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Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is cozy comfort food at it’s best. This version is made with savory ground beef filling with vegetables and topped with creamy homemade mashed potatoes.

overhead photo of shepherd's pie in a skillet

I believe the best dishes start with love and this shepherd’s pie has got it in spades. With its savory beef and veggie filling topped with decadent mashed potatoes, it’s best served when the weather’s cold and you’re craving a stick-to-your-ribs comfort food dinner.

Technically, if we want to be picky about these things, a traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but where I’m from (oh, hi, Wyoming!) everyone always called a savory beef and veggie filling topped with mashed potatoes “shepherd’s pie”, so I’m sticking with it. You can easily substitute the ground beef with lamb or ground turkey if you want to lighten it up.

I like to use an oven-safe pan to make this (a cast-iron one works great) so once the filling is ready you can just top it with the mashed potatoes and pop it in the oven.

Ingredients for the Filling

  • Unsalted butter
  • Diced yellow onion
  • Diced carrots
  • Minced garlic
  • Ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Beef stock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen peas
  • Chopped fresh parsley

The filling is simple to make. Just saute the onions and carrots in the butter until they’ve softened a bit.

Add the garlic, beef and salt and cook it all together until the beef is no longer pink.

Sprinkle the flour over the top – it will thicken the juices – and add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Let it all simmer while you make the mashed potatoes.

Ingredients for the Mashed Potatoes

  • Russet potatoes
  • Unsalted butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

For the potatoes, I like to get them going first so while they’re boiling you can make the filling.

Once the potatoes are tender and cooked through, just drain them and mash them in the same pot. Add the butter, cream, salt and pepper and they are done.

Spread them in an even layer over the top of the filling. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top, pop it under the broiler and once the top is toasty it’s ready to serve.

Reader Reviews

Readers ❤ this shepherd’s pie!

  • “Great recipe, very simple and delicious 👌🏼”
  • “This was amazing definitely will be a staple in our home”
  • “so tasty!”

Check the comments for more reader reviews and, if you make it, be sure visit this post again to leave a comment and rate the recipe!

Happy cooking,

photo of mashed potatoes covering the filling in a skillet

More Beef Recipes


Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but this version uses ground beef. It’s classic comfort food and a favorite cold weather dinner. This recipe feeds four hungry people but can stretch to feed six if you have other things (i.e. salad, veggies) on the side.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil them for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and carrots and cook them until they start to soften, approximately 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and beef, using a spatula to break it up as it cooks. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the beef and stir. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Let it simmer until the juices thicken.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes to break them up. Add the butter and heavy cream. Continue mashing until the potatoes are smooth and the cream and butter is incorporated. Season with the black pepper and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  5. Add the peas and parsley to the beef and vegetables and stir to combine. Top the beef with the mashed potatoes and spread them into an even layer. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top of the potatoes.
  6. Turn the oven to broil. Place the skillet on a sheet pan (in case anything bubbles over the edges of the skillet) and place it under the broiler. Keep and eye on it and once the potatoes start to take on some golden edges, remove it from the oven and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 794
  • Sugar: 9.5g
  • Sodium: 2260.1mg
  • Fat: 51.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 26.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 20.2g
  • Trans Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.1g
  • Fiber: 9.2g
  • Protein: 32.7g
  • Cholesterol: 159.7mg

Keywords: shepherd’s pie, beef shepherd’s pie

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  1. This was delicious. My family loved it. The only changes I made were doing only 2 potatoes (which was plenty), and I added a little fish sauce and A-1 steak sauce to the meat mixture to add a little flavor depth, and I threw in a can of drained green beans for more vegetables. Really good and I’m adding it to our rotation.

  2. I love this recipe! So very good. I didn’t have peas the first time I made this, so I used celery instead, and it was great. I’m making this again tonight, and toying with the idea of using an orange bell pepper. I think that would be good, too. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe! I’ve made this one so often, that I’ve got it memorized!

  3. I have heard that if “Shepard’s Pie” is made with ground beef it is called Cottage Pie.
    Either way- always a family favorite!

  4. Nice recipe, but it, like the majority of “shepherd’s pie” recipes out there. Is not a shepherd’s pie, it’s a cottage pie.

    Shepherd’s pie uses lamb (hence the shepherd part).

  5. I made this for a Reformation Day potluck and it was gone before I could get any! I did manage to scrape up a bit of the filling and mashed potatoes and it was SO GOOD! I’ll definitely make this again. My daughter enjoyed the mashed potatoes so much that I’m adding it to our meal rotation. Yum!

  6. The best kind of comfort food meal! My entire family loves Shepard’s Pie and this version is our new favourite.

  7. I’ve been dying to try to make a shepherd’s pie. This looks like the perfect recipe!

  8. I make a lot of Shepherds Pie because it is one of my favourite dishes. And I have to say your recipe is my go to recipe. My whole family absolutely loves it. Thanks again for a delicious recipe.

    1. Phenomenal recipe!! I added mushrooms, and i used mashed potatoes I had leftover from another meal. I served with sauteed asparagus. A huge hit with my husband and sons!

      1. Love that you added mushrooms – I bet it was delicious 🙂 Thank you for letting me know and for the rating!

  9. My husband gave this an A++, 5 stars. Very easy to make and I had all ingredients in house. I used my Corning Ware instead of the cast iron only because I thought it better suited the quantity. This is a keeper.

  10. Delicious! I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I used just a regular oven-safe one and it worked great. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. April, Ray Family Farms looks beautiful! I love all of their red buildings. And I am such a happy girl that you’ve shared this recipe. Shepherd’s Pie is one of my absolute favorite things to eat. I have only made it once before… in an old casserole dish. I never considered using my cast iron skillet! (Everything is tastier made in cast iron!!) I am really looking forward to giving your recipe a try. Thanks so much!!

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