Love shepherds pie? You’ve never tasted it like this before! This naturally gluten-free, family-friendly meal is packed with veggies, ground beef, and sharp white cheddar cheese. Easy cheesy shepherds pie is a delicious and flavor-packed dinner everyone will be asking for again and again.
Disclaimer – I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cabot Cheese and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
All the comfort foods.
Fall is right around the corner (yay!) and with it comes the insatiable desire to stuff my face with comfort food. As the weather starts cooling down, I get excited to be able to turn my oven on again without making my little house feel like it’s 400 degrees inside. All the breads, brownies, and pies start gracing my table. And the comforting warmth of baked goods fills the season.
While desserts and breads are always favorites, I love being able to serve up a big, hearty meal that my family all enjoys as well. Some of their favorites are roasts, fried rice, and lentil stew, but one they get super excited for is shepherds pie.
Easy cheesy shepherds pie.
Though potatoes are on my no-no list as far as food allergies, my entire family LOVES them. And potatoes are super cheap and pretty healthy, so I love using them in different ways, too. Shepherds pie fits the bill!
While I’ve baked up regular shepherds pie before, when Cabot Creamery sent me a box of their Vermont Sharp and Seriously Sharp cheddar cheeses one of the first recipes that danced through my mind was a super cheesy shepherds pie. ‘Cause if it’s delicious plain, it’s gonna be 100x more delicious with cheese.
Baking up your pie.
When I make cheesy shepherds pie (or regular shepherds pie) I always start with the topping. I wash and peel the potatoes and get them cooking. I usually make potatoes in my Instant Pot (manual setting for 10 minutes), but you can also boil them in a pot of water until fork-tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, I make the stew filling. Since I love to bake the whole shepherds pie in my large, 12-inch cast iron skillet, I make my filling in there first. Of course, if you don’t happen to have a cast iron skillet that size (which you should totally get if you don’t), you can make your filling in a pot and then transfer it to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
When the potatoes are done cooking, just mash them as instructed below and plop them onto the filling. Then stick the whole affair into the oven and bake until delicious! Though you honestly don’t have to bake it for it to be delicious, this cheesy shepherds pie is delicious just as is!
A few options.
The filling for this tasty ‘pie’ is pretty much just a stew. I use frozen organic veggies to keep the cost and prep to a minimum. You can totally use fresh if you have that, just note that you’ll have to par-boil the veggies first or bake the dish longer to make sure the veggies cook through.
If you’re on a paleo/grain-free diet, you can leave out the corn in this recipe. When it comes down to it, you can pretty much use whatever veggies you want in the filling. Green beans are tasty, as are cauliflower and broccoli.
Shepherds pie is traditionally an Irish recipe that uses lamb (hence the term ‘shepherds’ pie). I don’t usually have lamb in my kitchen, ’cause it’s pretty pricey, but thankfully ground beef is a cheaper sub. If you have venison on hand, I’ve made shepherds pie with that and it’s pretty delicious, too!
For the cheesy mashed potato topping you also have some options. You can use leftover mashed potatoes, just stir in some cheese (though it’s gonna be a big batch of leftovers) or you could make the potatoes ahead of time. If you don’t do white potatoes, you can use sweet potatoes for the topping, butternut squash, or even cauliflower.
No matter how you make it, the results are delicious and the family will be begging for this cheesy shepherds pie again and again!
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Easy Cheesy Shepherds Pie
Free from gluten, eggs, and sugar, with grain-free option.
For the filling:
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 2 pounds organic ground beef
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot power (or cornstarch)
- 1 cup frozen organic peas
- 1 cup frozen organic corn
- 1 cup frozen organic carrots
- 1 1/2 cups organic chicken broth or stock
- 8 ounces Cabot Creamery Vermont Sharp or Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping:
- 6 large potatoes, peeled (I use Russet, but Yukon would work, too)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces Cabot Creamery Vermont Sharp or Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese, divided in half
For the topping:
Wash and peel potatoes. Chop into quarters and cook as desired. You can either cook them until fork-tender in a pot of boiling water, or cook them in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes.
*Make filling during while the potatoes cook.*
When cooked, remove potatoes to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and mash/mix until smooth, adding in broth as you go to get a creamy mashed potato.
Add in salt and cheese and mix again to combine.
Resist the urge to just eat the cheesy mashed potatoes as is…
For the filling:
*While the potatoes are cooking.*
Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil or avocado oil in a large skillet (I use my 12-inch cast iron) over medium heat. When the oil is hot add in onions and stir-fry until translucent.
Add in garlic and fry for a minute (you don’t want it to burn), then add in ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano and stir-fry until beef is cooked through.
*Preheat oven to 400.*
Add in veggies and stir to mix into beef mixture.
In liquid measuring cup, or bowl, whisk arrowroot powder with chicken broth. Pour into beef/veggie mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and bubbly.
Add in 4 ounces of cheese and stir until melted, then remove from heat.
Resist the urge to just eat the filling at this point in time…
If you cooked your filling in a cast iron skillet, dollop the mashed potatoes on top of the beef/veggie mixture and smooth down with a spoon.
If not using a cast iron skillet, remove beef/veggie mixture from whatever you cooked it in and place it in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Dollop with mashed potatoes and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are starting to get golden around the edges. (Please note your pie filling might bubble over, so it’s a good idea to have a cookie sheet or sheet of foil on the bottom rack of your oven to catch anything that might drip out.)
Remove the pie and sprinkle with remaining 4 ounces of cheese.
Turn oven to broil setting and bake again for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is golden and getting crusty.