Shepherd’s Pie is hearty, savory, delicious, and a great quick dinner recipe. Shepards Pie is also a great way to use of leftovers!
Shepherd’s Pie is one of my very favorite meals. It’s simple to make and is a flavorful hit with the whole family. I love to toss in any leftover vegetables or meat so nothing goes to waste.
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
Ground meat – Shepherd’s Pie traditionally uses with lamb or mutton, however in the United States we typically use ground beef. Technically a Shepards Pie made with beef is called a Cottage Pie, but in the US we refer to both as Shepherd’s Pie.
Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes are easiest in this recipe, but you can use fresh if you prefer.
Carrots – I like to use frozen sliced carrots to make quick work of things. Canned carrots would be good too.
Onion – White onion or sweet yellow onion are perfect. Feel free to use frozen onions to bring this recipe together quickly.
Peas – I like to use frozen peas because canned peas are a little mushier. Canned will work in a pinch though.
Green beans – Canned or frozen green beans are both good flavor wise, if you’re worried about appearance though, frozen green vegetables tend to look better than canned.
Corn – Fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels all work well in this recipe.
Italian dressing mix – Italian dressing mix packets are one of my favorite quick seasoning tricks. They bring the flavor of this Shepards Pie to the next level. We like the Good Seasons brand Italian Salad Dressing mix, but many stores also have a generic version.
Bouillon – You can use bouillon paste (Better than Bouillon is my personal favorite) or bouillon cubes.
Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is best, but there’s no shame in using pre-minced either. It’s all about getting good food on the table without too much trouble.
Mashed potatoes – I love to use leftover mashed potatoes in this recipe, but when we don’t have any on hand I just mix up some instant mashed potatoes. There’s no need to heavily doctor them as we have a ton of flavor and seasoning in this recipe already. I do suggest making them with milk rather than water if possible
Cheese – I like a Mexican blend shredded cheese (sometimes also called Fiesta blend), but cheddar is also delicious.
How Do You Make Shepards Pie
First, in a large skillet bring ground beef, tomatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, peas, green beans, corn, Italian seasoning, and bouillon to a simmer.
Then, simmer 5 – 7 minutes allowing some of the liquid to cook off.
Next, pour meat/veggie mixture into an oven safe casserole dish or deep pie plate and spread mashed potatoes over top, then sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Finally, bake until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
Where is Shepherd’s Pie From
Shepherd’s Pie originates from England. It first came about late in the 1700s and early 1800s.
It was developed as a way to use up leftovers, much like the casseroles of today.
What Meat is in Shepherd’s Pie
For purists, the type of meat in Shepherd’s Pie is lamb or mutton. If made with ground beef it’s called a Cottage Pie.
That said, in the US the names are used interchangeably and we typically use ground beef. The Cottage Pie vs Shepherd’s Pie question isn’t really a question here.
Do You Put Cheese on Shepherd’s Pie
Yes, you put cheese on Shepherd’s Pie! At least we do. This is a hot debate, but I’m a big fan of bubbly melted cheese on top of the mashed potatoes.
We like to use a Mexican or Fiesta blend on ours, but you could also use cheddar, provolone, or even munester.
What Spices Do You Put in Shepherd’s Pie
The spices we put in Shepards Pie are an Italian Dressing Mix packet (which contains: sugar, salt, sodium citrate, garlic, onion, spice, red bell peppers, carrots, xanthagum maltodextrin (from corn) parsley, natural flavor, guargum, and citric acid).
We also use garlic and onions which aren’t actually spices, but do add a lot of flavor.
Shepherd’s Pie Tips
★ Make sure you cook the beef mixture long enough so the liquid has thickened and most of the liquid has cooked off. This will keep you from having a runny Shepherd’s Pie.
★ Don’t worry if you’re out of leftover mashed potatoes – instant mashed potatoes work perfectly in this recipe. Make them with milk for a richer flavor.
★ Try making this with ground turkey or ground chicken for a healthier Shepherd’s Pie.
★ Toss in your leftover vegetables so nothing goes to waste!
What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie
More Like Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie Making Tools
Santuko knife – My favorite knife for cutting vegetables! This knife is the perfect size and shape, handles great, and is super reasonably priced. Also, I just love that it’s fun and colorful!
6.5 Quart dutch oven – This enameled cast iron dutch oven can go from stove top to oven, and look beautiful doing it. Perfect for chilis, roasts, breads, and stews. Mine is yellow, what color will you choose?
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
Shepard's Pie (Shepherd's Pie)
- 1 pound browned ground beef
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes NOT drained
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup green beans
- ½ cup corn
- 1 pouch Italian dressing mix .7 ounce pouch
- 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon bouillon paste
- 2 cups prepared mashed potatoes (instant mashed potatoes work fine!)
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- In a large skillet bring ground beef, tomatoes, carrots, onion, peas, green beans, corn, Italian seasoning, and bouillon to a simmer. Simmer 5 - 7 minutes allowing some of the liquid to cook off.
- Pour meat/veggie mixture into an oven safe casserole dish or deep pie plate.
- Spread mashed potatoes over top, then shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.