Easy Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie

To me, Shepherd's Pie is the ultimate comfort food - meat and potatoes, topped in melted cheese . . . it just doesn't get any better than this!

When we were growing up, one of my favorite dishes was our Mom’s Shepherd’s Pie. She would always make the mashed potatoes from scratch and load it with tons and tons of cheese – it was heaven in a dish!

Her recipe uses a couple of different cans of soup and vegetables which is super convenient (and still super delicious), but I decided to switch this one up a little bit to decrease the sodium and maybe make it a little more healthy.

Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with mutton or lamb, but to make things simple I just used  lean ground beef. I have also made it with ground turkey and my family loved it, so feel free to use what you prefer (or whatever you have on hand!).

So why is it called “Shepherd’s Pie”? The name Shepherd’s Pie actually comes from England a few centuries ago and they used the term to define a dish made of minced meat with potatoes on top. It was called Shepherd’s Pie if it was made with lamb and they actually called the dish “Cottage Pie” if it was made with beef . . . so I guess if we are going to get technical, this recipe is for Cottage Pie. đŸ˜‰

For the mashed potato topping, I recommend using homemade mashed potatoes, but if you are short on time, instant mashed potatoes work great (I have definitely used them on more than one occasion!). If you are in a crazy time crunch, you can even throw frozen tater tots on top and then cover them in cheese – it’s delicious!

Making this Shepherd’s Pie (aka Cottage Pie) is simple – brown the ground beef, add vegetables and seasonings, place in the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan, top with potatoes, add lots of cheese, and bake until it’s hot and gooey. Comfort food at it’s finest!

Serves: 8

Easy Ground Beef Shepherd's Pie

15 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, and corn)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch deep baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add ground beef, onion, and garlic. Saute until beef is fully cooked.
  3. Add in flour and cook for a minute longer.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and beef broth. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the frozen vegetables and salt and pepper.
  5. Pour meat mixture into the bottom of prepared dish; carefully spread mashed potatoes on the top of the meat. Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the meat mixture is bubbly.


*Homemade mashed potatoes are best, but instant mashed potatoes will work great for this recipe as well! Tater tots can also be substituted if you are short on time.

Slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


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