Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Upside Down Shepherd’s Pie

Most of the time, I like to take recipes that are complicated or have a long prep/cook time and make them simple. Shepherd’s Pie is usually carefully layered and topped with a crust made out of mashed potatoes. 

Making the filling part usually isn’t too difficult, but trying to get the mashed potatoes to layer, without getting mixed in on accident, and cooking just right, is not so simple. 

That being said, while we were working on a meal plan and grocery list recently, Justin and I both said that a version of Shepherd’s Pie sounded delicious. It would also be a great way to use up some of the vegetables we had in the refrigerator. 

But, again, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle that can come with preparing a traditional shepherd’s pie. So, we flipped it upside down!

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

It was much easier to make the mashed potatoes be the base for the meal rather than the crust on top.

And, with how this is put together, the leftovers were a lot better. Instead of saving the entire thing, we could save the potatoes and the filling individually. This meant the starch of the potatoes didn’t get into the filling and the filling didn’t separate the potatoes. 

Overall, this was a very easy recipe to whip up for dinner one night, and didn’t take too long. 

You can always substitute other vegetables in, depending on your preferences and what you have on hand. 

Step by Step

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the oil and add the beef. Stir and cook until the beef has browned, usually about 7-10 minutes. 

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Meanwhile, cook the instant mashed potatoes according to the directions.

Drain the meat and return it to the pan. Then add the onion, celery, carrot, rosemary, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

In a separate bowl, whisk the beef broth and flour together. Pour the mixture into the pan and bring it to a boil. 

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the salt and pepper. 

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Divide the potatoes among 4 serving bowls and top with the beef mixture. 

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie
Upside Down Shepherd's Pie
Upside Down Shepherd's Pie
Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

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Upside Down Shepherd's Pie
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Upside Down Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: beef, potatoes, vegetable
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes


  • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the oil
  • Brown the ground beef, drain, then return to the pan
  • Meanwhile, prepare the mashed potatoes according to the directions
  • Add in the chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrot), rosemary, and minced garlic then cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk the beef broth with the flour
  • Add the broth mixture to the pan and bring to a boil
  • Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes
  • Stir in the salt and pepper
  • Divide the mashed potatoes among 4 serving bowls then top with the beef mixture
Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

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14 thoughts on “Upside Down Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have the patience, desire or skill set (it’s true!) to make a real Shepherd’s pie so this recipe is a total game changer. Thank you for making such a classic dish more approachable for us non-chef folks!

  2. I have done this many times due to time and patience, or admittedly because I forgot something. I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie and I make it when the eves are cool for my kids now. Perfectly warm autumn and winter dish. Yum!

  3. How revolutionary Stephanie! I love all kinds of pies and this looks so delicious! Again I will take your original idea and try to recreate it with vegan ingredients this weekend! I cannot wait!!

  4. I’ve never made Shepherd’s Pie before, but I had a roommate in college that did, so every time I hear about it, it makes me think of him. I like that it’s served on top of mashed potatoes.

  5. This looks great and it’s genius to take something that could be time consuming and simplify it yet keeping all the wonderful flavours.

  6. Shepherd’s pie is one of our favorites. This is an interesting twist of doing it upside down – not sure if my family would flip or not! haha

  7. I don’t eat meat but my kids would love this. They love when I make new recipes! I will have to consider making this for them.

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