20-Minute Shepherd's Pie Recipe: Where Has This Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe Been All My Life? by Donna John

Beef Dinner
2 years ago

20-Minute Shepherd's Pie Recipe: Where Has This Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe Been All My Life?

Shepherd's pie had never been in my recipe arsenal until one of the meals HelloFresh sent me was ... you guessed it ... a shepherd's pie. So good! 

Traditionally, shepherd’s pie is an Irish specialty that contains lamb while cottage pie is an English specialty that contains beef. Both dishes call for mashed potatoes on top and sometimes on bottom. Whatever you call it, this dish is delish!

Here's my American take on the recipe. In my version, you could substitute sweet potatoes for the russet potatoes. This easy shepherd's pie recipe cooks in 20 minutes! 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large russet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Here's how to make it:

  1. Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until browned. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook about a minute more.
  2. Add the beef stock, flour and peas. Cook until mixture is thick and heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the milk and butter to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. 
  4. Pour ground beef mixture into a casserole dish. Top with the potatoes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven until it's hot and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve. 

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Elisa Schmitz
This sounds so delicious, Donna John !
A Shepherds Pie is made with lamb, not beef. (A shepherd is a sheep herder.) If made with beef it's called a Cottage Pie. Many people do get the two confused though and it's not always possible to know what you're getting when ordering in a restaurant.
Hello, I’m sure this recipe is delicious, but…FYI, it’s not SHEPHERDS pie. Shepherds tend sheep and lambs, not cattle. This is more like a cottage pie. Shepherd’s Pie, is by definition, made with lamb or mutton. Cheers!
Donna John
Shepherd's pie is not such a literal term anymore, dscott15 and LarryChandler . I've seen Shepherd's pie with all kinds of meats and vegetables -- from chicken to beef to turkey. This variation is delicious. Hope you try it.
Donna John
Thought this was an interesting definition of shepherd's pie: Shepherd's pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato; it is most likely of English origin. The dish has many variants, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and a topping of mashed potato.
Jon Attree
Actually you're incorrect Donna. It is called cottage pie, it just gets called shepards pie incorrectly all the time in the states. No one calls it that in the UK or Ireland. Just as a steak is beef and not lamb. Shepards pie is only lamb. Shepard herd sheep not cows. ;)
Donna John
I'm in the U.S., Jon, so let's just go with that. Whatever you call it, this is a delicious recipe. Jon Attree
Mary Dassler
I don't care what the recipe's name is, it's delicious! I've eaten a version of this dish countless times since I was a child. The only difference is the mash on top. Mom made it as a skillet with the boiled potatoes and peas mixed into the meat mixture. She'd serve it with a salad and homemade bread. We all loved it and still do. Thank you for sharing your version. 😊
Donna John
Thank you, Mary Dassler ! I agree. I've had a few versions and have enjoyed them all. And and it's a great recipe for families.
Donna John , ingredients call for thyme but there's no mention of it within the preparation steps. When/where is it added during preparation?
Donna John
The thyme is added with the garlic in step 1.
Thanks. BTW, you're welcome. ;-)

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