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French Onion Shepherd’s Pie

This hearty casserole has all of the rich flavor of the French onion soup my family loves. The cheese-topped mashed potatoes over the hearty combination of beef and onions make it ideal for an autumn dinner. It doubles and freezes easily, so make one for tonight, and one for the freezer.—Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or additional reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese


  • In a large skillet, saute onions in oil until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 35-40 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in flour and salt until well blended; cook 1 minute longer. Combine the broth, brandy, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in onions; heat through.
  • Transfer beef mixture to a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Spread with potatoes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. If desired, increase heat to 475° and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until top is golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 563 calories, 27g fat (11g saturated fat), 101mg cholesterol, 1150mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 34g protein.

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  • Kathy
    Sep 29, 2020

    My husband and I have fairly sophisticated tastes and we love highly seasoned food. I was a bit leery of this recipe, fearing it might be a bit bland and boring but have to say we absolutely LOVED it! It's the ultimate in comfort food. Don't change a thing. Thanks, Jennifer for submitting this incredibly delicious recipe!

  • JGa2595176
    Sep 23, 2020

    YUM! Thanks for posting. This was a win of a recipe. The whole family enjoyed. Loved the worcestershire sauce, I'd double that ingredient next time. Comforting dish.

  • bmarana
    Sep 17, 2020

    Just made tonight and thought it was wonderful! I cook all the time and am pretty picky. I did use half spicy brown mustard and half yellow mustard. I also added about 1/2 TBSP more of Worcestershire. I used Swiss & Gruyere combo cheese for the top. I will definitely make again, yummy!

  • Susan
    Sep 13, 2020

    This recipe was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I used "Bob Evans mashed potatoes" - therefore I only had 2 cups of mashed potatoes but found that was plenty.

  • Kenneth
    Sep 10, 2020

    Shepherds pie is made with lamb, not beef. If you use beef it’s a “”Cottage Pie”.

  • Aquarelle
    Jan 9, 2016

    I have not even completed the preparation of this dish and I already really like it! I sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar over the sliced onions to hasten the caramelization process, and I added half a bag of frozen "parrots and keys" (diced carrots and green peas) to the hamburger mixture just to give it a little color. Tomorrow I'll spread the mashed potatoes over the beef and sprinkle it all with the cheese and bake it. Grated Gouda was on sale so I got that instead of Swiss. I may change my mind after letting the beef layer sit in the fridge overnight, but I'm thinking now that the amounts of Worcestershire, brandy and mustard could be bumped up just a bit.