Here’s how you can make an amazing shepherd’s pie all in your slow cooker



Shepherd’s pie enjoys a variety of interpretations, from the choice of meat—lamb for a traditional shepherd’s pie or beef for the cottage variant—to the array of vegetables that can range from a simple mix of peas and carrots to a more lavish selection including corn, mushrooms, and turnips. While some recipes lean towards a tomato-based sauce, I find a simple, savory gravy brings out the best in this dish. My take on this classic keeps it budget-friendly with ground beef and elevates it with the addition of fresh herbs, offering a taste of decadence.


Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe




2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered


3 teaspoons salt, divided


2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil


1 cup finely diced onion


2 pounds ground beef


2 bay leaves


½ teaspoon pepper


2 tablespoons cornstarch


2 tablespoons water


3 tablespoons tomato paste


1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


2 cups finely diced carrots


1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen


½ cup sour cream


3 tablespoons butter


1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley






Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender but not falling apart, then drain and transfer to a large bowl.


Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil before adding the onions, ground beef, bay leaves, pepper, and another teaspoon of salt. Cook until the beef is browned and fully cooked; then drain any excess grease and discard the bay leaves.


Transfer the beef mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker.


Create a slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir this into the slow cooker along with the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, carrots, and peas.


To the mashed potatoes, add the remaining teaspoon of salt, sour cream, butter, and parsley. Mash until well combined.


Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the beef mixture in the slow cooker.


Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours.


Allow the dish to cool and set for 15 minutes before serving directly from the slow cooker.


Pro Tip: This versatile recipe also works beautifully with alternative meats like turkey or lamb, and the potatoes can be swapped for other starchy vegetables like parsnips or sweet potatoes for a delightful twist.




This slow cooker version of shepherd’s pie not only simplifies the preparation process but also infuses the dish with deeply melded flavors, making it an easy yet impressive option for any day of the week