Skip to Content

Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Sharing is caring!

Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie (Cottage Pie) is delicious ground beef dish that is dairy free and without Worcestershire sauce.

Really Easy Shepherd's Pie (cottage pie) in a clear glass rectangular casserole dish on a white wood table

Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie is a simple version of the delicious dish and since it doesn’t contain Worcestershire sauce, it can be kosher too!

Unless one uses a vegan version, the pie will normally include Worcestershire sauce, which includes fish. Since kosher meals do not allow the consumption of meat and fish at the same time, Worcestershire sauce would render the dish not kosher.

However, Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie uses soy sauce in lieu of the Worcestershire sauce.

While the popular name for this dish is Shepherd’s Pie, it is actually called that when it contains lamb or mutton (from adult sheep) and is called Cottage Pie when it contains beef.

There seems to be some dispute where the dish originated; Ireland or Britain and probably during the 18th century.

There does seem to be agreement on the idea that the original was made with leftovers (from Sunday dinner?), because people were poor and had to be frugal and this way food didn’t go to waste.

While Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie contains carrots, I personally do not like cooked carrots (and hate having to pick them out), so I don’t put them in when I make this dish.

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

Everyday pantry essentials (suggested)

As I learned to prepare more and more recipes, I also learned which basics and seasonings are good to have on hand to have the ability to make a dish on short notice and not have to run out to the store or borrow from a neighbor.

While I will admit that I am not always prepared when one of my kids will ask for eggplant parmesan or lasagna at the drop of a hat (which they have done), I dislike having to postpone making something just because the ingredients needed to make a reasonable meal were not readily available.

So, I maintain selection of what I consider “pantry essentials” in my refrigerator and on my shelves at all times.

Initially, many of the herbs and spices were useful to me only on occasion (having been purchased for a particular recipe) and I usually just had them around as leftovers. However, as I began to cook more of a variety, I was really glad to have them (hey, look, I already have that !) and that is how my list began.

While, of course, most of the essentials will not be needed just for any one recipe, at least some of them are needed for most recipes, and you would be surprised how many recipes be made just with this list. So, if you keep whatever you use regularly on hand, it can really save you time and effort.

Everyone has their favorite recipes, preferred seasoning, and just whatever they like to use to cook. Your own list should certainly reflect your own cooking tastes and style.

Just to give you an idea, the list below is a comprehensive list of what I normally keep on hand (this does not necessarily include what I keep for baking and there may be some overlap between the two lists as some items are used for both, such a brown sugar) and, of course, it reflects the meals and desserts that I like to make for my own family and guests.

Seasoning and flavoring:

  • salt (my receipes use regular table salt)
  • ground black or white pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder (I prefer granulated)
  • onion powder
  • sweet paprika and/or sweet pepper flakes (paprika is ground dried red pepper, pepper flakes are crushed dried red pepper)
  • hot paprika, hot pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper (moderately spicy dried ground chili pepper) for those occasional spicy dishes
  • ground turmeric
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground Cloves (for pumpkin flavors)
  • sugar (granulated)
  • brown sugar
  • chicken consomme powder / beef bullion powder (regular or vegetarian)
  • onion soup mix
  • onion flakes (substitute for fresh onion – 3 tablespoons for 1 medium onion).
  • various herbs
  • additional spices to adapt taste to preference


  • oil / margarine / butter / cooking spray
  • coconut cream as a dairy free cream substitute
  • corn starch as a thickening agent
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • bread crumbs or Corn Flake crumbs (you can make these with your blender or food processor) for coating
  • condiments – such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce
  • tomato sauce/tomato paste/canned tomatoes – diced or crushed/pasta sauce
  • soy sauce
  • ready made pie crusts and dough (to just add filling)

We always have eggs in the fridge and onions, rice, and potatoes on our shelves as well as pasta.

In addition, having some fresh vegetables in the fridge, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, green, etc), etc. can be very useful when putting together a quick, but delicious meal.

It is also a good idea to have some ground meat or chicken (breast, ground, or in parts), in the freezer for anyone who likes meat dishes in a snap.

Weather can have an affect on some of the spices and on the chicken consommé powder, so I keep as many of the seasonings in the refrigerator or freezer as I can and I keep everything tightly closed in containers (you will be surprised to know just how determined moths are at getting into sealed bags and how hot red pepper powder can attract little black bugs – YUCK!).

Therefore, store your items well.

Why are these pantry essentials beneficial to have on hand?

Personally, having the above ingredients in my kitchen is very advantageous, as I make a variety of dishes and use most of the items on the list regularly enough to warrant storing them. However, I do not store items for dishes that I make seasonally or only on rare occasions or those that spoil easily.

Whether or not it is workable for you depends on your cooking style, the space you have to store, and whether or not you mind running out to the store as needed. Of course, the more you cook and the more varied your recipes, the more you will use, and the more you will need.

Additional information

Besides being delicious, Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie has quite a few benefits; some for the beef and some for the potatoes.

Want to try other delicious dairy free ground beef dishes? Try: Easy Stuffed Cabbage or Very Easy Stuffed Peppers.

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Really Easy Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie (cottage pie) in a clear glass rectangular casserole dish on a white wood table

Delicious cottage pie (made from ground beef), without milk or Worcestershire sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 pound kosher ground beef (or kosher ground lamb) *
  • 2 pounds potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces chopped carrot (1 can diced carrots, drained or 2-3 medium carrots), optional
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, kosher
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste, kosher
  • 1 tablespoon oil, kosher
  • Large splash soy sauce, kosher
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or chicken broth (or 1/2 cup water + 2 teaspoons beef bullion or chicken consommé powder), kosher


    1. Heat oil in a sauté pan on a medium heat.
    2. Add onion and carrots and cook until tender, mixing occasionally.
    3. Add ground beef or lamb and crumble or mash so there are no chunks.
    4. Cook until brown. If there is excess fat, pour out.
    5. Add tomato paste and the splash of soy sauce and mix well.
    6. Pour in beef stock (or water and beef or chicken consomme powder) and mix well.
    7. Pour mixture into a baking pan or oven safe casserole dish.
    8. Add the mayonnaise to the mashed potatoes (from the ingredient list) and mix well.
    9. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat mixture.
    10. Ruffle the potatoes with a fork (optional) and place the pan or dish in an oven that has been preheated to 350°F.
    11. Bake for around 30 - 40 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown a little and the meat mixture is bubbling up through the sides.


* Shepherd's pie is made with lamb or mutton, cottage pie is made with beef.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 19g

Sharing is caring!

Skip to Recipe