Easy Shepherd’s Pie

 Shepherd’s Pie is a comforting casserole your family will beg for again and again!

This easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is layered with ground beef, carrots, corn and green peppers smothered in a tomato spiked brown gravy all topped with crispy, cheesy hash browns.  It’s perfect comfort food for St. Patrick’s Day or an any day easy family favorite!  I’ve also included instructions on how to freeze ground beef Shepherd’s Pie and how to make ahead! 

Easy Shepherd's Pie recipe in a skillet with one slice missisng

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

I remember the first time I sunk my teeth into Shepherd’s Pie.  I was visiting my cousins states away in Utah when the world of layered baked meat and potato casserole changed my world.  For a little girl whose favorite food was potatoes, meat and potatoes couldn’t get much better.

Until this Cheesy Hash Brown Shepherd’s Pie.

That’s right.  Hash browns.  Hash browns for dinner. I’m in.  The hash browns are lightly sauteed and mixed with sour cream, sharp cheddar and green onions so they are not only crispy but cheesy as well.  Of course, you can swap them for good old mashed potatoes as well, but I personally love the texture of the crispy hash browns.

The rest of the easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is pretty standard fair – except that it’s not.  The vegetables and tomato gravy are seasoned to perfection.  I guarantee you will have to slap your own hand from eating all of the meat/vegetables before you assemble your Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s saucy meat and cheesylicoius hash browns have some sort of control over me…

But you’ll want to stop eating, because, believe it or not, once you top the savory meat/vegetable layer with the creamy, cheesy hash brown layer and bake until crispy, golden deliciousness, it doesn’t get any better!

All good things are worth the wait.

a slice of the best shepherd's pie recipe on a pate

Ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • Ground Beef.  You will need one pound lean ground beef.  You may also substitute with lean ground turkey, chicken or even ground sausage.  If you want to get fancy, you can use short ribs like in this Shepherd’s Pie recipe.  
  • Onions and garlic.  The aromatics form the base of flavor so don’t skip!
  • Flour.  We use flour to thicken the gravy.   I use all purpose flour but I’m sure any gluten free flour would work as well.
  • Beef broth.  Please use low sodium beef broth so we can control the salt.
  • Veggies  I use corn, bell peppers and carrots but you are welcome to add or substitute what you have on hand such as celery, peas, squash etc.
  • Diced tomatoes.  Make sure your diced tomatoes don’t contain any extra seasonings.
  • Tomato paste and ketchup.  They both infuse our Shepherd’s Pie with rich, tangy tomato flavor.
  • Dijon mustard You can substitute with stone ground mustard. 
  • Worcestershire sauce.  Adds complex sweet, savory, tangy notes.  If you’re out of Worcestershire Sauce, you can use 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice.
  •  Soy sauce Please use low sodium soy sauce
  • Seasonings:  The meat and vegetables get seasoned with paprika, chili powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, salt and pepper as well as hot sauce to taste to create a robust, earthy, savory flavor profile.
  • Frozen hash browns. You will need 6 cups frozen hash browns which is about 30 oz. bag.  You can use plain has browns or one with added peppers, onions, etc.
  • Cheese.  We add sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese to the hash browns for the irresistible cheesy factor.  Pleases use freshly grated cheese for superior taste and melting ability. 
  • Sour cream.  Adds creaminess to the hash browns.  You can substitute with Greek yogurt if you prefer. 

top view of shepherd's pie recipe with ground beef in a skillet

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

  • Make potato topping. Start by cooking hash browns in a single layer until crispy on one side, then flip over and cook another five minutes.  This gives them a head start in the crispy department.  They will continue to crisp up in the oven.  Mix hash browns, cheeses, and sour cream in a bowl and set aside.

showing how to make shepherd's pie by adding potatoes, sour cream and cheese to a bowl

  • Brown meat.  Cook meat and onions in an oven proof skillet.  Take care to drain off extra grease so your filling isn’t greasy.  
  • Make filling.  Sprinkle flour over meat and cook while stirring for 2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour smell and taste. Add carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, and corn and all remaining gravy ingredients and simmer while the meat and vegetables drink up the flavor and the gravy thickens.
    showing how to make shepherd's pie by adding carrots, corn, diced tomatoes, bell peppers and seasonings to ground beef
  • Layer with hash browns. Evenly spread hash brown mixture over the meat mixture and top with sharp cheddar.
    showing how to make shepherd's pie by adding potatoes on top of ground beef and vegetable layer
  • Bake. Pop your skillet in the oven and bake, uncovered at 400 degrees F degrees for 30 minutes or until hash brown are completely cooked then broil to desired hash brown crispiness.
    showing how to make shepherd's pie by adding cheese on top of potatoes and baking

Tips for Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Beef

  • If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, you can cook your Shepherd’s Pie recipe in any skillet then transfer the contents to a casserole dish to bake.
  • You can substitute the hash browns with your favorite mashed potato recipe like this one. 
  • You can go meatless and make Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie by replacing the meat with more veggies or adding in cauliflower, mushrooms, squash, eggplant, etc. in place of the meat.
  • You can cut down on chopping by using a frozen vegetable medley.

What to eat with shepherd’s pie?

Shepherd’s Pie has you covered with meat, veggies and carbs, so it doesn’t need much!  We like to serve Shepherd’s Pie with a big green salad or Wedge Salad, Fruit Salad and either rolls, cornbread or breadsticks.

HOW TO MAKE SHEPHERDS PIE AHEAD OF TIME

Shepherd’s Pie can easily be assembled ahead of time for an easy bake and eat dinner.  To make ahead of time:

  • Prepare the recipe up through  assembling the Shepherd’s Pie but do not bake.
  • Cover casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate.
  • Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hash brown are completely cooked then broil to desired hash brown crispiness.

top view of best shepherd's pie recipe with a piece missing

Can I freeze SHEPHERDS PIE?

  • Shepherd’s Pie freezes very well, especially with the hash brown topping because the potatoes don’t become a funny texture.
  • To freeze, let casserole cool completely, then wrap securely a few times in plastic wrap then in foil.
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • You can bake frozen Shepherd’s Pie directly from the freezer at 425 degrees F for one hour or until cooked through.
  • To reheat from thawed in the refrigerator, bake at 425 degrees F, uncovered until warm through, approx. 25-30 minutes.

Looking for more beef recipes?

up close of a slice of easy shepherd's pie recipe on a plate

Want to try this Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe?

Pin it to your DINNER, CASSEROLE or MEAT Board to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Cheesy Hash Brown Shepherd's Pie

This easy Shepherd's Pie recipe is layered with ground beef, carrots, corn and green peppers smothered in a tomato spiked brown gravy all topped with crispy, cheesy hash browns. It's perfect comfort food for St. Patrick's Day or an any day easy family favorite! I've also included instructions on how to freeze ground beef Shepherd's Pie and how to make ahead!
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Meat Vegetable Layer

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup sweet corn (fresh or canned and drained)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH paprika, chili pwdr, dried parsley, dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, more or less to taste

Cheesy Hash Brown Topping

  • 6 cups frozen hash browns
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Hash Brown Topping: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add hash browns in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Flip hash browns and cook another 5 minutes. (They will not be all the way cooked – just golden in some places.) Set aside to cool.
  • Meat and Vegetables: Brown beef and onions in a 12” oven proof skillet* over medium high heat until beef is cooked through. Drain off excess grease.
  • Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour over meat and cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Add remaining Meat/Vegetable ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until thickened. Taste and add additional hot sauce if desired. Spread evenly in skillet.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, hash browns, sour cream, salt and pepper.
  • Spread hash brown topping evenly over meat mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. Bake at 400F degrees for 30 minutes or until hash brown are completely cooked then broil to desired hash brown crispiness.

Notes

*If you don't have a 12" oven proof skillet, cook in a regular skillet and transfer meat mixture and hash browns to an oven proof casserole dish to bake.

MAKE AHEAD 

  • Prepare the recipe up through assembling the Shepherd's Pie but do not bake.
  • Cover casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate.
  • Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hash brown are completely cooked then broil to desired hash brown crispiness.

How to Freeze

  • Shepherd’s Pie freezes very well, especially with the hash brown topping because the potatoes don't become a funny texture.
  • To freeze, let casserole cool completely, then wrap securely a few times in plastic wrap then in foil.
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • You can bake frozen Shepherd's Pie directly from the freezer at 425 degrees F for one hour or until cooked through.
  • To reheat from thawed in the refrigerator, bake at 425 degrees F, uncovered until warm through, approx. 25-30 minutes.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

 Carlsbad Cravings Original

Never miss a Carlsbad Cravings Creation:

FacebookInstagram /  Pinterest / Twitter  

CRAVE MORE RECIPES HERE

dinner-ideas-650-final

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 Comments

    • Jen says

      Definitely! Warm, cozy comfort food at its most addictiveness 🙂 Thanks Erin!

  1. Michelle says

    Do you think you could prep it and freeze for a later date?

    • Jen says

      Hi Michelle! I think this should freeze just fine. I would prepare it up until the baking instructions then wrap it tightly in saran wrap. When ready to bake, allow it to thaw completely before baking. Enjoy!

  2. Carol Griffin says

    This sounds delicious! Did not see the measurement for carrots in the recipe.

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO MUCH for catching that Carol! It should be 1 medium carrot. I have added it to the recipe. Thanks again! Enjoy!

  3. Alisha says

    I may be missing it, but I don’t see the broth used in the instructions? I’m assuming it’s added with the garlic and flour?? Thanks! Looks delish, trying it tonight!

    • Alisha says

      Never mind, I got it! 😉

      • Jen says

        Hi Alisha, glad you found what you needed! I hope it turned out delicious!

  4. Tina says

    This certainly isn’t the boring and bland shepherd’s pie I grew up eating…..sorry mom! This was delicious and so flavorful – loved the topping. Thanks for another keeper, Jen!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Tina, I love that you found this older recipe and gave it a try and loved it – yay! And thank you for taking time to comment! I won’t tell your mom 🙂

  5. Bev Dube' says

    This was absolutely fabulous!! I love that when I make your recipes, I follow them exactly and they do not need any tweeking!! This is a beautiful dish, seconds for everyone…such a wonderful comfort food as our evenings begin to cool here in Alberta, Canada. Can’t say enough about your photography, your lovely story about the recipe and I’m always so excited to discover another!! I think I will begin purging a lot of my cookbooks that I just do not look at anymore! But on that note, do you have a cookbook coming out? Thanks again Jen! God bless!!

    • Jen says

      What an awesome comment Bev, thanks for making my day! I am so happy you loved this Shepherd’s Pie and have been enjoying so many of my recipes! Thank you also for the ultimate compliment of loving my recipes just as they are without any “tweeking!” I have been approached about a cookbook but not something I am going to pursue right now. If that changes, I will definitely let you and all my fabulous readers know but probably not in the cards any time soon. God bless you and yours as well! xo