Shepherd’s Pie with Beef

This Shepherd’s Pie recipe features tender ground beef, peas, carrots, and gravy, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked to perfection! A deliciously satisfying meal that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, family dinners, and cozy nights in.

Two bowls of shepherd's pie with beef and two forks.

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Shepherd’s Pie With Ground Beef

A traditional shepherd’s pie recipe calls for ground lamb. However, because ground beef is more readily available than ground lamb, this simple shepherd’s pie recipe is made with ground beef. However, for a special occasion, like St. Patrick’s Day, you may want to make this easy shepherd’s pie recipe with ground lamb.

This shepherd’s pie recipe with ground beef is a never-fail comfort food. When you dig in, you enjoy a spoonful of meat, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and some crispy bits all in one bite.

What Is the Difference Between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie?

Depending on whom you ask, they are often seen as one and the same. They both consist of a meat base topped with a potato crust. It can be gound meat or meat chunks. The only real difference between them is that shepherd’s pie was originally made with lamb (hence shepherd), and cottage pie is traditionally made with beef.

Why You Should Try This Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Making this ground beef shepherd’s pie is not difficult, but there are a few steps to it. These involve separately making the meat mixture, the mashed potatoes, and the gravy. Then you assemble the casserole and bake it.

This makes this easy shepherd’s pie recipe perfect if you like to make things ahead of time. You could make the various components in advance (i.e., on a weekend day), and then all you have to do is layer your ground beef pie and pop it in the oven when you are tired after a long day at work.

This best shepherd’s pie recipe gives you a quick and simple dinner to make for your family. Even your picky-eater kids will just gobble up this shepherd’s pie with ground beef.

Homemade Shepherd’s Pie – Ingredients You Will Need

Here’s what you need to make this easy shepherd’s pie with ground beef:

  • Ground beef
  • Beef bouillon
  • Onion
  • Canned peas
  • Carrots
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
Shepherd's pie with beef ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • You can use frozen mixed carrots and peas.
  • You can use instant mashed potatoes to save time.
  • You can substitute mashed potates with frozen tater tots and cover them with cheese. 

How to Make This Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Here are the steps to make this homemade shepherd’s pie recipe with ground beef:

  1. Cook the ground beef and onions in a large skillet or cast iron skillet.
  2. Drain and season.
Browned ground beef in a skillet.
  1. Transfer the beef to a baking pan or casserole dish and cover with peas and carrots in an even layer.
Peas and carrots in a baking pan.
  1. Make gravy with beef bouillon or beef broth. If made in advance, bring it to a boil then let it simmer to keep warm.
Homemade gravy for shepherd's pie.
  1. Pour the gravy over the peas and carrots.
  2. Mash potatoes with a potato masher. Add milk and stir to combine.
Mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie.
  1. Spread the potatoes over the meat mixture.
Beef shepherd's pie before baking.
  1. Dot with butter and bake at 300°F for 1 hour.

If your baking dish looks overly full, put it on a baking sheet with a rim to prevent the filling from bubbling all over your oven.

Shepherd's pie with beef in two bowls.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Variations

This best shepherd’s pie recipe can be varied in many ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Shepherd’s pie with lamb: You may not know that a traditional shepherd’s pie recipe is made with lamb, not beef. However, because ground lamb isn’t super common in many stores, most people make it with ground beef. So, if you want a traditional shepherd’s pie, use ground lamb instead of beef.
  • Shepherd’s pie with pot roast: This easy shepherd’s pie recipe is a good way to use up leftover pot roast.
  • Shepherd’s pie with chicken: Making a shepherd’s pie is a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey. Of course, you will need to grind the meat up first.
  • Sheperd’s pie with turkey: Use leftover roasted turkey or ground turkey.
  • Sheperd’s Pie Made With Soup: Substitute soup for the gravy. Cream of mushroom, for example.
  • Garlic: Add some finely chopped garlic to the beef and onions during the last minute of cooking them.
  • Herbs: Add chopped fresh parsley, rosemary, or thyme to the potatoes.
  • Tomatoes: Add some chopped tomatoes or add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the gravy.
  • Vegetables: Switch up the veggies. Try celery, parsnips, pumpkin, or peppers and green beans.
  • Shepherd’s pie with corn: Instead of peas and carrots, put a layer of creamed corn or corn kernels between the ground beef and the mashed potatoes.
  • Shepherd’s pie with cheese: Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the mashed potatoes before baking.

What to Serve With This Simple Shepherd’s Pie Recipe With Beef

Filled with lots of beef, veggies, and creamy mashed potatoes, this warming meal combines your main and sides in one bowl of cozy goodness. However, if you want to add some sides, here are some suggestions:

How to Store Shepherd’s Pie

Make Ahead: Just assemble the pie and keep it (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until you are ready to bake it. When you are ready to bake, remove it from the fridge for about 20 minutes to let it start coming to room temperature. Remove the cover and bake.

Refrigerating Leftovers: Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftovers will keep for 3 to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Freezing Leftovers: Freeze cooled leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil or in a freezer-safe container. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Overhead view of two bowls of homemade shepherd's pie with beef.

Favorite Savory Pies

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Check out more of my easy savory pie recipes and the best casserole recipes on CopyKat!

Two bowls of shepherd's pie with beef and two forks.

Shepherd’s Pie with Beef

You can make delicious Shepherd's Pie with ground beef.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Shepherd’s pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 794kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup beef bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16.5 ounces canned English peas drained
  • 1/2 pound carrots sliced thin
  • 2 cups gravy
  • 2 1/2 pounds leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • butter


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and onions with 1/4 cup bouillon until the meat is browned and fully cooked. Drain and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the meat and onions to an 8×11-inch baking pan and cover with a layer of peas and carrots.
  • Prepare 2 cups of medium-thick gravy using bouillon to flavor. Pour the hot gravy over the meat and vegetables.
  • Combine the leftover mashed potatoes and the milk and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the potatoes over the meat mixture and dot the top with butter.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.


For traditional sheperd’s pie, use ground lamb instead of beef.


Calories: 794kcal | Carbohydrates: 128g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 2001mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5050IU | Vitamin C: 133.7mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Patty

    5 stars
    So very good. Used a leftover pot roast and cream of mushroom soup instead of the gravy. Will definitely make again. Thank you for the great recipe.

5 from 2 votes

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