This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is made with saucy ground beef base, vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty make ahead meal for busy weeknights or Sunday dinner!
Hey! It’s Ashley here from The Recipe Rebel, sharing one my favorite comfort food dinners. Sometimes casseroles like Shepherd’s Pie get a bad rep, but this Shepherd’s Pie recipe is loaded with flavor (I like my beef nice and saucy!), and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes — you’ll forget about every other lackluster casserole you’ve had 😉
Shepherd’s Pie is one of those recipes that has taken on a lot of forms over the past several decades, and what you put in it probably depends on where you live.
Originally, Shepherd’s Pie was made with ground lamb, but the Americanized version usually swaps the lamb for ground beef (although if you really want, can use lamb instead!).
Some Shepherd’s Pie recipes have more of a tomato based sauce (like this one!), some have gravy, and some are dry.
And then there are those people that say one is made with layered potatoes and one is made with mashed potatoes.
This here is the way we like it: a nice, rich tasting sauce with ground beef and plenty of vegetables, topped with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. I know you’ll love it, too!
How to make Shepherd’s Pie:
- Start with your potatoes: peel, chop, and boil until tender. Russets, golden, or even red potatoes are fine here! (If you have a strong preference, go with that). Mash them with butter and milk, and season them well.
- Cook your filling: saute your onions, carrots and celery until softened, then add in and brown your ground beef. If you have a lot of leftover fat, you may want to drain it.
- Add your sauce ingredients, and cook until thickened and the flavors come together.
- Stir in your frozen vegetables.
- Layer your mashed potatoes on top of your beef filling and bake just until bubbly at the edges and the top of the potatoes is lightly browned.
Tips for making Shepherd’s Pie ahead:
- You can make the entire casserole in advance, and simply cover and refrigerate before baking. Store in the fridge up to 3-4 days before baking and serving.
- You can prep your ground beef, and keep 1 pound portions in the freezer for quick dinners down the road.
- You can prep your beef and vegetable filling, then refrigerate for easy prep later in the week, or even freeze individual portions to top with potatoes later on.
- Shepherd’s Pie can be frozen, but you need to keep in mind that potatoes are never quite the same in texture after being frozen.
More make ahead casseroles you’ll love:
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole
- Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato ketchup (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1.5 lbs russet or golden potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/4-1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large, deep, oven safe skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and cook carrots, celery and onion until softened.
- Add in beef and cook, stirring often, until browned.
- Stir in salt, garlic and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- Whisk together beef broth and corn starch. Add to skillet, along with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup if desired (it adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce -- you can omit if you prefer).
- Stir in peas and corn. Cook until sauce has thickened slightly and set aside.
- Add cubed potatoes to a large pot and fill with salted, cold water.
- Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to just maintain a rolling boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender.
- Drain. Add in milk (start with ¼ cup, increasing if necessary), 2 tablespoons of butter, parsley and salt and pepper. Mash and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Spread on top of beef mixture in skillet and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
- Refrigerate to bake later, or bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until bubbly at the edges and potatoes are beginning to brown.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.