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Basic shepherd's pie recipe

Basic shepherd's pie recipe



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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef mince

This version of shepherd's pie is basic when it comes to the ingredients but the work goes into the potato mash, which is made from scratch and light and fluffy because the egg whites are beaten till stiff and folded in separately.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 4 to 5 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 300g mince meat (you can use ground chicken, beef, or pork)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons soured cream
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  2. Peel potatoes and boil in salted water till soft. Drain.
  3. Mince onion and fry in oil till soft. Add meat and brown until cooked through. Add coriander.
  4. Mash potatoes and mix with soured cream.
  5. Separate eggs. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  6. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl, add yolks and blend. Add salt.
  7. Carefully fold in the egg whites. Mix in an up-and-down motion, so that the mash stays fluffy.
  8. Transfer half the potatoes to a baking dish, then layer meat on top, and then potatoes again.
  9. Bake in the oven until crispy on top, about 35 to 40 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(10)


  • 2 cups roast lamb (cooked and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups gravy (from roasted lamb or prepared beef gravy)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mashed potato (prepared with milk and seasonings as desired)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Combine the chopped lamb, gravy, and chopped onion season with salt and pepper to taste.

Line the bottom of a buttered baking dish with a layer of half of the seasoned mashed potatoes.

Add meat mixture then cover with remaining mashed potatoes. Or, meat and gravy can be put in the baking dish first then topped with all of the mashed potatoes.

Dot mashed potato topping with butter, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika, then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the mashed potato topping is browned and the pie is thoroughly heated.


Reviews ( 5 )

I was looking for a quick & easy Shepherd's Pie recipe and took a shot at this one. It's surprisingly good for such simple ingredients but won't fool a real home-cook ) I sauteed a chopped onion with the beef and seasoned with salt & pepper while cooking. I used instant mashed potatoes (prepared 4 x 2/3 cup servings) instead of the pre-made kind, but cooked the frozen veggies in the water - then strained them out - before adding the milk & potato flakes. You might also wanna flavor the water with beef bouillon, because instant potatoes are really bland! I made the mashed potatoes pretty thick because I knew that there would still be quite a bit of liquid from the meat & veggie mix. I was right! The potatoes held up well in the oven but the meat mixture was thin & didn't hold together well. Might try to come up with a way to thicken that up so it isn't so sloppy when you dish it up for dinner.


Shepherd’s Pie with Kielbasa Recipe

There are just five layers to this delicious and hearty pie. This is one of those comfort foods that is so quick to make and perfect for warming you up on a cold day.

The first layer is the kielbasa. I cut the rings into bite-sized pieces. Next is the Swiss cheese and Muenster cheese. I just love the combination of the kielbasa with this cheese. You can use sliced or shredded. Today, I layered on the sliced cheese.

Next is the Sauerkraut. Just make sure to drain before adding or the casserole will become too watery.

Lastly, top this off with the mashed potatoes. I prefer my homemade mashed potatoes. It is a great way to use any leftovers from a previous meal.

Bake this casserole and in no time, you will be enjoying a delicious comforting meal for the whole family.

Creamy cheesy comfort food casserole

How long do leftovers keep?

Kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftovers will keep 3 to 5 days. Large portions can be reheated in a 350° Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm.


  • 32 ounces Frozen Tater Tots
  • 24 ounces frozen mixed veggies
  • 10.75 ounces can cream of mushroom soup or cheddar soup
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes or instant mashed potatoes
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a glass baking dish with non stick spray. If needed make mashed potatoes or use instant mashed potatoes.

In a pan over medium heat cook the ground beef, and drain the fat. Add the meat back to the pan and add in 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and mix together.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 150g/5oz butter
  • 1kg/2lb 3oz mutton or lamb mince
  • 1 lamb stock cube
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley
  • 500g/1lb 1½oz potatoes, boiled
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100ml/3½fl oz milk

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Place one tablespoon of the oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until softened and beginning to turn golden-brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add the carrots and celery and fry until softened and starting to turn golden-brown. Remove and set aside with the onions.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and 50g/2oz of the butter and allow the butter to foam. Add the minced lamb or mutton, stirring it until it browns. Add the carrots and celery and stir well.

Add 3 tablespoons water and crumble in the stock cube. Add the carrots and celery and stir well.

Mash the potatoes with the remaining butter in a clean bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the fried onions.

Transfer the meat into an ovenproof dish. Spread it out to make an even layer. Spoon over the mashed potato and tease the surface with a fork to create some peaks.

Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and crisp. Serve at the table in the dish.


Tips and Suggestions for Shepherd’s Pie

  • Bake this in one large casserole dish or in ramekin dishes for individual servings.
  • Growing up we always topped this with ketchup and to this day I still can’t eat shepherd’s pie without a good helping of ketchup. Judge me if you must. My husband loves it with Sriracha sauce and my cousins love it topped with Ranch dressing. Of course, it tastes delicious just plain too.
  • For a bit of a sweeter, richer tomato flavor, add in a can or two of condensed tomato soup instead of tomato sauce.
  • Swap the ground beef for sweet or spicy Italian sausage or ground turkey for a different flavor.
  • You can add as many veggies to the mixture as you like. I love green beans but you could also add green peas, diced carrots, corn, or red peppers.

Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie Recipe:

If you are a regular reader, you may know that Barbara is the primary recipe tester on this site and I am normally the photo editor and writer on these posts. However, I do have a handful of recipes from friends and family that I am known for in our family. They all have one thing in common…they are really, really easy to make!

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie is totally one of those easy recipes that can be customized for your family’s taste (and what’s in your refrigerator and pantry). My friend, Sarah, made this for me years ago and I just had to have the recipe. Since then, my mom and sisters have added it to their meal plans as well.

Barbara even adapted this recipe and added a can of condensed French Onion Soup for a whole new French Onion Shepherd’s Pie.

It is really easy to double the recipe or even portion it out into smaller dishes to either freeze or share with others. My mom often takes the recipe and puts a portion of it in a smaller dish for her and my dad. She then puts the rest in a larger casserole dish and sends it home ready for the oven with whichever sister stops by that evening.


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.


Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten immediately however, you can keep it warm in the oven at low temperatures for up to 1 hour before serving.

How to Reheat: If you are reheating the entire pie, place it in the oven at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until warmed. When you are heating up a single portion, I recommend warming in the microwave.

How to Store: Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.

If you do not have a deep 10” pie dish, please feel free to use a 13࡯ casserole dish.

When using a regular 9” pie tin, reduce the recipe by one-half.

Other ingredients you could add to the filling include peas, corn, and root vegetables

If you can’t find Dubliner cheese then you can substitute for gruyere or your favorite white cheddar cheese.