Shepherd's Pie (Meat or Pareve)

Shepherd's Pie

Miri Rotkovitz

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
453 Calories
23g Fat
32g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 453
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 391mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 65mg 5%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 1204mg 26%
*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.)

Shepherd's Pie, which is believed to have originated in northern England and Scotland, was originally made with lamb meat, as the name implies. In America, many make Shepherd's Pie with ground beef, though ​as British & Irish Food Expert Elaine Lemm points out, the ground beef version is more properly called Cottage Pie. Traditional versions, of course, would never use a vegetarian beef substitute, but the casserole works well with veggie "ground beef," as well. 

Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:

The original recipe called for ketchup but found the finished dish more flavorful when made with a well-seasoned marinara sauce.

The original recipe called for onion soup broth, however, most commercial onion soup mixes are very high in sodium, and often contain MSG. Storebought or homemade beef stock or vegetable broth are more traditional, easier to find, and often healthier alternatives. 

Peas and corn were added to the recipe both to add visual interest and a flavor boost. 

Updated by Miri Rotkovitz


For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt

For the Meat Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, diced

  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, optional

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F / 204 C. Oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan, or similarly-sized casserole dish, or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. Place the potatoes in a stockpot and add enough water to cover by 1 to 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer just until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, and soft enough to mash with a fork.

  4. Transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain, then return them to the pot. Mash them with a wire whisk or fork, and the oil and salt, and mix well. Set aside.

  5. In a chef's pan or large, deep skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrot, and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent—about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. 

  6. Add the ground beef or vegetarian meat substitute, and cook until browned. Sprinkle evenly with the flour, stir, and cook until well combined. Stir in the tomato paste, marinara or ketchup, salt, and pepper. Pour in the broth, and add the peas and corn (if using). When well combined and thickened, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

  7. Transfer the meat to the baking dish. Cover with the mashed potatoes, spreading them with a spatula into an even layer. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown. Serve hot. 

  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Use non-hydrogenated margarine instead of olive oil for the potatoes and canola oil for the meat filling if you prefer.
  • For a vegetarian dish, use two 12-ounce packages of a vegetarian ground-beef substitute and switch to vegetable broth.
  • Ketchup is a good substitute for marinara sauce.