This lightened-up Shepherd’s Pie recipe, layered with lean ground beef and veggies and topped with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, is perfect for all you meat-and-potato lovers!
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
This hearty shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite comfort food recipes! It’s also an excellent meal-prep recipe that can’t be missed! It packs in your carbs, protein, veggies, and fiber into one dish that you can refrigerate for two days or freeze before baking. For variations, you can make this with ground turkey in this Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie or try my vegetarian Portobello Shepherd’s Pie.
What is the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?
Classic shepherd’s pie uses only lamb and gets its name because shepherds look after their sheep. Technically, this recipe is “cottage pie” since it has beef instead.
What Makes This Recipe Healthy
This healthy shepherd’s pie recipe uses lean ground beef and tons of vegetables. There’s no butter in it, instead it’s made with olive oil. Not only do I use the typical frozen veggie mix, but I also use a cup of mushrooms for even more nutrition. Plus, this recipe only calls for two tablespoons of reduced-fat sour cream in the mashed potatoes. One serving has just 275 calories with 22 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It’s a whole meal in one!
Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
- Mashed Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes, chicken broth, reduced-fat sour cream, salt, pepper, paprika
- Ground Beef: Swap lean ground beef for ground lamb to make traditional shepherd’s pie. Or make it leaner with ground turkey instead.
- Veggies: Onion, celery, mushrooms, frozen mixed vegetables, like peas, carrots, green beans, etc.
- Garlic: Dice two garlic cloves.
- Flour: For gluten-free shepherd’s pie, substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free.
- Broth: You’ll need one cup of beef broth.
- Flavor: Tomato Paste and Worcestershire Sauce for extra flavor
- Herbs: Chop up fresh rosemary and thyme but feel free to sub dried.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- Mashed Potatoes: Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Next, drain and mash them with chicken broth, sour cream, salt, and pepper.
- Meat: Brown the ground beef in a large pan on medium-high heat. Season it with salt and pepper and then transfer it to a plate once cooked.
- Vegetables: Sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and celery until the veggies are tender.
- Simmer: Add the flour, frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, fresh herbs, and meat. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
- Assemble: Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish (approximately 9” x 13”), top it with mashed potatoes, and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake: Bake the shepherd’s pie at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes and then broil for a minute or two until the potatoes turn golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes before serving.
Can I prepare shepherd’s pie in advance?
Yes, this easy shepherd’s pie is a great make-ahead recipe! Cook, assemble, and refrigerate until ready to bake or freeze it to make another night. Keep reading for tips and instructions!
Meal Prep Tip:
It takes about the same amount of time to make two pies. So, if you want to double the recipe, you can eat one and freeze the other for later. Baking the dish from frozen does require some time – at least 2 ½ hours. If you want something quick for dinner, it’s best to thaw it the night before in the refrigerator.
To Make Ahead:
Assemble the shepherd’s pie and cover the baking dish with foil. Refrigerate it up to two days in advance, and then bake it in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
To Make Ahead and Freeze:
Prepare as directed in a foil pan or freezer-to-oven safe baking pan or pie dish. Cover it with foil and freeze. Defrost the pan for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator and then bake as instructed.
To Cook from Frozen:
Put the frozen baking dish covered with foil on a sheet pan. Transfer the pan to a preheated 350°F oven and bake until heated in the center, about 2 ½ hours. Broil the pie for a couple of minutes for extra color.
How to Store Leftovers:
Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.
- Protein: Swap the beef for lamb, ground turkey, or more veggies.
- Potatoes: Sub the Yukon Gold for russet potatoes, or you can even use sweet potatoes.
- Low-Carb: If you want to reduce the carbs, top the shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash instead. The leftovers will freeze well and can be reheated later.
- To make dairy-free shepherd’s pie, omit the sour cream or replace it with a dairy-free alternative.
More Irish-Inspired Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day:
- Irish Oatmeal Leek Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower Mash with Kale (Colcannon)
- Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Sweet Potato Irish Nachos
Your comments are helpful! If you’ve tried this healthy Shepherd’s Pie recipe or any other on Skinnytaste, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. And if you took a photo of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can re-share on my Stories!
Shepherd's Pie, Lightened Up
- 1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
- 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables, carrots, corn, peas, green beans, baby lima beans
- 2 tablespoons flour, or use GF flour
- 1 cup fat free beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly thyme leaves, chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until cooked and soft.
- Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large deep skillet over high heat and brown the meat, season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 minutes. When cooked, set aside on a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms and celery and sauté on medium heat about 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the frozen vegetables, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat and mix well. Whisk together the beef broth and flour then pour over the meat. Cover and simmer on low about 8-10 minutes, until the meat is tender and thickened.
- Spread the meat on the bottom of casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes turn golden.
- Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes before serving.