Shepherd’s Pie pairs a hearty meat and vegetable filling with a fluffy mashed potato topping for a satisfying dinner the whole family will love!

Close up image of shepherd's pie served in a casserole dish with a wooden spoonful of the pie.

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When it comes to cozy casserole dinners, it’s hard to beat shepherd’s pie. Kind of like Cheeseburger Casserole and Baked Ziti, this is a dish that was made for chilly evenings when you’re craving some comfort food goodness.

It all starts with a meaty base made with a variety of vegetables and ground meat—lamb is the traditional choice across the pond. However, here in the US, beef is probably just as common, if not more so. On top of this is a layer of fluffy, flavorful mashed potatoes. (Who needs crust when you can use mashed potatoes instead?!)

Top down image of two servings of Shepherd's pie served in a white round bowl with two wooden bowls of salt and pepper on the side.

Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

The beautiful thing about shepherd’s pie is its versatility. You can make all kinds of changes and tweaks to the ingredients (I share some suggestions below!). Made in a big batch, you can prepare it for a weeknight dinner and plan on leftovers for the next day. Or, serve it up for a party or potluck!

If you want, you can also get a head start! Make the mashed potatoes or filling ahead of time. And if you make both, you can either store them separately in the fridge. Or, assemble the entire shepherd’s pie and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake and eat.

Ingredients to make the potato topping for Shepherd's pie.

Ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the Potato Topping:

  • Potatoes – I use Russet potatoes, but Yukon gold work well, too.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole milk – Whole milk adds a nice richness to the potato topping. If preferred, reduced-fat milk or a non-dairy milk can be substituted. The potatoes just won’t be quite as flavorful or creamy.
  • Garlic powder
  • Sour cream – Adds flavor and moisture.
  • Egg yolk – The egg gives the topping texture and color.
  • Salt & black pepper
Ingredients to make the filling for Shepherd's Pie.

For the Filling:

  • Canola oil – Vegetable oil works too.
  • Onion – Yellow or white, or switch things up and use two shallots instead.
  • Carrots – Whole carrots are best.
  • Garlic
  • Ground lamb or beef
  • All-purpose flour
  • Tomato paste – Freeze the leftovers so you don’t have to open a can next time you need a little bit of tomato paste!
  • Chicken stock – Or, use beef broth if you have it on hand.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dried oregano
  • Fresh thyme – Dried can be used instead; a good rule of thumb is to use 1/3 of the amount of dry herbs compared to fresh.
  • Frozen corn 
  • Frozen peas
  • Salt & black pepper


  • Switch up the topping – Use mashed cauliflower for a lower-carb option. Or, try mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash for something different.
  • Change up the veggies – Not a fan of peas? Try green beans instead. Use fresh corn when it’s in season, or substitute sautéed mushrooms, lima beans, or sliced bell peppers.
  • Make it meatless You can use your favorite plant-based ground beef substitute in this recipe.
  • Add some cheese – Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes.
In-process steps for making the Shepherd's Pie topping.
In-process steps to make Shepherd's Pie filling.

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Prepare: Preheat your oven to 400ºF. 
  2. Cook the Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot, and cover them with an inch of water. Then, add two generous pinches of salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they’re fork-tender.
  3. Warm the Milk and Butter: In a separate saucepan, bring the milk, butter, and garlic powder to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat to low. 
  4. Finish the Potato Topping: Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot. Mash them, and add the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in the sour cream and egg yolk, and season to taste.
  5. Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven (or large skillet) set over medium-high. Cook the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic, and cook for about a minute or just until fragrant. Add the meat, and break it up with a spoon while it browns. Stir in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Next, stir in the tomato paste and chicken stock; bring to a boil, and add the Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and thyme, then season to taste. Add the corn and peas, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  6. Assemble: Transfer the meat mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish. Then, spread the mashed potato mixture over the top. 
  7. Bake: Set the baking dish on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any filling that bubbles over the edge. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the potatoes are browned. Let the casserole rest for 15 minutes, then serve.
Two bowls of Shepherd's Pie with a spoon, rest of Shepherd's Pie in a casserole dish.

Quick Tip

If you have time, you can scoop the mashed potatoes into a piping bag, and pipe the potato topping over the meat when assembling the Shepherd’s Pie. If you use a star tip, the ridges will brown and get slightly crispy in the oven.

How to Store Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave. Or, warm the entire casserole in the oven at 350ºF just until warmed through. If the top begins to brown, cover it with aluminum foil, and continue to bake just until your desired temperature is reached.

Serving Suggestions

Made with protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fiber, this homemade shepherd’s pie recipe can easily be enjoyed as a complete, filling meal on its own. However, if you’re feeding a crowd or want to have leftovers, try pairing it with all your favorite side dishes! Some great options include dinner rolls, cucumber tomato salad, grilled or roasted vegetables.


What is the difference between a shepherd’s pie and a cottage pie?

The difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie is the type of meat that is used in the filling. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, while in the UK, cottage pie is the term used when this recipe is made with beef. (In the US, it’s usually known as shepherd’s pie either way.)

Does shepherd’s pie contain beef?

In the US, shepherd’s pie is often made with ground beef. In the UK, it’s typically made with ground lamb or mutton.

Where is shepherd’s pie originally from?

Shepherd’s pie is originally from either Ireland or the United Kingdom—there’s some debate about exactly where it originated! These days, it’s popular in both countries and in the U.S. too.

Can shepherd’s pie be frozen?

You can freeze shepherd’s pie for up to three months; thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

More Satisfying Ground Beef Dinners

A baking dish full of shepherd's pie with servings missing.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie pairs a hearty meat and vegetable filling with a fluffy mashed potato topping for a satisfying dinner the whole family will love!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes


  • Large pot
  • Small Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Potato Masher
  • Dutch oven
  • 9×13 baking dish


For The Potatoes

  • 1 ½ pound potatoes
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

For The Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 2 carrots diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 poind ground lamb or beef
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Salt & black pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Add 2 large pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes.
    1 ½ pound potatoes
  • Add the milk, butter, and garlic powder to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and set aside.
    ¼ cup whole milk, ½ stick unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and return to the pot. Mash with a potato masher or push through a tamis or food mill. Slowly add the milk mixture while stirring constantly to combine and emulsify. Add the sour cream, egg yolk, and stir to combine. Season to taste and set aside.
    ¼ cup sour cream, 1 egg yolk, Salt & black pepper to taste
  • For the filling, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and carrot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the meat, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
    2 Tablespoons canola oil, 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 2 cloves garlic, 1 poind ground lamb
  • Add the flour and stir. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
    2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • Add the Worcestershire, oregano, and thyme. Season to taste. Add the corn and peas and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour meat mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with the potatoes making sure to pay attention to the edges to make a tight seal. Smooth with a spatula. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    1 Tablespoon Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, ½ cup frozen corn, ½ cup frozen peas, Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are browned. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1039IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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