This Cottage Pie recipe features a flavorful ground beef and mixed vegetable filling that’s simmered in a rich tomato sauce. It’s topped with creamy mashed potatoes and finished with a buttery Parmesan crust.
Easy Cottage Pie Recipe
Cottage Pie is essentially the same concept as Shepherd’s pie. The difference being that cottage pie is traditionally made with ground beef and shepherd’s pie with ground lamb. In foodie circles you’ll often hear the terms used interchangeably usually with someone getting a bit out of sorts if you don’t use the proper meat associated with the title of the dish. I have a shepherd’s pie recipe in the recipe index that I use a combination of lamb and beef as it’s our preference. This recipe uses all ground beef in keeping with traditional cottage pie, but done my way.
How to Make the Best Ground Beef Cottage Pie Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Cottage Pie: Ground beef, onion, celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, bacon drippings or olive oil, garlic, frozen peas and carrots, garlic salt, lemon pepper, dry Italian seasoning, thyme, beef stock and tomato paste.
- For the mashed potato topping you’ll need: Russet potatoes, butter, salt, milk and sour cream.
- You’ll also need pats of butter and grated Parmesan cheese for the top and parsley for garnishing.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: A large cast iron skillet or similar oven safe skillet, medium saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, a mixer to whip the potatoes, a large spoon and vegetable peeler.
- Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list as this recipe includes the mashed potatoes for the top. You can certainly use leftover mashed potatoes, if desired. All of the ingredients are easy to find and you may already have everything you need stocked in you pantry.
- If you prefer, you can cook the filling on the stovetop and transfer everything to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish to assemble and bake.
- For a smaller pie portion, you can easily adapt using half of the ingredient amounts.
- You can make this same recipe using ground turkey, ground chicken or with a mixture of sausage and ground beef.
- Some cottage pie recipes call for red wine in the sauce. If you’d like to add it to the mix, replace 1/2 cup beef broth with red wine.
- You can brown the ground beef in olive oil or bacon drippings. Bacon drippings add a nice smokiness and dimension to the flavor overall.
- The mashed potatoes can be prepared in advance and chilled until you’re ready to assemble for a time saver.
- Store baked Cottage Pie chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
More Savory Pie Recipes to Make
Savory pies are one of those comforting meals that everyone loves to come home to. Other pie recipes you may like to add to your dinner rotation:
- Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie is a twist on a classic pot pie.
- Beef Pot Pie with Cheddar Onion Biscuits is a one dish meal.
- Delight the family with this Crescent Ring Chicken Pot Pie.
- Restaurant quality Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie.
- Steak and Potato Pie is a delicious and hearty meal with a salad and bread for sopping up the juices.
- Mini Chicken Pot Pies are made in a muffin pan.
- Mile High Meatless Lasagna Pie from Better Homes and Gardens.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 rib celery diced
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp bacon drippings or olive oil
- 1 heaping cup frozen peas and carrots no need to thaw
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp lemon pepper or black pepper
- 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning or oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cups low sodium beef stock
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- Mashed Potatoes:
- 2 1/2-3lb russet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 tsp salt divided use
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup milk additional as needed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- few pats butter to dot the top
- 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- To make filling: Meanwhile, in a 12 inch oven safe skillet over medium high heat, cook together ground beef, onion, celery, red pepper and green pepper in bacon drippings or olive oil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or just until no pink remains in beef. Drain excess fat from pan.
- To the beef, add peas and carrots, minced garlic, garlic salt, lemon pepper, Italian, seasoning, thyme and garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- To the skillet add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Lower heat to simmer, stirring just until tomato paste has melted and sauce slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
- To make topping: Cover potatoes with cold water, season with 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, boiling for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well. Add butter, milk, sour cream and reserved salt, whipping with an electric mixer until smooth. Add additional milk as needed to thin. Taste and adjust salt to taste. (This can be done up to 2 days in advance and chilled until assembling.)
- Spread the top with mashed potatoes, dot with pats of butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly around the edge. May broil the top if desired to brown further.
- Let stand for 5 minutes then serve garnished with fresh parsley.