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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.