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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a six-ingredient dinner you’re sure to love! Made with hearty ground beef, tender vegetables, and buttery mashed potatoes, this casserole-like dish is the definition of comfort food and is a delicious easy dinner recipe.

The combination of textures and simple flavors in this dish is what makes it so satisfying. The potatoes get slightly crispy on top while the beef bubbles away in a thick, gravy-like sauce. Plus, just a splash of Worcestershire sauce will add a ton of savory flavor to your finished pie. It really doesn’t get more hearty or comforting than this homemade shepherd’s pie!

A serving of Shepherd's Pie on round plate.

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Why You Will Love Shepherd's Pie

  • It is simple, but hearty, savory, and delicious.
  • Can be prepared in just 15 minutes!
  • Is loaded with protein and vegetables.
  • Pairs well with a wide variety of side dishes.
  • Stores and reheats well.

Shepherd’s pie is a comforting dish that is an all in one meal. You can easily add a side if you want a little something extra. I recommend serving this casserole-like dish with homemade dinner rolls or bacon cheddar biscuits, green beans or a fresh side salad.

If you are ready for the flavors of Fall you will want to make this Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie for a new twist on an old classic.

What is the difference between this recipe and classic Shepherd’s pie? If you want to get technical, this recipe makes a cottage pie, not a shepherd’s pie.

However, the only difference between these two dishes is that cottage pie is made with ground beef while shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb. Throughout the United States, you’ll often see both dishes labeled as “shepherd’s pie”.


See printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Shepherd's Pie set out on counter top.
  • Ground Beef - 90/10 or 85/15 will give your finished pie tons of flavor without making it overly greasy. You can also use the traditional ground lamb instead of ground beef.
  • Mashed Potatoes - Use leftover mashed potatoes or make your favorite homemade mashed potato recipe.
  • Vegetables - A frozen mix of peas and carrots but if you have some extra time, you can use fresh peas and freshly diced carrots instead of frozen ones.
  • Chicken Broth or Beef Broth- Keeps this dish moist and adds tons of hearty, meaty flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce - Sour, sweet, and spicy, this flavorful sauce is the star of this comforting dish.
  • Spices - A mixture of salt and dried minced onion will complement and elevate the other savory flavors in this dish.

How to Make Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Ground beef in skillet with minced onion ready to brown.
Frozen peas and carrots added to  browned ground beef in skillet.

Brown Meat: In a large skillet, brown together the ground beef, salt, and minced onion.

Vegetables: If you are using frozen vegetables add in the frozen carrots and peas to browned ground beef and continue cooking until softened. If you want to use fresh vegetables I recommend finely dicing them and cooking with the beef and onion.

Cooked peas and carrots and browned ground beef in skillet.
Ground beef mixture topped with mashed potatoes in baking dish.

Add Sauce: Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and your choice of either chicken or beef broth.

Layer: Transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes and then top with the prepared mashed potatoes.

Bake: Bake until the meat mixture is bubbly and the mashed potatoes are golden brown.

Baked Shepherds Pie in glass baking dish.

How To Store

Any leftover shepherd’s pie can be covered with plastic wrap or placed in airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to enjoy this meal again, simply spoon some into a bowl, cover it with a plate, and reheat it in the microwave until warmed to your liking.

Unfortunately, mashed potatoes don’t stay fluffy in the freezer, so I would not recommend freezing this dish.

Recipe Tips For Making Shepherd's Pie

  • Enhance the natural flavor of the ground beef by using beef broth instead of chicken broth in your shepherd’s pie.
  • Don’t be afraid to add some extra veggies to this dish! Celery, corn and green beans are all great additions to this entrée.
  • Add a bit of extra bite to this dish by using a fresh yellow or white onion instead of dried minced onion. Simply dice the onion and cook it with the ground beef until softened.
  • Make your shepherd’s pie super rich by folding some grated cheddar cheese into your mashed potatoes. While the dish bakes, the cheese will melt, adding extra creaminess and a sharp flavor to this dish.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep mashed potatoes from sinking in shepherd’s pie?

Make sure that your ground beef mixture is moist and not too hot before you layer on the mashed potatoes. If the mixture is steaming hot or too dry, then the potatoes will sink as you bake your pie.

What spices can I add to Shepherd’s pie?

Traditional shepherd’s pie is a simple dish that doesn’t rely on spices for flavor. Most of the flavor in this dish comes from the ground beef and Worcestershire sauce. If you’d like to put your own spin on this classic British dish, you can try adding some garlic powder, black pepper, thyme, parsley, or mustard powder to the meat mixture.

Can I use instant mashed potatoes in Shepherd's pie?

Yes to save on prep time you can use your favorite brand of instant mashed potatoes from the store.

We are big fans of easy dinner recipes at our house. Here are a few more you might like to try.

Serving of Shepherd's Pie on wooden spatula.

Favorite Kitchen Items

Here are a few of my favorite kitchen items that every kitchen needs to make cooking easier. (Affiliate links).

Dish Towels - These Soft and Absorbent Dish Towels are a favorite and I have the yellow ones. They come in may other colors.

Mixing Bowls - I use this 3-piece Pyrex mixing bowl set all the time in my kitchen. They have held up well and work great for mixing and prepping food.

Masher - I have this KitchenAid stainless steel wire masher and use it for mashing potatoes, vegetables and avocados.

I hope you enjoy this Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce! If you try this recipe, please come back and rate it and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

A serving of Shepherd's Pie on white plate.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a six-ingredient dinner made with hearty ground beef, tender vegetables, and buttery mashed potatoes. Delicious easy dinner recipe.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 225 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • cups frozen peas and carrots
  • ½ cup chicken broth or beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • While the oven is preheating, cook the ground beef, salt, and minced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once the ground beef is no longer pink in the middle, add the frozen carrots and peas. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-high heat for about 5 more minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and broth. Transfer your ground beef mixture to a baking dish. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before adding potato topping.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes.
  • Cook the shepherd's pie for 1 hour.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Using 90/10 or 85/15 will give your finished pie tons of flavor without making it overly greasy.
Use leftover mashed potatoes or make your favorite homemade mashed potatoes.
Any leftover shepherd’s pie can be covered with plastic wrap or placed in airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 225kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 489mgPotassium: 440mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4160IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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