Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Potatoes Recipe

This Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Potatoes is the ultimate comfort food recipe. It’s loaded with ground beef, vegetables, and potatoes. Combine all this with a delicious sauce, and it’s sure to please your meat and potato fans.

Shepherds Pie in a baking dish and served on a white plate with text overlay.

Why This Recipe is Fabulous

This easy shepherd’s pie recipe is made with ground beef, cooked with a delicious brown gravy, layered with tasty vegetables, and topped with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. This dish is also great for using any leftover meat, vegetables, or gravy. This is one of our favorite dishes and is on our rotation schedule.

Shepherd’s Pie vs. Cottage Pie

Is there a difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie? The short answer is yes. 

Shepherd’s pie is a meat dish typically made with lamb, vegetables, and potatoes. It got the name shepherd’s pie because of the lamb in the dish. Cottage Pie is a dish made with any meat but mostly ground beef.

Over the years, shepherd’s pie and cottage pie began to be used interchangeably, especially in America. 

For this recipe, I am using ground beef.

For more ground beef recipes, try my Sloppy Joes, Baked Beans with Ground Beef, and Classic Meatloaf. All are tried and true recipes sure to please a hungry crowd.

Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes on a white plate with text overlay.

Can I use Ground Lamb instead of Ground Beef?

Yes. Ground lamb can be substituted for ground beef in this dish if so desired.

Ingredients Needed for this Easy Dinner Recipe

All of the ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store.

Shepherd's Pie with Instant Mashed Potatoes ingredients with text overlay.

Ground Beef– I use two pounds of ground beef. This makes a large casserole dish. Use lamb if desired.

Onion– Any onion will work for this recipe -yellow, sweet, or white.

Garlic– I use the minced garlic from the jar. It’s easy and convenient. 

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup– I usually have this on hand. It adds creaminess to the dish. Use Cream of Chicken or Celery if desired.

Gravy– I used a mushroom gravy mix for this recipe, but use your favorite. Make it from scratch if so desired. Any brown gravy mix is excellent for this recipe. You can also buy the ready-made gravy in a jar for an even faster way to prepare this dish. Beef, pork, or onion gravy will also work.

Frozen Mixed Vegetables– I usually keep a bag or two of a frozen vegetable mixture in the freezer. They are convenient and easy to add to recipes. I like a mix of corn, peas, green beans, and carrots.

Salt/Pepper– The only seasoning I used. Feel free to add some garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture for extra flavor.

Instant Mashed Potatoes– You will need 3 cups of cooked potatoes for this recipe. Follow the directions on the back of the box. Of course, feel free to make homemade potatoes or use leftover mashed potatoes if so desired.

Cheese– I used cheddar cheese. Feel free to use the shredded cheese of your choice. Some other great options might be Colby or Monterey Jack.

How to Make Simple Shepherd’s Pie

For complete instructions, see the recipe card below.

This is a simple shepherd’s pie recipe and only takes a few minutes of prep time before baking in the oven.

  1. Make the potatoes. I used instant for this recipe, but I have used homemade.
  2. Prepare the filling. Cook the meat and onions.
  3. Stir in soup, gravy, veggies, and seasonings.
  4. Spoon ground beef mixture into the prepared baking dish, top with potatoes, and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake until hot and bubbly.
Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes with text overlay.

Tips For An Easy Recipe

If you have a large oven-proof skillet, you can undoubtedly layer all of the ingredients in the same skillet you cooked the meat. Then, pile the potatoes on top and pop the dish into the oven. This will cut down on one dish to wash. Win-Win!

Swap out the ground meat (beef) for a change of taste. Use ground lamb, pork, or even ground turkey.

Frozen vegetables make this dish easy to prepare. But, of course, if you don’t have frozen veggies, you can add some canned corn, peas, or green beans if you have those in your pantry.

Buy a jar of ready-made gravy to make this dish easier to prepare.

Make homemade potatoes if so desired. I like to use russet potatoes with the skins on for my homemade potatoes.

Cook the potatoes and make the gravy while the meat is cooking.

What to Serve with this Simple Shepherd’s Pie

This is a complete meal, but a few sides can be added if desired.

A green side salad, a roll, or garlic bread would make nice sides for this dish.

Easy Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes on a white plate with text overlay.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Cool the pie to room temperature, then store all leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day; just place them in the oven or in the microwave until hot. 

This recipe has gravy baked into the mix under the potatoes. This is sure to become a dish even your picky eaters will love.

Of course, you can use homemade potatoes for this recipe. I used instant potatoes to speed up dinner time and get this dish baked and on the table fast.

For More Simple Comfort Food Recipes

Dorito Chicken Casserole – Cheesy Dorito Chicken Casserole is an easy dinner for any night of the week. This cheesy casserole is full of chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and Doritos. Your whole family will love this dish.

Cheesy Rotel Grits – Cheesy Rotel Grits is delicious, cheesy, and a little spicy. This dish has all the flavors from our favorite dip baked into a casserole- the perfect dish to serve at breakfast or as a main dish for dinner. 

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo is an easy, creamy, delicious, and simple dish to whip up in 30 minutes from start to finish. Perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions. 

Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes on a white plate with text overlay.
Shepherd's Pie on a white plate.

Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Potatoes

Gina Abernathy
This Shepherd's Pie with Instant Potatoes is the ultimate comfort food recipe. It's loaded with ground beef, vegetables, and potatoes. Combine all this with a delicious sauce, and it's sure to please your meat and potato fans.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 (.75 oz.) package gravy mix I used mushroom. Need 1 cup of prepared gravy.
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms drained, sliced, optional
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag frozen mixed vegetables thawed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups instant mashed potatoes cooked, I used butter & herb
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9"x 13" baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Make mashed potatoes. Set aside.
  • Add onions, ground beef (or lamb), and garlic in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in soup, gravy, mushrooms, mixed vegetables, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Spread cooked potatoes over the top in an even layer and cover with cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving for juices to settle.


To save time, cook the potatoes and make the gravy while the ground beef is cooking.
Keyword Shepherd’s Pie with Instant Potatoes


  1. 5 stars
    I love Shepards Pie but it can be time-consuming to make, so I was very excited to find this recipe. Now I can have this comfort food without all the work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating