Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie on a plate.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings

If you avoid making shepherd's pie because of the many steps and cleanup involved, you will love this Instant Pot version. All of the ingredients are cooked together in the pressure cooker. All that's left for you to do at the end is mash the spuds, thicken the filling mixture, and transfer everything to a baking dish. Just a few minutes under the broiler will reward you with a perfectly browned mashed potato topping.

After first browning the meat, the Instant Pot cooks the dish in an incredibly fast three minutes, though you will need to build in approximately 15 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure.

This version is a traditional shepherd's pie because it is made with lamb. If you use ground or minced beef or turkey, it is more correctly called a cottage pie. Either way, the casserole is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary (fresh chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley (fresh chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more for the potatoes)
  • 2 cups beef stock (unsalted)
  • 2 carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 (.87-ounce) packets brown gravy mix
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the Instant Pot shepherd's pie.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Choose the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and add the lamb and onions. Cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic, rosemary, and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute longer.

    Brown the ground lamb and onions.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Cancel the sauté and add the carrots and beef stock to the Instant Pot.

    Add the beef stock and carrots.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Put the potatoes in a steamer basket and place it on top of the lamb and carrot mixture.

    Add the steam basket and potatoes to the pot.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and turn the venting knob to "sealing." Select the manual setting, high pressure. Set the time to 3 minutes.

  6. When the time is up, carefully turn the knob to "venting" for a quick release of pressure. The steam is very hot, so protect your hands and use a long wooden spoon handle or tongs to turn the knob.

  7. Remove the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Add the peas and gravy mix the Instant Pot. Set the pot on sauté and cook until the filling is thickened.

    Add the gravy mix to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
    Diana Rattray
  8. Meanwhile, mash the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of butter and the milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Mash the potatoes by hand or with an electric mixer.
    Diana Rattray
  9. Preheat the broiler. Pour the thickened filling into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

    Instant Pot shepherd's pie.
    Diana Rattray
  10. Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over the filling and gently spread them to cover. Alternatively, pipe the potatoes onto the filling with a pastry bag and large star tip. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and brush it lightly over the potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

    Instant pot shepherd's pie ready for the oven.
    Diana Rattray
  11. Place the shepherd's pie under the preheated broiler and cook just until the potatoes are browned.

    Shepherd's pie from the Instant Pot.
    Diana Rattray
  12. Serve the shepherd's pie with a salad or sliced fresh tomatoes on the side. Enjoy!

Tip

  • If you use ground lamb, beef, or turkey frequently, you might find it convenient to brown several pounds—with or without onions and seasonings—and freeze it in one-pound portions for 2 to 3 months. It will still be safe if frozen for a longer period of time but the quality might be reduced.

Recipe Variations

  • Top the potatoes with about 1 cup of shredded cheese before you sprinkle the casserole with paprika. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned.
  • Leftover roast lamb is another excellent option for the shepherd's pie. Sauté the onions until they are translucent and then add the minced lamb, garlic, rosemary, and parsley. Sauté for another minute or two and continue with step 3.