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Gluten-Free Shepherds Pie

This gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie is easy to make and will leave the whole family happy. With just a few simple steps you’ll have dinner on the table, and leftovers for lunches. Should you double this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe, you’ll have an extra dinner in the freezer to pull from when you need an extra hand at dinner time.

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe​ - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian

What is Shepherd's Pie and is it Gluten-Free?

According to Wikipedia, Shepherd’s Pie is a savory pie made with ground meat with mashed potatoes on top. It’s traditional to the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it’s also referred to as Cottage Pie.

Cottage pie and Shepherd’s Pie are not always gluten-free. Sometimes wheat flour is used to thicken up the filling underneath the mashed potatoes. Not to mention, some people will add flour to mashed potatoes too.

If dining at someone else’s home or at a restaurant, don’t assume the shepherd pie is gluten-free. Always double check that they haven’t added any flour to the ground meat, filling, or mashed potatoes.

Shepherds Pie vs. Cottage Pie

When it comes to gluten-free  Shepherds Pie, there are some arguable differences. With Wikipedia saying that the names are interchangeable, other food bloggers say the key difference is that with Cottage Pie you use ground beef and Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb… I’ll side with food bloggers on this one because we know how reliable Wikipedia can be.

In that case, this gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie is a actually a gluten-free Cottage Pie. Honestly, it’s a matter of swapping out the ground meat for beef or lamb.

Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe​ - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie

When making this gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll need a few ingredients. Now I’ve kept the ingredient list super simple here because as we’ve established by now, yo’ girl is a lazy cook. So below are the essential ingredients… we’ll talk how to dress up this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe later…

The first ingredient you’ll need for this is 1 large diced onion. This is going to help bring flavor to the dish, and you’ll start the recipe by sweating the onion in some oil before we move into browning the second ingredient: ground meat of choice.

The kind of ground meat you’ll need for this dish depends on your preference. You can use ground beef, like I do in many gluten-free ground beef recipes. Or you can use ground lamb. This is the meat (pun intended) of the recipe. I like ground beef because it’s cheap (yeah, I’m also a cheap celiac too… frugal I think they call it). Another cheap ground meat you could use is ground turkey. However, beware as it would likely drastically change the flavor of this recipe, so tread carefully. Click here for more Ground Turkey Dinner Ideas.

You’ll also need a seasoning of choice. I’ve tried everything from simple salt and pepper, to hamburger seasoning. My family’s favorite version is made with gluten-free hamburger seasoning (Amazon affiliate link).

Additionally, you’ll need a frozen bag of peas and carrots.  You’ll mix this with the ground meat to form the filling of the gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie. A lot of people with celiac worry about the gluten-free status of  frozen vegetables. Do what makes you comfortable and in general, as long as it’s just the vegetables you’re expecting listed on the label, it shouldn’t be a concern. For more help with reading labels and determining safety, check out my FREE label-reading class for the USA.

Lastly, you’ll need potatoes, sour cream, and butter to make the mashed potatoes that goes on top. All of which are gluten-free!

Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie​ - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian

Easy Shepherds Pie Recipe Shortcuts

Now that we’ve got the basic ingredients needed for this easy gluten-free Shepherd’s pie recipe, we can talk about shortcuts! Here’s how to make this already easy Shepherd’s pie easier…

First you can use instant mashed potatoes, instead of peeling, boiling, and mashing the mashed potato topping yourself. Idahoan makes a wide range of gluten-free instant mashed potatoes you could use.

Lastly, you could use a frozen bag of chopped onions to start the recipe with. This will cut down on food-prep time.

And that’s how easy this gluten-free Shepherd’s pie already is. There’s really only two shortcuts you can take… because we are already taking quite a few to make our lives easier.

Make This Gluten-Free Shepherds Pie Vegan

For my vegan friends, you can make this gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie plant-based by substituting the ground meat for cooked beans of choice. This means you’ll get to skip the step of browning the ground meat, however, you will still have to cook down the onions before mixing up the filling to be covered with mashed potatoes.

Alternatively, you could use a meat replacer like the gluten-free impossible burger one. You’d still need to brown the beef before mixing in with the veggie filling if you choose this route. Regardless of which route you choose, don’t forget, just because you’re not using real meat, you still need to season the filling!

Lastly, you’ll need to use non-dairy alternatives to the butter and sour cream. Miyoko’s makes a delicious vegan butter, and you can substitute the sour cream for a dairy-free yogurt.Alternatively, you can try out this complicated but promising vegan mashed potato recipe.

Make This Shepherds Pie Dairy-Free

Now to address the elephant in the room about this gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie and that’s the fact that it relies on dairy. With many people having lactose intolerance with celiac disease, dairy likely is a no-go for many gluten-free folk.

To make this easy Shepherd’s Pie dairy-free you’re going to have to use some non-dairy substitutes for the sour cream and butter. In this case, you can follow the directions for replacing the dairy products under the vegan section of this post.

Though if you’re avoiding dairy due to a lactose intolerance, the butter shouldn’t be a trigger, and you can always take a lactase enzyme (like this one from cabinet health – Amazon affiliate link) to help you digest the lactose in the sour cream.

Dressing This Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe up

So this gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie requires a simple list of ingredients. So how can we dress up this easy Shepherd’s pie recipe?

  • Brown the ground meat with a splash of white wine and gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Amazon affiliate link). This will add tons of flavor with little extra effort.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese of choice on top of the mashed potatoes. For my cheese lovers out there, sprinkling shredded cheese on top of mashed potatoes before baking adds a delicious extra layer of flavor to the dish.
  • Add some diced carrots and celery when cooking down the onions to build more flavor with the ground beef. It also helps add bulk to your ground meat to make it serve more people.
  • Add some frozen corn into the pea and carrot mixture. This will add an extra sweetness to the Shepherd’s pie filling.

Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about the recipe, let’s dive into how to make this easy Shepherd’s Pie.

Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie

Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie made with ground beef, carrots, peas, and potatoes.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: dinner, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: casserole, Gluten-Free, grain-free
Keyword: Easy Shepherd's Pie, Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe, Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie
Servings: 5
Cost: 7


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground meat of choice (I used 80% ground beef)
  • seasoning to taste (I like Hamburger seasoning in this recipe)
  • 12 oz frozen carrots and peas
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Peel 1 lb of potatoes, add them to a pot and let them boil until soft.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, in a frying pan, cook down the onions until translucent.
  • In the same pan, add in the ground meat and seasoning of choice and cook until the ground meat is browned.
  • Once the ground meat is browned, add it into a foil lined casserole dish. Add in the frozen peas and carrots and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Once potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes of boiling), drain the water, and mash with sour cream and butter until well-combined. (You can do this in a mixing bowl, I just do it in the same pot to save on dishes).
  • Top the ground meat and frozen vegetable filling in the casserole dish with the mashed potatoes.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, remove, and then let sit to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

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