Cheesecake Factory Shepherd’s Pie is classic comfort food that’s hearty, filling, and perfect for the colder months. This easy copycat recipe is loaded with flavorful beef and veggies, topped with creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes, then baked to perfection!
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What is Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie?
Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef, carrots, peas, zucchini, and onions in a delicious mushroom gravy and covered with a mashed potato-parmesan cheese crust.
Cheesecake Factory has a cult following for good reason. Their shepherd’s pie is the epitome of homely, soul-satisfying comfort food. It’s flavorful and so satisfying.
I love that I’ve been able to duplicate the recipe here at home; it tastes as good as the restaurant does. And it’s so easy to make, that you’ll be tempted to prepare it every week.
The casserole is good when my family craves a warming meal because I know everyone loves it, and plates will be licked clean.
Let’s check out the ingredient list! My Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie recipe is a great way to use leftover veggies or mashed potatoes if you have them. You can see the exact measurements of each item in the recipe card below.
- Ground beef: 90% lean ground beef is perfect here. Let it warm up on the counter for 15 minutes before you start cooking.
- Butter to sauté the vegetables.
- Onion + garlic are essential for developing the flavor of the meat mixture.
- Vegetables: You need 4 diced carrots, 1 sliced zucchini, 2 cups frozen peas, and 2 cups sliced mushrooms. I like fresh veggies, but frozen or canned will work too. If using canned vegetables, be sure to drain them well.
- Worcestershire sauce adds depth of flavor and gives a delicious umami flavor to the meat layer.
- Beef stock: I prefer low-sodium broth. You can sub chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- All-purpose flour is needed to thicken the gravy.
- Salt + pepper to season everything to your taste.
- Mashed potatoes: I recommend Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes.
- Milk: I usually use whole milk, but if you’d like a creamier mash, go with half-and-half.
- Butter adds richness. Both salted and unsalted butter is fine.
- Parmesan cheese adds a delicious cheese flavor to the mashed potatoes. For the best taste, grate the cheese yourself.
- Salt + pepper
How to make Cheesecake Factory Shepherd’s Pie
In less than an hour, you’ll have hearty goodness fresh out of the oven and ready to be devoured. This homemade shepherd’s pie is an easy recipe but a real crowd-pleaser!
#1: Make mashed potatoes
Place the cubed potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the flame to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain the potatoes well and return to the pot.
Add the milk and butter. Mash with a potato masher or hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
#2: Sauté veggies
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, and peas. Cook, occasionally stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
#3: Brown the meat
Add the ground beef to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, until the meat is browned and no longer pink, stirring to break it apart as you go.
Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the flour on top. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
# Assemble & bake shepherd’s pie
Transfer the meat into a 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm casserole dish. Dollop the mashed potatoes over the filling. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to spread the mashed potatoes evenly all the way to the edges.
Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Remove the shepherd’s pie from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie is so addictive, and here are a few suggestions to make it taste even better!
- Adjust the salt: Beef broth and Worcestershire sauce contain salt, so don’t add too much salt initially. You can always add more later on.
- Use frozen veggies: While this dish is pretty simple, you can further simplify by using frozen vegetables. It’s a great shortcut to save time. Use a bag of your favorite frozen mixed veggies. You could also use store-bought mashed potatoes, but I think homemade is always better.
- Use leftovers: Making shepherd’s pie is also a great opportunity to use up leftover mashed potatoes. I always make this dish when I have evaporated milk mashed potatoes or Kitchen Aid mashed potatoes left over.
- Multitask: Boil the potatoes as you prepare the beef mixture and sauté the vegetables. That way, everything will be ready at the same time.
- Broil: For a crispy potato layer, turn the broiler on and broil the dish for the last 5 minutes, until the top looks golden.
The great thing about Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie is that it’s easily modifiable. My version follows Cheesecake Factory, but there are some other variations to enjoy:
- Try ground lamb: For traditional shepherd’s pie, replace the beef with the same amount ground lamb. Ground chicken or turkey is tasty too.
- Different veggies: You can prepare the recipe with any veggies you like and have on hand. Chopped celery stalks, broccoli florets, or corn would be delightful.
- Swap the cheese: Instead of parmesan, try cheddar cheese, Colby jack, gruyere, or pepper jack for a little heat.
- Add bacon: Stir crispy bacon bits into the mashed potatoes.
- Red wine: For amazing depth of flavor, add a generous splash of red wine with the beef broth.
Cheesecake Factory Shepherd’s Pie includes all your typical dinner foods in one easy dish. You get meat, potatoes, veggies, and gravy all combined in harmony. It’s a whole meal in itself and doesn’t require any sides.
The thing about shepherd’s pie is that it’s hard to create a beautiful plating presentation. So embrace the mess and top it with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives. That makes any meal look fancy!
If you plan to make the recipe ahead of time, store the mashed potatoes and filling in different containers. When it’s time to bake, allow the potatoes and filling sit on the counter to soften before assembling. Then pop it in the oven and bake.
Storage & reheating
Store Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie
Place leftovers into an airtight container. Alternately, leave it right in the skillet and cover well with foil to make reheating much easier. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
Reheat Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie
Keep it covered with foil and bake at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes, or until heated completely through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to crisp up the mashed potatoes.
Can you freeze Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie?
Once the dish has cooled to room temperature, cover the casserole dish tightly with tin foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
When you are ready to serve, bake the frozen casserole, still covered with foil, at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for 1 hour. You can also thaw the dish overnight in the fridge and then bake it at the same temperature for just 30 minutes.
Reasons to love Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie
- Taste + texture: The dish is full of savory beef, flavorful, tender veggies, and tasty gravy. The whole thing is then topped with creamy parmesan mashed potatoes and baked until crispy. Comfort food at its finest!
- Ease: Shepherd’s pie is one of the easiest dinner recipes to make, and this delicious Cheesecake Factory shepherd’s pie is no different. It’s simple, versatile, and perfect for any occasion.
- Simple pantry ingredients: This easy copycat recipe calls for simple ingredients and pantry staples.
Looking for more cozy dinner recipes?
Here are a few more hearty and delicious dinner recipes that your family will love! They’re so simple to throw together and make the absolute best comfort food. Enjoy!