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Shepherd's Pie in white casserole dish on white marble with spoonful of filling in wooden spoon overhead view

Easy Classic Shepherd's Pie

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  • Author: Aberdeen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x


This easy-to-make classic shepherd's pie recipe is cooked in one pan for simple cleanup. Featuring a savory beef and vegetable filling topped with creamy mashed potatoes, this hearty dish is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in! 


Units Scale

For the Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

For the Filling

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, cooking wine or 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
  • Optional garnish: Roughly chopped fresh parsley, thinly sliced fresh chives


Make the Potato Topping

  1. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 15 more minutes, until potatoes break apart when pierced with fork.
  2. Drain the potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, butter, sour cream, salt and milk and mash together until completely combined. Add salt to taste. Cover and keep warm.

Make the Filling

  1. While the potatoes are boiling, preheat oven to 400˚F. Prepare a 9X13 casserole dish or use an oven safe skillet (I like to use a braiser if I go this route) to make the filling.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (or use the oven safe pan here) over medium high heat.  Add the ground beef, salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, sauté until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onion starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or until fragrant.
  5. Add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute. Add the red wine and cook down for about 2 minutes while scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking down for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Add the peas and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble & Bake

  1. If using a casserole dish, pour beef mixture into the dish and press into a smooth layer and add the mashed potatoes on top. If using an oven safe sauté pan, leave the filling in the pan and simply add mashed potatoes on top! Seal in the sides to avoid too much bubble up from the filling below.
  2. Optional: Using a fork, gently scrape the potato topping to create little ridges and valleys that will crisp up in the oven.
  3. Place in the preheated oven on a center rack. Cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes have just started to brown and any liquid on the sides is bubbling.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, chives, and fresh parsley. Serve warm and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Irish