This post may contain affiliate links meaning if you buy from them, I will make a few pennies, at no cost to you. See disclosure here.

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.

a plate of shepherd's pie made with beef

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.

overhead shot of broiled potatoes in a casserole dish

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.
overhead shot of ingredients laid out to make shepherd's pie with beef

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!

  1. STEP ONE: Make the mashed potatoes. Boil cubed potatoes in salted water, drain, then mash with butter, milk, and salt & pepper.
  2. STEP TWO: Make the meat filling. Season and brown the ground sirloin then add the chopped carrots and onions and cook until tender.
  3. 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.
  4. STEP FOUR: Assemble. Pour the meat filling into a small casserole dish. Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
  5. STEP FIVE: Broil. Broil for 6-8 minutes or until just golden. Serve & enjoy!
collage of photos showing gravy in pan and shepherd's pie in casserole dish

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.

overhead shot of shepherd's pie in a casserole dish with a scoop missing

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.


Pizza Pasta Bake
Garlic Butter Steak Bites
Baked Mostaccioli
Meatloaf Muffins
Meatloaf with Brown Gravy

Click here for my entire collection of beef recipes.

overhead shot of shepherd's pie with a scoop out of it

Connect with Persnickety Plates!

Follow along on my social media so you never miss a post!

I made a fun group on Facebook for sharing recipes, asking questions, and talking about food. I’d love to have you! Request to join HERE.

Also, sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:


If you MAKE & LOVE this recipe, share it on Instagram and tag me @melissa_pplates and/or #persnicketyplates so I can see it. I LOVE seeing what you make & I’ll share it in my stories!

It is VERY HELPFUL to me and other readers if you leave a review after you make my recipe. Please come back & let me know how it turned out!

a plate of shepherd's pie made with beef
5 from 27 votes

Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Beef

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
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.


For the potatoes

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the filling

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 medium carrot peeled & chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  • In a large pot of salted water, boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and pour them in a bowl. Add the butter, milk, and salt & pepper. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash together. Adjust with more butter/milk/salt & pepper, to taste.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil & ground sirloin to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning.
  • Brown & crumble the meat for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped carrot & onion to the meat & cook 5 minutes more (or until meat is no longer pink), stirring frequently.
  • In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk butter & flour together for about two minutes. Whisk in the broth & Worcestershire sauce. Let the gravy thicken for about one minute.
  • Add the gravy to the meat & veggies and stir in the frozen peas & corn.
  • Preheat broiler to high.
  • In a small casserole dish, add the meat and veggies to the bottom then spoon potatoes evenly over meat. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6-8 inches from heat until potatoes are evenly browned.


Adapted from Rachael Ray
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 995mg | Potassium: 1689mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3531IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published July 15, 2010

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I call it Shepherd’s Pie. I make it with beef. And the only thing you need with it is a piece of homemade cornbread!

  2. I call it shepherd pie because it has veggies and I use beef mince and I normally don’t put anything else with it.

  3. I’d use beef and serve fried apples and coleslaw with it, plus some sort of crusty bread.