Easy cottage pie recipe

(4374 ratings)

Packed with tender minced beef, rich tomatoes, and an indulgent creamy mash, this classic cottage pie recipe is a family favourite...

cottage pie recipe
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories570 Kcal29%
Sugar7 g8%
Fat30 g43%
Saturated Fat13 g65%
Salt2.2 g
Protein42 g84%
Carbohydrates33 g13%
Salt2.2 g

A hearty meal that the whole family can enjoy together. This easy cottage pie recipe serves four.

This comforting cottage pie is packed with the goodness of onions, carrots, chestnut mushrooms, tomatoes, mince and a big dash of Worcestershire sauce for an extra kick of flavour. Rich in protein and vegetables, this recipe makes for a wholesome, satisfying meal ready in just 50 minutes. This easy cottage pie recipe is an ideal meal for batch cooking.


  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 med onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 500g minced beef
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 level tbsp plain flour
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 450g mashed potato
  • Knob of butter




  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan or large frying pan, add the onion and carrots and cook over medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have started to soften. 
  2. Add the beef to the pan and cook for about 5-10 mins, stirring to break up the meat, until it browns. Once the meat is crumbly, stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking and burning, but don’t keep stirring it, otherwise, it just cools the mixture, rather than letting the meat brown. 
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a few mins.
  4. Sprinkle over the flour, then mix it in well and heat for 3-4 mins to cook the flour. The flour will absorb the fat that comes out of the meat, which will then thicken the sauce.
  5. Pour in the can of tomatoes, sprinkle in the stock cube, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continually, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 mins, until it thickens slightly and the vegetables are tender. If the sauce seems very thick, just add a little boiling water.
  6. Set oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  7. Stir the Worcestershire sauce into mince, then spoon into a dish and level the surface.
  8. Beat the potato to soften it and spread over the mince. Score the surface with a fork and put butter on top.
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20-30 mins, or until the pie is golden and the filling is bubbling. For a crisp, golden finish, sprinkle your cottage pie with lashings of cheddar cheese and pop it under the grill for a few minutes longer. Serve straight from the oven.

Watch how to make easy cottage pie 

Top tips for making easy cottage pie recipe

If you want to give this cottage pie a twist you could swap classic potatoes for sweet potatoes instead. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber as well as being a good source of vitamin B and C.

You could also swap the meat for a vegetarian cottage pie (opens in new tab) using Quorn mince or doubling the amount of veg used to make a vegetable-based cottage pie instead.

How do you store leftover cottage pie?

Leftovers, once cooled, can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. You can also freeze leftovers either in portions or as a whole meal which will last about three months in the freezer.

Make sure you leave plenty of time for defrosting. To defrost thoroughly leave in the fridge overnight. Make sure the cottage pie is completely defrosted before reheating again. You can reheat in the oven using the same temperature and cooking times.

What can you serve with cottage pie?

Cottage pie is such a hearty meal you don’t have to serve it with anything if you’re happy with just the pie, however, if you’re looking for a side, a steaming bowl of freshly cooked greens is a good choice. Opt for Tenderstem broccoli, runner beans, and spinach griddled in a little butter and seasoned.

If you’re serving cottage pie in the summer months you might opt for a lighter side of a freshly prepared salad. Some people also serve bread and butter with their cottage pie to mop up leftover juices from the pies' gravy.

What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

The main difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie is the meat. Cottage pie is traditionally made with minced beef, whereas shepherd’s pie is made with minced lamb.

Both are made with minced meat, packed with veggies like onions and carrots and both are topped with mashed potato and a sprinkling of cheese.

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Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.