Shepherd's Pie Recipe With Beef or Lamb

Shepherd's Pie Recipe With Beef or Lamb

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
623 Calories
36g Fat
34g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 623
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 47%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 215mg 72%
Sodium 1294mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 17mg 87%
Calcium 85mg 7%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 956mg 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.)

Shepherd's pie may seem like a time-consuming dish, but it's a classic comfort food casserole whose origins are born of kitchen economy: a great way to use up leftovers from the Sunday roast. This shepherd's pie recipe eliminates a lot of the prep because it calls for quite a few leftover ingredients, including roast beef or lamb with a fluffy mashed potato topping—also leftovers. (Fun fact: If it's made with beef, it's commonly referred to as cottage pie.)

If you don't have leftover roast beef or lamb, you can use browned lean ground beef or lamb. Diced leftover roasted pork loin can be used, too. If you don't have leftover mashed potatoes on hand, you can certainly make some. The recipe requires adding an egg yolk to the mashed potatoes, a step that not only adds some creaminess to potatoes but helps add some structure, too.

Shepherd's pie is certainly a meal unto itself, but if you like, a simple green salad is a nice option to serve with it, along with dinner rolls and green beans.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or margarine

  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced

  • 2 cups diced leftover roast beef, or lamb

  • 2 cups beef gravy, homemade or store-bought

  • 1/2 cup diced cooked carrots

  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten

  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Shepherd's pie recipe with beef or lamb ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

    Greased casserole baking dish

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender.

    Onions and butter cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the diced beef or lamb to the skillet along with the prepared gravy, carrots, and peas. Stir to blend.

    Diced beef or lamb with onions, gravy, carrots, and peas in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Heat through and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Shepherd's pie filling cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to the prepared baking dish.

    Meat and vegetable mixture in a prepared baking dish

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Put the mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Add the egg yolk to the mashed potatoes and beat until well blended.

    Mashed potatoes with an egg yolk in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Spoon the potatoes evenly over the shepherd's pie meat and vegetables.

    Mashed potatoes on top of the shepherd's pie filling in the pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Bake the shepherd's pie in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until mashed potatoes are browned and the gravy is bubbling.

    Shepherd's Pie Recipe With Beef or Lamb

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • If the mashed potatoes are very stiff from the refrigerator, warm them briefly in the microwave or in a skillet or saucepan on the stovetop before adding the egg yolk and proceeding with the recipe.
  • For a fancy look, put the potatoes in a pastry bag and pipe the potatoes through a large decorative tip.

Recipe Variations

  • Ground beef or ground lamb: Add about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef or lamb to the skillet with the onions. Cook, stirring and turning frequently until the meat is no longer pink. Continue with the recipe.
  • Hash brown topping: Shred 2 baking potatoes with a box grater or shredding disk of a food processor. Toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of flour, the beaten egg yolk, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the meat mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until the potato topping is browned.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of sliced celery to the skillet with the onion for some added green.
  • If you like venison, try this Luxury Venison Shepherd's Pie.