Ultimate shepherd's pie in a dish with a portion gone

The ultimate makeover: shepherd's pie

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(57 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins


Serves 4

Angela Nilsen works her magic on a classic and gives Shepherd's pie a superhealthy face-lift

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze before baking
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal444
  • fat12g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre10g
  • protein22g
  • salt0.51g
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    For the filling

    • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 1 onion, chopped



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

    • 3-4 thyme sprigs


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 2 carrots, diced (total weight 300g/11oz)



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

    • 250g lean minced lamb (we used 10% fat)
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, made up to 350ml/12fl oz stock with boiling water
    • 227g can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 400g can green lentil with no added salt, drained



      The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

    For the topping

    • 650g Maris Piper or King Edward potato, roughly chopped
    • 250g sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
      Sweet potatoes

      Sweet potato

      sweet po-tate-toe

      Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

    • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
    • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk


    1. Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan or saucepan. Tip in the onion and thyme sprigs and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add the carrots and fry together for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown. Stir in the mince to break it down. Fry for 1-2 mins until no longer pink. Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan in case the meat sticks, then cook for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the stock and stir until thickened. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, lentils and Worcestershire sauce and season with pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.

    2. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drop all the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 12-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well in a colander then tip back into the pan. Mash with a masher or, briefly, with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the crème fraîche and milk with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

    3. Spoon the meat into a 1.5 litre pie dish and remove the thyme sprigs. Top with the mash and smooth over with a knife. Use a fork to create a ridged pattern on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 mins until piping hot and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. If the top is not brown enough, pop it under the grill for 5 mins or so until the mash is crisp and golden. Let it sit for 5 mins then serve.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    8th Nov, 2012
    Really liked this, made on a few occasions now - always a winner!
    21st Jun, 2012
    Delicious, doubled the amount of lamb to 500g and that is the only change i made. Lentils are a great addition. Only comment is to make sure you give it plenty of seasoning (as it is not mentioned in the actually recipe to do so!)
    21st May, 2012
    A great recipe, but lacked flavour. Would try again, but don't forget to season well or change bouillon for stock
    18th Apr, 2012
    Simply the best cottage pie I've ever made. My 3yr old fuss pot even loved it. I made it exactly to the recipe and I'll definitely be making this again and again.
    6th Apr, 2012
    I really enjoyed this especially with the lentils. I only used 250g carrots plus one stick of celery. I also added in 1 tsp of crushed garlic for extra taste just before I added in the lamb mince. Apart from that followed everything else and my son loved it.
    3rd Mar, 2012
    Really yummy! I couldn't find bouillon powder so used veg stock instead, tasted lovely. I was a bit woRried about the lentils as not cooked with them before and you really don't notice them. Will make again in individual dished to put in the freezer.
    27th Feb, 2012
    5th Jan, 2012
    I've made this several times now. It's always good and my husband absolutely loves it too. Well worth the time since you can always make more for another day.
    2nd Nov, 2011
    Absolutely delicious!!!! It felt very light and still it was filling enough!!It is a great way to enjoy comfort food and end eat healthy!!!Definitely recommend it!!
    29th Oct, 2011
    Everyone loves it, but of course, I put cheese in the potato topping....!!! Increased fat content but worth it!!!


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