Pull together this easy shepherd’s pie without vegetables with just 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes prep! This cozy and delicious one-pan recipe is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights.
No veggies shepherd’s pie
Shepherd’s pie is the epitome of homey comfort food and the perfect meal to warm up your family! If you are looking for a recipe for shepherd’s pie without vegetables, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you forgot to buy frozen vegetables or don’t have time to chop a bunch of carrots, this easy shepherd’s pie recipe skips the veggies, but you still get plenty of deliciousness.
The great thing about my recipe is that it’s all made in one pan, so you can take it from the stovetop to the oven to bake, no casserole dish necessary.
It’s super simple to prepare. You can even make it on a weeknight, especially if you have leftover mashed potatoes. You’ll love it!
I love the simple ingredient line-up of this shepherd’s pie without vegetables, making it perfect for a busy night. To see specific measurements, scroll to the printable recipe card near the end of the post.
- Ground beef: While lamb is more traditional, my recipe uses ground beef because it’s more widely available. 80/20 or 85/15 lean ground beef works best here. Check the variations section below for other meat options.
- Marinara sauce: You need a 24 oz jar of marinara sauce or tomato sauce. I love Barilla’s tomato basil sauce and Rao’s marinara sauce for this recipe. Of course, homemade marinara sauce is excellent too.
- Mashed potatoes: This dish is the perfect way to enjoy leftover mashed potatoes. I always make it when I have leftover evaporated milk mashed potatoes or KitchenAid mashed potatoes. And if you don’t have any leftovers? No problem! You can simply buy pre-made mashed potatoes or prepare instant potatoes.
- Onion infuses the beef with flavor as they brown together in the pan. Use diced frozen onion for a shortcut.
- Salt is needed to season the meat.
How to make shepherd’s pie without vegetables
You need a large, oven-safe pan or skillet for this no veggie shepherd’s pie. It starts with cooking the beef on the stove and finishes baking the dish in the oven to crispy perfection. Here’s the rundown:
#1: Brown beef
Place the ground beef and onion in a large, oven-safe skillet or frying pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoon salt onto the meat. Cook over medium heat until the beef has browned all the way and the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 6 to 9 minutes.
#2: Add marinara sauce
Remove the skillet/pan from the stove and stir in the marinara sauce. Taste and adjust the salt according to your preferences.
#3: Top with mashed potatoes
Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the meat, starting around the edges to form a seal to prevent the filling from bubbling up. Smooth with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve from and enjoy!
Tips for success
- Cook + serve in the same pan: Brown the meat in the same oven-safe pan or skillet you’ll be serving in. Doing so will give you maximum flavor.
- Pan size: A 12 in to 14 in nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet is ideal.
- Casserole dish: If you don’t have a large oven-safe pan, transfer everything into a casserole dish before baking.
- Firm mashed potatoes are best for shepherd’s pie as they will hold up nicely during baking and serving.
- Put on the topping gently.To maintain distinct layers of beef and potatoes, dollop the mashed potatoes on carefully and use a gentle touch to smooth them out.
There are almost as many recipes for shepherd’s pie as there are cooks, so you can bet there are many ways to tweak this simple meal. Here are a few ideas for making adjustments:
- Other protein: Swap beef for ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground lamb. You can also prepare the recipe with leftover diced, cooked chicken (like a store-bought rotisserie chicken) or turkey. You need about 3 cups cooked meat to equal the 2 lbs. of raw ground meat.
- Swap the mash: The recipe will work great with mashed sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
- Onion + garlic: Feel free to use 2 tablespoon onion powder instead of fresh onions. If you like garlic, add 2-3 minced garlic gloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Seasonings: Feel free to season the shepherd’s pie with your favorite spices and herbs. Try adding 1 teaspoon dried thyme, parsley, or oregano, or 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning for a little spiciness.
- Worcestershire sauce: For even more flavor, add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture at the same time as you add the marinara sauce.
- Cheese: If your family loves cheese, sprinkle some grated cheddar or parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes before the dish goes in the oven.
With meat, tomato sauce, and potatoes, this shepherd’s pie without vegetables is already a complete meal. If you want to round out your supper with an additional option, consider serving it with:
- Fresh, green salads such as roasted apple salad or roasted asparagus salad.
- Cooked vegetables like green beans, broccoli, or Parisian carrots.
- Bread for soaking up the tomato sauce, like dinner rolls, biscuits, or French bread.
5 ingredient shepherd’s pie is a great make-ahead dinner recipe! Just cook the meat and d assemble the casserole as instructed. Then store in the refrigerator until ready to bake (up to overnight).
You can also freeze the assembled pie before baking to enjoy at a later time. The recipe makes a great freezer meal!
Store no vegetable shepherd’s pie
To store, place leftover shepherd’s pie in an airtight container. Keep the dish refrigerated until you are ready to reheat and serve. Properly stored, it will last for 3 to 4 days.
Reheat shepherd’s pie casserole
To reheat, place individual portions in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1-minute intervals until completely warmed through. Alternately bake the pie in a preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes.
Freeze no veggie shepherd’s pie
- Unbaked: Wrap the pan in several layers of plastic wrap and a layer of alumu7m foil. Freeze for 2 to 3 months.
- Baked: Transfer the cooled dish into freezer-friendly containers and seal it airtight. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Cook shepherd’s pie from frozen
Defrost the frozen shepherd’s pie in the fridge overnight and then proceed with baking the thawed dish as instructed in the recipe.
Alternately, cook the casserole from frozen. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 6 for 1 1/2 hours. Increase the to 400°F / 200°C / gas mark, remove the foil, and bake for another 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
- 2 lb / 900 g ground beef
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 24 oz / 680 g marinara sauce (I recommend Barilla or Rao's)
- 4 1/4 cups / 900 g / 32 oz mashed potatoes (or a 32-oz family-sized package refrigerated mashed potatoes)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5. Line a baking pan with foil (this will help to catch any drippings).
- Brown beef. Place the ground beef and onion in a large, oven-safe skillet or frying pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoon salt onto the meat. Cook over medium heat until the beef has browned all the way and the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 6 to 9 minutes.
- Add marinara sauce. Remove the skillet/pan from the stove and stir in the marinara sauce. Taste and adjust the salt according to your preferences.
- Top with mashed potatoes. Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the meat, starting around the edges to form a seal to prevent the filling from bubbling up. Smooth with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Bake. Place the pan on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes begin to brown.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve from and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1288mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 34g
Reasons to love 5 ingredient shepherd’s pie
- 5 ingredients: Not only does this simple shepherd’s pie recipe take advantage of your leftover mashed potatoes, but it uses only minimal ingredients. Another favorite with a short shopping list, is this 4-ingredient mac and cheese recipe.
- One-pan recipe: The recipe is prepared in one skillet and goes from the stovetop straight to the oven. No casserole dish needed. For more one-pot dishes, try this easy salmon pasta.
- No flour: This meat mixture isn’t thickened with flour, which means the casserole is gluten-free.
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