Meat and Potatoes, Perfected: Best Shepherd's Pie Recipes

When it comes to the “meat-and-potatoes” of comfort food, there’s one dish we think puts it together the best: shepherd’s pie. With a juicy ground meat filling and a topping of fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s a dish more than 160 years in the making and an all-in-one meal that’s all at once simple and satisfying. Here are some of our favorite ways to make this classic dish.

Though Food Network Magazine’s take closely resembles a traditional recipe for shepherd’s pie, it includes smoked bacon for an extra burst of umami. For the mashed topping, turnips are added for a depth of earthy flavor.

Though we think of a shepherd’s pie as having any meaty filling, lamb is the traditional meat of choice for the English – a dish with a beef-based filling is referred to as cottage pie. Valerie Bertinelli’s take on the dish adds an herbaceous quality by infusing the saucy filling with bay leaf, mint and sage.



Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Combine the two traditional meaty bases with a filling that’s half-beef, half-lamb and all amazing. The filling is cooked with a healthy helping of Irish stout because (as we’ve mentioned in the past) beer belongs in your food as much as it does in your glass.

Vegetable Shepherd's Pie 04:55

Damaris cooks up her hearty Porter and Vegetable Shepherd's Pie.

Beer makes another appearance with Damaris Phillips’ recipe for Porter and Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie. She also spices and brightens up the mashed potato topping with pepper Jack cheese, cream cheese and sour cream.

Tone down the stick-to-your-ribs quality of the dish by using lean ground turkey and lean ground beef for the filling.



Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Chorizo might not have been at hand for the dish a century ago, but it is now. Add fun flavor to the dish with some spicy sausage in the ground beef filling.

Next Up

Shepherd's Pie, Lightened Up

Comfort foods are traditionally fattening fare, but you can slim down your shepherd's pie with a few tweaks.

Best 5 Chocolate Pie Recipes

Whether you are serving guests or preparing an after-dinner treat for your family, Food Network's top five chocolate pie recipes impresses both crowds and kids.

Mix-and-Match Shepherd’s Pie

Here’s the fool-proof formula for making shepherd's pie from scratch — you just need to pick the mix-ins!

Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie — Meatless Monday

Still finding Thanksgiving leftovers buried in the back of your fridge? Put them to good use by incorporating them into a meatless shepherd’s pie.

Mom's Best Recipes

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we asked staffers in Food Network Kitchen to share favorite recipes from their mothers and grandmothers.

FN Chefs’ Best Mashed Potatoes

Six simple twists on a classic.

50 Pie Recipes

Get inspired with 50 delicious pie recipes from Food Network Magazine.