Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is one of Brian’s favorite meals. Soon after we were married, I found a recipe for it, made my own adjustments, and began to make it on a regular basis. It has even become a favorite meal for my dad, who comes over regularly to spend time with the kids.

One day when she was much younger, our daughter asked why this meal was called Shepherd’s Pie. None of us knew the answer, so we deferred to Google to find the answer.

What we were calling Shepherd’s Pie is actually called Cottage Pie. “Cottage pie or shepherd’s pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.” However, Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb (hence the Shepherd part of the title), and Cottage Pie is made with beef.

This recipe is easily adjustable and other ingredients can be added or swapped out of the mix. It really is the kind of recipe that uses whatever is in the pantry. I’ve laid out the basic format for the recipe below along with possible adjustments. If you do not care for any of the vegetables listed, you can remove it from the recipe. You can also use other vegetables in this recipe to suit your taste. What I found is the more veggies I added, the further this meal went.

Shepherd’s Pie

Season and cook 1 lb. ground meat (we use beef). You can add one chopped onion and/or 1 green pepper chopped if you want to. They add flavor and act as a filler.

Drain the meat.

Mix 1 can of condensed tomato soup and 1 can green beans drained into the meat. I have also added a can of diced tomotoes, corn (drained), spinach, etc. depending on what I had available in the pantry. Any canned vegetable works as long as you drain them before adding it to the mixture.

Spread the meat mixture into a casserole dish.

Make a package of instant mashed potatoes following the package instructions. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat. Sometimes I add shredded cheese between the meat and potatoes. Just go with what you have.

Put the Shepherd’s Pie into a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes after baking. Serve.

Shepherd's Pie

During the holidays, you can find many of the ingredients on sale. That fact alone makes this recipe ideal to make during the cold winter months. It can be served on a plate or in a bowl, eaten with a fork or a spoon. However, you choose to have yours, it will warm you up, while satisfying your tummy.

We still call our version Shepherd’s Pie, and thankfully, our daughter gave up long ago trying to keep me straight as to the correct name of our favorite dinner.

As I researched the origin of Shepherd’s Pie, I found there are so many different variations all over the world. I even discovered that Puerto Rico (my background) has its own version called pastelón de papa (potato casserole). I will definitely have to try this soon.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Suzette Ladouceur
This is a hearty mix of meat, veggies, and potatoes bursting with flavor
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 1 frying pan or skillet
  • 1 casserole dish (8×8 or 9×9)


  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 small green pepper (chopped)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can green beans (drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 pkg. instant mashed potatoes (your choice of flavor)
  • Adobo (to taste)
  • 1 pkt. Sazon


  • Preheat oven to 350℉
  • In a skillet, brown ground meat with onion, green pepper, and Sazon. Add Adobo to taste.
  • Drain and remove skillet from heat. Return meat to skillet.
  • Add corn, green beans, tomatoes, and soup. Mix well.
  • Transfer mixture to casserole dish.
  • Follow the directions on the packaging to make the mashed potatoes.
  • Spread the coked mashed potatoes across the top of the meat mixture in the casserole dish.
  • Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake covered at 350℉ for 45 minutes.
  • After removing the casserole dish from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. The Shepherd's Pie will be very hot.
Keyword Shepherd’s Pie

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