Shepherd's Pie, or Cottage Pie, rather, is a comfort dish made with ground beef, mashed potatoes, and in this case- corn. Combined with a homemade sauce and instant mashed potatoes, this meal is filling and delicious.
Shepherd's pie is a dish that I didn't know about until after I met my husband. Of course, his definition of it was "ground beef with corn and mashed potatoes on top." So that's what I did for the first few years of our marriage. Nothing else was added. He ate it happily though.
Turns out this was one of the frugal dinners he grew up eating and it helped him relive a moment of nostalgia each time I made it. But, I knew there had to be more than meat, corn, and potatoes and as time went by I continued to modify the recipe.
While I normally use real mashed potatoes, I can't deny how big of a time saver instant mashed potatoes can be! Even more fun is using the flavored instant potato packets for more flavor variety.
That said, the meaty base of this shepherd's pie goes great with my Creamy Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, so if you want to try making homemade mashed potatoes, go for it!
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's frugal. For about $10, you can get a large baking dish full of dinner. Serve on its own or with a simple green salad on the side, and it's a filling dinner everyone will enjoy.
- It's comforting. From the creamy potatoes to the rich meaty filling and crisp sweet corn in every serving, this dish is comfort food that's perfect for any occasion.
- It's easy to make. Brown some meat, mix in some ingredients and then layer things together in a baking dish. This recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it perfect for busy nights and even make-ahead meals.
Ground Beef- You will need some ground beef for the base of this recipe. While shepherd's pie is made with lamb, in America, we refer to shepherd's pie as the ground beef variation (also known as cottage pie).
Ketchup- Adding in a little bit of ketchup will give us a little tomato flavor to the meaty filling as well as a little sweetness to round out the savory salty flavors.
Worcestershire Sauce- For a great depth of flavor, you'll need some Worcestershire sauce. A little bit goes a long way, but it truly helps to elevate the dish.
Canned Whole Kernel Corn- You can use canned corn or frozen corn (thawing is not necessary). Make sure the canned is drained before use.
Instant Mashed Potatoes- Use plain or flavored instant mashed potatoes. Prepare them according to package directions and use as directed in the recipe card below.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Step 2: Add your ground beef and diced onions to a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until browned.
Step 3: Drain the excess grease and return to heat.
Step 4: Add in the minced garlic and stir to combine.
Step 5: Add in the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
Step 6: Stir in the flour and mix to coat.
Step 7: Slowly add in the beef broth.
Step 8: Stir until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
Step 9: In another pot, make the mashed potatoes, following the instructions for the 8 servings option.
Step 10: In your baking dish, spread the ground beef over the bottom of the pan.
Step 11: Scatter the drained corn over the top, and spread it into an even layer.
Step 12: Take the mashed potatoes and spread them out over the top of the corn.
Step 13: Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Step 14: Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve warm and enjoy!
🍴 Recipe Tips
For this shepherd's pie with instant potatoes, you can make the instant mashed potatoes in advance, or at the same time (in a different pot) while browning the ground beef.
To top a 9x13 pan of shepherd's pie, follow the instructions on the instant potatoes for the 8 serving quantity, this should yield about 3 cups of cooked potatoes.
Getting the browned potatoes look on top of the cottage pie is optional, but only requires about 3 minutes under a high broiler. Watch carefully because a minute too long will result in burnt potatoes.
Yes. You can make this dish about a day in advance and keep it covered in the fridge until you're ready to bake. Then set it on the counter to come to room temp as the oven preheats and bake as directed.
Yes, because the potatoes are already cooked, you can assemble them and freeze them for a later meal or freeze leftovers without issues. Just make sure to keep it well covered and to bake within 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before heating.
If properly stored in the fridge in a covered container, leftovers can last 3 to 5 days. For best results eat it sooner rather than later.
❤️ More Delicious Dinner Recipes
If you tried this Easy Shepherd's Pie with Instant Mashed Potatoes, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Easy Shepherd's Pie with Instant Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds Ground beef ($6.74)
- 1 medium Onion, chopped ($0.70)
- 1 clove Garlic, minced ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoons Salt ($0.05)
- ¼ teaspoons Black pepper ($0.02)
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup ($0.08)
- 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce ($0.02)
- 1 Tablespoon All purpose flour ($0.01)
- ½ cup Beef broth ($0.17)
- 1 can Whole kernel corn, or 2 cups frozen ($0.50)
- 3 cups Instant mashed potatoes (8servings) ($2.23)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a large skillet, brown your ground beef and drain. Cook onions until clear.
- Add in the minced garlic and stir.
- Add in the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, ketchup, and Worchestershire sauce. Stir well to combine.
- Stir in the flour until well coated.
- Slowly add in the beef broth and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
- In another pot make instant mashed potatoes according to box for the 8 servings option.
- In your baking dish, spread your ground beef over the dish to cover nicely.
- Scatter the drained corn over the top of the ground beef, trying to make a nice even layer.
- Take the instant mashed potatoes and spread them out over the top of the corn.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.