Five-a-day cottage pie recipe

(77 ratings)

This five-a-day cottage pie is the classic comfort meal but made so much better with five different portions of vegetables hidden under the mash.

Five-a-day cottage pie with portion cut out
(Image credit: Getty / Angelika Heine)
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 35 mins
Total Time2 hours 5 mins
Cost RangeCheap

This five-a-day cottage pie is the perfect weekend meal for the family - a classic comfort dish packed with hidden vegetables in a delicious meaty sauce.

Cottage pies are always a good place to hide extra vegetables - you can toss a handful of frozen peas or chopped leeks into almost any potato-topped pie. But this version takes it to the next level. You can blend the vegetables right down so even picky eaters should be happy, or leave them with a bit more texture. This recipe was created by our mummy blogger Anneliese, so it's sure to be a success with the whole family, and you can feel smug about achieving their five-a-day.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 250g carrot (approximately 2 large carrots)
  • 250g courgette (approximately 1 large courgette)
  • 2 medium red peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 x 490g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 pint of beef or vegetable stock
  • 800g potatoes
  • 250g parsnips (approximately 2 large parsnips)
  • 10-15g butter
  • 4-6 tbsp milk




  1. First of all prepare your vegetables. Make sure your food processer is ready for action with the blade attachment already fitted.
  2. Peel the carrots and onions, slice into chunks and then tip into your food processor. Slice the red pepper and courgette into chunks and add to the food processor.
  3. Now it's time to put the lid on the food processor and to blend the vegetables together. You can leave some texture to the vegetables or you can blend into a purée; it's up to you. Place the blended vegetables to one side for a moment.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or deep casserole dish. When the oil is hot, tip in the minced beef and fry over a medium to high heat until all the meat is browned.
  5. Tip the prepared vegetables in to join the sizzling meat and continue to cook for a few minutes, but on a medium heat.
  6. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, measure in the tomato purée, dried oregano and sugar and stir to combine.
  7. Make up the stock with fresh boiled water. Pour ¾ pint of the stock into the minced beef mixture and reserve the remaining stock. You may or may not need to use it, but keep it to hand, in case the mixture becomes dry as it bubbles away on the hob.
  8. Leave the minced beef mixture to simmer for around 30 – 40 minutes, meanwhile prepare the mash.
  9. Peel your potatoes and parsnips and chop into chunks.
  10. Place into a saucepan of water, put the lid on and bring the water up to a rolling boil. Cook the potatoes and parsnips until tender which should take approximately 20 – 25 minutes.
  11. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  12. Drain the water from the potatoes and parsnips. Add the butter and milk to the saucepan and mash the potatoes and parsnips.
  13. Transfer the meaty bolognaise to an oven proof dish. Top with the mash and place into the preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes, until the topping is crisp and slightly golden on top.

Top tip for making five-a-day cottage pie

If you have any leftovers pop them into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Make sure you reheat thoroughly before serving.

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Anneliese Giggins
Freelance food writer

Author, writer and Mum of three, Anneliese Giggins has been creating recipes for for the past 9 years. She has also created food-related content for household names such as Daily Mail, Daily Express and Her most successful to date was how to feed a family of 4 on £20 a week