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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 filling!

Shepherd’s Pie vs. Cottage Pie

Shepherd’s Pie originated in 1849 and contained sliced meat as opposed to minced. It’s important to note that the type of meat in the original dish (beef, lamb, etc.) was not specified. It’s signature characteristic was sliced meat topped with mashed potatoes and baked.

The dish has since evolved to include different varieties of minced meat, those varieties depend greatly on the region it’s being prepared in.

Countries outside of the US commonly prepare Shepherds Pie with lamb, while the US often prepares it with ground beef. While Cottage Pie is used to describe this dish as being prepared with ground beef, it’s also common to hear it referred to as Shepherd’s Pie in the US.

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 35 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

4.95 from 70 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.


  • 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


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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!



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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181 comments on “Easy Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. This was my first time ever making a shepherd’s  pie, but it won’t be my last! This recipe is so easy and really tasty. Today being PI Day (3.14) I also made this for my vegetarian father except I substituted vegetable broth and a little Morningstar vegan beef  crumbles and chorizo crumbles. He loved it! Thanks, Stephanie, for another yummy, easy recipe. 

  2. Yum! Wanted to make something easy for Pi Day dinner. I used cheater mashed potatoes and packet gravy. I added the layer of cheese because that’s not optional to me ever. :D. So easy to make and really tasty! My fault, I forgot the garlic and should have cooked my veggies a wee bit longer but a recipe worth keeping and shared 3 times already.

    • lol, cheese is never optional for me either🤣! I’m so happy you enjoyed this one, thanks so much for sharing it and for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Made this last night and LOVeD it!  Very easy to make, did everything exactly except I only had just over 1/2 pound 93% beef in freezer, so I added about 3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables to make up for the less beef.  I also did step #3 after step 4 because my experience in the past with adding flour to ‘coat’ anything left flour unevenly coated and hard to mix through the ingredients unless it was first mixed into a liquid.   I used a glass 8 x8 baking dish, put a light layer of shredded cheddar over the filling then spread on the instant garlic mashed potatoes I had made.  YUMMY!  We loved this recipe, thanks for sharing!

  4. made this a couple of weeks ago, didn’t have the brown gravy in my pantry but it still turned out soo good! making this again tonight but bought the gravy ahead of time 🙂 can’t wait to try it with the gravy! so, so good!

    • I can’t wait for you to try it with the gravy Nicole, I’m so happy you enjoyed it the first time. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!😍

  5. Just made this and it’s sooo good! 

  6. Do I have to pre-make the gravy or just pour the powder gravy directly into the meat mix?

  7. The gravy is the secret ingredient I’ve been missing all my life. 

    • Hey Michele!! I’m with you there- if there is an opportunity to incorporate gravy into to something, I will do it every time! 😉 And Shepherd’s Pie is just perfect with it! I’m glad that you enjoyed it, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!! -Stephanie

  8. Super easy and really good! I didn’t have all the ingredients for the brown gravy so I just used more chicken stock. This is the first time I ever made shepherd’s pie and will for sure make it again.

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed the Shepherd’s Pie Jen! Sounds like you did a great job, especially since it was your first time!👏 Thanks so much for the great review!

  9. This was delicious 😋 My family approved!

  10. This is amazing! All my children loved it and they are super picky eaters! Will be making this often!

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