Simple Shepherd’s Pie is a hearty, delicious dish that’s a comfort food classic!

Filled with meat, vegetables, potatoes, and baked in a savory sauce, this Simple Shepherd’s Pie is the family-style entrée for those busy days and chilly nights. But Shepherd’s Pie with tater tots is super easy! Skip the mashed potatoes and use tater tots—there’s less work, less clean up, and less oven cooking time. 

plated Shortcut Shepherd's Pie with pot full in the back

Simple Shepherd’s Pie


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Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots

We love this super easy recipe because it’s quick and convenient with just the right blend of meat to vegetables. It’s a true old-fashioned casserole dish that you’ll want to cook all year long. Instead of the mashed potato topping, we use frozen tater tots so there’s no need to make a separate batch of mashed potatoes. We love to serve Shepherd’s Pie with a side of Cheesy Bread and a crispy, bright Spinach Strawberry Salad.

ingredients to make Shortcut Shepherd's Pie in the pan

Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

MEAT & CHEESE – A classic Shepherd’s Pie AKA “Cottage Pie” is a peasant-style meat pie made from ground beef and topped with mashed potatoes. Our recipe includes ground beef and onion, and lots of melty cheese on the easy topping.

VEGETABLES & SAUCEIn our recipe, we added ready-made, defrosted vegetables and a tangy sauce from a can of condensed tomato soup (or optional condensed cream of mushroom).

TOPPING – We topped it with with melty cheddar cheese and finished it with crispy frozen tater tots instead of mashed potatoes. This is easy comfort food at its finest!


This recipe is great for using up leftovers, too!

  • Use cooked chicken or turkey, veggies, even pasta like rotini or penne. Simply mix it all into the saucepan, layer it into the casserole dish, cover with tots and cheese and bake. It’s a complete meal in one dish!
  • For a vegetarian version, eliminate the meat and add any extra veggies of your choice. We like broccoli and cauliflower florets, zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • We love to add a dollop of sour cream on the top and a sprinkle of chopped parsley for a colorful garnish!

process of layering Shortcut Shepherd's Pie

How Do You Make Shepherd’s Pie

This Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Cook beef and onion, drain the fat.
  2. Add soup, vegetables, and seasonings. Spread into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with tater tots.
  3. Bake until hot & bubbly.

Time Saving Tips

  • Once Shepherd’s Pie is baked, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving it.
  • There are a variety of “mixed frozen medley” vegetables in the freezer section of your local supermarket, no need to buy separate bags!
  • If making ahead for freezing, if making ahead, the vegetables do not need to be thawed.


  • Shepherd’s Pie is perfect for a make-ahead meal! Simply assemble the Pie and cover it with plastic wrap. Keep it refrigerated until ready to bake.
  • Freeze uncooked covered in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil with the date written on the top for up to 1 month.
  • To reheat from frozen, let the casserole thaw 8 hours in the refrigerator before baking. If you freeze your Shepherd’s Pie in a glass casserole dish, do not bake it from a frozen state as the immediate heat may cause the glass to shatter. 

taking a portion out of a Shortcut Shepherd's Pie

Other Easy Recipes To Try!

taking a portion out of a Shortcut Shepherd's Pie
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Shortcut Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie with tater tots is a hearty, delicious dish that’s super easy to make!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables defrosted
  • 10 ounces condensed tomato soup
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package tater tots frozen
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cook beef and onion over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in condensed soup, mixed vegetables and seasonings. Leave in oven safe skillet, or spread into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle ½ the cheese over meat mixture, top with tater tots and then remaining cheese.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.
5 from 13 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 603mg | Potassium: 837mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6536IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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