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Shepherd’s Pie

Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is a dish of Irish origin that’s typically made with ground lamb. It’s so very scrumptious with its rich gravy and vegetables topped with a crust of mashed potatoes. My homage to Shepherd’s Pie can be made using either ground lamb or the more readily available option, a good quality lean ground beef. It’s mouth wateringly delicious either way.

Shepherd's Pie

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

What’s the difference between Shepherd’s pie and Cottage Pie ? Truth is, they’re very similar. As I’ve mentioned, shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb and cottage pie is prepared with ground beef. I’ve had it both ways. One of my favorite variations of Shepherd’s pie combines ground lamb with ground beef for a fantastic balance of flavors. Some might say adding ground beef to Shepherd’s Pie is a sacrilege however, my kitchen rule of thumb is to make any dish the way your family will enjoy it the most. This recipe is prepared with ground lamb but, beef may be substituted of course, with no other adjustments needed.

Shepherd's Pie

How to Make the Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Cooking is meant to be fun, at least that’s the rule at our home. Have fun and be creative adapting this comfort food dish using lamb, ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey. Regardless, it’s guaranteed to be delicious. After all, it’s your kitchen, right?

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Shepherd’s Pie: Ground lamb or ground beef, diced onion, carrots, olive oil, salt, black pepper, Mrs Dash original (or Herbes de Provence) frozen peas, beef stock, tomato paste, fresh thyme, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, cooked and cooled mashed potatoes, butter and minced garlic.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large skillet, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, stirring spoons and a shallow 8 x 12 inch casserole dish or baking pan.
  • Please note: You can use Herbes de Provence in place of Mrs Dash or any other seasoning blend that you enjoy.
  • To make Shepherd’s Pie you cook the onion and carrots in a drizzle of olive oil. Add the lamb, cooking until no pink remains, then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer just until combined then pour into the baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly then enjoy/1
  • This dish, like so many that I love, can be assembled one day in advance and baked when you’re ready to serve it. Just cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator overnight.
  • You may enjoy pairing this Shepherd’s Pie with  yummy spinach salad and crusty homestyle garlic bread. It’s comfort food at it’s finest.
  • Store baked shepherd’s Pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave or in a preheated 325°F oven with foil on top just until heated through.

Step-by-step pictures of preparation of Shepherd's Pie

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

It’s best to make the topping for this recipe using cold mashed potatoes. I use my Swiss Mashed Potatoes recipe and sometimes I reinvent leftover Buttermilk Ranch Mashed Potatoes or Baked Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes. For any of these recipes you begin with cubed potatoes cooked in salted water until fork tender. Drain them, then add the butter, salt and remaining ingredients and whip until smooth. Cool completely before adding to the top.


Shepherd's Pie

More Irish Inspired Recipes You May Also Like to Make

  • This Irish stew called Dublin Coddle  is super simple to make and it features chunks of potatoes, onions and smoked sausages.
  • Easy Irish Soda Bread with a side of sweet cream butter is the perfect side dish to sop up the flavorful broth.
  • Delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage is the ideal dish to serve any time of year but especially for St Patrick’s Day.
  • You may also like this recipe for Irish Colcannon from Homemade Hooplah.


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Easy Shepherd's Pie
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5 from 3 votes

Shepherd's Pie

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Resting Time5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: shepherds-pie
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 538kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 1 /2 cup diced carrot
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 clove minced garlic
  • 2 lb ground lamb OR ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp Mrs Dash Original (Or Herbes de Provence)
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • Swiss Cheese Mashed Potatoes


  • Prepare the Swiss Cheese Mashed Potatoes In advance and chill.  
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • On the stove top, over medium-high heat, cook diced onion and carrot in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until carrots are tender and onion is beginning to brown. Add  seasoned salt, pepper and minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the ground lamb cooking until no pink remains. Adjust the seasoned salt and black pepper, to your taste. Drain excess fat from the pan.
  • Add Worcestershire, beef broth, tomato paste, fresh thyme, Mrs Dash and frozen baby peas. Stir over low heat just until thickened around 1-2 minutes. Remove from the stovetop adding chopped parsley.
  • Pour into the baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Brush the top of the potatoes with melted butter.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly. Increase the oven to broil, if needed to brown the top.
  • Rest for 5 minutes then serve.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 931mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4255IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    Great dish!! I’ve made this multiple times but I always use leftover smoked brisket. It is AMAZING!! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hi Sharon, what a sweet comment. Yes, this is delicious with ground beef with no other adjustments needed. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!

  3. Plan to make this, but since none of us like lamb, I appreciate it that you can make this with ground beef! I adore your site, your recipes, and your personal observations each day. God Bless.

    1. Just a bit of trivia: If it is made with ground beef instead of ground lamp, then it’s called Cottage Pie 🙂

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