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Skillet shepherd's pie is a savoury and hearty traditional comfort food. With flavourful beef and fluffy potatoes, this cozy meal it will warm you up. |

Skillet Shepherd's Pie

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


Skillet shepherd's pie is a savoury and hearty traditional comfort food. With flavourful beef and fluffy potatoes, this cozy meal it will warm you up.


For the mashed potato topping:

  • 2 lb. medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

For the beef mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or ground lamb)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup peas, frozen
  • 1 cup beef broth or water


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 

Prepare the Mashed Potato Topping:

  1. Add the potatoes into a large pot of salted water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. If you can easily insert a fork into the potatoes, then they are ready. 
  2. Drain the water and mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a fork. Add butter, milk, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well until evenly mixed and set aside.

Make the Beef Mixture:

  1. While potatoes are boiling, heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (or other ovenproof skillet) for 2 minutes over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles. Add onion and carrots, and sauté until fragrant and tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef and stir well to cook evenly until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use a spatula to break up the beef into small pieces to help with even browning and cooking.
  3. Stir in garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir together until well combined.
  4. Add flour and stir well until fully combined with the beef mixture. No dry flour should be visible.
  5. Add peas and beef broth. Stir occasionally and bring the mixture to a simmer, about 2 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for another 2 minutes until thickened to a desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

Assemble and Bake the Shepherd's Pie:

  1. Use a spatula to spread the beef mixture into an even layer on the same skillet. Carefully add spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on top, and spread it evenly on top using a fork.
  2. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Cast-iron skillet alternatives. You can cook the beef in a shallow saucepan on the stovetop. Then, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, and top with the potato mixture.

Make ahead instructions. Assemble the pie according to recipe instructions. Then, store it (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking as directed. So easy.

How to store. Store leftover shepherd's pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

How to freeze before baking. Assemble the pie and freeze before baking, tightly covered, for up to 2 months. To make, allow the shepherd's pie to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

How to freeze after baking. Allow any leftover shepherd's pie to cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a 300F oven for 20-30 minutes until warmed though.

  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: skillet shepherd's pie, easy shepherd's pie, shepherd's pie in a skillet, how to make shepherd's pie, st. patrick's day recipe