James Martin cottage pie recipe

(527 ratings)

James Martin cottage pie is a twist on the classic pie, using tinned ingredients to make it even easier to cook. This pie feeds four and makes a great family dinner.

James Martin cottage pie
  • healthy
  • healthy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories496 Kcal25%
Fat27 g39%

This James Martin cottage pie is simple and quick to make, using tinned ingredients top speed up the prep work. 

Unlike a traditional cottage pie, it's topped with a mix of regular potato and sweet potato, so it has a lovely vibrant orange colour as well as the distinct sweet taste. The filling is meat, but bulked up with a tin of vegetable hot pot to give it a dark, rich and tasty sauce. If you can't find hotpot, you can use a tin of chopped tomatoes mixed with some beef stock instead. This bake is ready in under and hour.


  • 250g minced beef
  • 400g can vegetable hot pot/stew
  • 300g can carrots, drained
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • A knob of butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper




  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the minced beef and cook until browned. Add the vegetable hot pot and carrots. Simmer for 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the two types of potatoes. Simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain, return to the pan and mash with the mustard, milk and butter.
  3. When the mince is cooked, check the seasoning and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Spread the mashed potato over the meat and sprinkle with the cheese. Place under a preheated grill for 5-10 mins or until the top is beginning to turn brown.

Top tip for making this James Martin cottage pie

The mustard in this recipe will spice up your mash, but if you're not to keen on mustard try replacing it with horseradish sauce.

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James Martin
Celebrity chef and TV presenter

James Martin is best known as the presenter of BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, which he hosted between 2006 and 2016. He's now the host of Saturday Morning with James Martin on ITV.  James started his formal training to become a chef at Scarborough Technical College in 1988 and went on to further his skills at Hostellerie De Plaisance, Saint-Émilion, and Maison Troisgros in France before joining Anthony Worrall Thompson's 'One Ninety Queen's Gate restaurant in London. 

He became head chef at just 22 when he joined Hotel Du Vin and went on to work in some of the best restaurants in London including Harvey’s in Wandsworth, The Square in Mayfair and Alastair Little in Soho. James Martin has been on our TV screen for over 20 years,  hosting Saturday Kitchen, as well as making appearances on Ready Steady Cook, and The Great British Menu and is a regular on This Morning.  He enjoys cooking for his family and making dishes that are delicious and simple recipes that anyone can follow.