Shepherd’s Pie Kids Activities Blog

Shepherd’s pie is delicious and great on any night. It’s meaty, full of vegetables, with a delicious mashed potato crust. It’s so good and a great hearty meal.

This is a family favorite, everyone will love this shepherd’s pie recipe.

Shepherd’s pie is a classic dish that combines everyone’s favorite: meat and potatoes!

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite dishes to make for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s such an easy, hearty meal that the whole family enjoys!

What Is Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Shepherd’s pie is a yummy hot dish consisting of meat, veggies, and mashed potatoes. It’s a cross between a casserole and a pie!

It’s not a completely grainless recipe, as there is a small amount of flour, and corn, but the flour isn’t used to make a traditional pie crust, it’s used as a thickener for the broth and sauce component of the dish.

The cool thing about shepherd’s pie is that you can tweak it to fit many different dietary requirements, since the “crust” is made from mashed potatoes.

(There is more about vegan shepherd’s pie and gluten free shepherd’s pie below).

Shepherd's Pie
The best thing about shepherd’s pie is that you can tweak the recipe to use what you have in the fridge and pantry!

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Meat Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • ½ cup Onion, diced
  • 1-2lbs Ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • ½ cup Frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • ½ cup Frozen carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 ½ cup Beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Flour

Mashed Potato Topping:

  • 2lbs russet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Half and half

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is one of my go-to easy dinner ideas, because it’s simple and hearty!

I meal prep over the weekend, and make a pan of this to freeze in individual portions, for reheating on busy nights.

If there is an ingredient that you don’t like, or can’t have, swap it out for a substitute and make this recipe your own!

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie Meat Layer

Step 1

Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie
Brown the meat for your shepherd’s pie and drain the grease.

Step 2

Add in ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Shepherd's Pie

Step 3

Cook for 6-8 minutes or until meat is browned. Once you cook beef until brown you can move on to the next step.

Shepherd's Pie
Worcestershire is optional! If you don’t like it, leave it out.

Step 4

Pour in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, cook for 1 minute.

Shepherd's Pie

Step 5

Next, add flour and tomato paste, stir until well combined.

Shepherd's Pie
I love how colorful this shepherd’s pie recipe is!

Step 6

Mix in the broth and vegetables, bring to a boil.

Shepherd's Pie

Step 7

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 8

Remove from heat and set mixture aside, also preheat oven to 400*F

Shepherd's Pie
Skip a few of the following steps by using prepared mashed potatoes to make your shepherd’s pie!

Mashed Potato Topping

In my opinion, this is the BEST part of shepherd’s pie! I could live on mashed potatoes {giggle}.

If you are running short on time, you can use instant mashed potatoes to cut down on a few of these steps, too!

Shepherd's Pie

Step 1

Peel and chop potatoes and place them in a large pot.

Step 2

Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie

Step 3

Drain water and let potatoes sit in the hot pot for about 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.

Shepherd's Pie
If you’re making a vegan shepherd’s pie, you will need to swap the dairy products in this step out with plant-based versions.

Step 4

Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. You can use a few tablespoons of butter, but I like adding the whole stick since it is such a large batch of potatoes.

Shepherd's Pie

Step 5

Mash the potatoes and stir until smooth. These mashed potatoes will make a great mashed potato crust. Wanna change it up? Add some sautéed garlic or garlic powder to make garlic mashed potatoes for an even more flavorful crust.

Shepherd's Pie
This is the most fun part of making a shepherd’s pie–the layering!

How To Assemble Shepherd’s Pie

Step 1

First, add meat mixture to a 9×9 or (13×9) baking dish.

Step 2

Then, spread out into an even layer.

Shepherd's Pie
The meat and veggies make the bottom layer of your shepherd’s pie.

Step 3

Next, spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.

Shepherd's Pie
Mmm, I can’t wait to dig into my own steaming piece of shepherd’s pie!

Step 4

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Step 5

Serve! Enjoy the rich potatoes, the meaty, vegetable, filled brown gravy. Want a side? Serve with fresh green beans.

Notes:

If you can not find the peas and carrots separate then use a frozen peas and carrots mix.

You can also make this in a large oven-safe skillet like a cast iron pan and easily turn this into a skillet shepherd’s pie.

How To Store and Freeze Your Leftover Shephard’s Pie

This is also a simple recipe for a make ahead dish. This hearty dish is delicious and with a few freezer instructions you can eat this later if you have left overs.

To store this in the fridge, allow your shepherd’s pie to cool off fully and store in an airtight container.

To freeze, allow your shepherd’s pie to cool full. Wrap the pan in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. This will keep the food getting freezer burnt.

Shepherd's Pie
Use gluten free all-purpose flour to make a gluten free shepherd’s pie!

Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie

The only thing that needs tweaking in the original recipe, is swapping regular flour out for gluten free all-purpose flour. Check the ingredient labels on the rest of the ingredients, too, just to be safe!

Shepherd's Pie
It’s easy to make a vegan shepherd’s pie! You just have to replace the meat and dairy ingredients with plant-based options.

How to Make Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

In order to make vegan shepherd’s pie, you will need to omit the ground beef. You can replace it with a vegan meatless crumble (like Gardein The Ultimate Beefless Crumble).

Replace the beef broth with a vegan beef broth option (like Not-Beef Edward & Sons bouillon cubes, just follow the directions on the box to mix with water). Edward & Sons also sells a vegan Worcestershire sauce!

Replace the butter with a plant-based butter, and also swap out the sour cream for a vegan version (Tofutti makes a delicious one).

Instead of half and half, combine one part coconut cream with one part unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Dinner doesn’t get any easier than air fryer fried chicken!

Want A Richer Potato Topping?

This isn’t traditional necessarily, but can also make dinner a little more tasty if you wanna mix things up.

Adding a whole egg, egg white and egg yolk, and some parmesan to your potatoes will make them a little thicker, but also super rich and flavorful.

I would avoid cheeses like cheddar cheese. Or no cheese and just an egg if you want a rich potato topping.

What Is The Difference Between Cottage Pie and SHepherds Pie?

So, I also wanted to point this out, since cottage pie is also very popular and delicious and these two recipes often get confused.

Shepherds pie and cottage pie, while similar are different. Cottage pie actually uses a minced beef mixture while tradition Shepherds pie uses ground lamb.

Materials

  • Meat Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil

  • ½ cup Onion, diced

  • 1-2lbs Ground beef or ground lamb

  • 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme

  • ½ cup Frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste

  • ½ cup Frozen carrots

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup Frozen corn

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon Pepper

  • 1 ½ cup Beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Flour

  • Mashed Potato Topping:

  • 2lbs russet potatoes, peeled, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon Salt

  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper

  • 6 tablespoons Butter

  • ¼ cup Sour cream

  • ¼ cup Half and half

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add in ground beef or lamb, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until meat is browned.
  4. Pour in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Next, add flour and tomato paste, stir until well combined.
  6. Mix in the broth and vegetables, bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove from heat and set mixture aside, also preheat oven to 400*F
  9. Peel and chop potatoes and place them in a large pot.
  10. Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Drain water and let potatoes sit in the hot pot for about 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
  12. Add butter, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  13. Mash the potatoes and stir until smooth.
  14. Add meat mixture to a 9×9 or (13×9) baking dish.
  15. Then, spread out into an even layer.
  16. Next, spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Notes

If you can not find the peas and carrots separate then use a frozen peas and carrots mix.

More Easy Dinner Ideas From Kids Activities Blog:

It’s hard to find time for family dinners during busy weeknights! Let us help take some of the load off your shoulders with these easy dinner ideas that will give you more time to sit around the table with your family, with less time spent in the kitchen!

Do you have any secret ingredients for your shepherd’s pie?

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