Shepherd’s Pie – topped with instant mashed potatoes

Shepherd’s Pie – topped with instant mashed potatoes

How many variations to a Shepherd’s Pie would you guess there are?

To bake in a shell or not.  Beef or lamb. Vegetable combinations. Mushrooms?

So many decisions.


I waded through several Shepherd’s Pie recipes and decided to start with one I found on Womanista.  I made a couple of small changes.  Winner!

Let me tell you why –

Easy.  EZ. Eeeeeeezzzzzzeeeee.

Sure, you have some chopping (onions, carrots, celery, garlic).

But how difficult is chopping?

I was visiting Jackie when I made this so I had to chop the “old fashioned way.”

Normally, I’d use a chopper or even my Vitamix blender to take care of that task super fast (I’m talking within a few seconds).

But old-fashioned hand chopping is what I did. No big deal.

No crust was used in the making of this Shepherd’s Pie. Not needed. We served these in miniature ramekins that I picked up at Cost Plus World Market for . . . cheap.

To cut down on prep time even more, I used instant mashed potatoes.

Yes I did! And I did it with pride.

Jeff’s originally from Wisconsin. I remember the first time I endeavored to make him a proper home cooked meal (Thanksgiving 1988), my friends were horrified that I was actually going to serve instant mashed potatoes to this Midwestern boy.

I listened to their advice.

I sheepishly put the box away and made real mashed potatoes.

On top of all the other dishes I was preparing that year, I’m not positive there was much return on my investment of time. Jeff was just happy someone was cooking for him. I could have served him cereal to be honest.

Now, nearly 30 years later, I’m thinking instant potatoes should be a staple in everyone’s pantry.

I used the basic, buttered variety but I was tempted to grab the roasted garlic potatoes. Next time.

Make the beef mixture, spoon into serving dishes (like the ramekins), plop some potatoes on top and enjoy.

And a little tip here — if you coordinate the mashed potatoes so that they are piping hot when the beef mixture is ready, there’s no need to bake these in the oven.

Trust me. I know. And Jackie and her friends would agree. I think I even saw one of them eating the cold leftovers the next day . . .

Ice cold Shepherd’s Pie, anyone???!

Enjoy – The Recipe Wench


Serves 3/4 cup each (approx.)

Shepherd’s Pie – topped with instant mashed potatoes

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth (1 can)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
Read the whole recipe on The Recipe Wench