Cheesy Beef Shepherd's Pie Topped with Potatoes | DFM

Cheesy Potato-Topped Beef and Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie


25 min.


50 min.

Serving Size

8 servings

This Milk Calendar classic gets a boost of extra seasoning and more vegetables!


  • 2 1/2 lb (1.25 Kgs) yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 6)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Canadian Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 2 lb (1 Kg) lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) barbecue sauce, divided (approx)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) frozen peas, corn or small-cut mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 13 x 9″ (3 L) glass baking dish.
2. In a pot, combine potatoes, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, and 6 cups (1.5 L) cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat 1 cup (250 mL) of milk in a measuring cup in the microwave or a saucepan over medium heat, just until steaming.
3. Drain potatoes well. Return to pot; mash with hot milk, half the cheese, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of each salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet over high heat, cook beef, garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning, breaking up beef with a spoon, for about 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; spoon off any fat. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture and stir to combine. Gradually stir the remaining milk and boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the barbecue sauce; return to a boil, breaking up tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, often stirring, for 10-15 minutes or until thick. Stir in vegetables and hot pepper sauce; season to taste with pepper and more of the barbecue sauce if desired.
5. Spread the beef mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the potatoes are golden. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Recipe and photo are provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada. For more recipe ideas, visit


  • Choose a thick, bold-flavoured barbecue sauce for the best flavour in this recipe.
  • You can prepare this Shepherd’s pie ahead.
  • Let potatoes and beef filling cool separately, then assemble in the baking dish.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Reheat, covered in foil, for 45-60 minutes until hot in the center, then uncover and bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and proceed with the recipe.
  • Replace barbecue sauce with 2 tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire sauce and/or use spicy or chili-flavoured stewed tomatoes in the filling.