Simple Shepherd's Pie Recipe

If you've ever had shepherd's pie, then you may assume that it takes a great amount of time and effort to make it. Luckily, recipe developer Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished gives us easy, step-by-step instructions to make this delicious and hearty shepherd's pie — you may be surprised just how easily this hearty meal comes together! This would be a great dish to serve to a crowd as there's plenty to pass around. It's filled with meat, potatoes, and veggies, and it's also incredibly filling. It would make a great dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day would also hit the spot! 

There is a lot to love about this recipe, and Shelbert perfectly explains her favorite part. "I love that this dish is essentially a hearty stand alone meal. Just a side salad to lighten it up and round out the meal," she shares. Keep reading to find out how to make this tasty and filling dish! 

Gather the ingredients for shepherd's pie

This recipe requires a fair amount of ingredients, so be sure to check for items that you may have at home already. Start with 2 pounds of potatoes and some butter. In addition, you will need to get salt, pepper, and milk. The recipe also calls for extra virgin olive oil and a few things in the produce section like an onion, carrots, and garlic.

For the meat, be sure to pick up some ground beef. You will also need a few spices like thyme and rosemary. Next, grab a little flour and tomato paste. Then, throw some beef broth and Worcestershire sauce into your car. You will also need to swing by the frozen section for corn and peas.

Boil and drain the potatoes

Grab a stockpot and place it on your stove. Add in the diced potatoes. "The potato chunks should be about 1-1.5 inch thick," Shelbert shares. Cover the potatoes with water and turn the heat up to high. Once the water starts to boil and you see bubbles reaching the top of the surface, you can lower the heat to a rolling boil. Continue cooking the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Remove from the heat and strain the excess water through a colander.

Make the mashed potatoes

Grab a mixing bowl and add the potatoes, melted butter, and ½ teaspoon of salt. This is similar to what your would do for your average mashed potato recipe. Next, toss in the pepper and milk. Use a hand mixer to mash until you reach your desired consistency. "You can definitely use a potato masher for this. Shepherd's pie is such a rustic meal so mixing by hand is very fitting," Shelbert notes. Some people prefer them on the lumpier side, while others prefer them smoother. It's totally based on preference, and there is no "right" or "wrong" way. Once you finish mixing, set the mashed potatoes to the side and preheat your oven to 400 F. That way, it has time to get nice and hot while you finish the prep.

Sauté the onion, carrots, and beef

Take out a large skillet and drizzle in the olive oil. Turn on the heat to medium and add your chopped onions and carrots. Sauté the veggies for about four minutes, and once the four minutes are up, add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add ground beef to the same skillet and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Season the meat mixture with the remaining teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink. Add the flour and stir to coat.

Assemble the shepherd's pie in a baking dish

There are still a few more things you will need to add to the skillet. Begin with the tomato paste, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine with the meat and veggies. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.

Next, add in the frozen corn and peas. Then, you can transfer the ground beef and vegetable mixture into a baking dish. Put the mashed potatoes on top of the ground beef and smooth them out in an even layer.

Bake and enjoy

The last thing you need to do is pop the pie into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cooking time may vary slightly based on your range. Continue cooking until the edges of the potatoes begin to brown.

When your timer dings, carefully remove the shepherd's pie from the oven and serve as you wish. "This makes for a great weeknight meal and is especially fun to serve around Saint Patrick's Day," Shelbert shares. "It is a true comfort food which some like to take the comfort level up a notch and serve with bread. A vegetable side works nicely as we'll such as a green salad or braised or roasted cabbage." Finally, if you have any leftovers, Shelbert says that they can "keep in the fridge for up to 4 days."

Simple Shepherd's Pie Recipe
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This simple shepherd's pie recipe is full of hearty ingredients, making it the perfect dinner for a chilly night.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pie on plate
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ⅔ cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  1. Place the potatoes in a stockpot and cover with water. Place the pot on a burner and heat to boiling. Lower heat to a rolling boil and cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and strain in a colander.
  2. Add the potatoes, melted butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and milk to a mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, mash until your desired consistency is reached, then set the mashed potatoes aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  4. Warm the olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add the onion and carrots and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
  5. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Season with the remaining teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Cook until no longer pink.
  6. Add the flour, stirring to coat.
  7. Add the tomato paste, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir the corn and peas into the beef mixture.
  9. Transfer the ground beef mixture to a baking dish.
  10. Turn the mashed potatoes out onto the top of the ground beef. Smooth out the potatoes to make an even layer atop the beef mixture.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges of the potatoes just begin to brown.
  12. Scoop out individual servings and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 419
Total Fat 22.0 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 64.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Total Sugars 4.5 g
Sodium 749.2 mg
Protein 18.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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