Go Back
+ servings
Cottage Pie Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

The Best & Easy Cottage Pie Recipe (or Shepherd's Pie) in 45 Minutes

The quick cottage pie is perfect for a cold day. It is easy to prepare and you will love this hearty dish. You can enjoy it for dinner or for a weekend lunch with friends and family.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Cottage Pie, Shepherd's Pie
Servings: 4
Calories: 452kcal


For the Filling

  • 1 lb. minced beef
  • 2 pcs garlic cloves
  • 1 pcs onion
  • 2 pcs carrots
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 pcs celery stick
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup water or vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Crust

  • 2 lb. potatoes
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese


  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Finely chop the carrots and celery stick.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet and sautee the onion for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
    sautee the onion
  • Bring in all the veggies and cook for about 5 minutes, to soften.
    cook the veggies
  • Add the minced beef and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it. Stir well to combine. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
    minced beef
  • Add the tomato paste, flour and dried herbs. Pour the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. After the cooking time, the mince mix should have a thicker consistency and not too much liquid.
    cook low heat
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and chop into smaller pieces. Place them in a pot, cover with water and boil until they are tender, for about 20 minutes. You may prick with a fork to check if they are cooked.
    peel the potatoes
  • Drain and use a fork or a potato masher to crush them. Add the butter, milk, Cheddar cheese and nutmeg. Mix until well combined and creamy. Adjust the taste for salt.
    mashed potato
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Spoon the mince mixture onto a large baking dish. Level it up.
  • Add the potato mash on top and use a spatula to smooth it. Make some lines with a fork so you will have a crispy top after it is baked.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.
  • Serve it warm and enjoy!
    Cottage Pie Recipe Serve


  1. This simple cottage pie recipe is easy to prepare and you will get a delicious dish. Enjoy it immediately as it tastes best when warm.
  2. In case you can’t eat the whole pie, leave it at room temperature to cool down. After that, store it in the freezer, well covered with aluminum or plastic foil. Don’t leave the pie more than two hours at room temperature because the bacteria grow rapidly and it is possible for it to alter. You can keep the quick cottage pie in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  3. This pie can also be frozen. Wrap it the same way, using aluminum or plastic foil. Another option is to place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it will keep for 4 to 6 months in the freezer. As a general rule, after you defrost some food, use your senses to tell if it is good or not.
  4. There is also another alternative, in case you want to make it ahead of time. You can assembly the quick cottage pie and keep it in the fridge for 2 days prior to cooking. In case you choose to freeze it, you can also bake it from frozen. Cook at 350F for 60-80 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  5. To get a nice and crispy crust for your easy cottage pie, you need the right variety of potato. It needs a fluffy and floury texture. You could use Desiree, Maris Piper or King Edward.
  6. When you are following a gluten-free diet, don’t use all-purpose flour. Opt for any gluten-free alternative, such as corn or a gluten-free mix.
  7. You will definitely love this pie if you give it a try. It is easy and quick. The cottage pie will bring comfort and warmth any cold day. Enjoy it alone, with your kids or entire family. And don’t be afraid to cook it more than once!


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.3g | Protein: 30.4g | Fat: 20.2g