Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is a comfort dish with cooked meat and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes (or crispy) potatoes!

Classic Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a meat and vegetable casserole, sometimes called Cottage Pie. This casserole gets baked in the oven until the the mashed potatoes are golden and slightly crispy on top. If you love sweet potatoes, then this GORGEOUS Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie Recipe is a must-try!

BEST Classic Shepherd's Pie

Friends, I don’t think I’m an incredible cook or hostess at all. But friends tell me I’m good at it, and I really try to focus on gathering people in our home. This last week we served a Classic Shepherd’s Pie.

Classic Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is essential for brisk fall days. Its comforting and rich, with savory flavors of mushroom, beef, and onion, while hints of brightness come through with the lemon and wine.

EASY Classic Shepherd's Pie

What is shepherd’s pie?

In England, a hearty shepherd’s pie is made with a ground-lamb filling. Here in the States, people use ground beef, and it might be called a cottage pie. Sauté veggies, beef, and thyme, add flour, then simmer the mixture in stock. It tastes amazing, but the best part of the dish is the mashed potato topping. If you love cheesy sweet potatoes, I have a delicious recipe, Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie with Cheese Recipe.

Does Shepherd’s Pie have to have mashed potatoes on top?

Repurpose leftover mashed potatoes. This is when I usually make a Shepherd’s Pie, is when I do have leftovers. Again, try sweet potatoes on top!

BEST Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Can I make Shepherd’s Pie ahead of time?

Make the mashed potatoes as well as the filling ahead of time (or use leftovers), but assemble right before baking.

Hosting takes energy

It takes a lot of energy to host. First of all, if folks don’t know each other, then you have the pressure to connect, introduce, and ignite the conversations.

That, and cooking at the same time …

Well, this is where my hubby steps in.

We play off each other. Read the room, read what we are doing, like if I’m busy doing last minute things.  Like pulling this Cranberry Pistachio Brie Appetizer from the oven, then Paul will greet the guest at the door, and offer them drinks.

I’m just saying, gathering people in our home doesn’t always come easy. But we do it because we love people.

Easy Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Today’s Classic Shepherd’s Pie is a great recipe to make if you want host this fall.

Set this on the table, with a salad or two, like Greek Peasant Salad Recipe and Irish Pub Salad, or Lori’s Avocado Pine Nut Salad. You’ll have a great meal for company!

Shepherd’s Pie to me is a comfort dish. And comfort dishes are fall. And fall is cozy.

I love cozy dinners, with conversation that might land between small talk and going real deep. You know, the type that could go either way.

As hosts, it’s up to us which direction we want to take it. Right?

Some meals are meant to be light (in calories and conversation), and some might be a little heavier.

The point is that we just do it.

Gather and invest

We gather and we care and we invest and we love!

I alway am happy in the end, because I know that it’s not really about me and how I feel.

It’s about them. And it’s where hospitality is a beautiful thing.

At the end of the day, think too about the uninvited and the unwelcome.

And make a Classic Shepherd’s Pie.

More comfort recipes to try:

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Chicken Pot Pie with Cheesy Drop Biscuits

Sausage Kale Comfort Soup Recipe

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Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This recipe is essential for brisk fall days. It's comforting and rich with savory flavors of mushroom, beef, and onion, while hints of brightness come through with the lemon and wine.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins


  • 6 cups mashed pre-cooked potatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika, plus some to garnish
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, 2-3 c, chopped
  • 2 cup crimi mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup red wine, a dry variety
  • 1/2 c beef broth
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 Tbsp butter


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add 2 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat on high; add beef when butter is hot, and begin to brown—add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned, and remove from pan, making sure to leave the juices.
  • Add 1 Tbsp more butter and brown mushrooms—allow them to sit for 2-3 minutes before mixing. Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Pour in chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Stir and allow to soften for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Increase heat tot medium and return meat to pan, then add in wine and scrape bits off of the bottom of the pan. Allow liquid to reduce for 2-3 minutes, then add beef broth, paprika, lemon, thyme, and Worcestershire. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir to incorporate, allowing liquid to reduce further, stirring semi-frequently for 8-10 minutes.
  • When liquid has reduced, add meat mixture to a baking dish (9X13, or something close). Spread into an even layer, then spread mashed potatoes on top. If you’re using cold or leftover mashed potatoes, fluffy with a fork as you pile it on top. When mashed potatoes are fluffed and spread, sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese, and a dash of paprika on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm!
Cuisine: Irish
Course: Main Course
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Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe