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Easy Cottage Pie With Cheesy Mash

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When it comes to comfort food you just can’t beat a homemade Cottage Pie topped with cheesy mashed potatoes.

A tasty beef mince cottage pie is just the ultimate cold weather comfort food.

Rich beef and vegetable filling, topped with lovely fluffy mashed potatoes and of course cheesy topping. It’s just the perfect filling, cheap and easy family dinner. And it’s great served with our delicious homemade red onion gravy.

And when it comes to serving it up, it goes oh so well with pickled red cabbage and slices of pickled beetroot on the side. Maybe some crusty bread smothered with butter.

A traditional cottage pie makes a great, easy and low cost alternative to a big Sunday roast dinner too!

Totally irresistible!

homemade cottage pie with cheesy mash served in bowls with pickled red cabbage

Best Cottage Pie Recipe 

Serves – 4 people 

Prep Time – 10 minutes 

Cook Time – 1 hour

Total Time – around 1 hour 10 mins

Our Most Popular Alternative – Shepherd’s Pie

Equipment Needed To Make Our Easy Cottage Pie Recipe

  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Cooking spoon
  • Saucepan for the meaty cottage pie mix
  • Saucepan for the potatoes
  • Measuring jug
  • Potato masher
  • Fork
  • Oven proof casserole dish

Cottage Pie Ingredients

You’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients to make a traditional cottage pie

cottage pie ingredients on a table - minced beef, chopped carrots, diced onion, olive oil, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce and a beef stock pot.

For the meaty cottage pie filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 500g minced beef – choose a low fat packet
  • 2 carrots – peeled and sliced
  • 1 beef stock pot – we use the Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pots
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the cheesy mashed potato topping

  • 1 kg potatoes – peeled and chopped into chunks 
  • 30g butter 
  • 75ml milk 
  • 100g cheddar cheese – grated

For nutrition information and calories check the recipe card below

How To Make Cottage Pie – Easy Step by Step Guide!

You’ll LOVE how simple this cheese topped cottage pie is to make! So simple!

homemade cottage pie with cheesy mash served in bowls with pickled red cabbage

Step One – fry the onions and minced beef

  • Add the olive oil to a saucepan over a medium heat and tip in the onions. Fry for 5 minutes until starting to soften, stir with a wooden spoon often.

Read our Hollands Pie review here (ad feature) 

onions frying in a saucepan
  • Then tip in the minced beef and fry with the onions, stirring all the time until all the minced beef browns.
browning the mince and onions in a saucepan

Step Two – make the meaty pie filling

  • Add the sliced carrots, Worcestershire sauce and stock pots to the pan of mince and onions.
  • Then pour in 250ml of boiling water and mix well to dissolve the stock pot jelly into the mince and onions.
  • Next, bring the meat in gravy to the boil, pop the lid on the pan, reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat for around 20 minutes.

Cooks Note! If the mince and gravy needs thickening a little before popping in the oven, do this using a teaspoon of cornflour mixed into a paste with some cold water. Then pour into the mince and gravy and simmer until thickened.

Step Three – make the mashed potatoes whilst the meat pie filling is cooking

  • Cover the peeled, chopped potatoes with cold water and add a pinch of salt.
  • Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on over a low heat for around 20 minute or until the potatoes are tender in the middles.
  • Then drain the potatoes and mash them with the butter and milk. You may need to add more or less butter and milk depending on what type of potatoes you use.

Step Four – put together the cottage pie

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6
  • Pour the minced beef mixture in gravy into an oven proof casserole dish.
cottage pie meat layer in a casserole dish
  • Then gently dollop the mashed potatoes on top and spread them out over the top of the minced beef and gravy filling using a fork.
  • Next, scatter over the grated cheese. Season with a little black pepper on top of the cheesy mash.
cottage pie topped with cheesy mashed potatoes ready to bake

Step Five – how to cook a cottage pie

  • Pop the casserole dish onto a baking tray and place on the middle shelf of the hot oven.
  • Cook for around 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top of the pie is browning with the gravy oozing through the mash.
  • Remove the pie from the oven, allow to stand for 5-10 minutes and then serve alongside your favourite side dishes.

Get loads more easy dinner recipes here

Make Cottage Pie Your Way!

We’ve given you the basic cottage pie recipe but you can add your own twist and make it just the way your like – we’ve popped some tasty ideas below!

Make and indulgent cottage pie

Make your pie something really special! Add red wine and herbs to the meaty filling – try adding fresh garlic, bay leaves, a pinch of dried oregano and thyme.

Top the pie with creamy mashed potatoes made using double cream. And top with a mix of cheeses, try stilton, mature cheddar and mozzarella. Then serve topped with some thyme sprigs and freshly chopped parsley.

Chicken cottage pie

You can swap the lean ground beef filing for chicken mince or turkey mince to make a lighter cottage pie.

Make a vegetarian pie

Swap the beef mince and stock for vegetarian mince or canned lentils and stock – add in some extra vegetables to bulk up the filling, try celery, peas, diced swede, or canned corn. Add a tablespoon tomato paste, can of tomatoes and a good pinch of Italian seasoning.

Make a Mexican cottage pie

For a spicy twist grab our Mexican cottage pie recipe here – a rich beef chilli, topped with epic cheesy nacho mash!

Get more easy ground beef recipes here

Cottage Pie Recipe Tips!

How To Freeze Cottage Pie

Firstly the pie needs to be frozen the day it is made. Be sure it is completely cold. Then cover the freezer proof dish with cling film. And store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To defrost the pie do so in the fridge over night and then cook at 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6 for 30 – 40 minutes or until the internal core temperature is a minimum of 75C.

How Can I Make Cottage Pie Quicker?

Well, as long as the meat filling is cooked through properly, which is should be after 20-25 minutes simmering away on the hob, you can put it into the baking dish, top with the mashed potatoes and cheese and then use the grill (or broiler) to brown the mash and cheese topping. So you skip the oven part.

What’s The Difference Between Cottage Pie And Shepherd’s Pie?

Basically, a cottage pie is made using minced beef and a shepherd’s pie is made using ground lamb. They’re both topped with mashed potatoes.

Loads more delicious, easy beef recipes right here.

More Beef Mince Recipes To Try

Beef mince recipes are great when you’re feeding a family. Budget meals the whole family can enjoy together!

Get more meals to make with minced beef here

Need Some Family Meal Ideas?

Check out our meal planning here – it’s filled with recipes, meal planning tips and pre-filled printable meal plans weekly or seasonally. We’ve got hundreds of the BEST family recipes and Home Cooked Meals your whole family will LOVE!

homemade cottage pie with cheesy mash served in bowls with pickled red cabbage

Easy Cottage Pie With Cheesy Mash

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A super easy yummy cottage pie recipe with cheesy mash topping. Perfect cold weather comfort food!

Ingredients

For the meaty filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 carrots - peeled and diced
  • 1 beef stock pot
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

New Group

  • 1kg potatoes - peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 30g butter
  • 75ml milk
  • 100g Cheddar cheese - grated

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a saucepan over a medium heat and tip in the onions. Fry for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Then tip in the minced beef and fry with the onions, stirring all the time until all the minced beef browns.
  3. Add the sliced carrots, Worcestershire sauce and stock pots to the pan of mince and onions.
  4. Then pour in 250ml of boiling water and mix well to dissolve the stock pot jelly into the mince and onions.
  5. Next bring the meat in gravy to the boil, pop the lid on the pan, reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat for around 20 minutes. Whilst the meat sauce cooks, make the mashed potatoes topping.
  6. Cover the peeled, chopped potatoes with cold water and add a pinch of salt.
  7. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on over a low heat for around 20 minute or until the potatoes are tender in the middles.
  8. Then drain the potatoes and mash them with the butter and milk. You may need to add more or less butter and milk depending on what type of potatoes you use.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6
  10. Pour the minced beef in gravy into an oven proof casserole dish.
  11. Then gently dollop the mashed potatoes on top and spread them out over the top of the minced beef and gravy filling using a fork.
  12. Next, scatter over the grated cheese. Season with a little black pepper on top of the cheesy mash.
  13. Pop the casserole dish onto a baking tray and place on the middle shelf of the hot oven.
  14. Cook for around 20-30 minutes or until the meat and potatoes are piping hot throughout and the mash is browning on top and the cheese bubbling.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve with your favourite side dishes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 794Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 506mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 48g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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You might also just LOVE our Cowboy Pie – proper old school comfort food – a sausage and smoky baked bean pie topped with fluffy, cheesy mashed potatoes.

Get more delicious meal ideas and easy recipes here

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