A delicious and healthy Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe that will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

Mashed Potatoes, Corned Beef & Cabbage, Bangers & Mash, Pastie, Dublin Coddle and Shepherd’s Pie…

How many dishes was that? Five? Six!

That’s how many traditional Irish dishes I have ever tried so far. And I have to say that out of this handful list, Shepherd’s Pie is by far my favorite.

A delicious and healthy Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe that will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

To be honest, there’s no such day when I wake up in the morning and feel like making a shepherd’s pie. Because you are gonna make mashed potatoes first which requires boiling potatoes for 30-35 minutes, mash them, and then cook the filling, and then bake the pie. I feel like that’s too much effort and time spent on a dish that’s supposed to be comforting. (Don’t get me wrong. You are absolutely encouraged to make a super legit and hearty shepherd’s pie with fresh mashed potatoes if you prefer.)

However, whenever I want to kill leftover mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie becomes the first thing that comes into my mind. Cooking a savory filling is the only thing you need to do on the stove. That seems to make things a lot easier and manageable, right?

If you use a cast iron pan, you don’t even have to transfer the filling to a baking dish before covering it by mashed potatoes. The whole thing can be done in just one pot. Now, that sounds a lot more attractive, doesn’t it?

And this Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie is most likely going to be a staple in your house if you give it a try. Next time, you have mashed potatoes in your kitchen, you are going to attempt to make this shepherd’s pie because it’s THAT good!

A delicious and healthy Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe that will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!

Cooked in a combination of tomato paste, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and fresh thyme, the sauce of the filling is so tasty and rich that it goes well with ground beef, turkey or lamb. Onions, carrots, and sweet peas help keep the dish nutritious and balance well with the meat as well as the creamy mashed potatoes.

It’s meaty, healthy, and simply delicious! Hope you enjoy!

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Irish


A delicious and healthy Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe that will become a staple in your house if you give it a try!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 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 flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (fresh or leftover)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • grated parmesan 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 sauté for a minute or two, then add ground beef; season with salt and black pepper; add thyme; cook until the meat 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 mixture reduces slightly, then add the chicken broth. Allow the filling to thicken and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Remove from heat. Transfer the filling to an slightly greased baking dish; spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush the surface with the beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato is golden brown. Enjoy!


Recipe partially adapted from Food.com


  • Serving Size: 6

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26 thoughts on “Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. This looks like a nice recipe, however, I do have say, being that I live in Ireland, this is actually a Cottage Pie. A traditional shepherds pie uses lamb mince (ground lamb), not beef. I know it seems trivial, but that is a difference between the two. Also, Bangers and Mash is not a traditional Irish dish, it's English as well as the pasties. And Corned Beef and Cabbage is and American Irish dish made by Irish immigrants in America, when looking to replace Bacon and Cabbage. Traditional Irish dishes are: Beef and Guinness Pie, Guinness Beef Stew, Dublin Coddle, Colcannon, Brown Soda Bread, Roast Chicken with Bacon and Leeks, lots of lamb, Black and White pudding, Rashers, etc.
    1. Hi Rachael! Thank you so much for the note and the information. I will keep all those traditional Irish dishes in mind. Very educational.
  2. I'm making this tonight! So excited to try it! I've been looking for a really good shepherds pie recipe forever and this one seems to look AMAZING! Can't wait! ?
      1. Hmmm...if you can just add extra chicken broth in place of the red wine, it suggests the red wine adds nothing to the recipe.
        1. Hi Elsie! Thank you for your comment. Some people don't use red wine for cooking or they are allergic to wine. The extra chicken broth is an option if others don't want to cook with wine.
          1. You will loose tons of flavor when replacing the wine. Saying it doesn't add anything means you've never cooked with wine. ;) I don't drink wine due to religious reasons. I will cook with wine due to flavor.
    1. Hi Courtney! The butter is nice to have, but you can totally omit it to meet your own dietary needs. Hope you enjoy it! :)
  3. Hi, I'm sure this is a delicious recipe but a traditional Irish recipe it is not. Shepherds pie contains mince lamb, cottage pie contains mince beef, both of which are very traditional English dishes. Also Bacon and Cabbage is what's eaten in Ireland not Corned beef and Cabbage.
    1. Oh Hi!! Thanks for the clarification. I must visit Ireland some day to really understand the food culture there. Thank you for your comment. It's appreciated. :)

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