Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a classic comfort dish featuring a savory ground beef and vegetable filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Perfect for family dinners, it’s a hearty meal that everyone will love.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 ½ cups onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 pounds russet or golden potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup half and half, warmed
  • 5.2 ounces Boursin cheese, garlic and fine herbs flavor
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat Oven

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cook Vegetables

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the carrots, celery, and onion until softened, about 5 minutes.

Cook Beef

Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until thoroughly browned, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.

Make Sauce

Whisk together beef broth and cornstarch. Add it to the skillet along with the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Prepare Mashed Potatoes

Add the peeled and diced potatoes to a large pot and fill with cold water until the potatoes are covered. Add 2-3 large pinches of kosher salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil and cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash well using a potato ricer or hand masher. Add the butter, warm half and half, and Boursin cheese. Mash until creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Assemble Pie

Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the meat mixture in the skillet.


Bake the Shepherd’s Pie uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the edges are bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.


  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips

  • Presentation: For an inviting presentation, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over the top of the Shepherd’s Pie before serving.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a side of green salad or steamed vegetables like green beans or broccoli for a balanced meal.
  • Individual Portions: For a fun twist, make individual servings in ramekins or small baking dishes.

Storage Tips

  • Refrigeration: Allow the Shepherd’s Pie to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, allow the pie to cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Label and date the package. Shepherd’s Pie can be frozen for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating: For best results, reheat refrigerated or thawed Shepherd’s Pie in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Cover with foil to prevent the top from browning too much. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave on medium power until hot.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy your delicious Shepherd’s Pie fresh and flavorful, whether serving immediately or saving for later!


Shepherd’s Pie is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some delicious variations to try:

Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

For a traditional take, replace the ground beef with ground lamb. The rich flavor of lamb pairs beautifully with the vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Swap the ground beef for a mix of lentils, mushrooms, and vegetables. You can also add chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and extra protein. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Use ground chicken or turkey in place of beef. Add a bit of poultry seasoning or thyme to enhance the flavor. This lighter version is perfect for those who prefer poultry over red meat.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

For a vegan option, replace the ground beef with a mixture of lentils, chickpeas, or a meat substitute like textured vegetable protein (TVP). Use vegan butter and plant-based milk for the mashed potatoes, and ensure all other ingredients are plant-based.

Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

Mix shredded cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes for a cheesy topping. You can also sprinkle extra cheese on top before baking for a golden, bubbly finish.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Instead of traditional mashed potatoes, use mashed sweet potatoes. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes pairs wonderfully with the savory filling.

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

Add a Mexican twist by incorporating black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning into the filling. Top with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese before baking.

Italian Shepherd’s Pie

Replace the Worcestershire sauce with marinara sauce and add Italian herbs like basil and oregano. Mix some Parmesan cheese into the mashed potatoes for an Italian-inspired version.

Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie

Ensure all ingredients, such as broth and Worcestershire sauce, are gluten-free. Use cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend to thicken the sauce.

Low-Carb Shepherd’s Pie

Replace the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower for a lower-carb alternative. The cauliflower mash is creamy and works well with the savory meat filling.

These variations allow you to customize Shepherd’s Pie to fit your preferences and dietary needs, making it a versatile and delicious dish for any occasion.


1. What is the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie?

Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with lamb, while Cottage Pie is made with beef. Both dishes feature a savory meat filling topped with mashed potatoes.

2. Can I make Shepherd’s Pie ahead of time?

Yes, Shepherd’s Pie can be made ahead of time. Prepare the filling and mashed potatoes, assemble the pie, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

3. Can I freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, Shepherd’s Pie freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

4. How can I make Shepherd’s Pie gluten-free?

To make Shepherd’s Pie gluten-free, use gluten-free broth and Worcestershire sauce, and thicken the sauce with cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend.

5. Can I use instant mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can use instant mashed potatoes for convenience. However, homemade mashed potatoes typically provide a richer and creamier texture.

6. What vegetables can I add to Shepherd’s Pie?

Common vegetables include carrots, peas, celery, and onions. You can also add corn, green beans, or mushrooms for additional flavor and texture.

7. How do I reheat Shepherd’s Pie?

Reheat Shepherd’s Pie in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Cover with foil to prevent the top from browning too much. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave on medium power.

8. Can I use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes?

Yes, mashed sweet potatoes can be used instead of regular potatoes for a different flavor profile. They add a natural sweetness to the dish.

9. What can I serve with Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s Pie pairs well with a green salad, steamed vegetables like green beans or broccoli, and crusty bread or rolls.

10. Can I make a vegetarian or vegan Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, for a vegetarian version, use lentils, mushrooms, and other vegetables in place of meat. For a vegan version, use plant-based butter and milk for the mashed potatoes and ensure all ingredients are plant-based.

These FAQs cover common questions about making, storing, and customizing Shepherd’s Pie, helping you create the perfect dish for any occasion.

Shepherd’s Pie is a versatile and comforting dish perfect for family dinners or meal prepping. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the delicious variations, it’s sure to be a hit. With easy make-ahead and storage options, Shepherd’s Pie fits seamlessly into any meal plan. Enjoy this hearty, flavorful dish with your loved ones!