Shepherds Pie

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For the ultimate comforting and hearty dish, you want my Shepherds Pie. With savory braised lamb filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes and melty cheddar cheese, you’ll make a hungry crowd happy and satisfied.

Shepherd's pie on metal plate. Text reads "Homemade Shepherd's Pie".

Homemade Shepherds Pie

If you’re ready to let your guests indulge in a classic comfort food sure to satisfy their tastebuds and warm their souls, look no further than my homemade Shepherds Pie. We’re talking a savory braised lamb filling, packed with hearty vegetables, and then topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes and melted cheddar cheese, this traditional dish is the perfect meal for a cozy night in or a family gathering. Let’s get started.

Braised lamb and vegetable filling in skillet.

Shepherd’s Pie vs Cottage Pie

You might be wondering, what the difference is between shepherds and cottage pie. Traditionally, shepherds pie is made with ground lamb, while cottage pie uses ground beef. However, both dishes feature a savory meat filling topped with a layer of mashed potatoes, and the names are often used interchangeably in modern cooking.

Spatula smoothing mashed potatoes in skillet.

Braising Lamb

The key to a truly delicious Shepherd’s Pie is the rich, tender filling, and that’s where braising comes in. Braising is a cooking method that involves browning the lamb, then cooking it slowly in a flavorful liquid until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. In this recipe, we use a combination of beef stock, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to create a braising liquid that gives your lamb some serious depth of flavor.

Mashed potatoes in skillet sprinkled with cheddar cheese.

Filling Ingredients for Shepherds Pie

It doesn’t take much to create the ultimate filling for shepherd’s pie. Once you’ve got your rich lamb meat braised, you’re just a few key ingredients away. The good news is you likely have most of them on hand in your fridge or pantry already:

  • 1 pound braised ground lamb
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Shepherd's pie in skillet next to carrots.

How to Make Shepherds Pie

Now that you’ve got all your flavorful ingredients assembled, it’s time to whip up this Shepherds Pie. Follow these easy steps and your guests will be devouring this mouth-watering dish in no time.

  1. Boil potatoes. Skin and cube your potatoes while bringing a large pot of water to a boil. If you like a more rustic look and some added texture, you can leave the skin on. Either way, you’re going to have rich and creamy mashed potatoes.
  2. Finish potatoes. Once your potatoes have boiled 10-12 minutes and they’re good and soft, train the water from your pot and then add in the remaining ingredients. You want to mix gently with a spatula or hand mixer. Don’t overdo it, just mix until everything is smooth and incorporated. You can also skip this step if you have leftover mashed potatoes.
  3. Make filling. Next up, you’ll want to heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat so you can season your ground lamb with some of my signature Beef Rub and then brown it. Once you’ve got your lamb ready, it’s time to load your filling with hearty veggies and thicken it up. Once you’ve added all your ingredients, stir vigorously to avoid any clumping.
  4. Combine and bake. Top your savory lamb filling with spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, and then smooth them over with spatula. Finally, it’s time to sprinkle some cheese on top, and then get this bad boy in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F for 6-7 minutes, or until your cheese is golden brown and melty. And then, get ready to feel comfort in places you didn’t know you had.
Shepherds pie on metal plate next to fork.

Storage Tips

Whether you’re looking to keep your leftover Shepherds Pie, or you want to make it ahead of time and store it until you’re ready. I’ve got you covered.

  • Refrigerator. You can easily store leftover Shepherd’s Pie in your fridge. Simply place remaining pie an airtight container and it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in your oven on low until the cheese is bubbly again.
  • Freezer. If you want to make this dish ahead of time and then freeze it, that’s totally doable. Just stop before adding your cheese. Allow to cool, then place in a freezer-safe dish, cover with some heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place in your freezer for up to 3 months. Once thawed, add your cheese, bake, and enjoy.

More Ways to enjoy Lamb

Now that you know how easy lamb is to cook, you’ll be wanting to make it all the time. If you enjoy the unique and savory flavor of lamb as much as I do, then you’ve got to check out some of my favorite ways to prepare this tasty game meat:

Easy Shepards Pie Recipe

Follow the recipe to make my Shepherds Pie, and then enjoy all the credit when it becomes your next family favorite. If you loved making this recipe, be sure to give it a 5-star rating, and tell us all about your experience in the comments.

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Shepherds Pie

By: Susie Bulloch
0 from 0 votes
My Shepherds Pie is a comforting and hearty dish with savory braised lamb filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes and melty cheddar cheese.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings8 people


  • 1 pound ground lamb or ground beef for cottage pie
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Mashed Potatoes

  • 8 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt start here and add to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded


  • Boil potatoes. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil, Cube potatoes, leaving the skin of if desired, and then add to water to boil for 10-12 minutes.
    8 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Finish potatoes. Strain water from pot and then add in the remaining ingredients for your mashed potatoes. Mix gently with hand mixer, and salt to taste. Set aside until filling is ready.
    8 Tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup milk, 4 Tablespoons cream cheese, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Make filling. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat and then add in your lamb and season with my Beef Rub, cooking for 4-6 minutes until browned. Next, add in your flour and vegetables and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, mix in your butter thoroughly until it’s melted and there are no flour clumps. Stir in beef stock, and stir vigorously until filling thickens. Finally, stir in your tomato paste, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.
    1 pound ground lamb, 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub, 1 medium carrot, 2 ribs celery, 4 Tablespoons butter, 4 Tablespoons flour, 3 cups beef stock, 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup peas
  • Combine and bake. Top meat filling with spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, and then smooth with spatula. Next, sprinkle cheese on top, and then bake at 400 degrees F for 6-7 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy.
    1 cup cheddar cheese


Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1693mg | Potassium: 1170mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2241IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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