Comforting & Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Whether you're using up leftovers or making it from scratch, our shepherd's pie recipe is a versatile classic comfort food your family will love.

Updated December 29, 2023
shepherd's pie

Whether you have leftovers from a traditional roast dinner or you want to feed your family the ultimate comfort food, our shepherd's pie recipe will fill everyone's bellies with a classic hot meal. We love that shepherd's pie is an easy way to use up leftover meat, veggies, and potatoes — but if you don't have leftovers, it's still a tasty meal you can make from scratch.

Shepherd's pie is also super versatile. You can switch out ingredients to suit what you have on hand, such as changing the protein, adding different veggies, or even making it vegetarian. So, if you're looking for something tasty, filling, warm, and easy that your entire family will adore, our shepherd's pie will definitely fit the brief. 

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This recipe is written with leftovers in mind, but you can use fresh ground beef or lamb if you like. You can also use leftover stew. Just chop up the stew meat and skip the sauté part. This recipe is for a 9x13-inch baking dish.


  • 1½ pounds of leftover beef, chopped fine (or the same amount of fresh ground beef or lamb)
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1½ pounds mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup leftover gravy or beef stock (or jarred gravy)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt half of the butter in a large pan over a medium-low heat.
  3. Sauté the onion in the butter until tender.
  4. Add the carrots and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, for another ten minutes.
  5. If you are using fresh meat, add it now and cook until browned.
  6. Carefully drain the fat from the pan.
  7. Add the corn and peas.
  8. If you are using leftover meat, now is the time to add it.
  9. Continue to cook until the meat is heated through.
  10. Add the gravy or beef stock and cook until fully heated.
  11. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
  14. Cover evenly with a layer of mashed potatoes.
  15. Dab the potatoes with the remaining butter.
  16. Bake for 30 minutes until heated through.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

There seems to be a different shepherd's pie recipe for every vegetable and, truly, the variations are endless. If you are looking for a vegetarian pie that looks like a meat pie, simply replace the meat with minced portobello mushrooms and use vegetable stock rather than beef stock. Add the mushrooms to the onions and follow the rest of the recipe.

To help thicken the stock and make a more convincing gravy, add a ¼ cup of flour to the pan and cook to create a roux before adding the stock. Your family might even like this version better. If Portobello mushrooms are not available, button or crimini mushrooms work just as well.

Use Those Leftovers

Let's say that you have some pot roast leftovers from a big Sunday dinner, or maybe you made a nice meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, and you have about half of it left over. If you are short on time but long on leftovers, a shepherd's pie is just the thing to give those leftovers new life. 

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Comforting & Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe