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Shepherd’s Pie

This Shepherd’s Pie recipe is the perfect meal for a cold evening.

Shepherd's Pie

You know how there are supposedly 7 stages of grief? Well, when it comes to this never-ending winter, I feel like I’m somewhere between the depression and acceptance stages. We’ve hit that last leg of the season where it feels like it really will never end and there’s no point in even dreaming about spring. It will never happen.

I mean, I know that warmer days are just around the corner. But my heart sinks when I look at the forecast and there’s nothing above mid 30s. I’m just aching to be able to let my kids run around and play outside again.

Shepherd's Pie

In the meantime, I’m going to keep this Shepherd’s Pie recipe in the meal rotation. After all, I have to remind myself that one of the perks of cold days is that hot, comforting suppers are oh-so-appealing.

Before we dive into the particulars of this recipe, I have to make a confession: I never liked Shepherd’s Pie growing up. Mom would make it to use up leftovers, and it usually had green beans (which were not my favorite vegetable at the time). But once I gave it a try as an adult (and made some ingredient substitutions), I realized that it’s actually an easy and scrumptious meal. Also, my mom never put cheese on top of hers. Cheese makes everything (or nearly everything) 10x better. Am I right?!


Shepherd's Pie

Here are the ingredients that I like in my Shepherd’s Pie: Ground beef, onions, carrots, peas, parsley, chicken broth (or beef broth if you have it), potatoes, and cheese (Kerrygold Dubliner is AMAZING). You’ll also need some milk and flour to make the sauce and butter for cooking and in the potatoes.

Definitely don’t feel bad about switching out ingredients if there are any that aren’t your favorite. Shepherd’s Pie is easy to customize!

Shepherd's Pie

You can saute and bake the shepherd’s pie in the same skillet, or transfer the filling to a 13×9 pan – whatever you prefer! Make sure to spread the mashed potatoes over filling as evenly as possible.


Shepherd's Pie

Top with a good heavy layer of cheese.

Sorry about the emoji on my hand. Long story short: Helen got some tattoos for her birthday and wanted to share one with Jim. He decided he wanted nothing to do with it after I had already peeled the backing off of it. Not wanting to waste it, I went ahead and put it on my own hand. Not my first choice of a tattoo…?


Shepherd's Pie

Bake until the cheese starts to brown. Oh man…


Shepherd's Pie

You know the drill by now: serving with grass-fed butter is an absolute must.


Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie definitely won’t be one of the pretties meals you’ll ever make, but it sure is scrumptious.

Did you eat Shepherd’s Pie growing up? Did you like it, or was it not your favorite?

NOTE: Here’s a Whole30 (or lazy day) hack: leave out the sauce and use only the meat and vegetables as the filling. I’ve done this many times and it’s still delicious! And of course you’ll want to use coconut oil instead of butter for cooking and in the potatoes, substitute potato water or coconut milk for the liquid in the potatoes, and leave off the cheese to make this Whole30 compliant.

Shepherd's Pie
4.5 from 2 votes

Shepherd's Pie

This Shepherd's Pie recipe is the perfect comfort food meal for chilly evenings.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Erica Kastner


For the Potatoes:

  • 5 medium russet potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed butter
  • salt to taste

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped medium
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

For the Topping:

  • 7 ounces shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is very good)


For the Potatoes:

  1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and salt generously. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender.

  2. Drain the water. Put the milk and butter in the pot, cover, and wait for the butter to melt. Mash with a potato masher. Taste and add salt if needed.

For the Filling:

  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

  2. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. You can cover the pan to make the veggies cook faster. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan.

  3. Add the ground beef to the empty pan and cook until no longer pink, seasoning with salt and pepper.

  4. Sprinkle the flour over the beef. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the peas and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

For the Topping:

  1. Either transfer the filling to a 13x9 pan, or keep in the skillet. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with the cheese.

  2. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese turns golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve with grass-fed butter.

Recipe Rating

Ruth Swanger

Sunday 7th of March 2021

Shepherds pie is made with lamb. Cottage pie is made with beef. I never had it until we visited England, but fell in love immediatele!

Erica Kastner

Sunday 7th of March 2021

Interesting! I hadn't heard of that distinction before!


Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

I like to add a bit of worcestershire sauce too! Yum!

Erica Kastner

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

That sounds lovely!

Chicken Pot Pie with a Biscuit Crust - Buttered Side Up

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

[…] Shepherd’s Pie […]


Tuesday 6th of March 2018

Ahhhh, now today you"re truly speaking my language, Meggan! I"m really interested to see you"ve added cream to your Shepherd"s pie. Now that would be one delicious shepherd"s pie! I"ll let you into a secret. Millions of Brits (including myself) grew up eating shepherd"s pie almost weekly, and most of us call it shepherd"s pie even if it"s made with beef (which it usually is). Your version looks and sounds amazing!

Jennifer W

Thursday 1st of March 2018

I didn't really eat Shepherd's Pie growing up, but I really like it now. My version is a little different. The vegetables we use are french cut green beans and corn. I don't really like the corn in it. I prefer just the green beans. I am all about a "heavy" layer of cheddar on top!

Erica Kastner

Monday 5th of March 2018

Interesting! I think I would like the green beans a lot better now. For some reason I really disliked them in casseroles as a kid, but I didn't mind them plain. Ha! And YES to all the cheese on top. :D