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Shepard's Pie Tart

Shepard's Pie Tart

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I get this question a lot! What is the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepard’s pie. Just makes it easier for my family… Either way the remaining ingredients are the same (mashed potatoes and vegetables).

I decided to make these little Shepard’s pie tarts and even prepared a quick pan gravy! What I love about these is I froze the rest in individual packages to enjoy whenever!

Now for the tart! I used a gluten free mix from my friends at Moon Rabbit Foods. You can use the premade pie crust at your local grocery store of make your own. Any way you prepare these yummy tarts they are a perfect anytime meal with a pan gravy and a side salad.

I am using 1/2 beef and 1/2 lamb you can use 1 pound of ground beef or 1 pound ground turkey (recommend thighs).


  • 3 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Pound ground beef
  • 1/2 Pound ground lamb
  • 2 Teaspoons gravy master (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1-2 large eggs, whisked

Shepherd's Pie

In England, the birthplace of this hearty dish, shepherd's pie is most often made with a ground lamb filling. In the States, it's more common to use ground beef. Both are delicious, and lamb can easily be subbed into this recipe.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yep! You can make the mashed potato topping and the filling up to 2 days in advance, but we recommend waiting to assemble until right before baking.

Is there a low-carb version?

Yep! Check out our Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie for a spud-less version.

How long do leftovers keep?

Kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftovers will keep 3 to 5 days. Large portions can be reheated in a 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

Editor's note: This intro was updated to add more information about the dish on March 12, 2021

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • ¾ cup Heinz® Tomato Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Heinz Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (such as peas and carrots)
  • 3 cups cooked, warm, mashed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅔ cup warm milk

Heat oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and half of the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Crumble meat into pan and cook until brown all over. Sprinkle with flour. Stir in ketchup, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in mixed vegetables. Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) baking dish.

Whip the potatoes with the warm milk, remaining salt and pepper, butter and garlic until very fluffy. Spread potatoes evenly over meat mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are golden.

Twist 1: For a zestier flavour, stir 1 tsp (5 mL) prepared horseradish and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper into the meat mixture.

Twist 2: For a meatless version, substitute 4 cups (1L) chopped mushrooms for the meat.

Twist 3: For a pork version, ground pork can also be substituted for beef.

Twist 4: For a pub-style shepherd's pie, use ground lamb in place of beef and mark the potatoes with the tines of a fork.

Twist 5: Make ahead: This casserole can be assembled and then refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. Extend cooking time to 45 minutes.

Twist 6: For increased fibre and nutrient value of this recipe use sweet potatoes.

Shepard’s Pie Tart

I get this question a lot! What is the difference between Cottage Pie and Sheppard’s pie. My kids call them both a Sheppard’s pie because if I ever mentioned the word ground lamb they would not eat a bite! Sheppard’s pie is always safe! However the technical difference between the two are: A cottage pie is prepared with beef while Sheppard’s pie is prepared with lamb. I like to combine lamb and beef and call is a Sheppard’s pie. Just makes it easier for my family… Either way the remaining ingredients are the same (mashed potatoes and vegetables).

I decided to make these little Shepard’s pie tarts and even prepared a quick pan gravy! What I love about these is I froze the rest in individual packages to enjoy whenever!

Now for the tart! I used a gluten free mix from my friends at Moon Rabbit Foods. You can use the premade pie crust at your local grocery store of make your own. Any way you prepare these yummy tarts they are a perfect anytime meal with a pan gravy and a side salad.

I am using 1/2 beef and 1/2 lamb you can use 1 pound of ground beef or 1 pound ground turkey (recommend thighs).

Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots

Shepherd&rsquos Pie with Tater Tots starts with ground beef and veggies in a rich gravy sauce. Then it&rsquos topped with cheddar cheese and tater tots for a fun twist that combines Shepherd&rsquos Pie with the ease of Tater Tot Casserole.

I don&rsquot know about you, but I can never have too many easy and hearty ground beef casseroles. Cheap, easy, and my kids will actually eat it? Sold! This Shepherd&rsquos Pie with Tater Tots totally fits the bill.

What is Shepherd&rsquos Pie?

Shepherd&rsquos Pie sometimes also known as Cottage Pie is a hearty casserole that originated in the UK. It is traditionally made from either minced beef or lamb (that&rsquos where the shepherd part comes in). The meat is cooked in a gravy or sauce with mixed vegetables. Sometimes shepherd&rsquos pie is topped with a layer of cheese, but it&rsquos always finished with a layer of mashed potatoes.

This easy variation keeps all the classic flavors of shepherd&rsquos pie, but switches to tater tots for the topping. I love using my cast iron skillet for these kinds of casseroles, because you can go straight from the stove top to the oven. I got this one for under $40 on Amazon and I use it for everything!

How to make Shepherd&rsquos Pie with Tator Tots:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef with a half cup of chopped onion and a clove of garlic. You can also use ground turkey, lamb, or chicken in place of the beef.

Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into the cooked meat until the flour is completely dissolved. Then whisk in 1 can of beef consomme and ½ cup of milk. You&rsquoll need to whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and the sauce thickens so no lumps form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and season with black pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Add the frozen mixed vegetables to the ground beef and sauce. If you don&rsquot have a cast iron skillet, now is the time to transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13 casserole dish. If you do have a cast iron skillet, continue on!

Top with the shredded cheddar and tator tots and then bake until the tops of the tots are nice and crispy. About 25-30 minutes.

This recipe is very easy and forgiving! Feel free to change things up based on your preferences. Try it with sweet potato tater tots for an interesting twist!

Shepherd&rsquos Pie with Tator Tots also freezes well. To make ahead and freeze, simply assemble your casserole in a freezer safe dish or foil pan. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to bake allow the casserole to thaw completely in the fridge and then bake as directed!

Serve this casserole up with a green salad, some hot rolls and call it good!

Shepards Pie Origin

Shepards pie (also known as Shepherd's pie or Cottage Pie) is a meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato. In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined on the sides and bottom with mashed potato, as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.

The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are minced red meat, cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions and sometimes other vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked. The Shepards pie is sometimes also topped with grated cheese to create a layer of melted cheese on top.

The term Shepards pie was initially used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the meat was beef or mutton. In England (and Australia and New Zealand) they would call the beef dish a “cottage pie” and the lamb dish “Shepards pie”. In England, the birthplace of this hearty dish, shepherd's pie is most often made with a ground-lamb filling.

Beloved by the British, this rich, protein-filled dish is traditionally made with a mashed-potato crust. Shepards Pie is also a traditional Irish dish made with ground lamb cooked with peas and carrots and topped with a mashed potato crust.


I am of Irish descent. I've been making this recipe for at least 15 years. Absolutely delicious and authentic. I follow the recipe to the letter. Can also be made dairy free using chicken broth and veg. based butter and its still fantastic.

Awesome. Not sure if I used 2lbs potatoes but whatever it was, Iɽ use a little less next time. Added worchestershire and 3 cloves garlic. Upped the broth to about 1.5 c and the tomato paste to 2tbsp (for the added broth) so it was a little saucier. It was outstanding.

Very good recipe - even when ground lamb is swapped with cubed lamb. Meat portion is exceptionally tasty when stock is coupled with red wine (although not very traditional). I added some shredded cheese on top for extra browning.

This was absolutely phenomenal.

Delicious! Made no changes, but did add some ketchup when I served it to my boys, who scarfed it up. Now I want to try some of the interesting variations mentioned by other reviewers.

I have been making this recipe for years with the following modifications. I boil whole potatoes until done. It takes longer but cuts down on the “meat” of the potato being saturated. And I use buttermilk when creamIng the potatoes, a trick picked up from Deborah Madison.

Typically shied away from Shepherd's Pie (High school cafeteria nightmares) :-) but this was fabulous - substituted corn for peas based on household preference. With winter approaching, will be making this again.

I substituted spinach for the peas and added in garlic. It came out great!

I had a go-to recipe for shepherd’s pie, but couldn’t find it, and I had a bunch of leftover mash, so I googled and found this one. It was delicious! I made it directly from the recipe. My husband loved it, and we ate it with Cross & Blackwell Major Grey’s Chutney on the side. just perfect! Definitely adding this to my regulars, thank you.

OMG, this was terrific! Full disclosure: I hate people who review a recipe they've changed, but I did, although mostly in the seasonings. I added four cloves of chopped garlic to the onion and carrot during the sautee, then added 8 oz. of sliced mushrooms. I used a heaping teaspoon of rosemary, and added

1/4 tea each of ground cinnamon and cumin. I threw in some red wine with the liquid, because I had a half a glass I hadn't finished the night before. I substituted a parsnip for one of the potatoes, and added some pressed garlic to the mash. In all honesty, this would have been a fully satisfying meal without my fairly small changes, which were mostly to seasoning, but with the changes, it was over the top good. We had invited neighbors in, and they raved about it as well, and opined that it was the best Shepard's pie they had ever had. A total winner.

Leave the lamb living in the field and use plant based vegan "grounds", very good and no harm to the animal or environment! I make it as directed otherwise - a big hit!

This was OK but we have other Shepherds Pie recipes that "do it" for us. We would not make again.

this is really good, I have made it twice now and have used organic New Zealand lamb. You can use a variety of vegetables I add garlic, green beans and extra carrots. Also add HP sauce and a dollop of horseradish and red wine to the ground lamb. This works great if you have leftover mashed potatoes.

This was DELICIOUS. I will definitely be making this again.

I make this as written, except for adding Worcestershire. I think it has more flavor make with all lamb, but then we Coloradans love lamb!

I have made this dish for YEARS! We love it so much. I add garlic to the mixture and typically make this with ground beef instead. Always a hit and there are never any leftovers.

Easy and delicious. Made a few adjustments. Added garlic, Worcester sauce and extra carrots per other reviewers' recommendations. Left out the onion. Did a mix of ground lamb and ground beef. It was delicious - whole family loved it! My kid licked his plate clean - he told me to write that :)

This is a BIG hit every single time I make it! I usually double the recipe and mix lamb and beef>

Easy recipe that gives great results. I have used left over pot roasts or short ribs in place of ground beef/lamb. Can use a little more rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and wine. Pairs great with a salad or sautéed spinach or swiss chards.

I'm not that familiar with shepard's pie but this was bland to my taste.

This was so much tastier than expected. Made it pretty much as written but used red wine, chicken stock, Worcestershire, mushrooms, leftover carrots and leftover roast leg of lamb. Did use peas and I would not recommend leaving them out unless you detest peas. Made a mash of white potatoes and sweet potato with butter (no milk) for the topping. Hubby went for seconds. Might be enough for lunch tomorrow but this serves 4 at the most.

Had left over eye of round roast beef and some bacon. Followed this recipe with saute of onions, carrots and chopped bacon but did not add 1/2 inch cubed roast beef to mixture until saute almost done. Continued with the rest of recipe as written but also added red wine and worcestershire sauce as one reviewer suggested. Another reviewer mentioned letting the meat mixture cool which was a good tip. It turned out delicious and was a great way to use leftovers. Will definitely make again.

I tripled base recipe for 6 adults, and to have leftovers. Didn't want to waste the can of tomato paste, so used the whole thing. Yes, could have used more herbs (I didn't read the reviews first) and salt. I drained off cooking liquid, drained the fat, and put liquid back in addition to stock. I don't use dairy with meat, so just put in olive oil and chicken stock in potatoes. The leftovers were gone the next day.


  • 900g (2lb) raw minced lamb
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 45g (11⁄2oz) plain flour
  • 300ml (10fl oz) red wine
  • 300ml (10fl oz) beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • dash of gravy browning (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 900g (2lb) old King Edward potatoes or other floury potatoes, cut into 3mm (1⁄8in) slices
  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
  • 75g (21⁄2oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated

  • Any mashed potatoes will work!  You can substitute store-bought refrigerated mashed potatoes or homemade mashed potatoes for the instant, if you like (you can even try garlic mashed potatoes!).

Heat the oven to 400°F.  While the oven is heating, season the beef with salt and pepper.  Cook the beef and onion in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.

Stir in the soup, ketchup and peas and carrots.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until hot and the potatoes are lightly browned.

Freezer-Friendly Shepherd&rsquos Pie

This is a great dish to make ahead of time and store in the freezer for a future meal.

This Shepherd's Pie is a great dish to make ahead of time and store in the freezer for a future meal. Ground beef and veggies are cooked in a simple sauce, then topped with crispy browned cheddar mashed potatoes.

From Joanne Ozug of Fifteen Spatulas.

For the beef and vegetable layer:

corn kernels (I used frozen)

clove garlic, pressed or minced

For the mashed potato layer:

Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes

butter, softened or melted

Heat a large skillet (I prefer nonstick here) over medium high heat, then add beef. Brown beef until fully cooked, about 5 minutes (I find there&rsquos enough fat released in the beef that I don&rsquot need to add oil to the pan). Soak up excess beef fat with a paper towel, then add onion and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, until soft.

Add the peas and corn, and cook for 2 minutes. Add butter to the pan and toss around until fully melted, then stir in flour, thyme leaves, and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, until flour disappears. Add beef stock, then bring liquid to a boil over high heat. Cook for a minute or two until broth thickens into a light sauce. Remove pan from heat and transfer beef and veggie mixture to an 8x8 baking dish.

To make the mashed potatoes, place cubed potatoes in a pot filled with cold water. Place on the stove set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until potato cubes are fork-tender. Drain potatoes, then spread them out on a sheet pan in a single layer and let sit for a couple minutes so the steam can escape. Use a fork or potato masher to mash the potatoes, then stir in cream, milk, butter, and cheese. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments with salt and pepper. Spread mashed potatoes on top of the beef and veggies in the 8x8 baking dish.

Bake shepherd&rsquos pie for 20&ndash25 minutes, until mashed potatoes are golden brown and crispy on top. Serve and enjoy!

Freezer Instructions: After baking, let pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, reheat the shepherd's pie (still covered with the foil) for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven. If you thaw the pie in the fridge the night before, you can cut that time in half.

I&rsquom somewhat of a newbie to the whole freezer food thing, but with my first baby currently in my belly and ready to make his appearance in a couple months, I&rsquove been experimenting with it and starting to pay a lot more attention to planning out some frozen meals. In the past months I&rsquove been stocking a lot more frozen soups and things in the freezer, and wow, is it great to just pull something out to defrost and eat!

Shepherd&rsquos pie is a rustic dish originally from the UK, and it&rsquos the perfect type of comfort food to keep on hand in the freezer. While it&rsquos traditionally made with ground lamb, I&rsquom not a big fan of lamb and always use beef instead (making this technically a cottage pie). Feel free to use whichever meat you&rsquod like here.

This recipe has two main components to it, but both are very easy. The beef and vegetable layer on the bottom cooks very quickly (as with all ground meat dishes), and the mashed potatoes on top are likewise very simple to prepare. Plus, if you&rsquove got leftover mashed potatoes from another meal, it&rsquos even easier to put this together!

Let me show you how to make this cozy dish.

Start by browning a pound of ground beef in a skillet, until fully cooked. This should take about 5 minutes. Since the meat I&rsquom using is 85/15 and has a fair amount of fat in it already, I didn&rsquot bother adding any oil to the pan.

In fact, I usually take a sheet of paper towel and blot out some of the excess before moving on.

Add chopped onion, chopped carrots, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until soft.

Next add peas and corn (I used frozen for both).

Let that cook for a couple minutes, then melt in two tablespoons of butter.

Add flour, garlic, and fresh thyme leaves to the pan, and stir.

Add a cup of beef stock to the pan, and turn the heat to high to bring the liquid to a boil. Cook for a minute or two until the broth thickens into a light sauce. Transfer the beef and veggie mixture to an 8×8 baking dish, then get ready to make the mashed potato topping.

Cut two pounds of Yukon gold potatoes into large cubes, then cover with cold water and generously season the water with salt.

Bring the water to a boil, then cook for about 5 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and spread them out onto a sheet pan. I like doing this because the steam can escape better when the potatoes are spread out, preventing gummy potatoes, and also because it&rsquos easier to mash stuff on flat surfaces. Mash the potatoes well with a fork.

Now add the fun ingredients, like heavy cream, milk, and butter.

I also like to add grated sharp cheddar cheese, but you can leave the potatoes plain if you don&rsquot want cheesy mashed potatoes.

Portion the mashed potatoes over the beef and veggie mixture.

Spread the potatoes evenly until the beef and veggies are completely covered, then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top.

Crispy and golden mashed potatoes, oh yes.

Let&rsquos not forget the beef and veggies, too. Such comfort food!

Go ahead and serve it if you plan to eat it right away. Otherwise, you can let the pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to eat, reheat (still covered with the foil) for one hour in a 350ºF oven. If you thaw the pie in the fridge the night before, you can cut that time in half.


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