This easy Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie has creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes swirled on top of a rich, flavorful base of ground lamb or beef and vegetables.
This is always a crowd-pleasing recipe. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s day, but it’s too tasty to save just for special occasions!
This shepherd’s pie recipe easy enough to make anytime!
Update: I’ve updated this post with new photos and pressure cooking instructions for easy shepherd’s pie. I hope you and your family enjoy it!
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie in an Instant Pot
I first made this easy shepherd’s pie for my sons’ friend Mitch. He always loves my food, and shepherd’s pie is one of his favorite homemade dishes. It always makes me smile to make this recipe.
Traditionally, shepherd’s pie contains ground lamb. However, you can easily make this recipe with ground beef. On weeknights, I typically use beef. But when I feel like making a fancier dinner, I love buying lamb.
(If you’re local to Utah, I buy from Morgan Valley Lamb at the Wasatch Front Farmers Market.
You’ll need cooked potatoes to make this recipe in the Instant Pot. These days, I rarely cook potatoes on the stove. The pressure cooks them better and faster. The recipe includes my instructions to make fast steamed potatoes that mash up perfectly.
You can also make your potatoes ahead of time, if you prefer.
How to Get a Crisp Topping on Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
We love the look and the crisp edges you get from piping the potatoes on top of this pie. With a piping bag, it doesn’t add a ton of time.
Of course, you can just as easily spoon on the potatoes. If you make some nice curves with your spoon or spatula, you’ll get some crispy edges.
Also, the pie doesn’t have to be browned in the oven. If you’re less worried about presentation, an air fryer lid will also crisp up the potatoes on your shepherd’s pie beautifully.
For the photo below, I used my kitchen torch to give the inner piped edges a bit more definition.
Cooking Shepherd’s Pie with Frozen Meat
One helpful reader, Ashley, left us a great tip about how to cook Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie with frozen beef. She used the trick from our Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook that we use for tacos.
If you forget to thaw the ground beef or lamb, you can still make one-pot shepherd’s pie quite easily. Here’s how to do it:
- Place the meat in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot along with one cup of water.
- Place a trivet on top of the meat. Put your potatoes (cut into quarters) in a steamer basket and set it on top of the trivet.
- Cover and lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and a 5 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and do a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the steamer basket with the potatoes from the pressure cooker pot.
- Select Sauté, add the onions and carrots, and cook the ground beef, breaking it up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
- From here, you can pick up the recipe as written, starting where we add the garlic in step 1.
Thanks again, Ashley, for this smart, time-saving tip for cooking the potatoes and frozen ground beef at the same time!
More Hearty Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
This Instant Pot Shepherd’s pie is too delicious to only eat on Saint Patrick’s Day, much like these other comforting recipes to try:
- American Chop Suey (Beefaroni) with ground beef and pasta is a fast and kid-approved weeknight dish.
- Corned Beef and Cabbage is another classic St. Patrick’s Day recipe that’s welcome all year long.
- Instant Pot Turkey and Dumplings from 365 Days of Crockpot is a hearty, protein-rich stew with veggies and fluffy dumplings.
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- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 pounds ground lamb, or ground meat of choice
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoon cold water
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cup cheddar cheese or cheese of choice
Cook the Shepherd's Pie filling
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole or 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
- Select Sauté and add the oil to the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the onion and carrots and sauté until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add ground meat and brown, breaking the meat apart as it cooks. Drain grease from the meat.
- Add the beef stock, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cover and lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 3 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, whisking until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pressure cooking pot. Select Sauté and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After the sauce thickens, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add the parsley, corn and peas to the meat mixture.
- Pour the meat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish or pie plate.
Make the Potatoes
- Rinse out the pressure cooking pot. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket or on metal trivet in the pressure cooking pot. Add 1 cup water.
- Cover and lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. Drain the potatoes. Put drained potatoes into a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher. Stir in milk, butter, salt and pepper, and grated cheese.
Assemble the Shepherd's Pie
- Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat mixture right to the edges. If desired, use a pastry bag with a large star tip to create a decorative topping with the mashed potatoes.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.
When I'm piping these, I like to make the potatoes ahead of time, so they've cooled and I can more comfortably use the piping bag to pipe swirls onto the top.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 731Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 45g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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