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Shepherd’s Pie is warm, hearty, and oh so delicious! This is a recipe the entire family will beg for time and time again!

Old Fashioned Shepherd's Pie in a casserole dish sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley

It’s the time of year where Irish foods tend to grace tables across the United States. Shepherd’s Pie is a comfort food staple. We keep things simple with this classic recipe, and love to use ground lamb in lieu of ground beef. It is warm, inviting, and delicious. A grand salute to the Irish!

Do you prefer more veggies than meat? More meat than veggies? This recipe is quite forgiving and lets you adjust to your own personal tastes. We love the added texture the veggies give, but can’t deny the savory flavor of the meat. Give yourself a balanced ratio of both, and you’ll find yourself licking the plate clean. 

  • What is the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage pie?

    Oh the terminology of Shepherd’s Pie vs. Cottage Pie. There are some strong opinions out there. “Cottage pie” has been in use since 1791, when the potato was introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. The term “shepherd’s pie” has been used synonymously with “cottage pie” since 1877, regardless of the type of meat used, mutton or beef. More recently, the term “shepherd’s pie” has been used when the meat is lamb, and “cottage pie” when the meat is beef. We like to refer to it as a Shepherd’s Pie, no matter what meat goes inside of it. 

  • Do I have to use red meat? 

    We get it, not everyone can or likes to eat red meat. Red meat produces the best flavor for this dish whether you use ground beef or ground lamb, but ground turkey is acceptable as well. 

  • Make Ahead Instructions:

    This is not a dish that should be made in its entirety ahead of time, simply because mashed potatoes do not reheat well. If you would like to save some time, you can make the meat and vegetable filling ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. If you choose to freeze, make sure the filling is fully thawed before baking. Continue on with the recipe and make the mashed potatoes fresh right before you’re ready to bake.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other casserole recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes onYouTube,Facebook Watch, or ourFacebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

A plate of Old Fashioned Shepherd's Pie topped with melted cheese
A plate of Old Fashioned Shepherds Pie topped with melted cheese
Shepherd’s Pie is warm, hearty, and oh so delicious! This is a recipe the entire family will beg for time and time again!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 large Russet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Meat Filling:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese to top
  • Add potatoes to a large pot of boiling water. Boil the potatoes until soft, 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook ground lamb (or ground beef) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add in onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons butter and let fully melt before adding in the flour, stir until well mixed and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Add in frozen peas, carrots, corn, and thyme. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens.
  • At this point the potatoes should be done. Drain and mash using either a potato masher or hand mixer. Mix in the butter, cream cheese, and salt until everything is melted.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Spread meat and vegetable mixture into the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes., until cheese is warm and bubbly.


Calories: 864kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 996mg | Potassium: 1553mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3082IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 361mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Cottage Pie, Shepherd's Pie
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Tony Girard
March 7, 2020 7:35 am

I’ve thought of making a Shepherd’s Pie many times but I think I going to try this one.

Kathleen Sauer
August 26, 2020 5:48 am

Have made this THREE times already!! My family ADORES it! Thank you Rachel!!😍

Kristine Mineman
March 7, 2020 6:40 pm

5 stars
Yum I make your recipes gluten free for my celiac family – just had to use gf flour – easy peasy

Ginny Barkus
October 5, 2020 4:15 pm

5 stars
I made this dish with ground beef for dinner tonight. It was absolutely delicious. Another great recipe from thestayathomechef.

September 20, 2020 4:41 pm

5 stars
Made this tonight. Amazing! Even the pickiest of eaters at the table enjoyed it. Next time will double potatoes – just my preference. Loved the flavour of the beef mixture. Delish. 2 thumbs waaaay up! Thank you! 🙂

Barb Lanthier
July 17, 2020 10:41 am

5 stars
Love this dish! The cheese is something I hadn’t added in previous Shepherd’s Pie recipes – what a great touch. We use ground turkey but otherwise follow the recipe as presented. Everyone really enjoys it – it’s a great dish, easy to make with simple ingredients usually in the cupboard. We never get tired of this one. Thanks Rachel!

July 3, 2020 9:32 am

5 stars
This was amazing!!

June 3, 2020 10:13 am

Looks delicious.
It’s not complicated and the ingredients are easy to get. I will definitely try making it.
Thank you!

alison forde
June 3, 2020 8:55 am

this is a brilliant made it and everyone loved itmade with beef as no one in family like like so quick to make and always finished so filling

May 16, 2020 6:43 pm

5 stars
Made this for dinner tonight, with ground beef.Divided it into 2 8×8 pans to share, sure I will make it again

Diane Wonnacott
March 25, 2020 2:22 pm

5 stars
Made a double recipe of this last night. It was delicious! We had enough to feed a family of 7 plus leftovers for lunch today. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks!

March 7, 2020 12:32 pm

5 stars
can you use pork mince

March 7, 2020 8:30 am

5 stars
Will try this soon!

March 7, 2020 8:16 am

5 stars

March 5, 2020 4:36 pm

Omg, sooooo simple and so good. I will definately make a lot

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