Simple Shepherd's Pie


Our simple shepherd pie recipe works great for a comforting family meal any night of the week. It's the classic meat and potatoes combo—with lots of love.

Simple Shepherd's Pie in Baking Dish on Top of Blue Kitchen Towel and Served in Small White Bowl, with sprigs of fresh thyme on small black dish
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
8 to 10 servings

If there were a definitive ranking of comfort foods, shepherd's pie might just be number one. Step one: make a batch of buttery mashed potatoes. Step two: cook up a mean vegetable-enriched beef filling. Step three: enjoy fire-side with a cozy blanket and a glass of red wine. Okay, that might be overkill, but the red wine should be doable. If you can't find red new potatoes for the topping, substitute with another waxy potato like Yukon gold or fingerlings.


  • 2 ¼ pounds red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, heated to a simmer

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef

  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered (about 4 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 ¾ cup frozen peas (from a 10-oz bag)

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Cover potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add warm milk and butter; mash until creamy. Season with 1½ teaspoons of the salt and several grinds pepper.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add beef and cook undisturbed, until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of the salt. Continue cooking, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl. Wipe out skillet.

  4. Using same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt; cook undisturbed until golden, about 3 minutes. Add thyme and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden all over, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with beef.

  5. Using same skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook until golden, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Return meat and mushroom mixture to skillet and add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add stock and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; simmer until slightly thickened, 7 to 8 minutes.

  6. Stir in carrots, peas, and Worcestershire; cook until peas are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13-inch (or 3-qt) baking dish. Spoon then gently spread mashed potatoes on top.

  7. Set baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbling and top is golden in spots, 18 to 22 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

439 Calories
23g Fat
37g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 439
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 978mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 24g

*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.

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