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The BEST Classic Shepherd’s Pie | Meal Prep & Freezer Friendly

This cozy comforting dish is known for its layers of savoury ground meat and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes. This is The BEST Classic Shepherd’s Pie perfect for Meal Prep & Freezer Friendly too!

Shepherd’s Pie is one of my all time favourite meals, especially in the colder months. It’s a recipe that everyone loves, brimming with flavour, warmth and nourishment.

Farmhouse Classic - The BEST Recipe for Shepherd's Pie

Meal Prep & Freezer Friendly

This recipe is perfect for freezing. I like to double the recipe, creating one Shepherd’s Pie for dinner and another for the freezer. To prepare the freezer-friendly version, follow the recipe instructions, but do not bake. Instead, place it in a glass tupperware container with a secure snap-top lid. Make sure it’s tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months.

When you’re ready to eat, let the Shepherd’s Pie thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, remove the lid and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. If you forget to defrost it overnight, don’t worry; you can still bake it at 400°F for 70-80 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly in the middle.

Effortless Cozy Dinner

Imagine this: a day filled with sledding and snow-covered fields, leaving you too exhausted to cook dinner. Simply take out a pre-prepared and frozen Shepherd’s Pie, pop it in the oven, and while it bakes, cozy up on the couch with a movie and warm cup of tea. Before you know it, dinner is ready, and you can relax and enjoy your evening. Doesn’t get much better than that!

The BEST Recipe for Shepherd's Pie

Cottage Pie vs Shepherds Pie

Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie, both classic British savoury dishes, feature different meats as the base. Shepherd’s Pie traditionally includes ground lamb or mutton, whereas Cottage Pie is made with ground beef. However, personal preferences and regional variations may lead some, like myself, to refer to the beef version as “Shepherd’s Pie”. Feel free to get creative and experiment by substituting the ground beef with lamb, venison, pork or other options.

Baked shepherds pie on wooden dinner table

How To Make Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

Beef & Vegetable Base
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1 cup Broth, vegetable or beef
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Ketchup (or tomato paste)
Mashed Potato Topping
  • 1.2 kg Yellow Potatoes (about 7-8)
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Half & Half Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated

Instructions

Make The Meat Filling
  • Melt butter in pan and then add onions. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add thawed ground beef to pan. Use wooden spatula to break up the beef. Add diced celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients to pan. Stir well to ensure no clumps of flour remain.
  • Cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Remove bay leaves.
Onions, Ground Beef & Celery cooking in pan
Additional ingredients added to pan
Meat mixture cooking in pan
Make The Mashed Potato Topping
  • Bring large pot of water to boil. Add diced and peeled potatoes to pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, until soft.
  • Strain water and mash potatoes with butter, cream, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Stir in freshly grated parmesan.
Potatoes with butter and seasoning before mashing
Mashed potatoes with grated parmesan added
Assemble The Casserole
  • Lightly grease a 9×12″ baking dish. Pour in meat mixture and spread it out to create an even layer.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
  • Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes at 400F. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Try topping with some Franks Hot Sauce, it’s my favourite!
Assembling the Classic Shepherd's Pie - adding meat mixture to base
Adding mashed potatoes on top of Classic Shepherd's Pie

The BEST Classic Shepherd’s Pie

This cozy comforting dish is known for its layers of savoury ground meat and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes. This is The BEST Classic Shepherd's Pie perfect for Meal Prep & Freezer Friendly too!
Print Recipe
Shepherds Pie
Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes

Ingredients

Beef & Vegetable Base

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Celery finely diced
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1 cup Broth vegetable or beef
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Ketchup or tomato paste

Mashed Potato Topping

  • 1.2 kg Yellow Potatoes about 7-8
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Half & Half Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan freshly grated

Instructions

Make The Meat Filling

  • Melt butter in pan and then add onions. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add thawed ground beef to pan. Use wooden spatula to break up the beef. Add diced celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients to pan. Stir well to ensure no clumps of flour remain.
  • Cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Remove bay leaves.

Make The Mashed Potato Topping

  • Bring large pot of water to boil. Add diced and peeled potatoes to pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, until soft.
  • Strain water and mash potatoes with butter, cream, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Stir in freshly grated parmesan.

Assemble The Casserole

  • Lightly grease a 9×12″ baking dish. Pour in meat mixture and spread it out to create an even layer.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
  • Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes at 400F. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Freezing Instructions: Follow the recipe instructions, but do not bake. Instead, place it in a glass tupperware container with a secure snap-top lid. Make sure it’s tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months.
When you’re ready to eat, let the Shepherd’s Pie thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, remove the lid and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. If you forget to defrost it overnight, don’t worry; you can still bake it at 400°F for 70-80 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly in the middle.
Serving Suggestion: Try topping with some Franks Hot Sauce, it’s my favourite!
Servings: 6

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Let me know if you try this recipe out! Tag me on instagram @gwenthemilkmaid so I can see.

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