Why you’ll love this recipe:
Shepherd’s pie is a delicious mashup of ground meat and veggies topped with creamy mashed potatoes! This comfort food classic is a favorite in our house, but it can be semi-involved with lots of prep work. This version is quick and easy, but just as satisfying!
To simplify the process, I used a couple of kitchen shortcuts like instant mashed potatoes and store bought gravy. The result? An irresistible meat stew in a thick gravy with buttery potatoes on top! It’s a flavor packed casserole that’s ready in less than 45 minutes, including the time it takes to cool! It’s super easy yet BIG on flavor.
This easy shepherd’s pie recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, when you need to get food on the table quickly. If you’re not a fan of instant mashed potatoes, leftover mashed potatoes work great too! Or just use the premade potatoes in the refrigerated section, like Simply Potatoes.
My kids devour this dish with no complaints!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Frozen vegetables – Mixed peas and carrots are the perfect duo for potatoes and gravy! If you like corn, you can add it in or use mixed vegetables. Any combination of frozen veggies work great.
- Ground beef – Technically, shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb and cottage pie is made with ground beef. Truly, it just depends on what country you’re in! Mostly, in the United States, shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef because it’s readily available and delicious. This recipe tastes great with either, and I love to make it with half lamb and half beef. It’s up to you and your tastebuds! For a lean and healthy alternative, use ground turkey.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper are no brainers, but I also add rosemary, thyme, and garlic for an extra depth of flavor!
- Brown gravy – Store bought gravy is a one ingredient wonder. It adds a boost of saucy flavor to the meat and veggie mixture.
- Mashed potatoes – Instant mashed potatoes cut down the prep and cooking time significantly. If you don’t like instant potatoes, you can make your own or even better, use leftover mashed potatoes! This is a perfect recipe to use up all those leftover potatoes from Thanksgiving!
- Shredded cheese (optional) – Shredded cheese takes this casserole over the top! Try shredded cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or swiss. Sprinkle one cup of cheese on top before baking, if desired.
How to make this easy shepherd’s pie:
1. Cook veggies and beef in skillet:
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and frozen veggies, then sauté on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic.
- Break the beef up with a sturdy spatula and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.
2. Add gravy:
- Add two cups of brown gravy to the beef and veggies. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Remove the skillet from the heat.
3. Assemble in a casserole dish:
- Carefully pour the beef mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it around evenly.
- Scoop the mashed potatoes on top and spread it to cover.
- Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. The edges should bubble and the mashed potatoes should turn golden brown.
- Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before you dig in!
- Shepherd’s pie is great way to use up leftovers! Use leftover pot roast instead of ground beef or leftover mashed potatoes for the top.
- You can make the whole dish up to two days before you plan to bake it. This means you can just pop it in the oven come dinner time, or make it before your company arrives!
- If you don’t want to make the entire casserole ahead, you can make part of it. You can make the meat mixture ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble and bake.
- Store leftover shepherds pie in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave safe container until hot throughout.
- Shepherd’s pie can be frozen, but the texture of the potatoes may get grainy. If you plan to freeze it, it’s best to use a lot of butter in your mash! Extra fat helps the potatoes stay smooth and creamy once defrosted. Freeze the casserole in an oven-safe container and bake from frozen in the oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, around 1 hour.
Shepherd’s pie, also referred to as Cottage pie, is a dish or casserole made of ground meat and veggies that’s topped with mashed potatoes, then baked until golden. Traditionally, it was a way to use up leftover meat from a large roast and was typically made of lamb. Nowadays, shepherd’s pie refers to both ground beef, lamb, or a combination of the two. The meat is cooked with peas, corn, and onions, then deglazed with broth and thickened to create a gravy.
Shepherd’s pie is a filling dish that doesn’t need a side! If you can’t resist a delicious side, try roasted vegetables, dinner rolls, glazed carrots, or a mixed greens salad. You can’t go wrong with a light, healthy side, since this dish is rich and creamy!
Easy Casserole Recipes:
Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- 9×11-in baking dish
- 12-in skillet
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup frozen pea/carrot mix Note 1
- 2 pounds ground beef Note 2
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 cups prepared brown gravy store bought or homemade
- 4 cups instant mashed potatoes or homemade
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ and prepare a 9x11in baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large (12in) skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and pea/carrot mix, saute on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the Ground beef, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Brown the beef and break it up using a wooden spatula. Cook until no longer pink.
- To the beef mixture, add the 2 cups of prepared brown gravy, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Add the beef mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it around evenly. Top with the prepared mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
- To prevent any overflow, place the baking dish on a sheet pan. Bake at 400℉ for 20 minutes or until bubbling on the sides and the mashed potatoes are light golden brown on top.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
– Store leftover shepherds pie in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave safe container until hot throughout.
– Shepherd’s pie can be frozen, but the texture of the potatoes may get grainy. If you plan to freeze it, it’s best to use a lot of butter in your mash! Extra fat helps the potatoes stay smooth and creamy once defrosted.
– Freeze the casserole in an oven-safe container and bake from frozen in the oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, around 1 hour.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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