Shepherds' pie on a white plate

Easy Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie)

Shepherd's Pie is comfort food central! A hearty, home-y dinner that sticks to your ribs and satisfies. Make ahead and freeze!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 407kcal
Author: Kylee Cooks


  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion or two smaller ones
  • 3 carrots cut into slices, or diced
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2 lb potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper


  • cheese for the top


  • In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add onions and carrots, and cook until onion is soft, and the carrots begin to soften.
  • Add tomato paste, thyme, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for around 15 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up, then add cornstarch to the water and mix. Add the mixture to the skillet,  and cook until it thickens.

  • Add the frozen peas, and mix in (the heat from the meat mixture is enough to cook the peas).

  • Boil the potatoes until tender, then mash with the butter, milk, salt, and pepper.

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Pour beef mixture into an 8 x 8 (square) dish.

  • Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture and score the top with a fork (for crispy peaks).

  • Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven until the top is brown and crispy.

  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

  • Devour.


FAQs and Top Tips
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes! Check out the ingredients info above, to be sure.
  • Can you freeze Shepherd's Pie? Yes! This recipe freezes well. Just thaw in the fridge while you go about your day, and bake in the oven when you're ready to eat. You'll need a little extra baking time to get it piping hot if it's chilled. Depending on how deep your dish is, you will bake it for 30-60 minutes.
  • Replace the potatoes with mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Switch up the vegetables with frozen mixed vegetables, or just peas, or green beans. You choose what your family likes!
  • Use ground lamb (or bison, or venison if that's your jam) instead of ground beef. 
  • Add cheese to the top of the mashed potato - it goes all bubbly and melt-y. And yummy.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 1088mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4030IU | Vitamin C: 24.2mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kyleecooks or tag #kyleecooks!