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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

By Life, Family Fun Team


Updated on

Shepherd’s Pie is a timeless comfort dish that brings the essence of home-cooked warmth and satisfaction. This simple recipe layers savory meat, fresh vegetables, and creamy mashed potatoes for an easy and filling meal.

recipe for sheppard's pie

Shepherd's pie recipe


  • 4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes – homemade or instant, both work well in this recipe
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables – fresh, frozen, or canned work just fine in this recipe
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground beef or ground turkey – whichever the preference
  • ½ cup of beef broth – use no salt added if preferred
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dry parsley

Shepherd's pie ingredients


1. Begin by preparing the vegetables. Chop the onion, and prepare the vegetables (drain water from the can, peel the fresh, etc.).

2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

3. Using a medium-sized frying pan on medium to high heat, sauté the onion in the butter until it is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Don’t overcook the onion as you want it tender, not soggy. Don’t drain any of the butter or juices from the onion of out the frying pan as you will need this for the next step in the recipe.

4. Next, add the ground beef or ground turkey to the frying pan.

5. Stir constantly to brown and cook the meat while integrating the onion into the meat.

6. Allow the onion to fully mix with the meat and the taste of the butter/onion to go through to add flavor.

ground beef and seasoning

7. Once the meat is thoroughly cooked and brown, drain any excess juices or fat from the mixture.

browned ground beef

8. Then slowly add the vegetables into the frying pan. Do not dump them all at once but slowly add them in to prevent them from clumping together on the top of the meat.

9. Stir the vegetables, and allow them to tenderize and warm through without overcooking and becoming mushy. You want crisp vegetables that are not raw but are not completely cooked either.

ground beef and vegetables

10. After the vegetables have been tenderized and warmed through, add the wet ingredients.

11. Slowly stir in the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth covering the meat and vegetables entirely.

pouring Worcestershire sauce onto cooked ground beef and vegetables

pouring broth onto cooked ground beef and vegetables

cooked ground beef and vegetables in broth

12. Turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep it uncovered to prevent a buildup of condensation.

13. While the mixture is simmering, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

14. Remove the mixture from the heat source and pour enough into the dish to cover the bottom.

cooked ground beef and vegetables mixture in baking dish

15. Add a layer of your pre-prepared mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture and then alternate between the meat mixture and the mashed potatoes until both are completely used up. Make sure that the TOP layer is mashed potatoes.

layer of mashed potatoes on vegetable and beef mixture in baking dish

16. Bake the layered Shepherd’s Pie in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the mashed potatoes are a nice golden-brown color. Don’t go over the 40 minutes because it could burn the meat and potatoes, ruining the overall taste. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

cooked Shepherd's pie

cooked Shepherd's pie in baking dish

Shepherd’s Pie: Ground Beef or Ground Turkey?

Ground beef tends to have a slightly higher fat content, leading it to be moister meat when it comes to recipes to the point you might have to drain it off after frying. To avoid this – you have to choose the lean or extra lean option in the grocery store. Ground beef is full of nutrients, however, that the body requires for fuel and good physical health. It is heavier on the stomach than the ground turkey but when it comes to adding taste to your dishes? The ground beef wins each time.

Ground turkey is a leaner meat and contains a lot of natural vitamins, as well as nutrients, that the body requires for fuel. It contains slightly less protein than ground beef but it also contains less fat and calories. For the healthier option? Ground turkey is the winner but you might need to spice it up a tad bit more!

Another option is to use ground tofu or meat alternative if you practice a vegetarian lifestyle.

one piece of Shepherd's pie

close up of Shepherd's pie

two pieces of Shepherd's pie


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