Chef John's Shepherd's Pie Recipe -
Chef John's Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Chef John's Shepherd's Pie

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"Shepherd's Pie recipes are traditionally done with lamb, but are great with any ground meat--turkey and beef being the most popular modern versions. Give this great casserole a try, and watch everyone flock to the table."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    55 mins

    1 hr 25 mins


  1. Place cubed potatoes and garlic in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Brown ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Stir in flour, mixing with beef drippings.
  4. Add beef broth, ketchup and vegetables. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, until thick.
  5. Transfer beef mixture into an oven-proof casserole dish.
  6. Drain potatoes and smash them a little bit before adding 1/4 cup of grated cheese and sour cream. Mash together until smooth.
  7. Spoon potatoes onto the middle of the meat mixture. With a fork, spread potatoes from the center to the edges to form the top layer.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 11, 2012

I did not have any frozen vegetables in my freezer--I improvized. I threw in some chopped onion, chopped fresh zucchini, chopped fresh red pepper, and chopped fresh broccoli to take the place of the frozen vegetables. I also added a teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried basil to the meat/vegetable mixture and I cut back just a touch on the salt. I was able to use my cast iron skillet from beginning to end which I absolutely loved. My husband and two boys really liked this though my kids thought that it could use more cheese and my husband thought it could use more "gravy". Next time, I'll increase both the cheese amounts and "gravy" just a touch. This is absolutely comfort food defined.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 23, 2015

This is a good recipe, had to add more seasoning because it was to me a little bland my family enjoyed it.

Jan 14, 2013

This was a great recipe (as are all of Chef John's)! I made a few additions and took some tips from other reviewers. First, I wanted it to be a more traditional Shepherd's Pie, so I used ground Lamb instead of beef. I diced 1/4 cup onion and 1/2 cup mushrooms and cooked it in with the Lamb as I was browning it. After the meet was finished, I added in a pinch of Thyme, Paprika, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I then continued with the original recipe. The last thing I did, after the dish was finished baking, I placed it under the broiler for a few minutes to make the cheese on top get nice and crispy.

Apr 21, 2012

Very easy to make, and tasted great. The potatoes were very creamy and flavorful, even with no butter added. The recipe didn't say when to add the salt and pepper, so I added it to the meat mixture. I also salted the water that I boiled the potatoes in. I wasn't sure what size casserole dish to use, but my 2-quart oval casserole worked perfectly. This is a great recipe for a quick, inexpensive meal. I'd like to try it using ground lamb also.

Oct 01, 2012

This shepherds pie turned out awsome, the only thing I changed was to add an extra half cup of beef broth as I like a little more gravy. I love that this recipe uses sour cream instead of cream cheese as this is much easier on my wasteline and my wallet and still very flavorful. Thanks for the great recipe :)

May 10, 2012

First time making Shepherds Pie and it was a hit. I added about 6 cloves of garlic and 1/4 onion to the meat mixture and used veggie broth instead. I forgot the ketcup which made no difference. After smashig the potatoes I added garlic powder and pepper. The potatoes were so delightful that I make them as a side dish now. There are never any leftovers! Thanks John!!

Nov 17, 2014

Its a keeper! Its a perfect way of using up leftover mashed potatoes, so that makes it even easier to make. I skip the sour cream since my leftover mashed potatoes already have butter and milk in them. I've made this twice now, both times with frozen veggies which works great. I follow the Recipe except I sauteed chopped onion and garlic with the meat, and add about twice as much broth to make more "gravy". I also add a few shakes of Worcestershire and maybe a little soy sauce to add a zip. Everything fits into a 2 quart casserole dish perfectly. Thanks Chef John!

Nov 12, 2012

This Shepherds pie was good but the meat was a bit bland. I added a whole diced onion but next time I would add some garlic and a pinch of cloves to give it more flavour.


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  • Calories
  • 311 kcal
  • 16%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.5 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 59 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 17.2 g
  • 26%
  • Fiber
  • 3.2 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 16.2 g
  • 32%
  • Sodium
  • 546 mg
  • 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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