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Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie

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Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie is so easy, delicious, and hearty! It’s like a warm hug in a casserole dish! 


Main image for Ground Beef Shepherds Pie


The savory, juicy layer of ground beef. The tender veggies. Or the layer of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes. Who can say which is the best part?

And all of it baked to a golden brown perfection! 

This Shepherd’s Pie is a hearty meal that is all the comfort of home-cooked food in one delicious casserole!

I love that this easy ground beef shepherds pie is a full meal in one dish! Less dishes!

And feel free to tweak the recipe! Swap in ground lamb or add different veggies like green beans.

It’s perfect for any occasion! Family dinner, a potluck, or cozy nights in! Doesn’t matter!

Plus it tastes just as great the next day! So it’s perfect for leftovers too!

Easy shepherd’s pie ground beef is such a kid-friendly meal! Easily get the whole family excited about dinner.


all ingredients for shepherds pie laid out on counter


What Is Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s Pie is also known as Cottage Pie sometimes. 

It’s usually made with beef though it can be made with other meats too.

It’s a classic dish that’s originally from the United Kingdom. 

So it usually has a ground meat mixture. That can include veggies and gravy or sauce.

Then it’s topped with mashed potatoes and baked until the top is golden.

It’s a very comforting and filling meal!


ground beef onions and carrots in a skillet


What Ingredients Are in Shepherd’s Pie?

This easy shepherd’s pie recipe is a great thing to have up your sleeve!

Here’s what you’ll need to grab from the grocery store:

  • Russet Potatoes: For making the fluffy mashed potato topping.
  • Ground Beef: Beef filling! You can also use ground lamb for a more traditional Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Yellow Onion & Carrots: The classic combo!
  • Tomato Paste & Worcestershire Sauce: Together they make a really great flavor.
  • Flour: Helps thicken the filling.
  • Corn or Peas: Pick your color and veggie!
  • Cheddar Cheese: For a cheesy layer! So good!
  • Butter & Milk: To make the mashed potatoes creamy and rich.

Pro Tips:

  • Peel and quarter the potatoes for even cooking.
  • You don’t need any chicken broth or beef broth here. So leave them out.
  • You can totally use leftover potatoes here! That’s a great idea!


water, tomato paste and flour all added to skillet with ground beef


How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

The best shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food right?

With cooked meat, flavorful gravy, and a golden crust, here’s how to make it:

  1. Boil and mash the potatoes with butter and milk.
  2. Cook the ground beef with veggies, then add flour, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Layer the meat mixture with cheese in a baking dish, then top with fluffy mashed potatoes.
  4. Bake until the top is golden and the meat filling is bubbling.

Pro Tips:

  • For a golden brown top, use a fork to create ridges in the mashed potatoes before baking.
  • Sauté the onions and carrots until they’re soft while cooking the meat.
  • A potato masher usually works pretty well on the potatoes.


Worcestershire sauce, water, salt, pepper, corn and peas added to skillet with ground beef.


Is Shepherd’s Pie Traditionally Made with Lamb or Ground Beef?

Traditionally, homemade shepherd’s pie is made with lamb. Technically if it is made with beef, it’s called Cottage Pie.

However, you don’t typically find it with lamb in the United States. 

Ground beef is much more common. And it’s just as delicious too!

It doesn’t really matter which kind of meat you use. It really is yummy either way.


cheese on top of ground beef mixture


Can You Make Shepherd’s Pie Ahead of Time?

You can absolutely make it ahead of time! And it’s a great idea too! 

Make ahead shepherd’s pie is a lifesaver for busy days. Really! A life saver!

First assemble the pie. Then cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge. 

When you’re ready to eat, bake it until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. 

Any meal prep is my go to! And this one is a great one!

How to Store Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

Leftover Shepherd’s Pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 

Just cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. 

Or you can transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. 

I like to break it up into small portions usually. That way it’s just ready to toss in a lunch box.


Mashed potatoes spread on top of ground beef and cheese mixture


Can You Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

This classic shepherd’s pie is totally freezer-friendly. And it’s a great option for meal planning. 

Or for taking to the neighbors who are sick or just had a baby!

Bring this over frozen and they can heat it whenever they need it. Perfect!

To freeze, wrap the whole casserole or individual portions tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. 

It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

Then just follow the recipe’s instructions.

Don’t forget to write the instructions on the aluminum foil! 

That way you won’t have to go looking for them later!


baked ground beef shepherds pie in casserole dish


How to Reheat Shepherd’s Pie

To reheat, place the thawed Shepherd’s Pie in a preheated oven at 350°F.

Then bake until it’s heated through and the top is crispy again. 

If reheating individual portions, a microwave will work fine, though the potatoes may not be as crispy.

And try not to recook them. You just want them heated. 

The longer they cook, the more likely they are to burn or dry out.

Can You Make a Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, you can make it deconstructed! 

A deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie is such a fun way to serve this! 

Actually my mom used to do this all the time and it’s still one of my favorite ways to make it.

Simply prepare the meat mixture and mashed potatoes separately. 

Then let everyone scoop what they like into a bowl and create their own version. 

Picky eaters are happy. I’m happy because they actually eat something. It’s a win-win in my house.


A portion removed from skillet


What Are Some Freezer Meals with Ground Beef?

Ground beef is so great for freezer meals! 

Obviously you can make shepherd’s pie.

But you can also make meatloaf, beef and cheese lasagna, beef enchiladas, chili, and stuffed bell peppers. 

These meals all freeze well:

Is Shepherd’s Pie Gluten-Free?

This specific Shepherd’s Pie recipe is not gluten-free cause we use flour in the meat mixture. 

However, you can easily make it gluten-free by substituting the flour.

There are a lot of gluten-free alternative flours you could buy. Or you can use cornstarch for thickening too.


top view looking down at a plate of shepherds pie ready to be eaten.


Is Shepherd’s Pie Healthy?

Shepherd’s Pie can be a part of a healthy diet. 

It has protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. So that’s a win in my house!

To change things up you can use lean ground beef or ground turkey.

You could also add in more veggies.

Or use less butter or milk.

Though honestly, if it’s a balanced diet, I think this shepherd’s pie is just fine.

What to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a hearty meal on its own! It really doesn’t need anything else.

But if you want to throw a few more things on the table, you’ve got some options.

It pairs well with a simple green salad, steamed vegetables, or a crusty bread roll. 

Or serve it with a side of glazed carrots, green beans, or a refreshing cucumber salad.

Here are some great recipes to try:

Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie is a classic comfort dish! It’s delicious and easy! 


side view of a plate full of shepherds pie ready to be eaten


Cooking for a family dinner, prepping for the week ahead, or hosting a dinner party, this Shepherd’s Pie is sure to hit the sweet spot!


Yield: 8 servings

Shepherd’s Pie

top view looking down at a plate of shepherds pie ready to be eaten.

Savor the comfort of homemade Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie! A hearty, delicious meal perfect for any occasion, with easy prep and storage!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  2. In a large pot, add potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, In a deep skillet or dutch oven, over medium to medium high heat, cook ground beef, onion, and carrots. Drain off any excess fat.
  4. Add 1/4 cup water and tomato paste. Stir well.
  5. Add flour and stir well.
  6. Add Worcestershire sauce, stir well. Mixture will be thick and pasty.
  7. Slowly add 2 cups of water 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until all is incorporated.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Stir well.
  9. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes.
  10. Add corn or peas and cook for 1 more minute.
  11. If skillet is deep enough, top beef mixture with cheese. If skillet is not deep enough, pour contents into a 9x13 casserole dish and top with cheese. Set aside.
  12. In a mixer or with a hand mixer, combine potatoes and butter and whip well. Add 1/2 cup of milk and continue mixing until smooth and creamy.
  13. Carefully spoon potatoes over cheesy ground beef mixture.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes or until top begins to golden slightly.
  15. Serve Immediately.


If making this as a freezer meal, prepare as normal. Once assembled, cover with saran wrap or press n' seal and then with heavy foil, sealing tight. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, bake in 350* oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until middle is cooked through.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 644mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
Originally Posted: March 9, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: May 13, 2020 

Photos & Text Updated: February 20, 2024

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Beti Micevska

Friday 23rd of February 2024

We loved this Shepherds Pie! It was the perfect blend of comfort and heartiness, and super easy to make. A definite hit for a filling family dinner!

Katerina Petrovska

Friday 23rd of February 2024

It was a hearty, satisfying meal that was surprisingly easy to put together. Definitely a great recipe for a cozy, comforting dinner.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

I made your Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie last night, and it was a massive hit! The flavors were so comforting and reminded me of my grandmother’s cooking.


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

OMG so delicious! My favorite comfort meal.

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Such a satisfying dish! Can't wait to make this again!

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