whole food ~ well made

Genuine shepherd's pie recipe at

Make Your Own Genuine Shepherd’s Pie, Make it Green

Are your weeknights as busy as ours lately? There are so many evening activities I’m usually scrambling to make something on the fly {hello omelets, panini, Dinner 911}.

Or, I get my act together and prepare a make-ahead, eat-anytime meal.

Shepherd’s pie fits the bill because it is an easy casserole that’s nothing more than a meat filling + mashed potatoes. And it makes a satisfying and nutritious meal everyone likes {win-win}.

The filling is a simple ground meat mixture with vegetables in a light gravy. Yes, everyone will tell you that shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb. If it’s made with ground beef, it’s cottage pie.

Technically speaking, that is…

Genuine shepherd's pie recipe at

Since I buy a pasture-raised lamb every year, I have ground lamb in the freezer. So, that’s what I use. If you like lamb, this is the way to go, since the simplicity of shepherd’s pie really celebrates the distinctive taste of lamb.

But if you have good ground beef, especially grassfed, to use or dislike lamb, use it instead for this recipe.

In the same way, the mashed potatoes are your call. You could even use good-quality instant mashed potatoes in a pinch. Just don’t skimp on the butter and seasonings to make them extra tasty.

Genuine shepherd's pie recipe at

I’m always looking for ways to cram more veggies into every meal. So, my Shepherd’s Pie mashup involved mixing in a healthy dose of frozen spinach. I squeezed the thawed spinach dry and pureed it in a food processor with the mashed potatoes.

Boy, did they turn out green! And the flavors? The wonderful earthy and vegetable notes of the spinach complemented the lamb to a “T.”

In terms of baking this dish, once again shepherd’s pie is a hallmark of versatility.

You can bake it in the same skillet you cooked the ground meat in, or in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. I love to make individual servings, the same way I do for pot pies.

I put to use these restaurant-style oval baking dishes, which make this humble, peasant meal look a little bit fancy.

Genuine shepherd's pie recipe at

Once assembled, you can bring shepherd’s pie straight to the oven to bake and serve. Or you can bake it later in the day or the next. You can also freeze it for a day when you need a homemade frozen dinner on the double.

Even reheated, shepherd’s pie loses none of its charms. So leftovers are also lifesavers.

No matter which way you roll, shepherd’s pie is a complete and whole meal that takes the sweat out of hectic weeknight meals.

Or, for the weekend it makes for wholesome comfort food for a Sunday supper when you may even have a chance to slow down.


and become a forager

What’s your favorite healthy comfort food? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
Genuine shepherd's pie recipe at
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4.5 from 2 votes

Shepherd’s Pie

This version of shepherd’s pie calls for ground lamb (but use ground beef if you prefer) and spinach in the mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty make-ahead nutritious comfort food dinner for any day of the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword shepherd’s pie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Lynne Curry


For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the topping:

  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup warm cream or milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 large egg pastured
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry


  • To make the filling, melt the butter in a large, deep, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the lamb, salt, and pepper and break it up into crumbles. Cook, stirring, until the lamb is no longer pink.
  • Add the flour and stir until it absorbs all the moisture in the pan, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all of the flour. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. 
  • Take the skillet off the heat, taste for salt and pepper, and stir in the peas. (You can prepare the shepherd’s pie filling up to 2 days in advance and reheat on the stovetop before proceeding with the recipe.)
  • Meanwhile, make the topping by putting the potatoes in a stockpot and add enough cool water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes until they are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot to steam dry for 5 minutes.
  • lip the skins from the potatoes and pass them through a ricer or food mill or food processor, blending in the butter, and milk. Season the potatoes with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and taste them for seasoning. Add the egg and spinach and purée or mix just until the mashed potatoes are smooth and light.
  • Preheat the broiler to medium high with the top rack placed 8 inches below the element. Spread and smooth the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling to make the top “crust.” Broil the shepherd’s pie until the top is evenly golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


  1. Rohan Goel

    4 stars
    This looks great! I recently found your blog and am a huge fan of your recipes. Haven’t tried anything that wasn’t fantastic. Particularly love the warm potato salad with mustard vinaigrette, and some of your meat cooking tips.

    One note, i think you meant frozen peas instead of beans in the ingredient list above.

    1. Well that’s great to hear, Rohan. Thanks for writing and for the correction in this recipe.

  2. Kiyomi

    5 stars
    I made this pie last night–and it was fabulous! The color of spinach was beautiful as in the article photos. I was not sure how spinach would taste in mashed potato, and it turned out delicious. I think spinach added subtle natural sweetness. Even my daughter, who doesn’t care for spinach, ate it all. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
    P.S. I would love to give 5 stars. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but my browser is not responding.

    1. That’s so wonderful to hear! Thanks for writing. (As for the stars, I fixed that 😊)

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