Traditional Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Traditional Shepherd's Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Traditional Shepherd's Pie Recipe

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Instead of using a pastry crust, this recipe creates a savory crust with mashed potatoes. The bacon flavor in the filling is fabulous! I think you and your family will love this pleasing pie.—Chris Eschweiler, Dallas, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:6-8 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 6-8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 5-1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes (prepared without milk and butter)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter, melted

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 288 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 100 mg cholesterol, 354 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 16 g protein.


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon, onion, garlic and oregano until bacon is crisp; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, olives and beef. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the mashed potatoes, eggs, butter, cilantro and salt. Spread half of the potato mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. Layer with beef mixture and remaining potato mixture.
  3. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Brush the pie with melted butter. Bake 10 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Shepherd's Pie in Taste of Home Ground Beef Cookbook 1999, p270

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Reviewed Aug. 28, 2012

"Plain tasting but my husband loved it."

Reviewed Aug. 31, 2011

"This actually makes up quite a bit- will need to cut it in half next time for just my husband and myself-Left out bacon, added a tablespoon of Heinz Chili Sauce to tomato sauce- and you will need the amt. posted or I think it would be too dry-Finally add some sharp shredded cheese to the top-makes the WOW!"

Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"Made this for the England - US Football game where we had at least three people from England with us - so it couldn't have had a better group to test with. The people from England loved it - and kept eating more and more of it. I personally found the dish to be fairly dry and would add more sauce. The Brits used their special HD sauce (almost like Heinz 57) - I tried the sauce and while it added some flavor - I would rather not have to add sauce after the fact.

I did make one change - and that is that for the potatoe topping, I put the topping into a cookie press and pressed the mashed potatoe onto the top. It made the pie look incrediblely fancy - and everyone was very impressed."

Reviewed May. 4, 2009

"I made this substituting mexicorn for the olives and parsley for the cilantro, as advised by FamilyCorner's comments. I also used a full 8oz can of tomato sauce, seemed too dry with just a half cup. Turned out really good, but next time I will skip the bacon and fry up the onion, oregano and garlic with the ground beef. I just didn't care for the bacon taste."

Reviewed Aug. 26, 2008

"Sheesh, sorry for all the comments! I just looked a little closer at the pictures, it's the same submitter (Chris E from Dallas) but the picture online has olives in it, my recipe card has corn. I can't imagine this recipe with cilantro and olives. It was very good with parsley and Mexicorn!"

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