Easy 5 ingredient shepherd’s pie

This simple shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef in a savory sauce, layered with tender vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and garnished with cheddar.

This is my twist on the traditional shepherd’s pie recipe. It does not use ground lamb or traditional sauce. Instead, ground beef is mixed with sauce and topped with strong cheddar cheese. Interesting fact: it is actually called a cottage pie when it is made with ground beef. However, in America, people generally call it shepherd’s pie anyway.

This 5 ingredient shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite ground beef recipes because it is economical and tasty. I have it at least once a month. It only requires 5 ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, so it’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner recipe.

spoonful of shepherd's pie

Personalize your shepherd’s pie

This easy shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. Meat, cheese, potatoes? What not to like with this combo! It is also easily customizable according to your family’s preferences. You can add different vegetables: corn, carrots, peas, green beans, etc. I personally prefer corn and green beans in mine, but when I’m in a hurry, I’m just going to use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. You can use instant mashed potatoes, real mashed potatoes with Yukon, Russet or sweet potatoes. You can use different cheeses…. The possibilities are limitless!

Get ahead, compatible with the freezer

In general, I’m not a big fan of leftovers, but it’s one of those recipes where it’s just as good the second time! This pan can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator or frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to store it in an airtight container. You can prepare this pan ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

This easy 5-ingredient shepherd is a full meal, so I don’t usually serve it with anything, but you can add a side salad or serve with buttered buns.

Aerial photo of the shepherd's pie recipe

Print the recipe

Poor easy shepherd’s pie

This easy shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef in a tasty sauce, layered with tender vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and topped with cheddar cheese.

Preparation time15 min

Cooking time20 min

Total time35 min

Classes: Main course

Cooked: American

Keyword: casserole dinner

Servings: 4 people


  • 1 kg lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • ten oz frozen mixed vegetables thawed
  • 8 oz grated strong cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 Chopped off brown sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425 and spray 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray

  • Add the ground beef to a medium-sized skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking the meat with a spatula while cooking. Season the meat with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

  • Once it is browned and cooked, drain the excess fat from the pan, if any.

  • Make your mashed potatoes and sauce according to the instructions.

  • Add the ground beef sauce and transfer the ground beef mixture to a saucepan

  • Spread the vegetables evenly over the top of the ground beef.

  • Add the mashed potatoes to the vegetables. Use a spatula to smooth the mashed potatoes evenly over the vegetables.

  • Garnish the pan with grated cheese

  • Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until it bubbles and the cheese is lightly golden

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