This easy Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef (sometimes called Cottage Pie) and will be ready in just about 30 minutes. A layer of ground beef mixed with a flavorful, veggie-filed gravy and topped with mashed potatoes is comfort food at its finest.
Shepherd’s Pie with Beef
Ever wonder what’s in shepherd’s pie? It’s a rich mixture of ground beef, carrots, onions, peas, and corn in a brown gravy, topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes, and then broiled to perfection.
I know I might catch flack calling it Shepherd’s Pie when I use ground beef. Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef, but this is how I’ve always referred to it. If you’d like to make it with lamb, it’s an easy swap.
Because it is so filling, you don’t need much to go with it, but a crusty piece of onion dill bread will go nicely to soak up some of the leftover gravy and then finish off with some slow cooker apple crisp.
Ingredients you’ll need
Below is a list of ingredients with some helpful tips and suggestions for substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full, printable recipe card with amounts & instructions.
- POTATOES – I use yukon gold potatoes because they’re creamy and flavorful. You’ll mash them with milk, butter, salt, and pepper. If you prefer cheesy mashed potatoes, you can certainly make your favorite.
- BEEF – I use sirloin because it is lean and full of flavor. If you use a chuck or something higher in fat, drain off any excess grease.
- SEASONINGS – I season my beef with salt, pepper, and Montreal Steak Seasoning which is a blend of garlic, onion, red pepper, etc. Use your favorite seasonings.
- VEGGIES – Dice up a carrot and onion (use my favorite veggie chopper to make it a breeze) and then mix in frozen peas and corn at the end. Alternatively, you can use a bag of frozen mixed veggies.
- BEEF BROTH/STOCK – To make your gravy, you’ll start with butter and flour, then thicken it with either beef broth or stock. Low sodium will work fine.
- WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE– Typically made of anchovies, molasses, and vinegar, worcestershire sauce is a flavor enhancer in the gravy.
- SWEET PAPRIKA – Adding paprika to the top of your potatoes adds both color and a mild peppery flavor.
Tools found on Amazon to help you
- Veggie Chopper – I love this thing – it makes chopping uniform carrots and onions SO easy.
- Meat Chopper – This little tool beautifully breaks up meat while you’re browning it.
- Casserole Dish – Make sure it is heat and freezer safe in case you want to freeze leftovers.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
This sped up version of Shepherd’s Pie should be ready in 30-45 minutes, depending on how quickly you’re able to prep your veggies. Fast comfort food is the best!
- STEP ONE: Make the mashed potatoes. Boil cubed potatoes in salted water, drain, then mash with butter, milk, and salt & pepper.
- STEP TWO: Make the meat filling. Season and brown the ground sirloin then add the chopped carrots and onions and cook until tender.
- STEP THREE: Make the gravy. In a small saucepan, whisk together the butter and flour. Whisk in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Let it thicken and then pour over the meat filling. Add in the frozen peas and corn.
- STEP FOUR: Assemble. Pour the meat filling into a small casserole dish. Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
- STEP FIVE: Broil. Broil for 6-8 minutes or until just golden. Serve & enjoy!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie FAQs
Does Shepherd’s Pie contain beef?
Traditionally, no shepherd’s pie is not made with beef. The recipe originated in England and was originally made with lamb or mutton. Americans (hi, it’s me) usually refer to it as Shepherd’s Pie though.
What is Shepherd’s Pie called when made with beef?
If you use beef, it should technically be called Cottage Pie.
Do I have to make the mashed potatoes?
You can use your favorite mashed potatoes recipe (like these garlic mashed potatoes) or if you’re short on time and need to make this dish even quicker, you could pick up a tub or two of pre-made mashed potatoes (I know people rave about the Bob Evans version).
Can I use frozen veggies?
Sure, if you want to save even more time, you could use a bag of frozen mixed veggies instead of chopping the carrots and onions. If you have leftover corn on the cob or other veggies, those will work as well.
How should I store leftovers?
Any leftovers should be covered and placed in the fridge for up to three days.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can! After assembling and broiling, let the pan cool down to room temperature, cover with foil, and place in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat it, reheat the shepherd’s pie (still covered with the foil) for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.
NEED MORE BEEF RECIPES? TRY THESE:
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Originally published July 15, 2010