Shepherd’s Pie is everything you need from a savory classic comfort food creation. This one-pot wonder is quick and easy as well as warm and filling. A little slice of comfort food heaven. (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian Options)
Easy Shepherd’s Pie is a family favorite for many reasons.
- It’s so quick to make and only uses ONE POT.
- Flavorful and packed with all-natural ingredients.
- It’s the husband’s favorite meal ever … that should always be a good excuse to make it, right?
- Easily made vegetarian!
The ability to convert this dish to vegetarian is honestly my favorite reason. When R is deployed, I’ll make it vegetarian by substituting with chopped mushrooms or if I feel like I still need a little protein, I’ll go with ground turkey.
Culinarian Beware: This recipe makes so much! When I’m on my own and don’t want to eat Shepherd’s Pie for 2 weeks straight I have to freeze it and unfortunately the mushrooms don’t hold up well.
But when R is home, ground beef is the key ingredient in his Shepherd’s Pie, no substitution allowed. 😉
Easy Shepherd’s Pie Adaptations
- Vegetarian Option – Finely chopped mushrooms replace the ground beef. Call me crazy, but it is remarkably good and a GREAT option for those who are vegetarian/vegan.
- Lean Option – Simply swap ground beef with ground turkey. Easy Peasy.
- Sweet Potatoes – You already know how much I love sweet potatoes and they are a deliciously suitable replacement for traditional russet potatoes.
- Slow Cooker – Make this Easy Shepherd’s Pie even easier! Cook all your ingredients like you would, pour into slow cooker and top with potatoes. Allow the flavors to mingle together (on low 2-3 hours).
This is why I love cooking so much, there are so many different ways to adapt recipes and still get to the same place. A place of delicious comfort food that is!
Do you freeze mashed potatoes?
If not, it is something I highly recommend and makes this Shepherd’s Pie easy as a weeknight meal. We all need that, right?
Here are a couple cooking tips for freezing mashed potatoes.
- If using Russet potatoes, make sure you FULLY prepare them into mashed potatoes before freezing. The more butter and fat in them, the better they freeze and thaw out.
- This is not the time to skimp on the fat (which I hardly ever recommend anyway), skimping on the fat will result in potatoes becoming very grainy in texture when thawed.
So, while we do what we can to keep cozy up here in Michigan (AKA the winter tundra), devouring our Shepherd’s Pie, I hope some of you who live in warmer climates still will give this comfort food a try. Just don’t forget to appreciate you get to do so without freezing at the same time.
Items You Might Need for this Shepherd’s Pie recipe.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup petite diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cups beef stock
- 6 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 Tablespoons butter (dairy-free butter option)
- ½ cup milk (or dairy-free butter option)
- Pinch salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan, boil potatoes until they are fork tender and fall off a fork. Mash potatoes with a immersion blender and cream together butter, milk, salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a 3.5 Quart Dutch oven over medium heat, brown ground beef. Drain the beef fat out.
- Add onions, carrots. Saute veggies 3-4 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
- Stir in peas, tomatoes, basil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, cornstarch, and beef stock.
- Spoon mashed potatoes over pie filling. Place lid onto dutch oven and into the oven 30-35 minutes.