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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is made with ground beef, brown gravy, and frozen vegetables in less than 30 minutes on the stove top. Broil in the oven for just 5 minutes and dinner is served! Make it with my homemade mashed potato recipe, or use up leftover mashed potatoes! 

Be sure to try my Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe next!

A large spoon scooping Shepherds Pie from a casserole dish.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

When it comes to comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie is a classic.

The best part about this recipe is that there is no need to let it simmer extensively on the stove top like most Shepherd’s Pie recipes. Even 30 minutes of simmering can be a bit much during a busy weeknight.

Most recipes also call for up to 2 lbs of ground beef, which is a bit much if you have a family of four. This one conveniently calls for just 1 lb. of ground beef, frozen vegetables, and some pantry-friendly items to add amazing flavor to the beef.

Finally, there is no need to bake this in the oven. (Again, most recipes have you do this for another 30 minutes.) The filling and mashed potatoes are warm already, just broil at 550° for about 5 minutes to brown the top and you’r ready to eat!

Shepherd’s Pie vs. Cottage Pie

When Shepherd’s Pie first originated, it was made with lamb. It has since evolved, especially in America, to include a variety of red meats (particularly ground beef in the US as cooking with lamb is far less common).

Per Wikipedia: “Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato of English origin. The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked”

The Broil Method

To keep your filling nice and juicy and the potatoes super creamy, simply broil the potatoes for about 5 minutes prior to serving in order to achieve the classic browned crust we all know and love.

A casserole dish with sheperds pie filling being topped with mashed potatoesA dish with uncooked shepherds pie next to a dish of broiled sheperds pie

Using Store-Bought or Instant Potatoes

If you’re not up for making homemade mashed potatoes, 3 cups of store bought or instant mashed potatoes may be used for an easy shortcut!


Make-Ahead Method

1-2 Days Ahead: Store in Refrigerator

  • When ready to serve, cover and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and broil at 550° for about 5 minutes.

1-2 Months Ahead: Store in Freezer

  • Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  • When ready to serve, let it thaw overnight, then cover and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and broil.
  • OR, cover and bake the frozen pie at 350° oven for 1 hour. Remove the cover and broil.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350° oven or in the microwave.
  • Leftovers also make a great freezer food.

A plate with a slice of easy shepherds pie with ground beef with a fork in the background.

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A spoon scooping up ground beef filling out of a dish of Sheperd's Pie

Easy Shepherd's Pie

4.94 from 47 ratings
This Easy Sheperd's Pie recipe has a delicious ground beef filling with gravy and frozen vegetables. Prepare it on the Stove Top in less than 30 minutes, then broil for 5. This is a perfect shortcut dinner for busy weeknights and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, I used 85% lean
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown gravy
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes

Instructions

Prepare the Potatoes.

  • My homemade mashed potato recipe is perfect for this recipe, you’ll make a half batch to end up with 3 cups. While the potatoes boil, prepare the filling.

Prepare the Filling

  • Preheat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and celery. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the ground beef. Cook and crumbled until cooked through. Drain all excess grease.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high. Sprinkle in the flour and toss to coat. Add the Tomato Paste and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with the Chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to scrape up any brown bits from the pan, this adds flavor to the filling.
  • Add HALF of the brown gravy. Stir in the vegetables until heated through.
  • Season with salt/pepper and add more gravy if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat.

Assemble

  • Transfer to a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan or 7 x 11 casserole dish. Carefully spread warm mashed potatoes on top.
  • Use a fork to “rake” lines into the mashed potatoes.

Broil

  • Set the oven rack about 5 inches away from the broiler. Set to a high broil, 550 degrees.
  • Broil for about 5 minutes watch it after 2 minutes, it will go from perfectly browned to burned quickly.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Notes

PRO TIP: Add a layer of cheddar cheese below the mashed potatoes for melty, cheesy deliciousness!

If you prefer to double this recipe, bake in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or use a wide (12-inch), oven safe skillet on the stove and transfer to the oven.

Using Store-Bought or Instant Potatoes
If you're not up for making homemade mashed potatoes, 3 cups of store bough or instant mashed potatoes may be used for an easy shortcut!

 

Nutrition

Calories: 528kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 451mg, Potassium: 1005mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2371IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 4mg
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119 comments on “Easy Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. Where does the other half of the gravy go?

  2. So delicious and simple! I was afraid to use a glass dish under the broiler, but since I had it a good 5″ away I think that kept it safe. I used a while drained can of mixed veggies and added cheese as suggested. Generous portions too.

  3. This was excellent according to my husband. I will be making it again. I liked it because it was so easy. 

  4. EXCELLENT Recipe.  My second time making it, this time for company. 

  5. Definitely the best easy American version of Shepherd’s pie I’ve ever had. Even better than my Scottish friend’s recipe. Everyone wanted a second serving. I am usually not a fan of brown gravy because of its flavor but it’s worth making and works great in this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this. 

  6. I’ve never made shepherd’s pie before (I mostly cook Italian cuisine), but I had about 2 lbs of ground beef that needed to go, had 4 hungry people to feed and luckily I found this recipe! First of all it turned out GREAT – please note that I didn’t follow any measurements LOL I didn’t know how much ground beef I had so I winged it, but honestly the whole method worked beautifully. The only thing I wish I had been able to do was after I made the beef mixture I would’ve liked to have refrigerated it for a couple of hours to really get it to set up – other than that I wouldn’t change a thing! Almost forgot thought! Whoever in the comments suggested adding a layer of shredded cheese under the potatoes I thank u SO much what a great addition!

    • Wow much respect for just being able to wing it Abi! I’m so happy it turned out great, thanks so much for sharing your comments and taking the time to leave a review!💖

  7. Like they say in South Afrika: ‘Lekker’! (Nice). I made it double and was hoping to have some left, but with 15 and 14 year old rugby playing grandson’s, there was hardly enough for me and grandma. Very tasty and easy. Will go in my favourate recipe file.

  8. Let me just tell you that if you are anything like myself, you probably scour the internet for recipes to “jazz” up your dinner routine and read reviews more than you have read any book in your life! MAKE THIS ALREADY!! I found this recipe and NEVER read any of the comments. I was so excited to make this because it was easy, had very few ingredients for it to be Shepherd’s Pie, and it didn’t take all day long to make. I now see some of the reviews, and let me second and third them as motions! THIS WAS WONDERFUL! To be as simple as it was, it had more flavor than I even imagined it to be. I had to come up with some make shift things for making the gravy and I also had to use store bought mashed potatoes…but you would have no idea that anything wasnt made from scratch and didn’t take all day long to cook! Nobody in my house eats the same thing on a given basis, but tonight they did. Ages ranging from 20 months up to, well, semi-ancient! Lol! Thanks for this amazing recipe and you have made a meal that stays in rotation at my house! (<– That deserves 5 stars on it's own!)

    • Yayyyy! Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review Kayla!💕 I love that the young and even the “semi ancient” enjoyed it 🤣

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