Shepherd’s pie is a family favorite around here. Mama loves it because it’s so easy to make. Kiddos like it because it is so delicious! What to do when it’s super hot and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen to make it? Rev up the slow cooker, of course. Slow cooker shepherd’s pie is sure to become your favorite way to make it too!
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What is the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?
Technically shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb while cottage pie is made with ground beef. Here in the States, we make it with beef and call it shepherd’s pie regardless. We’re rebels like that!
Can you freeze shepherd’s pie?
Yes with a capital Y! I freeze it all the time as you can see here. Additionally, if you want to make this recipe freezable just freeze the bottom portion in a freezer bag and use whatever leftover mashed potatoes you have in your fridge or freezer.
What do you serve with shepherd’s pie?
I don’t serve anything but the shepherd’s pie in my house. It’s an all in one meal. You could serve carrot sticks or a salad if you want. Do what works for your family.
Gather all your ingredients together. Throw your onions and olive oil in the skillet and cook until softened. If you want to make slow cooker shepherd’s pie even easier, use your canned ground beef instead of browning it right now. That’s one of the reasons you canned it, right?
After the onions are all soft and translucent, throw everything else in the skillet EXCEPT the mashed potatoes and cheese. Mix it all together really well so the flavors marry and the ingredients are introduced to each other. Don’t be shy.
Pour mixture into the bottom of your large 8 qt slow cooker or divide equally into two smaller slow cookers. You know me. I’ll try to cram it all into one slow cooker all the way up to the brim. Yes and amen! Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. This all depends on when I get the slow cooker started. Some days I’m on my game right after lunch and some days it’s mid afternoon before I remember I have to feed these people again that day.
Remove the slow cooker lid after it’s done bubbling and brewing to add the mashed potatoes. You can make this step easier by either making the mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot or grabbing some from the freezer. What? You didn’t know you could freeze mashed potatoes? Oh yes, you can!
Large Family Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie RecipePrint
Does your family love Shepherd’s Pie but you don’t want to heat up the kitchen to make it? Grab your slow cooker and get the job done!
- 4 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (16 ounce) packages frozen peas and carrots
- 2 to 4 cups beef broth (depending on how saucy you like your shepherd’s pie)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 to 10 cups prepared mashed potatoes
- 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Prepare your large 8 qt or 2 smaller slow cooker liners with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onions. Cook the onions until softened and stir in garlic.
To the onions, add all ingredients EXCEPT the mashed potatoes and cheese. Stir together well. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker liner and spread evenly.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
Remove the slow cooker lid and add the mashed potatoes, spreading into an even layer. Top with cheese and recover the slow cooker until the cheese has melted.
Serve garnished with sliced green onions or alone.
You can freeze the bottom portion sans potatoes and cheese to make this recipe even easier.
Make sure the mashed potatoes are in an even layer then top with cheese. Put the lid back on until the. cheese is melted and bubbly. This means it’s time to serve dinner to your people and hear the cheers.