Meaty, savory, and comforting, shepherd’s pie is a classic dish of English origin filled with meat and veggies topped with a mashed potato crust. Don’t be fooled by the lengthy ingredients though because this dinner delight is one of the easiest ever. Perfect for prep or a weekend dinner on a chilly night, my family always asks for my shepherd’s pie recipe when the temperatures are plummeting outside and I have a feeling yours will too!
Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
The best shepherd’s pie recipe is full of beef and vegetables in a rich, herb sauce that’s irresistible. With the mashed potatoes on top, it creates a savory experience for dinner. And the fact that it takes hardly any time to prep is a win, making it a perfect meal to warm up the family.
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
- Ground beef – While lamb is more traditional, this Shepherd’s pie uses ground beef. You could also use ground turkey or chicken if you’d rather.
- Peas and corn – Get those veggies in there! Feel free to add carrots as well.
- All-purpose flour – This thickens the sauce (can be gluten-free).
- Beef stock – Helps make the sauce.
- Tomato paste – You need that tomato base to round out the sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce – That’s the secret ingredient in giving shepherd’s pie its signature flavor.
- Herbs and spices – Parsley, rosemary, and thyme all come together to give this a robust taste.
- Mashed potatoes – It’s how we top off this simple shepherd’s pie recipe, making it the pinnacle of perfection!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
This easy shepherd’s pie recipe with beef is ready to go in the oven in 15 minutes. From there, you can knock out anything else you need while it bakes!
Ok but first…Shepherds pie.
How do you Make Shepherd’s Pie from Scratch
To make this recipe for Shepherd’s pie with ground beef, you start out by making the meat filling. Combine all the ingredients for that and simmer together. Once it’s ready, you can get the oven pre-heated. Then you’ll make your mashed potatoes. After you have them ready, you can assemble this casserole in a baking dish with the meat mixture on the bottom and the mashed potatoes on top. Bake it uncovered for 30 minutes, let it cool for about 15 minutes, and then serve.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Shepherd’s Pie Every Time
- Yes, you can use leftover mashed potatoes. If you have a bounty of mashed potatoes from last night’s dinner, you can totally turn that into your topper for traditional shepherd’s pie. If you don’t have the time for proper mashed potatoes, you can always make shepherd’s pie with instant potatoes.
- You can also use sweet potatoes if you’d prefer. This gives it a sweet and savory contrast.
- Dry seasonings are best in homemade Shepherd’s pie. Because you need to cook them into the meat filling, you should turn to your spice rack for your herbs.
- You can make it meatless. Just substitute the stock for a veggie one and choose mushrooms rather than meat.
Does shepherd’s pie have cheese on top?
Some recipes top shepherd’s pie with cheese. I’ve seen a lot with cheddar though this recipe uses parmesan cheese in the mashed potato topping.
How to Cook Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie begins with making the meat filling and the mashed potatoes on the stove. Once those elements are prepared, taking roughly 15 minutes, you can then layer them in a casserole dish and bake them to finish off this meal.
Where is shepherd’s pie from?
Shepherd’s pie comes from England. It’s been around since at least the 1700s and is still a cherished family meal to this date.
What is a traditional shepherd’s pie?
A traditional shepherd’s pie is a layered casserole with beef and vegetables that is topped off with a lovely layer of mashed potatoes and then baked together. In the olden days, they made this recipe to make use of leftovers though it has become a treasured dinner recipe.
What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?
The difference is in that cottage pie usually is made with beef while shepherd’s pie is typically made with lamb. In the US though, shepherd’s pie is almost always made with beef.
What do you call a shepherd’s pie made with beef?
In the olden days, they called shepherd’s pie that was made with beef cottage pie. These days, it seems the two names are interchangeable.
How do I thicken shepherd’s pie without flour?
For those that are gluten-free and don’t want to use flour, you can use cornstarch. They also make gluten-free flour that you can use instead and not have to worry about thickening with regular flour.
How Long to Bake Shepherd’s Pie
You should bake your shepherd’s pie for 30 minutes at 400F. This should be plenty of time to bring the layers together.
How long does it take to heat shepherd’s pie?
It takes 30 minutes to heat the shepherd’s pie once you have everything assembled together. Total cook time on this recipe is 50 minutes.
Is shepherd’s pie supposed to be soupy?
No, it shouldn’t be soupy. It shouldn’t be too firm either. It should be somewhere in the middle of that, with a nicely rich consistency.
Why is my shepherd’s pie runny?
Generally, this is caused by using too much stock. If you follow this recipe’s measurements you’ll have the right amount but don’t forget to reduce the meat filling long enough so it’s not runny.
How do you keep shepherd’s pie from falling apart?
Make sure your casserole dish is the right size. You should also have firm mashed potatoes so it won’t fall apart when you’re serving. As you put the topping on, don’t press too hard, using a gentle touch to smooth it out.
What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie
A nice fresh salad is a great side to contrast with the richness of this meal. We also like a crusty loaf of bread or garlic bread to go along with it. It’s great to dunk in the sauce!
How to Store Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie needs to be kept in an airtight container. You will want to put it in the fridge when you clean up your meal.
How Long Does Shepherd’s Pie Last?
If you keep your shepherd’s pie in the fridge, I’d say eat it before 3 days are up. You can also freeze it.
Can You Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?
Yes, freeze that shepherd’s pie! Just make sure it’s sealed properly and it will last up to 3 months in your freezer, making a perfect prepped meal on a night you have zero time to cook.
How to Reheat Shepherd’s Pie?
Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm it up in the oven until fully heated through, about 30 minutes at 350F. Cover it with foil first to keep the potatoes from burning.
What temperature do you reheat shepherd’s pie?
To reheat your shepherd’s pie, cover it with foil and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Homemade Shepherds Pie Recipe
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
- 2 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/8 cup beef stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 2 lbs russet potatoes (peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- First, make the meat filling. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once heated through, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef and break it apart and then add in the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir thoroughly. Then, add in the Worcestershire sauce and garlic and cook for 1 minute and then add the flour and tomato paste. Stir until well combined. Once thoroughly combined, add in the broth, frozen peas and corn. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Once simmered, set the meat mixture aside and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Next, make the potato topping. Boil the potatoes in a large pot for about 15 minutes or until they are fork tender. Once tender, drain the potatoes and add the butter, half and half, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mash the ingredients until thoroughly mixed together, then add in the parmesan cheese.
- Assemble the casserole. Pour the meat into a 9x9 baking dish and spread into an even layer. Pour the mashed potatoes on top of the heat and smooth into an even layer. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 400F. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
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