Easy 5 Ingredient Shepherd’s Pie

This easy Shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef in a savory gravy, layered with tender vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and topped off with cheddar cheese.

This is my twist on the traditional Shepherd’s pie recipe. It does not use ground lamb or the traditional sauce. Instead, the ground beef is mixed with gravy and topped with sharp cheddar cheese. Interesting fact: it’s actually called cottage pie when it’s made with ground beef. However, in America, people commonly refer to it as Shepherd’s pie anyway.

This 5 ingredient shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite go-to ground beef recipes because it’s budget-friendly and flavorful. I have it at least once a month. It only requires 5 ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make so it’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner recipe.

spoonful of shepherd's pie

Customize Your Shepherd’s Pie

This easy shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. Meat, cheese, potatoes? What’s not to love with that combo! It is also is easily customizable to your family’s preferences. You can add different vegetables: corn, carrots, peas, green beans, etc. I personally prefer corn and green beans in mine, but when I’m in a rush, I’ll just use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.

You can use instant mashed potatoes or real mashed potatoes with Yukon, Russet, or Sweet Potatoes. The gravy can be made from scratch or made with a gravy packet. The choice is up to you. You can even switch up the cheeses. Some good substitutes are Colby jack, mild cheddar, or a mix of different cheeses ….The possibilities are endless!

Make Ahead, Freezer-Friendly

Typically, I’m not a big fan of leftovers, but this is one of those recipes where it’s just as good the second time around! This easy casserole can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge or frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container.  You can make this recipe ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.

This easy 5 ingredient Shepherd’s pie is a complete meal so I don’t usually serve it with anything else, but you can add a side salad or serve with some buttered dinner rolls.

Overhead Shot of Shepherd's Pie Recipe


Easy 5 Ingredient Shepherd’s Pie

This easy Shepherd's pie is made with ground beef in a savory gravy, layered with tender vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and topped off with cheddar cheese.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 10 oz frozen mixed vegetables thawed
  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup brown gravy
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425 and spray a 9×13 casserole-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add ground beef to a medium sized skillet and cook on medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you cook it. Season the meat with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • After it is browned and cooked through, drain any excess grease from the skillet, if there is any.
  • Make your mashed potatoes and gravy according to directions.
  • Add the gravy to the ground beef and transfer ground beef mixture into a casserole dish.
  • Spread the vegetables evenly over the top of the ground beef.
  • Add the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables. Use a spatula to smooth mashed potatoes evenly over the vegetables.
  • Top the casserole with the shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15 mintues until it is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned.


I used instant mashed potatoes and a gravy packet to make it a quicker meal.


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