Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
This easy 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
This Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
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:
- Guinness Stew features tender beef, potatoes, and carrots in a rich, beer-infused broth—on the table in under an hour.
- Corned Beef and Cabbage is another classic St. Patrick’s Day recipe that’s welcome all year long.
- American Chop Suey (Beefaroni) with ground beef and pasta is a fast and kid-approved weeknight dish.
- 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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Instant Pot Shepherd’s pie can be made with ground beef or lamb, vegetables, and topped with crispy mashed potatoes for the perfect comfort food recipe.
- 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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Commercial pot pies are mostly crust with little filling. This looks like the opposite – lots of filling and the pot pie looks delicious.
This is delicious – going to ne a favourite!
This is a very simple way of making a yummy dish for St Paddy’s Day. What kind of potatoes work best for this recipe? Will red or white skin work or should I use baking (RUSSET) potatoes?
Thanks Jan! Russets or Yukon Gold are your best choice. I haven’t tried it with red or white skin potatoes. Let me know if you give it a try.
I’m the same. Never made a shepherd’s pie in my IP. AndI never used lamb. I will now. My granddaughter is visiting soon and she’ll love it. I’m on a diet for another 10 days so I’ll really look forward to this. Thank you.
How fun to spend time with your granddaughter. Enjoy!
Hi! Is it possible to cook this entirely in the pressure cooker? I don’t have an oven
Hi Laura – the potatoes don’t have to be browned, you can serve the mashed potatoes on top of the filling without browning. You could also use a CrispLid to brown the top https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/mealthy-crisplid-air-fryer-lid-for-electric-pressure-cooker/
I read a tip in your cookbook today (it was in a taco recipe) about how you can cook ground beef from frozen. I had forgotten to thaw the ground beef (again), and I decided to combine techniques on this recipe. I put one cup of water and the frozen square of meat (it was one of the 1 1/3 pound rectangular packs of ground beef from Costco) in the bottom of the pot. Then I put a stacking rack and I set my steamer basket on top of that. I put my potatoes, cut into quarters, in the steamer basket. Sealed it up for 5 minutes on high pressure. I quick released and then took out the steamer basket of potatoes. I turned on saute mode and used a spatula to break up the ground beef, added the onions (I didn’t have any carrots) and finished browning the meat and cooked the onions. This only took like 3 minutes. Then I picked up with your recipe basically where you add the garlic. Cooking ground beef this way is GENIUS, and I am going to do it a lot now, not just for this recipe. I love your cookbook, and I get great ideas from it every day. You are my cooking hero.
So fun that you used a tip from the cookbook in this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing how to make this recipe with frozen meat. So smart 🙂
My son in law has been wanting me to make Shepherds Pie for him for some time. I have never had it nor made it. Made this recipe this evening and it was a big hit with everyone! Thank you!
Thanks Denise! So nice to hear it was a hit 🙂
Just FYI….Shepherds Pie is indeed made from lamb, but if made from beef it is Cottage Pie. I’m a Brit living in the US for the last 32 years….we mostly had Cottage Pie when I was growing up.
I can’t wait to try this recipe but what I’m really commenting on is the store! I didn’t realize you were in Utah! My friend from High School owns that store (now called Urban Farm and Feed and moved to Sandy) and started the Wasatch Front Farmer’s market!
Hi Danielle – it’s a small world. Thanks for letting me know the store had moved. I didn’t realize that. Now it’s even closer to me. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks! Enjoy the pie 🙂
My Scottish grandmother was ahead of her time. She regularly made Cottage Pie, but omitted topping the pie with the potatoes. She simply served the potatoes and then the meat and veg filling was spooned on top. Today you would call it “deconstructed” Cottage Pie. It is delicious. Save yourself a step and try it her way. Also the leftovers are great because the potato and beef mixtures are kept separate. She also added sauteed mushrooms to hers which stretches the beef out a bit and adds great flavor.
Sounds like a great way to serve it. Thanks for sharing Lisa!
Danielle every pressure cooking blogger is in Utah. I’m exaggerating but there are a number of pressure cooking bloggers in Utah. I think it’s something in the water :-).
I have grown up eating Shepherd’s Pie back home (England) and love it, I tried it in the IP tonight and it is amazing how much flavor the IP keeps in the meat. We loved it! Thank you for making a dish we love even better and now not just a ‘weekend’ meal.
Love all of your recipe’s that I have tried so far!
Hi Kim – thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I’m glad this recipe brought back fond memories.
If you want to make this proper – my husband English – there is a key ingredient missing that will give your shepherd’s pie a whole new dimension- Worchestershire Sauce….just a few squirts out of the bottle and it really is a nice flavor – do it while browning your lamb. A little red wine is nice too!
I tried it with the Worchestershire Sauce and loved it! Thanks for the suggestion.
I just added a couple of splashed of worcheshire (or however it spelled) sauce.
I love how fast and no mess it is with the IP.
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Great recipe. I didn’t have any lamb so substituted ground beef, red onions and everything else the same. This was my first attempt at Sheperds Pie, and it was fantastic. It will be a comfort food favorite at our house.
I must add that I always enjoy the stories that come with your recipes!
Thanks Jerry! I think you’re the first one who’s said they also enjoy the stories. So glad you loved the shepherds pie too. I appreciate you taking the time to try my recipes and leave comments and feedback. Have a wonderful new year.
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A couple of months ago I had Shepherd’s Pie at a restaurant in Seattle called The Cheesecake Factory. I couldn’t believe how good it was. Naturally I put that on my list to make at home. Your version is heads above as far
as presentation. I do not have a pressure cooker, but I do not see that as a problem as you pointed out.
When I was starting my site Wild Goose Tea, which took forever—-day job interference–laughing—-yours
was the first food blog that I made myself remember so that I could go back to it. That was 2 or 3 yrs ago.
And now that I have visited a lot of other food blogs, yours remains at the top of my favorite’s list.
Hi Carol – what a sweet comment. I’m so glad I could inspire you.
I make Shepherd’s Pie occasionally, but have never made it in the pressure cooker.
I’m going to try this recipe next time!
Thanks for the heads up regarding Wasatch Front Farmer’s Market. I’ll check it out!
what type of pressure cooker do you use? Please email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Linda – Here’s a link to my Frequently Asked Questions section that has the info on the pressure cookers I use. https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/faq/ Thanks!
I love shepherds pie. My mom used to make it so I have a lot of great childhood memories of that dish. Yours is absolutely beautiful.
My fingers got click-happy…meant to say “Beautiful!” I’ve been so hungry for cheesy mashed potatoes, this looks wonderful to me. Pretty pics!
Wow. Shepherd’s Pie in the pressure cooker! I would have never thought of it but it makes so much sense.
I saw this recipe on another pressure cooking blog last year – they also steamed the potatoes over the filling.
That’s an interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.
This looks yummy and easy. Can’t wIt to make it this weekend.
I want THIS for Easter dinner!
Well now, I’ve made my share of Shepherd’s Pie (not in the pressure cooker) and mine NEVER looked as pretty as yours does, Barbara. That piped potato topper make that pie look so pretty…almost too pretty to eat. 😉
It sounds like there were some VERY happy-and full-tummies after eating that delicious pie……..especially Mitch’s! I bet he too is counting the days until you make this one again.