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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – A Classic Comfort Food Meal

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie is a twist off of the traditional Shepherd’s Pie recipe that was thought to originate in either Scotland or Britain.

If you have never heard of Shepherd’s Pie let me explain. It is a baked meat pie traditionally made from lamb meat that is either cut in small chunks or minced. 

Although there are many variations, small vegetables are typically added to the thickened meat mixture and then baked with a layer of mashed potatoes spread on top.

It is thought that this recipe originated because it was a frugal way to use leftovers from a large Sunday meal.

easy shepherd's pie

Although the dish wasn’t created in Ireland, it has been adopted and served in Ireland for nearly 100 years. And it has become a popular meal to make on or around St. Patrick’s Day.

However, the term Shepherd’s Pie can only be used if the dish is made with lamb meat. If you use ground beef as a substitute, the name of the recipe changes to Cottage Pie.

But however you decided to make it, I am sure it will be so delicious that you will want to make it time and time again!

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.


  • Olive oil
  • Large carrots 
  • Yellow onion 
  • Black pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Ground lamb or beef
  • Butter
  • Frozen peas
  • Flour
  • Red wine
  • Tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Beef stock or Guinness beer
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Egg
  • Grated parmesan cheese
shepherds pie ingredients
Traditionally Shepherd’s Pie is made using ground lamb. Although you can use ground beef instead, the name of the recipe will change to Cottage Pie.


If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, begin to prepare your Shepherd’s Pie filling.

Otherwise, make your mashed potatoes using your preferred cooking method.

I prefer to make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes because they are done in minutes and I don’t have to worry about the pot boiling over and making a mess!

The first step in making this Easy Shepherd’s pie recipe is to saute the carrots.

Do this by heating a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Then add the diced carrots to the pan and saute until slightly tender.

cooked shepherd's pie filling
The meat and vegetable filling should be nice and thick before adding it to the baking dish.

Then add onions and sauté for one minute. Next add the ground meat, pepper and thyme and cook until the meat is brown and no longer pink.

After the meat and veggies have been drained return the mixture to the pan.

Next stir in the butter, peas and flour and mix until the flour is absorbed.

Then add tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce and stock/beer.

Substitute for Wine and/or Beer In Shepherd’s Pie?

Although the alcohol will be burned off during the cooking process, we understand that some people prefer to cook without using wine or beer.

Instead, you can substitute beef stock for either or both ingredients. However, the taste will slightly be different but still delicious!

Simmer to reduce the liquid down until you have a thick meaty mixture. Taste the mixture and add additional seasonings as desired. Then remove the pan from the heat.

Now it is time to get your Shepherd’s Pie Filling into a baking dish. Using non-stick spray, grease a 8×11 baking dish or a 9 inch deep dish pie pan.

mashed potatoes
Carefully spread the mashed potatoes on top of the filling.

Then add the meat and vegetable mixture to the pan and spread out in an even layer.

Next, spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling in an even layer. *If you are using leftovers it is best to reheat the potatoes slightly to increase the ease of spreading.

Once the potatoes are spread over top of the filling in an even layer, brush the top with a beaten egg and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

Now place the Easy Shepherd’s Pie in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until the potato is light brown on top.

egg wash on potatoes
Although not 100 percent necessary, brushing the top of the mashed potatoes with an egg wash will allow the potatoes to brown more evenly.

Other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:


Mary and Jim

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Irish Shepherd’s Pie

easy shepherd's pie

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie – an easy to make dish that is staple in Irish Cooking.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock, low sodium, or Guinness beer
  • 5-6 cups mashed potatoes, leftovers or fresh
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese, for topping


Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

  1. Heat large skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Add carrots to pan and sauté until slightly tender.
  3. Add onions and sauté for one minute and add the ground meat, pepper and thyme.
  4. Cook until the meat is browned, drain and return to pan.
  5. Stir in the butter, peas and flour.
  6. Then add tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce and stock/beer.
  7. Simmer to reduce the mixture down until you have a thick meaty mixture. Add additional seasonings as desired. Remove from heat.
  8. Grease/spray with non-stick spray a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Add meat and vegetable mixture to the pan.
  9. Spread mashed potatoes over the top. *If using leftovers, reheat slightly to increase the ease of spreading.
  10. Brush with beaten egg and dust the top with Parmesan cheese.
  11. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the potato is nice and light brown on top.


Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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