherds pie is made with lamb, then quit calling it that.


    • Kathy says

      This is starting to be my favorite thing about running this blog: everyone getting so upset about what exactly is, or isn’t a Shepherd’s Pie. 🙂


      • Nicole says

        Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (21)
        I dislike lamb so using beef as an alternative worked great for my family and myself. It was my first time making a Shepards pie/mock shepards pie! Nice and easy 😀 Thanks for the great recipe. It was delicious.

        Bob, you’re lame. Stop being a Shepards pie elitist.


        • Kathy says

          Ha! Thanks Nicole!


  14. Big D says

    Sounds good and easy to make, I’ll be trying it out this week!


    • Kathy says

      Let us know how it turns out!


  15. Jennifer says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (22)
    This was delicious! Will be making this again. The flavour was amazing.


    • Kathy says

      We are so glad you enjoyed it!


  16. Luvey says

    I am British and my grandmother made shepherds pie frequently. That’s what she called it and it was made with mince meat (hamburger). Regardless of lamb or burger it was delicious. Thank u for this recipe. I will be making it.


  17. Gail Joyner says

    Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (23)
    Just made this came out great


    • Kathy says

      Thanks for coming back and letting us know!


  18. Cheryl says

    Love this recipe. I wouldn’t change a thing.
    Can this be made in the crockpot?


    • Kathy says

      We haven’t tried that but I don’t see why not. Come back and tell us how it worked out if you do!


Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe - BubbaPie (2024)


What is traditional shepherd's pie made of? ›

Classic Shepherd's Pie is a comforting casserole that consists of ground lamb, carrots, and peas simmered with Guinness, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs and topped with a cheesy mashed potato layer that's baked until golden and crisp.

Why is my shepherd's pie soggy? ›

A good shepherd's – or indeed cottage – pie, needs a solid, but fluffy top: too much milk or butter, and you'll end up with a sloppy puree instead. Make sure you steam the potatoes dry before mashing, and season generously; I like Bareham and Hopkinson's nutmeg as well as the usual salt and pepper.

How do you keep mash from sinking in shepherds pie? ›

To stop the mash sinking into the filling, allow the meat to cool before topping with the mashed potato. Freeze in individual ovenproof dishes for an easy meal for one.

What can I use to thicken my shepherd's pie? ›

The easiest way to thicken shepherd's pie filling is by sprinkling a few tablespoons of flour into the ground beef mixture as it cooks before adding it to the baking dish. The starch in the flour will absorb the extra liquid and create a thick gravy.

Does shepherd's pie have gravy in it? ›

This Easy Shepherd's Pie recipe is made with ground beef, brown gravy, and frozen vegetables in less than 30 minutes on the stove top. Broil in the oven for just 5 minutes and dinner is served! Make it with my homemade mashed potato recipe, or use up leftover mashed potatoes!

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

The only significant and steady difference between shepherd's pie and cottage pie is the type of meat used. Shepherd's pie traditionally features ground lamb; cottage pie recipes call for ground beef.

What potatoes are good for mashing? ›

The best potatoes for mashed potatoes are a starchy varieties like russet, Idaho or Yukon gold. Starchy potatoes are best for mashed potatoes because they have a fluffy, almost airy texture that breaks down easily.

Why is my shepherd's pie greasy? ›

After cooking the beef, onion, and herbs, be sure to drain the grease out of the pan. Otherwise, you will find yourself with a greasy shepherd's pie. Stir well. Especially when adding the flour and tomato paste.

How to make shepherd's pie less salty? ›

Oversalted Your Recipe? These are the Best (and Worst) Ways to Save It
  1. Increase the amount of non-salty ingredients.
  2. Add salt-free stock or water.
  3. Mask the saltiness with an acidic or sweet ingredient.
  4. Add a whole potato—or not.
Dec 4, 2018

Why is flour used in shepherds pie? ›

This shepherd's pie recipe uses 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the gravy but if you feel like the meat mixture is too watery, add in another tablespoon and stir to combine. You may also try simmering the mince mixture for longer so that the stock reduces down and thickens.

Should I put shepherds pie in the fridge? ›

Shepherd's pie can typically last in the fridge for about 3-5 days if stored properly in an airtight container. Make sure to let it cool down before refrigerating it, and always ensure that it's reheated thoroughly before consuming it again.

What do you drink with shepherd's pie? ›

An Argentinian Malbec, a wine known for its deep, dark fruit flavors and velvety texture, would also pair well with Shepherd's Pie. The wine's bold flavors and medium to high tannins would stand up to the hearty meat and vegetables, while its underlying notes of spice and earth would echo the dish's savory elements.

How do you thicken beef for shepherd's pie? ›

Stir in a little flour to help the stew thicken. Then add the meat back to the pot along with red wine, beef broth, and seasonings. Let the stew simmer for about 2 and a half hours, or until the meat can easily be shredded with a fork. While the stew braises, make a huge batch of mashed potatoes for topping.

How do you thicken shepherd's pie sauce? ›

Flour power

A classic thickening method for a classic dish. A few tablespoons of flour, cooked-out so you can't taste it, turns a thin sauce into a velvety gravy of dreams.

How do you thicken shepherd's pie without cornstarch? ›

Arrowroot Powder – If you're following the Paleo Diet then Arrowroot Powder is a great alternative to using cornstarch to thicken gravies and sauces.

What is shepherd's pie made of in England? ›

More recently "shepherd's pie" has generally been used for a potato-topped dish of minced lamb. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, "In keeping with the name, the meat should be mutton or lamb; and it is usually cooked meat left over from a roast".

Where is shepherds pie from traditionally? ›

Many people believe that the peasant housewives invented the pie as an easy way to repackage leftovers from their Sunday roast. The Shepherd Pie is thought to originate from Ireland and the northern parts of England.

What meat is in traditional pie and mash? ›

Pie and mash is a traditional working-class food, originating in the Docks of London. Often accompanied with jellied eels, the dish has been popularised as "a co*ckney classic". It typically consists of a minced beef pie, mashed potato and a parsley sauce known as liquor.

Why is shepherds pie traditional? ›

Shepherd's Pie first came about late in the 1700s and early 1800s. Accordingly, housewives back then were on the frugal side. Much like we do today, they were looking for ways to incorporate those leftovers that husbands and kids would turn up their noses at. The struggle was real back then just like today.


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