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Easy Weeknight Shepherd’s Pie with Leftover Roast Beef (+Video)

Sneak Preview: Shepherd’s Pie with Leftover Roast Beef is a simple way to use pot roast or roast beef leftovers for a weeknight casserole. You’ll be praying for pot roast leftovers.

If your family can predict the menu for the next two or three days whenever you prepare a beef roast, surprise them. Use your leftovers to make Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe might be even better than the original pot roast and potatoes that started it.

Leftovers were never so comforting.

Is it called Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie? According to Jamie Oliver, make this recipe with lamb and call it Shepherd’s Pie. Then, make it with beef and call it Cottage Pie. Oops! This recipe calls for beef; however, I called it Shepherd’s Pie. My mistake.

individual serving of Shepherd's pie on a plate with a flork

But it’s too late to teach Google a new trick. So anyway, I think most Americans call this dish Shepherd’s Pie no matter what kind of meat they use.

Roast Beef Leftovers?

Did you make a pot roast and have lots of leftovers? I called this a”Weeknight” recipe because we usually have pot roast on Sunday. So that means we have this easy leftover beef recipe during the following week.

Whenever I have this dilemma, I have trouble deciding if I want to make this Weeknight Shepherd’s Pie recipe, Vegetable Beef Soup, or Steak and Mushroom Soup. They are all great ways to recycle leftover beef. I’ve been known to forbid seconds on my roast beef so there will be plenty of leftovers for one of these recipes the next day.

Shepherd's Pie-in serving bowl with serving spoon

If you don’t have leftovers, you can buy a pot roast or use sliced roast beef from the deli counter—more about that in the recipe.

Finished Shepherd's Pie garnished with fresh thyme and smoked paprika

Possible substitutions


Ground beef for leftover pot roast

It’s worth noting that many people substitute one pound of ground beef for the pot roast or roast beef. Of course, you could also substitute lamb if you prefer.

Roast beef layer of Shepherd's Pie
Meat layer using shredded beef before topping with mashed potatoes


Leftover mashed potatoes

The recipe below includes instructions for the mashed potato topping if you don’t have leftovers. I try to make plenty of potatoes and gravy, too. That way I don’t have to make them again for this recipe.


Mashed cauliflower for potatoes

Are you counting carbs? Substitute mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. It’s also scrumptious. Bet your family will be hard-pressed to tell the difference.


Mushrooms, corn, or green beans

Are mushrooms not your thing? No worries. Leave them out.

If you want more veggies, I have subbed corn or green beans in the past, and it didn’t hurt the recipe one bit.

Easy Shepherd's Pie in a skillet, garnished with fresh thyme

How to make the mashed potato topping:

The directions call for cooking three peeled potatoes in water. When tender, drain well.

I cook potatoes in the Instant Pot by adding 1-1/2 cup water to the pot and the peeled and chopped (large chunks) potatoes. Set pot to high pressure for 10 minutes. Release the pressure immediately, and check to see if potatoes are tender. Drain well and allow to sit in the hot pan for a few minutes to dry out.

mashing potatoes

Mash with a potato masher until lumps disappear.

adding salt for mashed potato layer

Season with salt and pepper.

How to assemble the meat layer:

softening onions in a skillet
Sauté chopped onions in oil until softened.
adding mushrooms to onions
If using, add fresh chopped mushrooms or canned mushrooms that are well-drained.
adding peas to mushrooms
Next, throw in some frozen peas and carrots. (Or add peas if you had carrots leftover with your roast.)
adding leftover roast beef to vegetables
Cut cooked beef into bite-sized pieces and stir into vegetables.
adding gravy to leftover beef roast and veggie mixture
Add leftover gravy (or use a brown gravy mix) you have already made according to the directions.
seasoning shepherd's pie with thyme
Sprinkle with dried thyme.
warming leftover roast beef, vegetables, and gravy
Stir together and warm meat and vegetables on top of the stove.

How to put together Shepherd’s Pie with Leftover Roast Beef:

Distributing mashed potato topping over meat layer of Shepherd's pie
Distribute mashed potatoes over the top of meat and vegetables. I like to use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop because it can be challenging to spread the potatoes the same way you frost a cake.
smoothing potato layer
Use a spatula to gently smooth potatoes.
pouring butter over mashed potato layer
Pour melted butter over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika or smoked paprika if you like. Bake in a 350˚F oven until potato tips are golden brown and the beef layer is bubbly.
Baked Shepherd's Pie in a skillet
Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley if you have it.

More ideas for comfort food junkies...

Related posts for weeknight shepherd's pie

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Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. Questions or suggestions? Please email me: Paula at

Yield: 8 servings

Weeknight Shepherd's Pie with Leftover Roast Beef

Shepherd's Pie

Roast beef and vegetables (peas and carrots) in a rich beef gravy covered with a layer of seasoned mashed potatoes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


Mashed Potato Topping:

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Meat Layer:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh, or frozen onion
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped, (or 2 oz. canned mushrooms, sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 package 17-ounce beef roast au jus (2-3 cups leftover beef roast, fork-shredded or cut in chunks)
  • 1 package (.87 ounce) brown gravy mix mixed with 1 cup water (See notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Freshly-ground pepper
  • Paprika
  • Thin slices of 1-2 tablespoons butter


Mashed Potato Topping

  1. Cover peeled potatoes with water and boil until tender. Drain.
  2. Mash potatoes until relatively smooth. Heat milk and butter in microwave for 1 minute. Add to potatoes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Beef Layer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Preheat large skillet and add vegetable oil. Sauté onions in skillet until soft. Add mushrooms to onions and continue to sauté until browned. Add peas and carrots.
  2. In separate bowl, prepare gravy mix and water. Add to skillet along with beef and thyme. Stir and simmer until mixture begins to thicken. Season with freshly-ground pepper.
  3. Pour meat mixture into greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Carefully spoon mashed potatoes on top and swirl. Sprinkle with paprika if desired and thin slices of butter.
  4. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are golden on top and beef mixture is bubbly.


If I have lots of leftover gravy, I don't use the brown gravy mix. If you prefer to make your own gravy, here's a good beef gravy recipe you can put together from scratch.

Mushrooms are optional but add to the meaty taste and texture.

If you have it, smoked paprika is nice on top or leave it off completely.

Potatoes can be cooked in an Instant Pot. 10 minutes on high pressure with quick release.

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Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 606Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 192mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 48g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Christy Montano

Sunday 17th of October 2021

Absolutely yummy recipe! Used left over Tri-tip and it was perfect. Thank you for giving me another great go-to recipe! Family loved it too!!


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Hi Paula. Made your cottage pie yesterday and it was delicious. Used cut up prime rib from the weekend and let me tell you I will never use ground beef again.Served it with a side of pickled red cabbage which is what we did growing up in England. Your recipe is definitely a keeper and will be a regular dish in our household. Thanks Paula. Ken.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Prime rib? Wow. I want to eat dinner at your house. Glad this recipe worked out for you. Thanks so much for writing back.


Monday 30th of August 2021

Hi Paula, Just wondering whether the beef might be overdone as it's already cooked. Can this be prevented ? Ken.


Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Hi Paula, I guess you would only be warming up the ingredients and not cooking them. Anyhow I'm making it for dinner tonight and I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks. Ken.


Monday 30th of August 2021

Hi Ken,

I'm not sure I understand. Your beef will not be overcooked unless you don't use enough liquid in the pie and it dries out. You are basically assembling pre-cooked food, then baking it just enough to warm it up and put a nice crust on the potatoes. Did your beef become overdone? What kind of beef were you using? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question.


Sunday 13th of January 2019

mine if leftover chunk of prime rib.. How do i get it to shred??


Monday 14th of January 2019

Hi Tina, Prime rib? Hmmm. I would go for chop. I'm not a meat expert, but can't imagine "shreds" of prime rib. You don't want to cook it long or it will be tough. Here's what I do with leftover prime rib.


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Just the thing for left over roast beef...that's what's for dinner tonight!

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