Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Shepherd’s Pie makes a comforting dish. Made with meat and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, it is a favorite year-round.

Shepherd's Pie makes a comforting dish. Made with meat and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, it is a favorite year-round. // addapinch.com

Happy St. Patrick’s Day this week! A couple of years ago, I shared a link I loved that gives the entire history of St. Patrick’s Day and all of the folklore that surrounds it. I feel a bit more educated about the holiday rather than just feeling like I should wear green so I’m not pinched and making Shepherd’s Pie out of family tradition.

Although, that’s a family tradition that I’m certainly not scoffing at and won’t be changing anytime soon. We absolutely love Shepherd’s Pie throughout the year, but on St. Patrick’s Day, it is essential. 

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

While I understand from reading that traditional Shepherd’s Pie was made with lamb or mutton, my recipe uses good ole ground beef – enough for a very meaty dish. I top mine with roasted garlic cheddar mashed potatoes that are out of this world delicious.

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Shepherd's Pie makes a comforting dish. Made with meat and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, it is a favorite year-round. // addapinch.com

 

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

As I mentioned earlier, traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb or mutton. I use ground beef in my recipe since that is what is more readily available for me and what my family prefers. You can absolutely substitute ground lamb for the ground beef in this recipe, if you prefer.

To make my Shepherd’s Pie, I start by peeling and cubing my potatoes to make the mashed potato topping. I cook them potatoes in just enough water to cover them completely, plus about an inch in a heavy bottomed sauce pan or Dutch oven set over medium heat. I melt my butter in a saucepan and then add in my half and half. You’ll heat your butter and half and half until just simmering, making sure not to allow it to overheat or curdle.

Once they have become fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, I drain them well and then add them back into the Dutch oven. I mash them using a potato masher until smooth and then slowly stir in my warmed half and half and butter and continue to mash until creamy. If you are including roasted garlic or the cheddar cheese (which I highly suggest!), then stir that into your mashed potatoes at this point along with your salt and pepper. In a pinch, you can also use Stone House Seasoning if you are short on time for roasting your garlic. It works like a charm! 🙂

Meanwhile, you will also want to be preparing the meat filling for your Shepherd’s Pie.

To do that, you’ll begin by drizzling olive oil into a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add your onion, carrots, celery and cook until the carrots are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Then, remove your vegetables from skillet with a slotted spoon place them in a bowl to add back into your dish a little later. Add your ground meat (again, I used ground beef, you can use ground lamb or even ground turkey) to the skillet and cook until browned throughout. Drain away any drippings from your skillet. Sprinkle your flour over the meat and stir until well-coated.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes to brown the flour lightly. Stir in the reserved vegetables as well as Stone House Seasoning until well-combined. Add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos, and English peas. Stir to combine well.

Top your meat filling with the mashed potato topping. Top with pieces of butter and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

You can easily prepare your Shepherd’s Pie ahead of time for an easy make-ahead dish perfect for busy weeknights(or weekends, for that matter!). Prep your Shepherd’s Pie all the way without baking. Cover well with foil or wrap and place into the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º, remove the wrap from the dish and bake until heated throughout, about 25 – 30 minutes.

Here’s my Shepherd’s Pie recipe. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does.

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Shepherd's Pie makes a comforting dish. Made with meat and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, it is a favorite year-round. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

For the potato topping:

  • 1 pound Russet or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup butter melted + 2 tablespoons cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon Stone House Seasoning
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

For the meat filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 pounds ground lamb, beef, or turkey
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Stone House Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can English peas drained and rinsed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400º F.

For the potato topping:

  • Place potatoes into large saucepan and add enough water to cover, plus about 1 inch. Cook over medium-low heat until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter, add half and half. Heat until simmering.
  • Drain potatoes and pour potatoes back into saucepan used to cook them. Mash potatoes over low heat until smooth. Add the melted butter and half and half mixture to potatoes. Continue to mash the potatoes until creamy. Then, mix well with a wooden spoon until light, fluffy and smooth. Stir in Stone House Seasoning and Cheddar cheese.

For the meat filling:

  • Drizzle olive oil into a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and cook until carrots are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add ground meat to the skillet and cook until browned throughout. Drain away any drippings. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir until well-coated and cook for about 2-3 minutes to brown the flour lightly. Stir in reserved onion mixture as well as salt, pepper, and Stone House Seasoning until well-combined. Add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos, Stone House Seasoning, and English peas. Stir to combine well.
  • Pour potatoes over top of the meat filling and spread to cover well. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter that are cut into pieces. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Make-Ahead Shepherd's Pie Recipe
You can easily prepare your Shepherd's Pie up to final baking a few days in advance. Then, bake at 350º F to heat throughout, about 25-30 minutes.
Freezer-Friendly:
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store in the freezer for a few weeks to a month. If reheating from frozen, allow to thaw in refrigerator overnight and then bake as recommended for make-ahead tips.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1585mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80% | Vitamin C: 13.1% | Calcium: 17.9% | Iron: 7.5%
Tried this recipe?Share a photo on Instagram and tag me with @addapinch and #addapinch!

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

27 comments on “Shepherd’s Pie Recipe”

  1. Hi Robyn, you can’t beat a classic and your Shepherds Pie looks yummy. Especially the dreamy, creamy mash on top! Sammie

  2. Being that I am married to an Englishman, I must make this recipe. Somehow in twenty plus years of marriage I have never made him Shepherd’s Pie. This, must change. What a beautiful dish. Pinned!

  3. Hi Robyn,

    Reader from the UK here – when it’s made with beef it’s correct term is Cottage Pie and as you say Shepherds Pie should only be made with lamb or mutton. As my Irish grandmother always told me “shepherds herd sheep not cows” she was most emphatic about the difference.

    Here in the UK we also would not use cheese, garlic or tomato paste, we’d use what we call ‘Brown Sauce” such as HP or Daddies – it’s the same consistency as Tomato Ketchup with a very robust flavour and a great partner for the Worcester Sauce (we Brits for some reason always shorten it from Worcestershire) and hence no need to use garlic.

    Very much enjoy your blog.

    • Thank you so much, Lesley. I’m so glad you shared the differences with me! I laughed so hard when I read your grandmother’s teachings on how to distinguish. Now I’m wishing for a St. Patrick’s Day redo so I can make it with lamb and brown sauce – even though I’m stuffed from eating our St Patrick’s Day meal already.

      Robyn xo

  4. love shepherds pie and this is incredible! HAPPY ST.PATTY’S DAY TO YOU!

  5. oh my gawd, Robyn! This looks amazing!!

  6. Robyn,
    My hubby would love this. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
    Annamaria

  7. Hi Robyn I just finished making the shepherd pie hands down its the best home made pie I’ve ever had l don’t have to go to Cheesecake factory for this dish I will be doing this one again.

  8. Had to let you know, that I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! I only made 1/2 of it as there are only 2 of us. Will be making again! Love your recipes!!

  9. Robyn. This is the most delicious Shepherds Pie recipe that I have ever made. A real keeper Thanks for sharing your recipes with everyone. Lynn

  10. Hi Robyn!
    I’ve been making several of your casseroles over the past two weeks, and my family of 6 has loved EVERY SINGLE ONE! Your recipes are so flavorful and easy to make, which has been a lifesaver on busy weeknights. Thank you for sharing your recipes with all of us. 🙂 I am in the process of roasting some garlic for the Shepherds Pie, and I would like to know what sort of cast iron cookware you used in the photos?

    Thanks so much,
    Jennifer F

    • I’m so glad that your family has enjoyed all of the recipes that you’ve tried, Jennifer! That makes me happier than you’ll ever know! 🙂

      For the cast iron cookware in the photograph, I used a deep cast iron skillet that I inherited of my Daddy’s. Lodge makes one very similar and I have seen them in some local stores, but I know they are available online at Amazon, etc. Let me know if you have trouble finding it! xo

  11. Oh, also, just curious about where the +2 tablespoons of butter cut into pieces goes. Thanks! 🙂

    • I’m so sorry that was left out of the instructions, Jennifer. Thanks so much for catching that! You add the butter to the potato topping right before you place it back into the oven. I’ve updated the recipe to include that so that it is clear. Thank you again! xo

  12. This is the best Shepard’s Pie ever! Thank you so much for sharing. My family loved it. I also shared with my FB friends and co-workers. It’s a hit!

  13. Oh my! I made this for dinner tonight and I have to tell you it was so delicious. My family and my guests loved it. Thanks so much for the recipe. Will definitely make it again…..many times!

  14. Is there anything better than shepherd’s pie? I think that when it is made with beef, it’s called cottage pie, but I make a beef version and insist on calling it shepherd’s pie anyway – it sounds so much cozier that way! Can’t wait to try yours, my friend! 🙂

    • I think it’s pretty much the ultimate! I hope you like it! Thanks so much Kate! xo

    • I suppose I’m going to come across to y’all like a whinging limey from across the pond but; you’re completely right and this should be called a Cottage Pie. Shepherds Pie uses minced lamb because Shepherd’s tended their sheep and were more likely to therefore have access to lamb than to beef. Meanwhile, in the cute little thatched cottages in ye olde England’s villages used the local village butcher who had access to beef which being cheaper than lamb was normally used. As to it sounding cozier than Shepherds Pie I guess you’ve never been in an old traditional cottage as there’s nothing cozier than a little cottage with roaring fire on a winter’s night.

      • I would definitely enjoy a little cottage with roaring fire on a winter’s night enjoying a true Shepherd’s pie.

  15. I made this last week. I just finished the last of it yesterday. It is definitely a dish that gets better with time.

    Great recipe. Thank you

  16. Thanks, I am going to save for a church dinner. This looks great. If I can wait that long.

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