I love Irish food because it’s humble, delicious, and made with love. This Guinness Shepherd’s Pie is just that: humble food that’s simply amazing. It’s beefy, chunky, and topped with a creamy mash that pulls it all together. The secret ingredient is Guinness. This dark, rich beer adds so much flavor to this simple dish, turning it into something extraordinary.

Guinness Shepherd’s Pies

Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite Irish dishes. We tend to eat a lot of Irish food to celebrate my husband’s heritage, but when you add Guinness beer to shepherd’s pie, something magical happens. 

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Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

The richness of the beer really complements the flavor of the beef, and this meaty, saucy, potato-topped hearty meal is simply fabulous. It’s easy to make, needs no fancy ingredients, and you can even use store-bought or leftover mashed potatoes if you don’t want to make them from scratch.

With beefy goodness in every bite, this easy dish is a favorite in my house, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it, too!

Read more: Guinness Shepherd’s Pie
a fork bite of Guinness pie with mashed potatoes

Why I love Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

  • I love the meaty, chunky, saucy goodness of this dish. And with built-in gravy and topped with mashed potatoes, it’s my kind of meat and potatoes meal!
  • It’s quite simple to make, and you can even prepare the filling and the topping the day before.
  • Guinness really sets this dish apart from other versions of Shepherd’s Pie.
ingredients to make Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Gather these ingredients

  • Ground beef – Lean ground beef is best for this recipe.
  • Sweet onion – Finely chopped.
  • Carrot – Cut into ¼-inch rounds.
  • Celery – Diced.
  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic, minced.
  • Dried thyme
  • Celery salt
  • Cornstarch – Or you can use flour or your favorite thickener.
  • Guinness beer – You’ll need about 12 ounces or 1.5 cups.
  • Frozen peas
  • Mashed potatoes – See my recipe below or use leftover or store-bought mashed potatoes.
  • Paprika – Optional, but it looks lovely dusted on top.
  • Fresh parsley – Optional garnish.
how to make a Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

How to make Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Prepare the mashed potatoes if you’re not using store-bought or leftover mashed potatoes. Peel, cut and boil 1 pound of russet potatoes, then drain and mash, adding 3 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of milk. Adjust the seasoning, then set them aside.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat.
  3. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the skillet with the beef and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  4. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, cornstarch, and celery salt. Cook for one minute.
  5. Pour the Guinness into the meat mixture and mix well. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375-F.
  7. Stir the peas into the meat mixture, then transfer it to an 8×8-inch or similar-sized casserole dish.
  8. Spread the mashed potatoes on top to cover the meat mixture completely. Use a fork to make a swirled or peaked design on top of the potatoes.
  9. Bake the shepherd’s pie in the preheated 375-F oven for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown and the meat mixture is bubbly.
  10. Remove from the oven, top with paprika and chopped parsley. 
  11. Serve hot and enjoy!
a serving of Shepherd Pie

Tips & substitutions

  • You can make this dish with ground lamb, pork, chicken or turkey. Mix it up and discover all your favorite flavor combinations.
  • Making extra mashed potatoes when cooking another meal is a great way to cut down prep time on this recipe. Just use leftover mashed potatoes, or buy them prepared from the store.
  • Hot or warm mashed potatoes will spread on top of the meat mixture much more easily than cold mashed potatoes.
  • You can prep the whole dish and pop it in the fridge to bake later. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if the dish is fridge-cold.
  • If you don’t like peas, just add carrots. Or add frozen baby onions.
  • Option to use whipped sweet potatoes (really good!) for the topping.
a fork bite of Guinness pie with mashed potatoes

Serving suggestions

Serve your Irish Guinness Shepherd’s Pie with a loaf of warm Irish soda bread and an Irish spinach salad for a complete meal. Don’t forget about a slice of Baileys Cake for dessert!


Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the leftover shepherd’s pie. Pack it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to a month.

Check out these awesome Guinness recipes while you’re here

Guinness Shepherd’s Pies
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Guinness Shepherds Pie

Meaty, saucy, chunky, and delicious, this Guinness Shepherd’s Pie is rich and delicious. It’s a humble meal made better with Irish beer!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 6
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  • 1 pound ground beef, lean is best
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ Tbsp cornstarch, or 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 ½ cups Guinness beer, or dark stout
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 ½ cups Mashed Potatoes, buy pre-made in store

Or make your own mashed potatoes:

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • Paprika, for dusting
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


  • Prepare the mashed potatoes if you are not using store-bought. Keep warm and set aside. If using store-bought, remove from the container and heat until warm.
  • If making your own, peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch inch cubes. In a pot of boiling water, add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or so, until tender with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes and return to the pot; mash with a potato masher and add the butter and milk; season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together until smooth and set aside.

Make the meat mixture:

  • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through; drain off any fat.
  • Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Next, add tomato paste, garlic, thyme, cornstarch (or flour), and celery salt. Cook for one minute. Mix well and pour in the Guinness beer.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • After simmering, stir the peas into the beef mixture. Spoon the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish (approximately 8×8 inches).
  • Spread the mashed potatoes on top, to completely cover the meat mixture. If you prefer, you can take a fork and make a fun design on top of the mashed potatoes. They will be stacked high.
  • Sprinkle lightly with a small amount of paprika.
  • Bake until the top of the potatoes start to brown, and the meat mixture is heated through, for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm.
Cuisine: Irish
Course: Main Course
Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 405mg, Potassium: 1021mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 4178IU, Vitamin C: 32mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 3mg
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Guinness Shepherd’s Pie