This easy Shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef in a savory gravy, layered with tender vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and topped off with cheddar cheese.
This is my twist on the classic Shepherd’s pie recipe. It does not use ground lamb or the traditional sauce. Instead, the ground beef is mixed with gravy and topped with sharp cheddar cheese. Interesting fact: it’s actually called cottage pie when it’s made with ground beef. However, in America, people commonly refer to it as Shepherd’s pie anyway.
This easy shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite go-to ground beef recipes because it’s budget-friendly, flavorful and makes a great comfort food. I have it at least once a month. It only requires 5 ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make so it’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner recipe.
Customize Your Shepherd’s Pie
This easy shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. Meat, cheese, potatoes? What’s not to love with that combo! It is also is easily customizable to your family’s preferences. You can add different vegetables: corn, carrots, frozen peas, green beans, or just a bag of frozen vegetables.
You can use instant mashed potatoes or real mashed potatoes with Yukon potatoes, Russet potatoes, or Sweet Potatoes. When I use instant mashed potatoes, I like to add butter, garlic powder and a glob of sour cream for extra flavor. The gravy can be made from scratch or made with a gravy packet. The choice is up to you. You can even switch up the cheeses. Some good substitutes are Colby jack, mild cheddar, or a mix of different cheeses ….The possibilities are endless!
For a low carb option, you can subtitute with cauliflower mash and use lower carb vegetables like green beans, carrots and onion. If you are looking to make it healither, you can use lean ground beef or ground turkey, mashed sweet potato or cauliflower mash, load it with extra vegetables and omit the cheese or use a smaller amount of low fat cheese.
How to Make Ahead and Freeze
This is one of those leftover recipes where it’s just as good the second time around! This easy Shepherd’s pie can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge or frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container. You can make this recipe ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
What to Serve with This Easy Shepherd’s Pie
This casserole is a complete meal, but you can add:
- a side salad
- buttered dinner rolls
- garlic bread
- brussel sprouts
- glazed carrots
- irish soda bread
5 Ingredient Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 10 oz frozen mixed vegetables thawed
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
- 1 cup brown gravy
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 and spray a 9x13 casserole-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add ground beef to a medium sized skillet and cook on medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you cook it. Season the meat with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
- After it is browned and cooked through, drain any excess grease from the skillet, if there is any.
- Make your mashed potatoes and gravy according to directions.
- Add the gravy to the ground beef and transfer ground beef mixture into a casserole dish.
- Spread the vegetables evenly over the top of the ground beef.
- Add the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables. Use a spatula to smooth mashed potatoes evenly over the vegetables.
- Top the casserole with the shredded cheese for the final layer.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 mintues until it is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned.