A delicious, healthy, and classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe made with beef. It will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

A delicious, healthy, and classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe made with beef. It will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

To be honest with you, there’s never been a day I’ve woken up totally excited to make a shepherd’s pie.

First, you have to make the mashed potatoes (which requires boiling the potatoes for 30-35 minutes, then you get to the mashing), next you cook the filling, and finally, you pop your pie into the oven to bake for what feels like an eternity. (Okay, I’m being dramatic. Twenty minutes isn’t that bad). However, this doesn’t seem to stop me from thinking of shepherd’s pie when I have some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge that need to be used up fast.

In fact, suddenly the groundwork for this recipe becomes much more attractive. When you’ve already got your mashed potatoes made, cooking the savory filling is the only thing you need to do on the stove. Plus, if you use a cast iron pan to make the filling, you can top it with mashed potatoes directly in the pan and place it straight into the oven. You don’t even need to transfer your bottom layer to a baking dish. Now we’re talking!

Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

By all means, feel free to use freshly mashed potatoes to make a super legit shepherd’s pie. I personally found that this shortcut made prep time go a lot smoother, and I thought you might enjoy this recipe for the next time you’ve got leftover mashed potatoes kicking around.

Traditionally, this is more of a “cottage pie” recipe, because traditional Irish shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, whereas cottage pie is made with beef. I have seen many variations of American-style shepherd’s pie recipes across the web, and many of them do use ground beef. Since this one does, too, we’ll call it a classic shepherd’s pie recipe instead of a traditional Irish version.

This shepherd’s pie recipe doesn’t skip out on flavor or nutrition. The rich flavors of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bone broth, and red wine compliment the beef perfectly (and will also go well with ground turkey or ground lamb if you’d like to substitute).

Using chicken bone broth instead of regular stock or broth also adds a boost of collagen, which is a protein that helps promote healthy bones, joints, and skin. Each serving contains a small helping of veggies, such as onions, carrots, and sweet peas, to help keep the dish nutritious and the flavor well balanced.

A delicious, healthy, and classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe made with beef. It will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

Hearty, healthy, and simply delicious.

Note: This shepherd’s pie recipe is easy to customize, so if you don’t have chicken bone broth on hand, feel free to use vegetable or beef broth. I have also received some questions about omitting the wine, which you can totally do, but the wine really makes the flavor pop.

Hope you enjoy! If you love this recipe, don’t forget to keep it on hand for your holiday gatherings, St. Patrick’s Day festivities, or even those normal workday nights ;).

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Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.4 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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A delicious, healthy, and classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe made with beef. It will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 34 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth or chicken broth
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (fresh or leftover)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • grated parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until hot. Sauté carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in onions and garlic and sauté for a minute or two, then add ground beef. Season with salt and black pepper, add thyme, and cook until the meat mixture is browned; drain.
  4. Reduce to medium heat; add the butter and peas; stir until the butter is melted.
  5. Sprinkle with flour and stir until well blended.
  6. Add tomato paste, wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Cook until the beef mixture reduces slightly, then add the chicken bone broth. Allow the filling to thicken and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Remove from heat. Transfer the filling to a lightly greased casserole dish; spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush the surface with the beaten egg and sprinkle with cheese if using.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato is golden brown. Enjoy!


  • To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute 2 tablespoons cornstarch for the flour. Dissolve it in a little cold broth or water, then add the mixture at step 5.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 458
  • Sugar: 9.6g
  • Sodium: 877.7mg
  • Fat: 19.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.4g
  • Fiber: 7.6g
  • Protein: 25.4g
  • Cholesterol: 111.9mg

This recipe was originally published in 2015 and updated in Nov 2018.

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.