Shepherd’s Pie (Cottage Pie)
Shepherd’s Pie or commonly called Cottage Pie is a comfort food meal that always gets rave reviews. This lightened up version of the classic Shepherd’s Pie is made with lean ground beef (or lamb) and lots of veggies, simmered together in the most delicious sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes. This dinner is easy to make, and freezes well too. Cottage Pie is my favorite cozy winter meal!
You can never go wrong with a good casserole, and this one happens to be a childhood favorite. It’s loaded with lean ground beef, veggies and potatoes, making it a complete meal. This recipe is also so easy to customize to your tastes, which makes it perfect for even the pickiest eaters.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie?
A true Shepherd’s Pie originates from England and is traditionally made with ground lamb. And the ground beef version is typically known as Cottage Pie. However, since in the states, ground beef is eaten more than lamb, this meal is usually referred to as a Shepherd’s Pie.
A Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie is a casserole with cooked ground meat and vegetables in a flavorful sauce, topped with creamy mashed potatoes, and cheese. This casserole is baked in the oven until the the mashed potatoes are golden and slightly crispy on top. So good!
How Do You Make Shepherd’s Pie?
To make this easy, family-friendly recipe, simply:
- Cook the potatoes. Cover potatoes and garlic with water in a large saucepan. Cook until potatoes are very tender. Drain and return potatoes to saucepan with sour cream. Mash to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Set aside for later.
- Brown the meat. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef or lamb until browned. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add vegetables, broth and ketchup; continue cooking 5 min.
- Layer it all up. Spoon meat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with mashed potatoes.
- Bake. Bake 18 min. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake an additional 2 min. or until heated through and cheese is melted.
- Garnish and serve. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley if you would like, and dish it up while everything is still nice and warm. Yum.
Make Ahead Options:
- Shepherd’s Pie is a great dish to prepare ahead of time. Make it the night before or the morning of, store it covered in the fridge, and then bake it when you’re ready to eat!
- Shepherd’s Pie makes for delicious leftovers. Store it, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can even freeze this Shepherd’s Pie! After cooking and allowing the pie to cool, cover it tightly and freeze it for up to two months. Cook the frozen pie at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour before enjoying.
Easy Cottage Pie Variations:
This is one of those dishes, that if you ask 10 cooks how to cook a Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll get 10 different recipes. That’s the beauty of cooking, adapting, modifying, and putting your own twist on it.
- Meat. Lean ground beef is very tasty in this dish, but any ground meat will work. Try chicken, bison, turkey or lamb.
- Veggies. The options are endless. You can substitute any of the veggies in this dish for other favorites or what you have on hand.
- Herbs. You can add fresh herbs while cooking the veggies, if you’d like. I think 2 teaspoons each of fresh thyme and rosemary would be tasty. Or 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and rosemary.
- Dietary restrictions. You can easily make this dish fit a variety of dietary needs. For gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour. For dairy-free, use dairy free sour cream or yogurt and nix the cheese or use a dairy-free substitute.
- Use sweet potatoes: For an amazing sweet+savory combo, feel free to use sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes for the mashed potatoes. Of course, you can always use Russets or Yukon Golds as well too.
What Do You Serve With Shepherd’s Pie?
For a cozy meal this fall and winter, you can’t beat this deliciousness with perhaps a side salad and crusty bread. The only other thing you need is a glass of red wine and a crackling fire…
This meal is already filled with lots of goodness, so I like to keep the sides really simple.
More Cozy Recipes:
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Shepherd's Pie or commonly called Cottage Pie is a comfort food meal that always gets rave reviews. This lightened up version of the classic Shepherd's Pie is made with lean ground beef (or lamb) and lots of veggies, simmered together in the most delicious sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes. This dinner is easy to make, and freezes well too.
- 1 1/4 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 cup light shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables; such as broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, onion and/or bell peppers, thawed if frozen
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- Optional garnish: fresh parsley, chopped
Cover potatoes and garlic with water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 min. or until potatoes are very tender. Drain; return to saucepan with sour cream. Mash to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brown meat in a large skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add vegetables, broth and ketchup; continue cooking 5 min.
Spoon meat mixture into 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with mashed potatoes. Bake 18 min. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake an additional 2 min. or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Photos by Sasha of Eat Love Eats.