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Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Beef

Easy Shepherd’s pie with ground beef & frozen vegetables is here! Ready for comfort food in a bowl? You’ve gotta’ try this Shepherd’s pie with instant mashed potatoes or make from scratch. Homemade with fresh or leftover ground beef is even easier.


This ground beef Shepherd’s pie is so easy to throw together with fresh meat or leftovers in a pinch! If you like a hearty meal with thick gravy, vegetables and potatoes then this is it! We’ve got a winner here. (affiliate links present)

Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe

If you love quick and easy casseroles, I think this Shepherd’s pie recipe falls into that category! I don’t know about your family but if I asked everyone what their favorite meat was, they would all agree it’s hamburger!

It’s just so versatile isn’t it?? You can substitute for a lower fat version like ground turkey or ground chicken too but to us, this is the way to go. I bet you have some in your fridge or freezer right now. Get that out and then we’ll get started…I’ll wait. 😉

ground beef

Shepherd’s Pie with Leftover Ground Beef

This is all very easy, we will start with a pan on your stovetop so you can get onions soft and if using leftover ground beef you’ll just add it in for a minute to warm that up. What is great about this type of meat is it’s inexpensive compared to some other cuts, and full of protein.

How to Season Ground Beef for Shepherds Pie

You will want to add salt and pepper for sure and may like some garlic powder or minced garlic for added flavor as well. If sauteeing with onions those will add flavor as well. Taste along the way and adjust to your liking before layering with potatoes.

How long can you keep ground beef in the refrigerator?

You can store it safely inside airtight bags or containers at 35 to 40 degrees F for 1 to 2 days. If you can’t use it within that time, I would recommend freezing it for three to four months. Just mark the date you packaged it up so you can use it within that time period.

ground beef pie

Cottage Pie with Ground Beef and Potatoes

Technically since we are using beef vs. lamb it is called cottage instead but the names are used for both depending on whom you’re talking to. If you’re ready for an easy ground beef recipe with tons of flavor your kids will love, we’ve got it here! There are even some “hidden” veggies in there I bet they won’t be able to resist either.

  • Now let’s talk about the best pressure cooker mashed potatoes!
  • You can either choose Russet, Red or Yellow taters…I usually use what I have on hand. (there’s always a bag in our pantry)
  • We load ours with seasonings, sour cream and some butter but that part is up to you.

Since you are pairing this popular side dish with vegetables, hamburger and gravy there are a lot of other flavors going on there. SO, you could just go with a bit of butter, salt and pepper instead.

You can make slow cooker mashed potatoes, try them in your Instant Pot. Too busy? Just grab a bag at the store that you just combine with some milk or water and they are instant made in just minutes.

slow cooker mashed potatoes

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Ok so whether we make Crockpot shepherds pie or in a glass baking dish like you see here we use the same basic ingredients. Of course you can tweak the seasonings and/or sprinkle some cheese on top if you are into that as well.

  1. Ground beef or make Shepherds Pie with Ground Turkey for lower fat
  2. Onion
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. Beef gravy
  5. Frozen vegetables – mixed
    1. This is up to you, if you only like frozen peas, just add that
  6. Mashed potatoes on stovetop, IP or we’ve even made air fryer mashed potatoes
  7. We like 1/4 – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on top
  8. Casserole dish
    1. a 9×13″ baking dish is really the best size
  9. Large skillet to brown the meat mixture

You literally use the same things to make it this way, or faster with our Instant Pot shepherds pie instructions.

Shepherd's Pie with Ground Beef

How to Make Cottage Pie Tastier

Add cheese to the very top!! Another option, or in addition to, is to add some French’s Fried Onions to the top too which adds texture and a huge pop of flavor! If you want to add one or the other do so in the last 10 minutes so it can melt and get to a golden brown.

  • You’ll want to add the ground beef into a pan with your diced onions and cook over medium high heat. Break up and take off the burner once meat is no longer pink. Then we’ll get to combining ALL THE THINGS!
  • Get your mashed potatoes cooked and prepared at this time so they’re ready.
  • Stir in your gravy and frozen vegetables with your meat. You can do this right in the pan or in a bowl.
  • Pour this mixture into your casserole dish and spread out evenly across the pan.
  • I like to taste a bite of it now and see if I want to season with salt a bit more now.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Spoon on prepared mashed potatoes and bake. make sure to smooth it on the top of your beef mixture so it’s the same thickness across the dish.
  • Sprinkle parmesan on now if you want to add it.

Bake for 20 minutes – 30 minutes or until it is heated thru. Allow to sit for a good 10 minutes before serving so it can thicken more and solidify a bit.

This is really a complete meal so you don’t need any easy side dishes to serve with it. It’s bake and done which I love! Pair with your favorite drink or cold water and BAM…dinner is served.

Cottage Pie with Ground Beef

Cottage Pie Recipe with Gravy

Now with any of my easy recipes I share here, please add additional seasonings you love. If you can’t have a traditional Shepherds pie without a bit of Worcestershire sauce, then add it into the mix! OR drizzle your favorite gravy over the top when done.

What is the difference between cottage pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

They are kinda’ seen as one in the same depending on whom you ask really. Technically though, both consist of a meat base covered in a potato top crust.

What is Shepherds Pie?

The only real difference between the two is that “Shepherd’s pie” originally was made with ground lamb (hence “shepherd”) Cottage Pie is traditionally made with beef.
Nowadays people make their own versions of both, so no matter how you refer to this almost everyone will know what you’re talking about.

I say use what you have, and the flavors you love. If this is something new to you then follow the recipe exactly and then “tweak” the next time once you’ve got the hang of it. 😉

beef shepherds pie

Beef Shepherd’s Pie

Ready for a great recipe with ground beef? We have a printable recipe card for you below to follow. Let us know what you think! If you’d like to join Idaho’s farmers and ranchers in fighting hunger by making your secure, tax-deductible donation today…do so on their website please.

  • That way everyone can have access to ground beef and potatoes to make recipes such as this one and hundreds of others. 
  • Then make our other tater tot ground beef casserole with taters the next night!

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Beef

Easy Shepherd's pie with ground beef & frozen vegetables is here! Ready for comfort food in a bowl? You've gotta' try this with fluffy mashed potatoes.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword frozen ground beef, hamburger, mashed potatoes, shepherds pie, vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 327kcal
Author The Typical Mom


  • 1 9×9 pan



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onions, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Drain off any excess grease. Then stir in gravy and vegetables. Spread ground beef mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Spoon prepared mashed potatoes over top and spread them out evenly. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Let sit for 10 minutes prior to serving so it can thicken up more and solidify.


Nutrition Facts
Easy Shepherd's Pie with Ground Beef
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 327 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 350mg15%
Potassium 638mg18%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 2911IU58%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Recipe Rating

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Carla H

Friday 17th of March 2023

Just wondered if you can tell me about how many pouds of potatoes it takes to make the four cups mashed needed for this recipe?


Thursday 27th of April 2023

@Carla H, It takes about 2 pounds of potatoes to make the 4 cups


Friday 4th of March 2022

Instead of saying Shepherds Pie with beef, why don't you just say Cottage Pie? Quit perpetuating the myth of Shepherds Pie with beef.


Thursday 27th of April 2023

@Carrol, Shepherds pie is made with lamb, that's why it's called SHEPHERD'S PIE. Beef versions are called either cottage pie or rancher's pie.


Saturday 6th of August 2022

@Bob,just eat the pie bob..its delicious either way..

Jenny B

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

How many potato’s do you need for 4 cups? For the gravy are you just tossing the packet in or making the gravy as listed on the package? For the Parmesan Cheese is it shredded or powder?


Thursday 27th of April 2023

The potatoes being used in the recipe I suspect are instant though about 2 pounds of raw potatoes should make enough for the 4 cups mashed.


Saturday 6th of March 2021

The recipe says 12 oz so I'm guessing its the pre made canned gravy instead of the packet. I wasnt sure either and saw that when I double checked :)

Not sure if it matters about parmesan cheese, probably just what you prefer.

And potatoes, im not sure. Maybe a dozen medium ones?

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