Best Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This classic, comforting Shepherd's Pie recipe will leave everyone, big and small, wanting more. A meaty, veggie-packed layer is covered by creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes and topped with melty cheese for good measure! This is a great weeknight dinner and also the perfect party fare!

Shepherd's Pie

"Hey!" from California! That's not something I say a lot, so I figure I should say it. You guys, I cannot get over the glorious perfection of this weather. I walked out of the grocery store with my mom yesterday and could not stop raving about the warmth and the sun and the beautiful mountains and the palm trees and the NOT blizzarding, sub-zero conditions. AHhhhhhh!

Having nothing much to do with weather, I bring you another favorite comfort food this morning, the best Shepherd’s Pie recipe you’ll find. I've been looking back over the past year to see what you guys have loved and haven't loved and guess what. COMFORT FOOD is at the top of the love list. This is why we're friends because comfort food happens to be a main squeeze. Chili and Meatloaf and Chicken Pot Pie and Goulash are clearly not enough. Your love for comfort food makes me giddy, so I shall deliver more, my friends.

Shepherd's Pie

Let's talk Shepherd's Pie for a minute. I did not grow up eating it and have not made it myself until recently, but have always swooned from afar. I see photos of it all over Pinterest and constantly wish it were piled high on a plate sitting in front of me. I mean, we're talking meat and veggies and dreamy mashed potatoes and cheese, people. This is like "comfort food" defined.

What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

The term “cottage pie” predates “shepherd’s pie” by a century, but the terms were used interchangeably for quite some time. Technically, the type of meat that is used in the dish is what determines which term should be used. Shepherd’s pie uses lamb (!) and cottage pie uses beef (!). So here you go, introducing the most delicious cottage pie that we’re going to call shepherd’s pie because nobody says cottage pie anymore.

Can you pre make shepherd’s pie?

Yes! You have a couple options. Option 1: Prepare the recipe in its entirety (baking included) and let cool. Cover and freeze. After freezing, let thaw completely and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Option 2: Prepare the recipe up until the point when it needs to be baked. Cover and freeze. After freezing, let thaw completely and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie step by step recipe

A few notes about Shepherd’s Pie:

  • Use ground beef (versus turkey) for a tastier dish. There are times when leaning toward the healthier side is more important and there are times when leaning toward tasty is more important. Weigh your options here because using beef can make a huge difference with flavor in this dish.

  • If you're in a pinch for time, you can cheat on the potatoes (instant or frozen) but I highly recommend taking the time to make mashed potatoes from scratch if there’s time for it.

Shepherd's Pie

This is a great hearty meal to make for your family and it is also a great dinner option for guests or potlucks!

Shepherd's Pie

It's 8:00am and I'm considering heading to the pool. Crazy Northerner. Enjoy the Shepherd's Pie and your weekend, my friends!

Shepherd's Pie