Easy Classic Shepherd’s Pie

Reader Contribution by Valerie Boese
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Classic shepherd’s pie is the dish to of the hour. What can beat cheesy mashed potatoes, veggies, and beef all in one bite?  Shepherd’s pie is an excellent dish for any busy weeknight dinner. You are going to love this meal, with so much delicious flavor of beef and healthy vegetables, all packed into one dish for easy cleanup. You will appreciate this dish for the way you can stretch your budget, too; one pound of hamburger and mixed veggies will go a long way, easily satisfying six hungry appetites. This meal is a snap to prepare — just brown beef, top with vegetables, gravy, and mashed potatoes and bake.

Try this shortcut for quicker preparation; use store-bought gravy or canned mushroom soup. You can make variations of classic shepherd’s pie by adding mushrooms or choosing a different variety of mixed vegetables. There are so many options: cook with the veggies you like or with what you have on hand. You can switch out the beef for ground chicken or turkey, use cream of chicken soup for the gravy, top with crunchy fried onions — the combinations are endless, it all tastes good. Most importantly, finish your busy day by taking time to enjoy a good meal with your family. 

Easy Classic Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons diced onion
  • 2 cups beef broth room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes Hint: mash the potatoes with buttermilk for nice, buttery flavor.
  • 16-ounces mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, carrots, and peas)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Parsley to garnish


1. Brown hamburger in a pan with diced onion, salt, and pepper, cooking until meat it is fully cooked. Remove hamburger from pan, leaving one tablespoon of fat in frying pan*. Add hamburger to 9-by-12 baking dish and top with the mixed vegetables.

2. Heat the frying pan on medium heat. Add flour to one cup of beef broth, blending with a fork or wire whip until smooth. Pour this mixture into frying pan and cook a few minutes, then add remainder of beef broth and cook about five minutes more until it thickens. Pour over vegetables and hamburger.

3. Spread mashed potatoes over hamburger and vegetable mixture, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in 375 degrees preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove from oven, top with cheese, and place back in oven to bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven, let set 10 minutes before serving, garnish with parsley, and serve.

*If there was no fat left over after browning the hamburger, add a tablespoon of butter or cooking oil to the pan and heat up on medium heat.

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