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Shepherd's Pie
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4.67 from 18 votes

Make Ahead Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional staple of Irish cooking. It’s easy to make, and incredibly tasty. Shepherd’s Pie can be made ahead and frozen for an anytime meal. In fact, I typically have several in the freezer for those evenings when I don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British, Irish, St. Patrick's Day
Servings: 12
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Chula King



  • 1-½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons Bisto (See Tip 1)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-¼ pounds lean ground turkey (See Tip 2)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups diced carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Mashed potatoes

  • 4 pounds russet potatoes peeled and sliced (See Tip 3)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  • In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, Bisto, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and Dijon mustard; stir with a whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  • Brown ground turkey in a large non-stick skillet. Drain in a colander and rinse well with hot water to remove as much fat as possible. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and place over medium heat.
  • Heat olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and chicken broth mixture; cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened. Cover and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 40 minutes or until the meat is tender and the carrots are cooked.
  • Once the meat and vegetables are tender, uncover the skillet and add the frozen green peas. Stir to combine everything. Correct the seasonings.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Cook potatoes in salted water over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Return to pan; add cheese, butter, milk, and pepper. Beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth. Correct the seasonings. (See Tip 4)
  • Spoon the turkey mixture into a large casserole dish, or divide it among smaller casserole dishes. Top with piped mashed potatoes. May be prepared in advance up to this point and refrigerated or frozen. (See Tip 5)
  • Bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned and the mixture is bubbly. (See Tip 6)
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings.


  1. If you can't find Bisto, you can use corn starch instead.
  2. I use 93% ground turkey. Technically, shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb. Therefore, I suppose I shouldn't call this dish shepherd's pie. However, I don't care for lamb. With the vegetables and the chicken broth mixture, you'd never know that you were eating turkey!
  3. I like a lot of mashed potatoes on my shepherd's pie. You could definitely cut back to 3 pounds of potatoes if you wanted to. With 3 pounds of potatoes, use 6 tablespoons of butter, ¾ cup of cheese, and ½ cup of milk.
  4. I like to pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture using a 1M star piping tip. Therefore, I make sure that there are no lumps in the mashed potatoes that could clog the piping tip. 
  5. Shepherd's Pie freezes beautifully. I usually defrost the frozen Shepherd's Pie in the microwave before placing it in the oven.
  6. To achieve the browning on the mashed potatoes, I often increase the oven temperature to broil for the last 5 minutes or so of the heating.


Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 785mg | Potassium: 696mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4025IU | Vitamin C: 18.5mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1.8mg