You need this cheesy shepherd’s pie in your life! The perfectly seasoned, ground beef is mixed with creamy mixed veggies and topped with rich mashed potatoes and sharp cheddar cheese.
Classic Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Here at the Cheese Knees, we’re suckers for cheesy mashed potatoes. So we couldn’t help but add LOTS n’ LOTS of yummy cheese to our shepherd’s pie recipe! It’s everything you love about the Irish classic but with a delicious, cheesy twist!
Effortlessly whip up this cheesy cottage pie one weeknight for a filling family dinner, or bring it to a potluck. Whatever the occasion may be, know that it’ll be an instant crowd favorite.
why this shepherd’s pie?!
- With little prep and simple ingredients, you can take your cheesy shepherd’s pie from kitchen to table in under an hour.
- We added cream cheese to our mashed potatoes and our roux to make them ULTRA cheesy, creamy, and delicious!
- CHEESE — what else is there to say?
- Russet potatoes: russets are easy to mash, get supper fluffy, and pair so well with the ground meat, gravy, and veggie flavors in this recipe.
- Butter: butter is used throughout the recipe for flavor and for the roux. We used unsalted butter, but salted works just fine. Just be sure to cut down on the salt if you use salted.
- Cream cheese: you get the creamiest, richest mashed potatoes when using cream cheese! We also use it in the roux for an even more creamy, decadent taste.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt also makes for creamier, fluffier mashed potatoes. Don’t skip out on it!
- Ground beef: traditional shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb, but many modern versions use ground beef for convenience. We used ground beef that was 85% lean for the best flavor.
- Yellow onion: brown ground beef with onion to enhance and deepen the flavor of your meat.
- All-purpose flour: flour acts as a thickening agent so that your pie comes out with the perfect consistency.
- Milk: milk is essential for making the creamy roux. We used 2% milk, but any type of milk will do.
- Frozen mixed vegetables: you can’t have a shepherd’s pie without mixed veggies!
- Shredded cheddar cheese: we topped our shepherd’s pie with cheddar cheese. But other melty cheeses like Colby, Havarti, Monterey jack, and muenster taste great too!
How to Make Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie
PREP + BOIL POTATOES
Peel and chop your potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Then transfer to a large pot and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil, cooking the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until fork tender.
MASH, MASH, MASH!
Next, drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot. Add 4 tablespoons of butter, 4oz. of cream cheese, ½ cup of Greek yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth, but some chunks are ok! Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
COOK THE BEEF
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef and yellow onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, remaining salt, thyme, paprika, and pepper. Cook beef for another minute.
MAKE THE ROUX
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to the ground beef skillet. Cook for 1 minute while stirring to ensure the flour coats everything.
Then add the milk and whisk until combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the skillet to make sure all the flour has been mixed in. Allow the beef broth to thicken for about 1-2 minutes.
ADD CHEESE + VEGGIES
Once your roux has thickened, add 4oz. of cream cheese and the frozen vegetables to the skillet. Mix well and cook until all of the cream cheese has melted.
ASSEMBLE + BAKE
Now it’s time to assemble your cheesy shepherd’s pie!
Pour meat mixture into the baking dish and evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle on 1 cup of cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
What is traditional shepherd’s pie made of?
The traditional Irish shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, cooked vegetables (namely peas, carrots, onion, corn, and garlic), and Guinness as a flavor enhancer. Then it’s topped with mashed potatoes and baked to perfection!
How do you stop mashed potatoes from sinking into the pie?
Allow the beef filling to cool a bit before adding your mashed potatoes. Otherwise, you could end up with a shepherd’s pie that has sunken mashed potatoes.
How do you prevent gummy mashed potatoes?
Overmixing is a common cause of gummy or gluey mashed potatoes. Just mix them until mostly mashed; some chunks are totally fine and add to the texture! If you find your mashed potatoes are gummy, fold in a tablespoon of butter, and that should fix it.
First, allow your shepherd’s pie to cool to room temperature. Then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze your shepherd’s pie, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then wrap it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 lbs. russet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 8 oz. cream cheese divided
- ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 1.5 lbs. 85% ground beef
- ½ medium yellow onion diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1.5 cups 2% milk
- 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
- 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese ~1 cup
- Peel and chop the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Transfer the potatoes into a large pot and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender — about 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot. Add 4 tablespoons of butter, 4 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup of Greek yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Some chunks are ok. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add the ground beef and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add the garlic, remaining salt, thyme, paprika, and pepper. Cook for another minute.
- To make the roux, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to the ground beef skillet. Cook for 1 minute while stirring to make sure the flour fully coats everything in the skillet. Add the milk to the skillet and whisk together. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the skillet to make sure all of the flour has been mixed in. The milk should thicken within 1-2 minutes.
- Add 4 oz. cream cheese and the frozen vegetables into the skillet. Mix and cook until the cream cheese is melted.
- Transfer the ground beef mixture to the baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes on top to cover. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow 10 minutes to rest before serving.
Tips & Notes
- We used russet potatoes in this recipe, but Yukon gold or red potatoes would be great options.
- Same with the frozen veggies, any singular frozen veggie could be used if mixed isn’t an option.