Lamb Shepherd’s Pie Recipe (Ground Lamb Pot Pie)

This skillet lamb shepherd’s pie is loaded with savory ground lamb and vegetables and topped with cheesy mashed potatoes for a hearty comfort meal that’s sure to be a family favorite! 

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Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate meat and potato comfort food. Nothing feels better on a cold winter’s day than coming into a warm house filled with the savory aroma of this dish baking in the oven. 

This recipe’s meat filling has a deep and complex flavor, using red wine and beef stock as a base for the meat, herbs, and vegetables. And you can’t go wrong with cheesy mashed potatoes slathered over the top! 

Maybe you’ve heard of cottage pie and are wondering what the difference is! Cottage pie is essentially the same as shepherd’s pie, but it uses ground beef instead of lamb. We’re keeping things classic by using ground lamb for this recipe. 

You can find lamb in several other of my recipes, including lemon orzo bowls with lamb and tzatziki and sous vide lamb chops. You’re welcome to swap the meat with the suggestions below if needed. 

Browned shepherd's pie in skillet.

Ingredients needed

  • Russet potatoes – AKA Idaho potatoes are best for this recipe, but you could substitute them with Yukon gold potatoes if needed. 
  • Ground lamb – I recommend cooking with American Lamb. More on that below ↓↓↓
  • Cheddar cheese – Shredded sharp cheddar works well in this recipe, but you can also use a mild cheddar or Colby if preferred. 
  • Butter – Unsalted. 
  • Onion – Yellow, white, or Spanish onions will work. 
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic if you can. The next best substitute is minced garlic in a jar.
  • Dried herbs – Thyme and rosemary.
  • Red wine – Choose a dry red wine like pinot noir, merlot, or cabernet sauvignon. Avoid “cooking wines,” as the quality and flavor are not nearly as good. 
  • Worcestershire sauce – if needed, can substitute with an equal amount of half soy sauce and half ketchup. 
  • Flour – All-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1:1 alternative. 
  • Parsley – Use fresh parsley if you can. If you only have dried, you can substitute 3 heaping tablespoons of dried parsley for the ¼ cup of fresh. 
  • Heavy cream
  • Beef stock – Or, use homemade bone broth.
  • Frozen mixed peas and carrots 
  • Tomato paste
  • Salt and Pepper
Ingredients for shepherd's pie labeled on counter.

Why I choose American lamb

I highly recommend cooking with American Lamb. Here’s why: 

  • By choosing American Lamb, you’re supporting local farmers and ranchers throughout the US.
  • Raising lamb in the US is a family affair with more than 80,000 family owned operations.
  • Sheep improve pasture quality by recycling vital nutrients back into the soil, minimizing erosion and encouraging plant growth.
  • The majority of sheep in the states graze pastures for most of their lives.

How to make skillet shepherd’s pie

Make the mashed potatoes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then add the potatoes and cook until soft and easily pierced with a fork (about 15-20 minutes). 

In a small saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of the butter and the heavy cream, occasionally stirring until it melts. Set aside, but keep warm so that the mixture stays melted. 

Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot, and mash until smooth. Then, add in the butter and cream mixture, just until blended. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cubed potatoes in collander.

Prepare the filling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, adding the onions and cooking for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add the ground lamb, garlic, thyme, rosemary, a pinch of salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat up as it browns, for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through. 

Pour the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, flour, and tomato paste into the pan.  Stir to combine and cook until the mixture thickens about 2-3 minutes. 

Add the stock along with the frozen peas and carrots.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the parsley and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 

Filling for shepherd's pie in skillet.

Assemble and bake

Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture or use a piping bag to create a swirl pattern. 

Place the skillet on a baking sheet (to catch any spillover) and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Let the shepherd’s pie sit for 10 minutes before enjoying it.

What to serve with it

If you’re looking for side dishes, check out my entire post on what to serve with shepherd’s pie! Or, try a few of these easy vegetable sides here: 

Overhead close up of browned mashed potato swirls.

How to meal prep, store, and reheat this recipe 

To make meal prep more manageable, make and store any part of this recipe ahead of time or assemble and refrigerate or freeze before baking. 

To prepare the mashed potatoes ahead 

Make them as directed and let them cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Before spreading the potatoes on top of the meat mixture, you may need to warm them slightly by covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and poking a few holes in the top. Microwave in 30-second increments until they are easily stirred and spreadable. 

To prepare the meat mixture ahead 

Prepare the meat mixture as directed and let it cool in the skilled. Cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

When ready to assemble, spread the mashed potatoes on top, and bake as directed. 

Meal prepping an assembled shepherd’s pie (freezer instructions included)

If you want to make your shepherd’s pie to make later in the week or even after a month or two, you can easily do so. 

Instead of assembling the pie in a skillet, transfer the meat mixture to a casserole dish that’s oven and freezer safe. Spread the mashed potatoes on top, and let the mixture cool.

Cover tightly in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3- 5 days before baking as directed. 

You can store assembled shepherd’s pie in the freezer for up to 3 months. Take it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with the foil on top, then remove the foil and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the center is warmed through to 165 degrees and the potatoes are lightly browned.

Prepared shepherd's pie in serving dish.

Recipe FAQs

What is the original meat in shepherd’s pie?

Traditionally, shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb, just like this recipe! If you would prefer a different meat, you can follow the same recipe using ground beef or turkey instead. 

Why is my shepherd’s pie sloppy? 

If the meat mixture of your shepherd’s pie seems runny, you may have needed to add more flour or simmer it longer to let the mixture thicken. If you haven’t baked it yet, you can return the meat mixture to the heat, sprinkle on some more flour, and let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. 

What if I don’t have tomato paste for shepherd’s pie?

If you’re all out of tomato paste, you can substitute with tomato sauce, using 3 tablespoons of sauce for every 1 tablespoon of paste. Or, you can substitute it 1:1 with ketchup! Ketchup works surprisingly well in shepherd’s pie if you’re all out of tomato paste. 

Overhead shot of shepherd's pie in skillet with scoop taken out of it.

More ground lamb recipes

More comfort food recipes

If you love this recipe, you’ll love these other classic comfort foods!

Did you try this shepherd’s pie recipe with lamb? 

If you loved this classic lamb shepherd’s pie recipe, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a ⭐️star review⭐️! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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Overhead shot of shepherd's pie in skillet with scoop taken out of it.

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

This classic take on skillet shepherd’s pie with ground lamb features savory meat and vegetable filling topped with cheesy mashed potatoes for the ultimate winter comfort food.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes, until they can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 4 TBSP of the butter and cream together until the butter melts.
  • Drain the cooked potatoes well and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Then, add in the butter-cream mixture, just until blended. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Melt the remaining 1 TBSP butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
  • Add the ground lamb, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and a pinch of salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat up as it browns, for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through. USDA recommends ground lamb reach an internal temperature of 160F.
  • Add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, flour and tomato paste. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
  • Add the stock and peas and carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley, and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes then spread them evenly, or use a piping bag to create a swirl pattern.
  • Place the skillet on a baking sheet (to catch any spill over) and bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes begin to brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before enjoying.

Notes

To make meal prep more manageable, make and store any part of this recipe ahead of time or assemble and refrigerate or freeze before baking. 

To prepare the mashed potatoes ahead 

  • Make them as directed and let them cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • Before spreading the potatoes on top of the meat mixture, you may need to warm them slightly by covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and poking a few holes in the top. Microwave in 30-second increments until they are easily stirred and spreadable. 

To prepare the meat mixture ahead 

  • Prepare the meat mixture as directed and let it cool in the skilled. Cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • When ready to assemble, spread the mashed potatoes on top, and bake as directed. 

Meal prepping an assembled shepherd’s pie (freezer instructions included)

  • If you want to make your shepherd’s pie to make later in the week or even after a month or two, you can easily do so. 
  • Instead of assembling the pie in a skillet, transfer the meat mixture to a casserole dish that’s oven and freezer safe. Spread the mashed potatoes on top, and let the mixture cool.
  • Cover tightly in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3- 5 days before baking as directed. 
  • You can store assembled shepherd’s pie in the freezer for up to 3 months. Take it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. 
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with the foil on top, then remove the foil and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the center is warmed through to 165 degrees and the potatoes are lightly browned.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Oven Safe Skillet
Knife
Cheese Grater

Nutrition

Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 1211mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1168IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4mg

I teamed up with American Lamb to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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