Shepherd's pie with portion taken out and serving spoon

No-fuss shepherd's pie

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(252 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

We've got some lovely twists on shepherd's pie on the site, but we were missing a definitive version of this classic family recipe - here it is!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze once assembled

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal663
  • fat39g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.35g
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  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 500g pack lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • large splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 900g potato, cut into chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 85g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…


  1. Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a medium saucepan, then soften 1 chopped onion and 2-3 chopped carrots for a few mins.

  2. When soft, turn up the heat, crumble in 500g lamb mince and brown, tipping off any excess fat.

  3. Add 2 tbsp tomato purée and a large splash of Worcestershire sauce, then fry for a few mins.

  4. Pour over 500ml beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 mins, uncovering halfway.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 4, then make the mash. Boil the 900g potato, cut into chunks, in salted water for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with 85g butter and 3 tbsp milk.

  6. Put the mince into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and ruffle with a fork. The pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month.

  7. Bake for 20-25 mins until the top is starting to colour and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. (To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if you like.)

  8. Leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Half a foodie
10th Sep, 2018
Similar to other reviewers, I found this recipe had far too much stock and did not reduce enough during the 20 mins of the uncovered lid window. I had to drain almost all of the juice out once I poured into the oven dish as it was like a soup. I would suggest halving the stock at least. Other than that it was tasty. It was very potato heavy - I like this in general but was even a bit much for me as it left a super skinny meat base. Also to make a decent sized tray for leftovers, I would double the recipe (except of course the stock)!! I’ll make again with the few tweaks suggested above.
Carly Ann Denyer's picture
Carly Ann Denyer
3rd Sep, 2018
Its good, however, I add garden peas and a tin of baked beans in with mine, adding less stock, 20mins after simmering when uncovered for the final 20mins before popping in the oven, so so many flavours :) plus a bit of grated cheese on top before it goes in the oven tastes a real treat
risky76's picture
8th Sep, 2018
Hi Carly Ann, I've never thought to put beans in, I'll give this a go next week. Thank you. (oh - and of course there has to be cheese on it! :-)
23rd Jun, 2018
Loved this! Added thyme and garlic for extra flavour.
15th May, 2018
Far too much stock. Tastes good though
Savannah Wylde's picture
Savannah Wylde
29th Apr, 2018
I followed this recipie to the letter and gave it to my partner and his friend. They said it was the tastiest sheppards pie they had ever had. (Brownie points for me and Bbcgoodfood). It was delicious and they said they were surprised that usually the mash is the tastiest part but they couldnt get enough of the mince!
22nd Mar, 2018
I followed the recipe with the slight twist of doing 50/50 sweet potato and ordinary potato. It looked lovely and tasted delicious and filled us all up very comfortably!
10th Feb, 2018
Great family meal that my kids always love. I add a clove of garlic, glass of red wine, and some fresh thyme for an extra depth of flavour.
Bananas Bread's picture
Bananas Bread
5th Feb, 2018
This and all the Bbc shep. pue recipe cite an excess of spud to meat. This is a mistake. It turns a lush dinner into a stodge pot. In put ill try a max of = amounts spud and depending how that is, maybe 4/5 the amount of spud.
8th Nov, 2017
This is a great recipe, grated some cheddar cheese on top of the potato! Delicious!


29th Oct, 2017
After freezing, can I defrost in fridge and then cook in microwave?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. We would recommend cooking this in the oven. You can do this from frozen. Cook it at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre.
8th Sep, 2017
Roughly what size oven dish would you recommend using for this recipe?
27th Aug, 2018
I used a 2.9L, 35 x 23 cm Pyrex dish. Note, I added 1.5Kg of potatoes, rather than 900g, and also 4 celery stalks. I recommend 900g of potatoes.
21st Aug, 2017
Once prepared how long would this keep in the fridge for? I'm looking to prepare this today for later in the week. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Aug, 2017
Thanks for your question, you can keep this in the fridge for 2 - 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. Instructions on how to cook from frozen are in step 3. If fridge cold, you'll want to cook the dish for around 30 - 40 mins. Check it is hot in the centre before serving.
27th Apr, 2016
Hi I would love to know the make of the saucepans used in the video ?
5th Aug, 2015
Hello, URGENT! I would like to double the amount and precook for the weekend. How does this work? If I put the shepherd's pie in the casserole it is supposed to be baked in after freezing, how do I put it in the freezer? If I put the shepherd's pie into a freezing box with a lid, how do I get it in to the casserole after freezing? Excuse this maybe "silly" question and my bad English, I live abroad... Thanks so much! Regards1
geneticcrazybaker's picture
26th Oct, 2015
you set the meat in the casserole dish, layer the mashed potato on top, cover with foil then put in the freezer.
31st Mar, 2015
Hi, I would like to make this for 30 - 50 guests. can you help with how much ingredients I would need? many thanks in advance Thishan


25th Jun, 2016
taught how to make this at school in the 60s, I prefer beef in mine, add a can of sweet corn and some garlic salt, also add slice tomatoes and grated cheese on top of mashed pots.
7th Jan, 2016
Made this tonight & loved it. After reading the comments that it can be a little sloppy at times, I decided to halve the stock (250ml) & then add a tbsp or 2 (depending on how you want it) and it worked a treat, also added a bit more flavour to it. Definitely making again :)
Skynorth's picture
7th Feb, 2015
Buy lamb from a butcher as it will be cheaper. Add peas and/or green beans to bump up your vegetable portions. Also, try mashing parsnip with the potato, and add some freshly chopped parsley. finally, why not add some grated cheese to the top, and heat under the grill until bubbling. You could use Quorn mince if you are vegetarian or want to cut down on your red meat consumption.