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Best Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Best Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This economical dish comes from a friend who was a whiz at pinching pennies without sacrificing hearty flavor.—Valerie Merrill, Topeka, Kansas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. YIELD:8-10 servings


  • 2-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups (8 to 12 ounces) sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (16 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional


  • 1. In a large bowl, mash potatoes with sour cream. Add salt and pepper; set aside. In a large skillet, cook beef with onion and red pepper until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Stir garlic salt into meat mixture. Stir in the soup, corn and milk.
  • 2. Spread meat mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes; drizzle with butter.
  • 3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. For additional browning, place under broiler for a few minutes. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 378 calories, 17g fat (9g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 626mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 21g protein.

Reviews for Best Shepherd's Pie

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swinny User ID: 1858482 246524
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2016

"I substituted Greek plain yogurt for the sour cream & also 1 lb of ground beef and 1 pound of ground turkey. Added 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots. Sprinkled top with parsley and Parmesan cheese. As other reviewer stated 1 T of worceshire sauce. Delish!!"

debpenns User ID: 5553562 233454
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2015

"OH MY!! for this shepherd's pie!! family loved it!! will cook again!!"

SarahKerr User ID: 8034178 18590
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2014

"I would recommend using less milk so that it does not become so soupy. The milk did not help thicken the soup. I even added additional vegetables like peas and carrots."

missylyons092911 User ID: 7990573 18978
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2014

"Loved it and so did my family

Thank you for this recipe"

cybrkitn User ID: 1087485 45135
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2014

"Great recipe! I made this for a small group study at church and it was almost gone before we knew it! They all loved it and went back for seconds and even thirds. I did tweak it a bit. I didn't have onions on hand so I substituted about a 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and mixed that into the chopped meat. I omitted the red pepper and the can of corn and used a can of mixed vegetables instead. However, the recipe says this feeds 8-10. I would say that one batch would probably feed more like 4 people. I had to double it and I'm glad I did. I will definitely make this again!"

Cao48138 User ID: 7607404 47016
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2014

"Received several compliments at our senior apartment potluck. Have fixed this easy recipe several times. Added 1 T Worcestershire Sauce, 1 C frozen peas, 1 C or three diced carrots. Do not add corn."

walkercadillac User ID: 7529843 15108
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2014

"It wasn't terrible, It just TERRIBLY lacked flavor. It was very bland. Like eating unflavored ground beef with unflavored mashed potatoes and unflavored vegetables. I even added fresh garlic and mushrooms, but it helped nothing. I will not make this again. Waste of money for the ingredients. We wasted half the 9X13" pie."

cheriinil User ID: 6339649 40877
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2014

"This is a really good recipe. Made it for friends that came for dinner & they loved it. Will be making this again"

finalboss User ID: 4644582 74213
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2014

"We love the heck out of this recipe! It comes together quick, makes plenty for leftovers, & tastes AMAZING! We even add a bit of cheese on top for extra yummy-ness. This is a regular in our household."

[email protected] User ID: 1289836 45096
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2013


judontmesswithme User ID: 7075186 17223
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2013 Edited Jan. 22, 2017

"I just want to update this - Many years after starting to make this, I am still in love with this recipe. It is my favorite recipe on this site and one of the reasons I still come to this website for ideas. It's versatile, so you can put just about any spices in it. I use red skinned mashed potatoes now, and any type of shredded cheese (mozzarella tastes awesome in this recipe). We make this every few weeks and it still tastes good as leftovers."

kk18917 User ID: 7110852 45076
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2013

"No stars popped up for me to rate, but I give it 5! I added 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water to the ground beef. I also added a 15 oz. can of Veg-All, drained. I've made this recipe since the Country Cooking book came out and it's still my family's favorite thing."

kathand29 User ID: 3567365 44469
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2013

"This is the best shepherd's pie I have ever made. I made a few changes and this will be a regular in our house. I did not use the sweet rep pepper or canned corn. Instead, I added 16ozs of frozen mixed veggies, putting them in the pan after draining the beef/onions. I also added about a teaspoon of worscestershire. When making my mashed potatoes, I added a tablespoon of horseradish and milk until it was creamy since I didn't have enough sour cream. I did not put the butter on top. Instead, I cooked for 25 minutes, then put a layer of shredded cheese on top and cooked for 5 minutes more. Delicious!"

AliCat430 User ID: 5845052 18587
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2013

"Never made a shepherd's pie before, but this was excellent! To speed things up, I used a package of instant mashed potatoes and it still turned out great. Perfect for a cold winter evening and also keeps very well. I halved the recipe and it worked fine. Will definitely make it again!"

AmeliaJane36 User ID: 6890355 74211
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2012

"Overall, it was very good! I used ground turkey instead of beef and used one cup each of both frozen corn and peas instead of the canned corn; the flavor and moisture were nice although I did feel like it was missing "something"...maybe an additional herb or spice? Will definitely hold on to this recipe."

mountainberrybutterfly User ID: 684083 17222
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2012

"Comfort food at it's best. I used leftover roast beef, and french green beans instead of corn. Also made the mashed potatoes flavored with garlic. It was wonderful!"

eddeewhite User ID: 6466759 18583
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2012

"FYI this is not a shepherd's pie...this is a cottage pie...Shepherd's pie has lamb not ground beef."

cookiemouse User ID: 3900007 20630
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2012

"We substituted brown gravy for the cream of mushroom soup and added a few drops of hot sauce. This dish has endless possibilities to change it up for individual tastes. We also brought it to a pot luck and everyone wanted the recipe."

nikalseyn User ID: 5917750 47014
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2012

"simple recipe, but the addition of cream of mushroom soup totally ruins it. We omitted the mushroom soup and substituted soy sauce for flavouring."

6foreverpaws User ID: 6007092 47012
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2012

"What a GREAT meal.......Loved it. easy to make and very tasty. Followed the directions as written, but instead of using a 13x9 baking dish I used 6 small baking dishes, what a great presention for dinner with homemade applesauce and dinner rolls. This is a keeper at my house!!!!!"

sharonanne2 User ID: 1348481 17215
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2012

"I might mention, the recipe I cooked my shredded beef can be found here:

Plus, I omited the garlic salt to the shepard's pie too. Yes (I know...) many changes, but I loved that the poster posted the original recipe.
That... with my additions, as I said... the results were just SPECTACULAR!!!"

sharonanne2 User ID: 1348481 18976
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2012

"Thanks for a great "base" recipe. Here's how I made this dish and it turned out SPECTACULAR!

I had some leftover roast beef, which I shredded and used instead of hamburger. (It tastes divine!)
I added some steamed green beans and diced carrots (in place of the corn).
I agree the red pepper is a GREAT addition.
To kick up the flavor I also added:
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon beef base baste (from Sam's Club)
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet gravy sauce
I also sprinkled Colby Jack cheese over top the mashed potatoes.
Again thanks again for posting the original recipe!"

auntiggy User ID: 2101141 18577
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2012

"My family loved this......even my picky eater son!!! I did also use instant potatoes, quick and easy! I have made it ahead of time and just popped it in the oven when we wanted to eat!"

sstetzel User ID: 158954 44462
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2012

"You can substitute any cream soup without issue.  I usually use Cream of Celery in place of Cream of Mushroom in a pinch but Cream of Onion would work nicely too."

ambercicatello User ID: 6562456 41934
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2012

"Is there a substitute for the cream of mushroom? I don't eat mushrooms but I really want to try this recipe."

NancyEL User ID: 465445 17214
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2012

"Have not made this yet but plan to. I would question what is in the potatoes that isn't in the recipe. From the photo it looks as if there is something green in the potatoes (broccoli?) as well as something yellow (cheese?) It would be nice if the photo matches the recipe instructions. If the extra ingredients are a variation, fine, but at least include them in the recipe."

lissylee User ID: 25977 17204
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2012

"my whole family loves this. The red pepper adds the perfect flavor, we use instant potatoes for a super quick meal, and like to make the frozen sweet corn instead of canned. We also cover the whole thing with potatoes and sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese. yum!"

TRID User ID: 4243284 18974
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2012

"Not much flavor."

joshlee06 User ID: 5939724 202119
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2011

"been making for couple of years now and love it every time!"

dmitch64 User ID: 3180008 44460
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2011

"Delicious in every way! I tripled the recipe to feed 30, made it the night before and threw it in the oven the next day. I used two cans of cream of mushroom and one can of cream of mushroom roasted garlic and cans of mixed vegetables because it was what I had in stock and it was GREAT! Will absolutely make again!"

1Heart4Jesus User ID: 2171354 202118
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

"This recipe is definitely a KEEPER! I was looking for a recipe that didn't call for "beef gravy" as I didn't have any beef stock on hand nor did I have any bottled or canned gravy. (Yuck!) The mushroom soup/milk was delicious and held the rest of the ingredients together very well without being too liquidy. I also added powdered garlic to the hamburger while it browned and added to the butter to the potatoes when I mashed them with the sour cream. Also, added a couple of chopped carrots for more color. Perfect winter dish!"

beltza User ID: 2199797 48068
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2010

"I've made this recipe several times. A favorite in our house!"

purple1984 User ID: 5092241 20529
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2010

"The first time I made this recipe for my boyfriend was over six months ago. We both love it and I cook this at least once a month. I like to add a few pickled jalapenos to the meat, it adds a nice little kick."

thekingsfive User ID: 1766534 48066
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2010

"This was fabulous! Me and my family just loved this. It's so good. If I was stuck on an island and I could only have one food it would be this."

kluesner5 User ID: 4518466 202117
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2009

"I have 3 sons and a very picky husband. They all love this recipe and ask for it often."

sunny61581 User ID: 3920905 18576
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2009

"My husband doesn't like casseroles, but he is the first back in line for this recipe! I used to throw away leftover mashed potatoes - not anymore! We all love this one!"

sonya graf User ID: 3678491 45044
Reviewed Mar. 11, 2009

"I never throwout a vegtable--I keep a large peanutbutter jar in my freezer and add leftover it after every meal. When the jar gets full its time to make shepherds pie or veg soup. Have a good hardie meal and doesn't cost much."

Dava User ID: 308364 44894
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2009

"I don't use sour cream at all,but I do add soy sauce."

abrimmer User ID: 3349314 47637
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2009

"kc... try plain yogurt in place of the sour cream. I prefer the Greek style because it's thicker."

kcfoxx User ID: 469024 45042
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2009

"We don't like sour cream, so what can I use instead?


Melb31 User ID: 931874 47625
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2009

"The Sour cream adds a nice touch to the potatoes. The recipe is a keeper."

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