Dinner/ Recipes/ Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

overview of ground beef sheperd pie on a plate

You can’t find a better comfort food than this slow cooker shepherd’s pie! It’s super flavorful, easy to make, and doesn’t take much effort. When you make crock pot shepherd’s pie, the slow cooker does all the work too! The hardest part is smelling the shepherd’s pie ground beef recipe cooking and not being able to devour it.

Whether it’s a chilly fall evening or a hot summer day, this slow cooker ground beef recipe makes a great dinner. I forgot to mention; it’s completely kid-approved too! They will eat up every delicious bite.

spooned up sheperd's pie on a plate

What Is Shepherd’s Pie?

If you didn’t grow up eating shepherd’s pie, you have missed out! Shepherd’s pie is a dish that consists of ground beef, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. Shepherd’s pie is known as meat pie and was first made in Scotland. There are lots of varieties out there to choose from. I like my recipe because it can be made in the crockpot.

How To Make Shepherd’s Pie?

Don’t you just love practically effortless meals? I sure do, because life can be busy and hectic and I don’t always have time to be in the kitchen for a couple of hours. This slow cooker ground beef recipe is the perfect alternative to spending loads of time in the kitchen. Here are the easy steps:

First Step: Begin by sauteeing onion and ground beef in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook until hamburger is browned and onions are tender.

Second Step: Combine onions, ground meat, garlic, carrots, peas and corn, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch mustard seed, beef base, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker.

Third Step: Spread mashed potatoes over top and cover. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours sprinkle with cheese before serving.

That’s it! Can you believe that’s all you have to do to make this yummy slow cooker shepherd’s pie?

slow cooker sheperd's pie

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Recipe Variations

One thing that makes me happy about shepherd’s pie is that you can throw all kinds of things in it and it tastes great every time. If you had leftover veggies from another meal, you can add them in or use whatever you have on hand. Try some of these ideas:

  • Ground Lamb – Traditional recipes call for ground lamb instead of ground beef. Try it out because you are sure to be impressed!
  • Ground Turkey – If you have an aversion to ground beef or just love ground turkey, you can easily swap the beef for turkey. The flavor is just as good, and you won’t even realize it’s not hamburger.
  • Mushrooms – I love the earthy and hearty flavor of mushrooms. They are best when you sautee them in a little bit of olive oil then toss them in. So yummy!
  • Green Beans – Any style of green beans will be great, but I prefer canned french cut myself. Just add in as much or as little as you wish.
  • Sweet Paprika – Take this meal to a whole new level by adding in a teaspoon of sweet paprika to the meat mixture. It is so good and adds depth to the dish.
  • Fresh Herbs – It’s incredible how great food tastes when you add in some fresh herbs. Try thyme, basil, rosemary, or anything else that you enjoy.

overview of ground beef sheperd pie on a plate

Do You Have To Brown Meat Before Slow Cooking?

Yes, this is a huge YES. I know that it would seem possible to throw in raw ground beef and cook it for several hours and have a finished meal. Especially when you can cook an entire chunk of meat like a roast, but when it’s added to other ingredients, it just can’t brown up the way it should.

Now, you can cook hamburger by itself in the slow cooker if you wish. It will take 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low for it to brown up. If you make it this way, you will need to add 1 cup of water and stir it every hour or so. This will prevent sticking. This is an excellent idea if you are hosting a party or need a large amount of ground beef, but for day to day meals, it may not be practical.

How Do You Store Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie?

Allow the shepherd’s pie to completely cool after baking, then cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. After it’s wrapped up, you can toss it in the fridge for 3-5 days. You will know if it has gone bad because you will notice an odor when you take the cover off. Also, you may see a fair amount of liquid that forms on top, or it may be the opposite and completely dried out and flakey. Either way, it isn’t in it’s prime anymore and should be discarded. Another thing to look out for is mold. That is a visible sign it should be tossed, but can be overlooked occasionally and make you ill.

Can I Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, you can freeze this shepherd’s pie ground beef recipe pretty easily. Make sure it has adequately cooled then tightly wrap it in tin foil — place in a large airtight freezer container. You can also freeze individual servings if you are meal prepping too. This way, you will have an easy grab and go meal.

How To Reheat Crock Pot Shepherd’s Pie

You can reheat this slow cooker shepherd’s pie a couple of different ways. If you are looking for super fast, I recommend the microwave. Make sure it’s in a microwave safe bowl or on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Heat it in 1-minute increments, so it doesn’t get too hot.

To heat up the best shepherd’s pie recipe, cover it loosely with tin foil and heat in an oven that’s warmed to 350 degrees F. It will take around 30-45 minutes to heat all the way through. Keeping the aluminum foil on top with help keep the steam in and it will cook more evenly. Once it’s at the temperature you like, you can serve.

Check Out These Other Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

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  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups frozen peas and corn
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. beef base
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese



Saute onion and ground meat in a medium frying pan over medium heat until meat is browned and onions are tender. Combine onions, ground meat, garlic, carrots, peas and corn, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch mustard seed, beef base, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Spread mashed potatoes over top and cover. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Have you ever made shepherd’s pie in the slow cooker?

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