The following Shepherd's Pie Recipe is an easy and delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. It's delicious, full of flavor and so comforting. The perfect type of food to eat on chilly evenings!
When we were first married, being the new bride and wanting to impress my husband with my culinary skills, I tried making a Shepherd's Pie recipe from a vegetarian cookbook, Laurel's Kitchen.
It was a success - he was duly impressed! Not only was it good, but it was such an easy shepherd's pie recipe that it was added to my arsenal of recipes.
Recipes, for me anyway, are a work in progress - ever-changing. This Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe is now quite a bit different from that original recipe. The major difference is the introduction of ground beef.
If, however, you are a vegetarian, simply leave out the ground beef and you will still have a delicious meal! In the following Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe, I mention using leftover mashed potatoes. This is a great way to use them up.
But, I do not normally have leftover mashed potatoes anymore. Can you believe that our family can eat 10 lbs of potatoes cooked and mashed (with butter of course) and not have enough leftovers for the Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe? That is what happens when you have growing farm boys who eat. And eat. And eat!
So, while this recipe is one that has continued to evolve, it remains a favorite in our home. It is hearty and comforting. After all, it has mashed potatoes in it!
According to Wikipedia, another name for Shepherd's Pie is Cottage Pie - it is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potatoes. Cottage Pie was used as early as 1791 when the potato was being introduced as an economical food crop for the poor. Originally, the pie dish was lined with mashed potatoes, as well as, topped with them. In 1877, the term Shepherd's Pie was used signifying that the dish contained lamb - get it? Shepherds shepherd sheep!
Anyway, just a bit of background for you - I find it interesting and hope you do too. Whether the "Shepherd's Pie" is made with mutton or beef, the term is synonymous with Cottage Pie. But, I must confess, until I began reading, I had never heard of Cottage Pie - have you? Is yours made with beef, lamb or vegetarian?
This Easy Shepherd's Pie is a delicious recipe for any weeknight that can feed the whole family!
- Potatoes. Unless you have leftover mashed potatoes, start by cooking the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, mash well, and add butter, milk, and salt.
- Filling. Preheat the oven to 350F. Saute onions in oil.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Cut the broccoli. Add vegetables and the remaining ingredients to the ground beef mixture. Bring to a boil and cover. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Assembly. Place the vegetable mixture in a greased 9" x 13" dish.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over the top and dot with butter.
- Bake for 15 minutes until potatoes are piping hot.
- Serve and enjoy!
This recipe can be made ahead of time too! Follow the instructions all the way to assembly, and stop right before the baking point. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbly.
This delicious and easy shepherd's pie can be made with different ingredients to suit your dietary needs or to substitute for something you already have in your pantry.
- Potatoes. If you have sweet potatoes that need to be used up this is also a delicious way to use them.
- These Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes make a great low-calorie subsitution.
- If you really need a time-saver you can use frozen tator tots to top your shepherd's pie.
- Meat. You can substitute the ground beef for pork, lamb, ground turkey, or even chicken.
- Make it vegetarian by using lentils or spinach in place of the ground beef.
- Filling. Change up the fillings by swapping or adding ingredients like mushrooms, lentils, bacon, or whatever you have in your pantry that needs to be used up. Try making a loaded baked potato shepherd's pie or a BBQ shepherd's pie.
How to make Shepherd's Pie vegetarian-friendly.
If you want to make this recipe vegetarian-friendly, simply leave out the ground beef. In place of the meat, try using lentils or spinach for a delicious and hearty vegetarian meal.
How to make a low-carb version of Shepherd's Pie.
For a lower-carb version of this recipe, substitute the mashed potatoes for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. This makes the creamiest mashed potatoes and it's so quick to make in the Instant Pot.
This Easy Shepherd's Pie makes a delicious dinner all by itself or you can serve one of these side-dishes to really complete your meal.
- Sauteed Green Beans
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Grilled Zucchini and Squash
- Feta Salad with Toasted Pecans and Raisins
If you’ve tried this easy shepherd's pie recipe or any other recipe on Cultured Palate please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, YouTube and TWITTER.
Easy Shepherd's Pie
- 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 5 medium potatoes chopped
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 pound broccoli I use frozen
- 1 cup peas I use frozen
- 5 medium carrots diced
- ½ cup tomato paste
- ½ cup beef broth or water
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Unless you have leftover mashed potatoes, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, mash well and add butter, milk and salt.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Saute onions in oil.
Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
Cut the broccoli into flowers and stems - slice stems in ¼ inch round pieces.
Add vegetables and the remaining ingredients to the ground beef mixture. Bring to a boil and cover. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Place the vegetable mixture in a greased 9" x 13" dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top - dot with butter.
Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes - until the potatoes are piping hot.
Extra Tips For Making A Shepherd's Pie;
- If you have sweet potatoes that need used up this is also a delicious way to use them
- You can substitute the ground beef for pork or lamb
- Leave the ground beef out and use lentil or spinach for a delicious, hearty vegetarian meal.
Lori Travis says
My family likes Shepherd's Pie also. I make mine a little differently. I use a gluten free cream soup or make my own cream sauce instead of the tomato paste and I use green beans instead of the broccoli and carrots. Sometimes I add corn. I love reading your posts. My oldest son and his family moved from Minnesota to the Houston area about 2 1/2 years ago and love it there. After visiting them a couple of times my husband and I are wannabee Texans. We would like to spend our winters in Texas.
Lori, your version sounds delicious! I know what you mean about wannabee Texans - we now know, that even when we lived in AL and GA, we were Texans - we just didn't know it yet!!!
Yum! Looks delicious!! You can't go wrong with anything that has mashed potatoes in it!
We lived in Houston for 7 years. We were informed we would always be Yankees no matter how many years we lived there in TX. The only TEXANS are ones who are born there. :)
When I make Shepard's Pie, I add leftover gravy between the meat and potatoes. If I have any that needs to be used up, I also top with some shredded cheese. Makes a great cold weather comfort food.
Melissa, those sound like great additions!
Emily Kemp says
I absolutely love shepherd's pie it was total comfort food for me growing up!