Tasty cottage pie with parsnip mash

Tasty cottage pie with parsnip mash

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
A classic reborn; a low-fat beef mince pie with a parsnip topping

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal380
  • fat8g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre10g
  • protein22g
  • salt1.25g
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  • 250g packet lean minced beef (12% fat)
  • 2 onions, chopped



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

  • 4 carrots (about 450g/1lb), peeled and coarsely grated



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

  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 beef stock, cubes dissolved in 425ml/¾pint boiling water
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 900g potato, peeled and cubed



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

  • 3 parsnips, peeled, cored and chopped



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • 2-4 tbsp skimmed milk
  • steamed broccoli or Savoy cabbage to serve



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…


  1. Dry fry the mince (without adding any oil) in a non-stick pan until evenly brown and crumbly. Add the onions and carrots and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring well.

  2. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée, pour in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring until well mixed. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the carrots and onions are tender and the stock has reduced. Taste and season. Blend the cornflour with a little water and stir into the mixture, cooking for a minute or until slightly thickened.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/ fan oven 180C. While the meat is simmering, cook the potatoes and parsnips in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with seasoning and enough milk to make a creamy consistency.

  4. Tip the meat mixture into a 1.4 litre/ 21⁄2 pint ovenproof dish, spoon the mash on top and rough up the surface with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potato topping is lightly golden. Serve with steamed broccoli or Savoy cabbage.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Sep, 2014
I'm looking for a recipe for a Shepherd's pie and half the recipes use beef mince which make it a Cottage pie. I would of hoped the BBCs website would know the difference.
5th Nov, 2012
Wholesome low fat way of eating beef. i added mushroom and celery for flavour. Very tasty - but first time I made nearly burnt the mince so watch it while you simmer it!
8th Jun, 2012
This recipe is highly rated in our family, even our 4 year old who can be a picky eater devoured it. It's very tasty, and you wouldn't know it's healthy as it loses nothing in the flavour. The Worcestershire sauce gives it a lovely bite.
31st Jan, 2012
Really good
22nd Dec, 2011
I actually adapted this recipe slightly, as not a great meat lover & was on a diet at the time (though original not high in calories). I replaced the mince with a packed of Quorn mince and substituted 200g of potatoes with 200g swede. 2 cloves of garlic also added to the mince mixture. Freezes well. Has become a firm favourite!
30th Nov, 2011
Really nice but I did nearly double the amount of mince to be honest, I would make this again.
21st Oct, 2011
really enjoyed this recipe (although technically mine was a cottage pie with butternut mash), the tomato puree gave an added sweetness to the filling, will definitely make this again as I asked my boyfriend what could make it better and he said nothing, which is very unusual!!
25th Sep, 2011
only tried it once but would definately be making this again, my 3yr old ate it no problems great way to get veg into him :)
22nd Mar, 2011
this is a really tasty shepherds pie will make it again
5th Feb, 2011
Had this last night, heavenly, so sweet. Didn't taste low fat at all. highly recommended.


18th Jun, 2015
I thought the convention was that Shepherd's Pie was always made with minced lamb rather than minced beef?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Aug, 2015
Hi there Mike313, you're absolutely right and we have changed the title accordingly - good spot! All our recipes are triple tested and the text checked before it is posted but occasionally mistakes do happen. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
glennsharpe's picture
23rd Mar, 2015
Hi All! At step 4, when you bake it for the final 30mins, is it possible to refrigerate and cook the day after? If so for how long would you cook for and on what heat? I'm wanting to make it the night before and then cook it round a friends house the night after Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Mar, 2015
Hi glennsharpe, thanks for getting in touch. If you assemble the pie before baking it, allow to cool then refridgerate you should be fine to bake it the following day. Take it out of the fridge 20-30 mins before baking and at the same time preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 then bake for 30 mins as per the end of step 4. Hope this helps, let us know how it goes. 
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