Shepherd’s Pie!!!

Shepherds Pie RecipeShepherd’s pie has got to be one of the yummiest things on the planet and I can not BELIEVE it’s taken me this long to post about it. It’s kind of weird, like I used to make this a lot when I was vegetarian, but then I started digging on the animals again and left them totally out of the shepherd’s pie party! Well, the party’s on now, fools! I mean, foals!

Just kidding; I don’t eat baby horses.

If you’d like to try a vegetarian version, just swap the meat out for about 3 cups of something else: fake meat products, TVP, more vegetables, or beans. And that reminds me of one of the most glorious facts about shepherd’s pie: you can put in pretty much any vegetables you got. It’s a great way to use up leftovers AND, if you have the mashed potatoes already made, it’s a one-dish meal! Yay!!! Shepherd’s pie wins for the BEST RECIPE EVER.

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie Video

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – Printable


Shepherd\’s Pie!!!

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4.7 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 34 cups mashed potatoes
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped (or 2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil)
  • 1 pound ground lamb, beef, or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 cup beef broth or beer
  • 2 carrots, cut into half-moons
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar or Swiss


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet, fry the bacon pieces over medium heat until cooked and most of the fat has rendered.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the meat and break it up while it’s cooking so you end up with lots of little crumblies. Cook about 5 minutes or until all the pink is gone.
  5. Add the flour and cook a minute or so until it’s absorbed into the fat.
  6. Add the tomato paste and rosemary.
  7. Add the broth, carrots and celery and stir.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes to thicken.
  9. Spread the mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle the cheese over.
  10. Bake about 20 minutes until the cheese is melty and browned.
  11. Let it cool about 10 minutes before serving.


You can sprinkle it with paprika or parsley after baking for a pretty color contrast.

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You can make the mashed potatoes fresh for this, but it’s also an awesome thing to do with leftover mashers. Try to bring them to room temperature before topping the pie so they’re easier to spread.


  1. Great Stone Face on March 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    A cheesy topping is delicious, but you also can leave it plain or brushed with cream, then rake the top with a fork to give it a ridged top. Serving it up in the cast iron pan is a great idea.

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Yeah, the fork across the top makes a pretty design, too. Never brushed with cream before…probably because I always have cheese around!

  2. Amber Boegly on March 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try Shepherd’s Pie, but was never sure how to make one. Definitely gonna have to try this one!

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Hey Amber! I hope you try it. It’s really very easy especially if you have the potatoes already made. I’m sure you’ll love it.

  3. Amber K on March 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Okay, I have got to try a gluten-free veggie version. Thanks for the suggestion. It just sounds really good!

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Yay! You’re welcome, Amber! Let us know how it turns out for you!

  4. Julette on March 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Hello Hilah
    Being a Vegan for almost 30 years, and not knowing about Shepherd’s Pie just blown me away! I think of Veggie Chunks, Veggie Mince and Tofu.

    Yum Yum
    Best Regards

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

      Hi Julette!
      Yes, there are so many combinations you can do. One of my favorites was kind of a Tex-Mex version with kidney beans, vegetables, and a little jalapeno. Sometimes I’d use tomato sauce in place of the broth, especially when using veggie mince, and it turns out more like an Italian-style pie.
      Have fun with it! Thanks for writing.

  5. Rebecca Owens on March 16, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Thought you might like an good ole Irish Stew recipe. With or without the scary made-up Irish dancing!!

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

      That’s the most amazing video I’ve ever seen.

  6. Ирина on March 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Выглядит аппетитно. Надо попробовать приготовить. Спасибо.

  7. Tom 'The Winegeek' on March 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    What a fantastically easy recipe and it even passed the 7 year-olds Mikey test (“he won’t like it. He hates everything,”) You done good Hilah. He usually won’t eat anything with red meat or that is “mixed together” i.e. casseroles. So thank you for expanding food horizons.

    • Hilah on March 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Hooray! That’s great to hear Tom! (And he’s not the first kid I’ve heard of that doesn’t like “mixed together” stuff, but I’m glad he might be softening on that position.)

  8. Amanda the horse rider on March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    omg thats looks soooooo good but just a little hint dont say “dudes” all the time it sometimes it it get lame 🙂 also i would so care if you help m to try to make this recipe called “egg in a nest” it looks so good! you are good at cooking!


    Amanda 🙂

    • Kay Panikian on February 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Oh I’m totally ok with the “dudes” thing…just sayin’

  9. Olivia3381 on March 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    We loved this recipe!!! I am not a big fan of Shepards pie but I like this one.

    • Hilah on March 22, 2012 at 8:01 am

      I’m so glad you tried and liked it! Thanks, Olivia!

  10. Don on March 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    That reminds me of the sweet potato cottage pie I made for the holidays. It was very light on the veggies – using frozen ones is a good tip! And sweet potatoes are a pain in the butt to mash nicely, I might have to go with plain potatoes. Or mashed cauliflower?!

    • Hilah on March 28, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Mmm, Don! That sounds delicious! I bet the sweet potatoes would go especially nicely with lamb, too. You’re right they are harder to mash smooth, but a stand mixer with a paddle attachment works well if you have one of those. I’m gonna have to try your version for sure. Thank you!

  11. Midori on April 21, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Hey hun i have a question how much of cornstarch can i use? since I’m gluten allergic :[

    • Hilah on April 22, 2012 at 8:42 am

      No problem, Midori! In that case, just dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in the broth before you add the broth to the pan.

  12. Korey on July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    OMG i absolutely love you and your cooking.
    you have some of the easiest and greatest things ever,
    plus you are funny as hell and i love the chick fil gay sandwich 🙂

    • Hilah on July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Thanks, Korey!!! 🙂

  13. Kimberly Chapman on July 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I was looking up various directions for shepherd’s pie tonight because I was concocting my own recipe but not sure if I should go for a high temp/low time or vice versa.

    Either way, it hadn’t occurred to me to use the Lodge pan…I was going to fry stuff and then move it to one of the casserole dishes.

    But I made it in the cast iron and put that in the oven because of you, dear Hilah, and while my recipe needs tweaking, your methodology in that regard was spot-on. You rock, as always!

    • Hilah on July 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Kimberly! It’s pretty flippin’ amazing how versatile the old cast iron is. I’ll be interested to see your shepherd’s pie recipe when you get it perfected. 🙂

  14. Sara on August 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Never really had shepherd’s pie before and I seen Guy Fieri on Food Network eating it on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives looked good but I’m not to fond of peas or carrots so I’m thinking about doing a tex-mex style!!

    • Hilah on August 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

      That would be delicious, Sara! Hope you have fun playing with the recipe and come up with something you love. 🙂

  15. 808 bang on August 31, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Girl, you are awesome, you sound like me and shiznit. lol do you sing, and we are looking for hostses

  16. Alan on April 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I promised my daughter Shepherd’s Pie last week, positive we had potatoes in the pantry. Turns out we didn’t. Damn! Not wanting to disappoint, I worked out an alternative. With the cornmeal we did have on hand, I made a basic polenta. Spiced up the ground beef with cumin, chili, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic and onion. Added a can of tomatoes. Thickened the mixture with a roux. Poured the mixture into a casserole and topped it with the polenta. Sprinkle of grated cheese and chili flakes and into the oven. Voila! Torta de Pastor (that’s what I’m calling, anyway). Teenager approved!

    • Hilah on April 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

      What quick thinking, Alan! I call that Tamale Pie, but your name is much more elegant. Thanks for sharing! Sounds delicious.

  17. FoodJunkie on March 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    If using leftover mashed run the masher through them again to soften them up before spreading or press them through a ricer for a really fluffy topping.

  18. Jane on March 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I made this last Monday…. So so good!!

    I didn’t have tomato paste so squirted in a hearty tablespoon of ketchup and WOW! So tasty. Jane

    • Hilah on March 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      I love using ketchup instead of tomato paste! Thanks, Jane 🙂

  19. Steph on November 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    The one and only recipe I use for shepherds pie.

    • Hilah on November 1, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Great to hear, Steph! 🙂

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