Easy Shepherd's pie is loaded with veggies, ground beef or lamb in a rich sauce. Topped with creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes.
This is one of my family's most loved recipes. A complete meal in a single one-pan skillet. The ultimate winter comfort food, that's so easy you can make it for a weeknight meal like my Salisbury Steak Recipe.
This is one of those dishes that can be made ahead for an easy meal or even frozen. Plus it gets better as the flavors mesh together.
Tips to make Shepherd's Pie
- Ground beef or lamb can be used for this recipe. I always use ground beef!
- The 1/2 cup of red wine adds tremendous richness to the sauce. But you can leave it out if desired.
- Reducing the sauce to a gravy consistency is highly recommended. You don't want it too watery.
- Cooling the sauce a bit ensures that the mashed potatoes won't sink into the meat mixture.
- Making sure your mashed potatoes are warm helps them spread evenly over the meat mixture.
- This is made in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet such as a cast iron. But it can also be baked in a casserole dish.
What is Shepherd's Pie?
- Traditionally, shepherd's pie is an Irish dish made with ground lamb. Here in the states, it's generally made with ground beef (which technically makes it a cottage pie). It is equally delicious either way you choose.
- Basically, a casserole with cooked meat and vegetables in a rich gravy, with creamy mashed potatoes on top. A great way to use or repurpose leftovers. I have a Turkey Shepherd's Pie that I make every year from Thanksgiving leftovers.
Can I freeze Shepherd's pie?
Yes, this is a perfect meal prep meal. Bake it as directed, and let it cool completely. Cover with foil and place in the freezer for up to two months. Heat in a 350-degree oven for about an hour or until heated through. (You can thaw it in the fridge overnight and reduce the reheat time considerably.)
More comfort food recipes
- Loaded Potato Soup
- Easy Oven Baked BBQ Ribs
- Beef Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
- Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Easy Shepherds Pie
- 1- 1/2 lb ground beef or lamb
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 2 celery ribs finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3/4 cup frozen corn
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 -1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley
- 2 1/2 pounds potatoes I use Russet
- 2/3 cup warm milk
- 6 tablespoon melted butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef salt and pepper and cook until browned. Drain beef and remove and set aside.
- Add in onion, carrots, and celery cook for 3 minutes or just until soft. Add in garlic and cook and another minute.
- Stir in flour, and tomato paste and cook another 30 seconds or so.
- Pour in the wine, stock bouillon cube, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, and add the ground beef back into the pan. Simmer 30 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves and add in corn and peas. If you didn't prepare in an oven-safe skillet, transfer to a 2-quart oven-safe dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes the longer the better. ( You want the layers to stay separate while baking.)
- Add diced potatoes to a pot of cold water. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes in a strainer, then pour potatoes back into your pot. While the potatoes are still hot add in your melted butter, warm milk, and cream cheese. Using a hand mixer, mix until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spread warm mashed potatoes over meat mixture.
- Using a fork to make lines in the potatoes, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
- Place skillet on a baking sheet to prevent bubbling over into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired.