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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a simple, versatile shepherd's pie

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, and Pi Day just behind us, I found a common ground in both holidays: shepherd’s pie.

This feast is one of my favorites because it can be altered to fit the needs of any dinner guest. For a healthier option, sub in sweet potatoes, cauliflower mash, lentils or ground turkey.


Total time start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8

You’ll need:

  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled (or potato type of your choice)
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck (or meat-substitute of your choice)
  • 2 cups carrots, cooked
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 cups sweet corn
  • 2 1/2 cups beef gravy, either homemade or store bought
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 ounces cream cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and boil your potatoes. Or, if you’re like me and despise peeling potatoes, I recommend using the yellow potato variety and boiling with the skin on. The skin is so light it just adds a little extra texture to the mash.
  2. In a skillet, brown the beef while your potatoes are boiling. 
  3. Mix beef with vegetables, and add the gravy. If you don’t have an hour to spend making brown gravy from scratch, there is no shame in buying a jar from the store. I promise it will still taste delicious.
  4. Pour meat and vegetable mixture into a 9-by-13 pan.
  5. In a mixer, mash the potatoes and add the milk and butter. For extra creaminess, I added 4 ounces of cream cheese to my potatoes, but this is totally optional.
  6. Layer the mashed potatoes onto the beef and vegetables. Spread evenly.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potatoes.
  8. Bake in the oven at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese is melted and potatoes turn a golden brown.
  9. Serve warm.

I wouldn’t say this is a no fuss recipe, because it results in a lot of dishes. But the effort is well worth it for the rave reviews you’ll get from your family and friends at your St. Patrick’s Day party.

Follow Haley Church on Instagram @HaleyDrewChurch.

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