American,  Gluten-Free,  Main Course,  Pies,  Recipes

Shepherd’s Pie

When growing up, there were three or four favorite recipes that we repeatedly made in my mother’s house, and I bet your family did the same thing. These days, I find myself going through seasons where certain meals in our house are repeated. I think it’s because they’ve become our family favorites, especially for the weeknights. 

Kodi and I find food to be our creative outlet and something that inspires us as part of living well and loving well. We love to cook and make new creations in the kitchen, but sometimes you just need to make that family favorite you have made so many times before. The kids love it, and you usually have the ingredients in the fridge or freezer. The dishes that were my favorites when I was growing up were definitely chili, taco bowls, barbeque meats, salad and my mother’s famous shepherd’s pie. 

Today, I thought I would share with you one of our family favorites – our Simply Sells shepherd’s pie. My father is a British man straight out of Yorkshire, England. My mother is a Colombian lady who found herself in England at a very young age. It’s in England where my mother met my father. She picked up a few good recipes along the way that have found their way into our kitchen at the Sells house. I wouldn’t call them generational traditions, just good home cooking inspired by a combination of both the Hispanic and British sides of my parents. 

Shepherd’s pie is made traditionally with lamb. In our house we tend to use beef. We still call it shepherd’s pie like my mother did, but some might say our version is more like cottage pie since we use beef. Sometimes I lighten it up a bit and use ground turkey for the meat or mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. Whether ground beef or turkey, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower this recipe is the real deal and full of flavor and deliciousness. Be ready to indulge! 

A bit of History…

Shepherd’s pie was created in the 1800’s in England. It’s a very sneaky dish that may have come about just to cover up leftovers with mashed potatoes, and then served to the family as a new meal. Genius if you ask me! I love it since I am always trying to make sure I use everything in the fridge, to limit waste. We could learn from those mommas that may have lived through lean times. Even though we may not live in lean times at the moment, one thing we have learned is that it’s important to stretch out meals and, when needed, feed a neighbor or someone in need. 

Making Shepherd’s Pie

To make our Simply Sells shepherd’s pie, I start by melting the oil and butter in a Dutch oven pot. I like using a Dutch oven because I can make the whole recipe right in the same pot – anything to save a dish in my opinion (who likes doing the dishes). This also makes it easy to store the leftovers because you can just cover the pot with the lid. After the butter and oil melts, add your onions and carrots, and then sauté them until softened and the color begins to brown. Next, stir in  the tomato paste and let it begin to deepen in color for a couple minutes without burning. Toss in the garlic – take a minute to inhale the aroma coming from the pan. Wow!

Add the lean beef, Worcestershire sauce, broth, salt and seasonings. Let it all start to combine and bubble up on the stove, and then stir in the peas. Top it with your favorite mashed potatoes. I have the recipe and ingredients listed for how we make ours, which has a coarse texture as I prefer hand mashing, which tends to leave some lumps. When I top the dish, I like to create peaks in the mashed potatoes like my mother always did. I then sprinkle the top with a most delicious cheese, to create a beautiful masterpiece. 

This shepherd’s pie is great to make ahead and freeze for another day. Along with being delicious, I love it because the leftovers are just as good as on the first day. 

I hope you enjoy our Simply Sells shepherd’s pie. It really packs a hearty punch and sneaks in yummy veggies. 


Shepherds Pie

  • Author: Sandra Sells
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the filling:

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 carrots, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt, then add about 1 teaspoon more to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 2.25 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 12-15 ounce bag frozen peas
  • 68 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 34 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Fontina cheese

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 3 pounds of potatoes, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
  • 12 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉
  2. Bring a large dutch oven or skillet over medium heat and heat the butter and olive oil until melted together.
  3. Add in the chopped onion and carrots. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Just before the vegetables are finished cooking add the spices and garlic for the last 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it deepens to a darker red color. Careful to not burn!
  6. Add in the beef, Worcestershire sauce, broth, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Breaking up the ground beef cook until there are no longer any pink sections. Stir in the frozen peas until just warmed.
  8. Transfer the filling into an oven safe dish. (If not using a dutch oven)
  9. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling spreading evenly. Feel free to make a decorative swirl or fork pattern on the top.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the juices start to bubble around the edge.
  11. Pull from the oven and add your grated fontina and Parmesan cheeses to the top of the potatoes.
  12. Set the oven to a high broil setting.
  13. Place dish back in the oven until the cheese has turned a slight golden brown in color. (Keep close watch as your cheese can burn easily)
  14. Pull from the oven, serve and enjoy!

For the mashed potatoes:

  1. Put the quartered potatoes in a deep saucepan with cold water.
  2. Over medium heat bring potatoes to a simmer.
  3. Cook the potatoes until fork tender. About 15 minutes. (Careful to not overcook until they are mushy)
  4. Strain the potatoes.
  5. Over low heat add in butter, sour cream, milk/half & half. Add the potatoes back to the stockpot.
  6. Mash with a hand masher or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in salt to taste. (Do not over mash as potatoes can become “gluey” in texture)
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star