Cottage Pie


In winter weather, there's nothing quite like making a homemade comfort meal. You know the kind of meal that sticks to your ribs, and leaves you unbuttoning the button or zipper of your high waist jeans. Those types of meals are called comfort for a reason, and while they're on the menu all the time, they taste as good as ever. Making this classic and comforting cottage pie is high on that comfort food list, and I can guarantee it's one of those classics that you'll love over and over again, and is so easy to assemble.

Have you even heard of cottage pie? Think of it as the cousin of Shepherd's pie. Traditionally, Shepherd's pie is made from ground Dorset lamb, and while I did not use lamb in this recipe, it's technically not considered Shepherd's pie, hence why it's called cottage pie. Cottage pie originates from both England and Ireland, where potatoes were easily accessible and inexpensive. Quickly, people realized how filling and sustainable a dish like cottage pie could be, and due to the fact that many families lived in cottages. You can read more about these origins here. When I say this recipe for cottage pie is easy, I MEAN it. Plus you have the option to make this entire thing in one skillet or in a baking dish. Either way, the end result will be delicious and comforting.

Because this recipe was a meal for the three of us in my home for a weeknight, I opted to make the filling on a separate skillet, pour into an oven-safe baking dish, and bake it off in there. Plus my baking dish came with a cover so I also didn't have to worry about transferring it to a different storage container so *win*! The mixture is as easy as pie (hah), you need the essential ingredients, mashed potatoes for the top, a little paprika seasoning to give the potatoes color, and bake it for 20 minutes. Before you know it, dinner is already served (and likely devoured).

Cottage Pie Ingredients:

  • Veggies: I really kept things pretty traditional here with corn, carrots, celery, and onion. If you desire, add in some peas. We didn't as I have a family member who has a disdain for peas.
  • Ground beef: I typically buy grass-fed ground beef, but feel free to buy whatever is accessible for you.
  • Thickening agent: I use tapioca or arrowroot here, but if you have cornstarch it will work just the same.
  • Water: this will help make the filling stick together and hold shape.
  • Mashed potatoes: You can make them from scratch or buy pre-made. Literally this recipe is meant to be easy so go with what works here!

Making the Mashed Potatoes:

  • In my opinion, the homemade mashed potatoes makes this dish. You'll start by peeling four large Yukon gold potatoes, slice them into quarters and place into a large pot of boiling water.
  • Boil the potatoes for approximately 35 minutes or until very fork tender. Once they are cooked through, use a slotted spatula or spoon to scoop the potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, whisk the potatoes until they are fully mashed. Add in the butter, cream or milk, and garlic powder. Mix until fully combined.  Add some salt and whisk again.

Words will never fully express my love for comfort food, especially cottage pie. Once you make this delicious recipe, you will know what I mean. I feel as though this is a beloved, yet underrated dish, and is sometimes overlooked because of the "extensive" amount of work needed, but the truth is, there is none! What I love about sharing recipes with my subscribers and my readers is making them accessible for anyone, and I know this one is perfect for you. Enjoy!

Cottage Pie

There aren't many tasty and deliciously comforting recipes quite like a shepherd's pie. In this instance, COTTAGE pie. A classic recipe made easy, accessible, and meal prep friendly for any home cook. Trust me, this one is a must!



For the Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp flour or thickening agent of choice (arrowroot, tapioca, cornstarch)
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated

For the mash potatoes

  • 4-5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and boiled until fork tender
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup milk or cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet or frying pan, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until fragrant and the onions become translucent.
  3. To the same pan, and in the ground beef and let it brown. Continue to cook the ground beef and add in the corn.
  4. Pour in the water and stir in the flour to thicken the meat mixture. Let simmer on low to thicken, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, prep the mashed potatoes and set aside.
  6. Once the filling is simmered and cooked, add a layer of mashed potatoes on top. Smooth out with a spatula.
  7. For the design, use the prongs of a fork to rake back and forth creating lines (zig zag, straight, wavy, etc.) or make waves with the spatula.
  8. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the mashed potatoes is a golden brown and slightly crisp. Serve immediately.

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