I’m calling this Easy Homemade Shepherd’s Pie because it checks all the boxes for the perfect weeknight dinner on a cozy winter night! There are a lot of variations of shepherd’s pie, of course, and what makes this one a little easier than others is that it uses ground beef and store-bought mashed potatoes.
I used to snub anything but homemade mashed potatoes but then I tried a handy two pack of Main Street Bistro Mashed Potatoes. Thank you, sweet sample lady. They tasted just like homemade, and the ingredient list is pretty short and clean so why not? I usually freeze one of the packages whenever I bring them home. They are in the refrigerated section at Costco.
Another reason this shepherd’s pie is a little easier is because it all happens in one 12-inch cast iron skillet. I love this big old thing! Do you have one? Less dishes equals easy clean up.
The first time I made this, I didn’t really write down any measurements. It was just one of those nights I was thrilled to have all the ingredients on hand to bring something decent together to call dinner. But my family went bonkers over it, going in for seconds and thirds, and so I knew I’d have it make it again soon to share with you all.
Don’t miss my trick at the bottom of the recipe for adding texture to the potatoes so you get those nice crispy brown bits! They might be my favorite part.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/3 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (optional)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes* (I used Main Street Bistro from Costco, heat according to directions)
- fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large oven-safe skillet (I used this 12 inch cast iron skillet), heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat.
- Sauté onions and carrots, seasoned with salt and pepper, for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Push the carrots and onions to the side of the pan, and add the ground beef.
- Allow the ground beef to sit in the pan so that the bottom will sear. Season with salt and pepper.
- After a few minutes, break the meat up and stir around until mostly cooked through. Drain all but a tablespoon of the fat from the pan if needed.
- Stir the carrots, onions, and beef together in the pan and sprinkle with flour. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes, and then pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire. Scrap the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to loosen the brown bits. Add herbs if desired.
- Let the gravy come to a gentle simmer and then stir in the frozen peas and heavy cream. Turn off heat.
- Spread potatoes over the top of the meat mixture. Drag the tines of a fork across the top in both directions so that it will brown nicely.
- Bake the shepherd’s pie at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook 3-5 minutes more, or until the top is golden brown.
*Of course you could also make your own mashed potatoes from scratch. You would need about 6 large potatoes, and don’t forget to add a little milk, butter, salt and pepper!
Disclaimer: the links in this post for the cast iron skillet are Amazon affiliate links.