This shepherd's pie with ground beef and peas and carrots is perfect for feeding a family or saving for leftovers. It's a kid-friendly dinner that everyone loves! It uses ground beef and is topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
Today I'm here to bring you an easy shepherd's pie recipe that I've been making for years. While it takes a bit of time to put everything together, it's actually really easy and feeds a crowd or makes for leftovers for a few nights!
This is a meal I make at least once a month, and will probably make this week. It's comfort food at its finest since it's basically hamburger meat and veggies in a gravy that's topped with delicious mashed potatoes.
Shepherd's Pie Versus Cottage Pie
Shepherd's pie uses lamb, whereas cottage pie typically uses beef.
While sometimes I refer to this recipe as shepherd's pie, I always make it with beef. But hamburger meat is REALLY easy to find (and cheap) where I live, and lamb is harder to find.
Perfect for a family
What I do love about shepherd's pie (or cottage pie) is that it's a family-friendly recipe. There's no weird ingredients here, so toddlers and kids will most likely enjoy it.
When we were getting my daughter started on solid foods, pretty much her favorite things to eat were sweet potatoes and shepherd's pie.
So I'd make a pan of cottage pie using hamburger meat and then we'd freeze little portions for her.
How to freeze shepherd's pie
To freeze shepherd's pie for serving later, cook the potatoes and cook the beef mixture. Assemble in a freezer meal pan and then pop into the freezer for up to 60 days.
When you're ready to eat, pop the shepherd's pie into the refrigerator to thaw (I usually try to do this a day in advance), and then cook in an oven on 375 degrees F for 50-60 minutes to make sure it's heated through.
How to make shepherd's pie
Making this shepherd's pie is really easy. The hardest part is peeling the potatoes! So if you can convince a friend, partner, spouse, or parent to do that part, you've gotten the hard work done.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into large chunks, put them in a large pot with cold water, and then start boiling them on the stove.
While those cook, brown the hamburger meat and cook the onions, then add seasonings and stock to turn everything into a nice gravy, then add the peas and carrots to cook, and then you have the meat portion done!
Finish up the potatoes by draining them, adding some cream, butter, and seasoning and mashing them all up.
To put it all together, pour the beef and vegetables into a 9x13 (or about that size) casserole dish. Then top with the potatoes.
Smooth everything out, and sprinkle on a bit of dried parsley. Pop into the oven for a bit and then take out the cottage pie and serve!
Family-friendly recipes to love
- Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese
- Bean and Cheese Air Fryer Quesadillas
- Instant Pot Chicken Risotto
- Pepperoni Pizza Quesadilla
- Air Fryer Greek Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
Shepherd's Pie with Ground Beef
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 4-5 large russet potatoes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 1 cup heavy cream or milk
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- dried parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and pull out a 9x13 casserole dish (or similar size).
- In a large pot or stew pot, add cold water. Peel and cut the russet potatoes into large chunks and add to the pot. Place the pot on the stove and heat to boiling, then reduce heat slightly (so water doesn't boil over). Boil the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
- While potatoes are cooking, take the onion and dice it into small pieces.
- Heat a large skillet over medium or medium-high heat and add the ground beef and diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and stir.
- Add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup beef broth, and 2 tablespoon butter to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted.
- Sprinkle the 2 tablespoon flour over the meat and mix in to thicken broth into a gravy.
- Add the frozen peas and carrots and cook for 10 minutes to soften.
- Drain the potatoes, return to the pot, and add 1 cup heavy cream OR milk, 2 tablespoon butter, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Mash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy. (If needed, add more milk/cream/butter).
- Into the casserole dish, pour the beef mixture. Then top with dollops of the mashed potatoes and smooth out. Sprinkle with dried parsley, if desired.
- Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
- There are lots of ways to mash up potatoes. I prefer a regular potato masher, but if you like your potatoes extra-smooth, you can use a ricer.
- I use the bags of frozen peas and carrots. If you don't have those in your store, or just have separate bags of peas or carrots, that's fine! Just use one cup of peas and one cup of carrots. If you dislike peas or carrots, sub out with another frozen vegetable.
If nutrition info is shown, values are based on an online calculator and are estimates. Please verify using your own data.