TikTok's Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

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Cottage pie baked potatoes

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 95 mins
Cooling Time: 5 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 baked potatoes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
278 Calories
10g Fat
37g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 278
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 201mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 17mg 87%
Calcium 231mg 18%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 959mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Mashed, stuffed, twice baked, fries in every form…you get the point. Now imagine a twice-baked potato that’s stuffed with a saucy cottage pie filling and layers of flavor? You get a cottage pie-stuffed potato with a side of cozy feels for an ideal winter night meal. TikTok strikes again with the recipe mash-up we didn’t know we needed.

How We Amp Up the Flavor

To make this our own we picked our go-to ingredients for rich flavor, like Italian sausage, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, scallions, and cheddar cheese. The standout addition in this recipe is French onion soup mix for slightly sweet, caramelized notes. 

How Do You Make Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes?

First, we roast the potatoes until tender, then scoop out the inside and mash until creamy. While the potatoes bake, the meat filling simmers into a luscious gravy that fills each potato. We top it with the mashed potato mixture, then bake once more until brown and crispy. The recipe may seem long, but most of your time is spent hands-off. Make a cocktail or cook up a side while things bake.

Is Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie the Same?

The biggest difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie lies in the meat. Shepherd’s pie is typically made with ground lamb and cottage pie is made with ground beef. However, "shepherd's pie" is often used for dishes containing either type of meat.

What Kind of Potatoes Are Best?

Russet potatoes are the best for this recipe because they hold up well with the filling. Potatoes with high starch and low moisture content, like Idaho potatoes (which are russet potatoes, just grown in Idaho), work well too. Layering the meat mixture and potato filling with dried herbs and spices is what makes this recipe so comforting. You can swap in any spices, herbs, cheeses, broth, or even ground meat you like. Get creative with what you have on hand, tasting as you go to build upon the flavors. 

This dish is hearty on its own, but we suggest serving with a crispy green salad on the side for the perfect balance.

Recipe Tips

  • Russets are the best potato for this recipe due to their size, and their thicker skin holds in the filling without breaking.
  • Make sure to choose large potatoes that are roughly the same size to keep bake times consistent. 
  • You can hold the potatoes with a clean kitchen towel when handling if they are too hot.
  • Depending on the size of your potatoes and how much filling you are able to stuff into each one, you may have filling and/or potato mixture left over. Leftover filling makes an excellent sloppy Joe-esque mixture to serve on soft buns, or place leftover filling in a small baking dish, top with leftover mashed potatoes, and bake alongside the stuffed potatoes for a mini cottage pie.

Make It Ahead

  • Make the meat filling ahead of time and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Bake the potatoes and scoop out the potato innards ahead of time, storing in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.
  • Assemble the potatoes up to 1 day ahead of time, then take out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking so everything can come to room temperature.

"The cottage pie potatoes were delicious, and I especially loved the flavorful sausage filling—the red wine gave it extraordinary flavor. I had an extra 2 cups of mashed potatoes left over, which I'll use with another meal later in the week." —Diana Rattray

Twice-baked potatoes in a baking dish
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 russet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each), scrubbed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon celery salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 12 ounces frozen peas and carrots

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons French onion soup mix

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)

  • 3/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F and arrange racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.

    Ingredients to make cottage pie baked potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, then prick all over with a fork. Rub with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the kosher salt. Bake on the bottom rack until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.

    Six baked potatoes on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. While the potatoes bake, make the filling. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up into small pieces, until browned all over and no pink remains, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat in the pot behind.

    A pot of cooked ground sausage

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the garlic, onions, sage, celery salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

    A pot of garlic, onions, sage, celery salt, and pepper

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, then add the frozen vegetables.

    Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and frozen vegetables added to the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Stir in the red wine, broth, and cooked sausage. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat to simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and the mixture is saucy, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, as needed.

    Red wine, broth, and cooked ground sausage added to the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice a thin portion off the top of each and discard. Carefully scoop out most of the inside of each potato and transfer to a large bowl, leaving about a 1/4-inch barrier of the potato to ensure the skin does not tear. 

    A baking sheet with six hollowed out potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Add the butter and heavy cream to the potatoes in the bowl, then mash well. Stir in the mustard, French onion soup mix, scallions, and cheese until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    A bowl of mashed potatoes with cream, butter, scallions, French onion soup mix, and cheese

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Place the hollowed-out potatoes on a baking sheet or in a broiler-proof baking pan, then spoon 3/4 to 1 cup of the sausage filling into each. You can fill them to the brim

    A baking sheet with six hollowed out potatoes filled with ground sausage-vegetable mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Spread about 1/2 cup of the potato topping onto each, or enough to cover the filling completely.

    A baking sheet of six filled potatoes topped with mashed potato mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Return the potatoes to the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the potato topping is slightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Move the potatoes to the top rack and broil on high until browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep a close eye to ensure the potatoes do not burn as ovens can vary.

    A baking sheet with six cottage pie baked potatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with additional scallions. 

    Cottage pie baked potatoes garnished with scallions

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Storage & Freezing

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 400 F oven until warmed through, 15 to 30 minutes. If potatoes look like they are browning too much, cover them in aluminum foil.
  • You can freeze the unbaked stuffed potatoes by placing on a rimmed baking sheet and placing in the freezer until solid to the touch. Store in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use whatever vegetables you like. Feel free to use frozen, canned, or fresh, but adjust the cook time of the filling to ensure they are tender. You can add more broth if the mixture becomes too dry before the vegetables are tender.
  • Swap out any of the seasonings for ones you have on hand or prefer.
  • You can use beef, lamb, ground turkey, or even a plant-based beef substitute for this recipe.
  • Get creative with the potato topping by piping a cross-hatch pattern or other design.