Easy cottage pie recipe with hearty ground beef, mixed veggies & creamy mashed potatoes. The perfect comfort food.
There’s one casserole that Matt requests when fall rolls around. It’s our delicious cottage pie, a classic comfort food that is packed with ground beef and veggies, then topped off with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes.
It’s not surprising how much he loves this comforting casserole, and you’ll love it, too! This recipe takes about an hour, but I’ll give you hints for making it in advance and shortcuts to make it quickly.
About this Cottage Pie Recipe:
Flavor: The beef is savory and flavorful, and is cooked with onions, garlic, and seasonings. The potatoes on top add a comforting buttery flavor that pairs well with the meat filling.
Texture: The vegetables add a slight crunch to the filling, breaking up the richness of the beef. The potatoes are creamy and smooth.
Method: The cottage pie casserole bakes in a 9″ deep dish pie plate. You can also use a 9″ square baking dish.
What is cottage pie?
Cottage pie is a traditional British dish consisting of a ground beef and vegetable filling seasoned with herbs and sauces. This rich beef mixture is then topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes with cheese sprinkled on top.
It is similar to shepherd’s pie, however shepherd’s pie is Irish and uses lamb instead of beef. It’s also similar to Cumberland pie.
Cottage Pie Ingredients
Ground beef is traditional, but ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken works just as well.
This has simple seasonings of garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Worcestershire sauce adds a tangy richness. Don’t skip it!
This is a great recipe to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Or you can use store bought mash potatoes such as Bob Evans brand.
How to Make Cottage Pie
In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
Add the diced carrots, corn, frozen peas, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper to the skillet; Stir.
Pour in the beef broth and tomato paste and stir everything together until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture and spread them evenly.
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the mashed potatoes. Bake the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Make Ahead Instructions
Freezing cottage pie is a convenient way to have a ready-to-bake meal on hand for busy days or unexpected guests.
Prepare and Assemble: Follow the recipe to create the beef and vegetable filling and the mashed potato topping. Assemble the pie in a freezer-safe casserole dish or a disposable aluminum baking pan.
Cool Before Freezing: Ensure the filling is completely cooled before you add the mashed potato topping. This prevents excess moisture from being trapped, which could lead to a soggy pie when baked.
Wrap and Seal: Cover the pie with a layer of plastic wrap, pressing it down to remove any air pockets. Then, cover with aluminum foil. This double layer helps prevent freezer burn.
Label: Don’t forget to label the pie with the date and contents. Unbaked cottage pie can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Baking from Frozen: Preheat your oven. Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake the pie for a longer duration than your original recipe, adding up to 60 minutes if needed. Halfway through, you can remove the foil to allow the mashed potato topping to brown. Make sure the center is piping hot before serving.
Thawing Option: If you prefer, you can also thaw the pie in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to baking. This will reduce the baking time closer to the original recipe.
Make it a meal.
Cottage pie is a hearty dish on its own, but pairing it with side dishes can create a well-rounded meal. Here are some ideas on what to serve with cottage pie:
In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease. 1 pound ground beef, 1 onion
Add the diced carrots, corn, frozen peas, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper to the skillet; Stir. 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pour in the beef broth and tomato paste and stir everything together until well combined. 1 cup beef broth, 2 tablespoons tomato paste
Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Spread the beef mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch deep pie dish or square baking pan.
Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture and spread them evenly. 3 cups prepared mashed potatoes
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the mashed potatoes. ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the casserole making 6 servings, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the casserole. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**