This Adorable Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Is So Easy, Anyone Can Make It

A Shepherd pie served for one person
Kirsten Nunez

When you are all about holiday cooking, St. Patrick's Day is the perfect chance to experiment with Irish recipes. But does that mean you need to dye every meal with green food coloring? No, thankfully. A hearty dish like the one made by this Shepherd's pie recipe for one person is a tasty, simple way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It's especially perfect if you want to spend St. Patrick's Day at home by yourself, but still want to feel festive — and not share your food. Plus, making a single serving is a resourceful way to avoid leftovers, as well avoid food waste that could result from it.

And according to Britannica, the original Shepherd's pie was invented as a way to put leftover meat to good use. It actually has its roots in Scotland and northern England, but it is often enjoyed with Irish foods during this time of the year. You can even make Shepherd's pie with Guinness beer. Now, that is what I call dedication.

Traditionally, this classic dish is made with beef or lamb. It's also known as "meat pie" or "cottage pie," depending who you are talking to, and what is in it. But in the interest of keeping things delicious and simple, don't worry about the specific details. Use whatever you have on hand, and have fun with it!

Shepherd's Pie For One

Kirsten Nunez
  • 4 to 5 ounces of ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 1/2 cup canned or frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried spices of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Yukon gold potato
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Wash, peel, and slice the potato into cubes.

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2. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add the potato and leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, warm the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion with half of the spices until the onion turns golden brown.

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4. Add the ground meat. Depending on the type of meat, required cooking time will vary.

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5. As the meat begins to cook, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and all of the veggies.

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6. Mix and add the flour.

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7. Add the broth and stir well. Leave to simmer for eight to 10 minutes, or until the liquid thickens up.

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8. Check the potatoes. If they're soft and tender, add them to a bowl with the remaining butter.

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9. With a fork, mash up the potatoes and mix well.

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10. Add the meat filling to a small greased oven-safe container.

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11. Spread the mashed potato over the meat filling. Use a fork to create an even layer.

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12. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potato layer turns a light golden brown.

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This is what dreams are made of, you guys.

Kirsten Nunez

It's the epitome of comfort food. Plus, I love how easy it is to customize. (Remember, the traditional version calls for beef or lamb, but I used turkey!) Here are some mouthwatering variations to get you started:


If you don't eat meat, feel free to use tofu or even "meat" crumbles.


Don't have Worcestershire sauce on hand? Use ketchup instead.

Fresh Vegetables

Of course, you can ditch the canned or frozen veggies for the fresh kind. Just be sure to use "hard" vegetables like beans, carrots, and peas.


Many Shepherd's pie recipes call for cheesy topping, like cheddar or Parmesan.

Gluten Free

Ditch the all-purpose flour and use your favorite gluten-free kind. Worcestershire sauce typically has gluten, so reach for gluten-free ketchup or tamari sauce.

Kirsten Nunez

Happy St. Patrick's Day, indeed.