The Best Shepherd’s Pie – Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


For the Filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef or ground lamb (choose one, or use a combination)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Potato Topping:

  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but adds richness)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Make the Filling:

  • Brown the meat and onions: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground meat, thyme, and rosemary. Cook, breaking the meat apart, until browned. Drain excess fat if needed.
  • Make a flavorful base: Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Gradually whisk in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add vegetables: Stir in frozen peas and corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Prepare the Potato Topping:

  • Cook potatoes: Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well.
  • Mash with flavor: Return potatoes to the pot. Add butter, milk (or half and half), Parmesan (if using), garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mash until smooth and creamy.

Assemble and Bake:

  • Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Layer: Spoon meat mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the meat layer. Use a fork to create a textured top, if desired.
  • Bake and serve: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips & Variations

  • Boost flavor: Add minced garlic with the onions for extra flavor.
  • Veggie options: Use a mixture of carrots, peas, and corn, or add other vegetables like diced mushrooms.
  • Make it a cottage pie: Replace the ground lamb with ground beef for a classic cottage pie.
  • Cheese it up: Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes before baking for extra melty goodness.
  • Individual portions: For individual servings, use ramekins or smaller oven-safe dishes.


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