Skip to Content

Shepherd's Pie with White Beans

This recipe for Shepherd's Pie with Beans is a delicious twist to traditional shepherd's pie. It's even more hearty, comforting, and filling thanks to the addition of white beans. The beans help bulk up the recipe to make a large shepherd's pie without extra meat, while adding a nice texture and flavor to the dish.

This shepherd's pie is ready from scratch in about 40 minutes, so it's a great weeknight recipe! This recipe is naturally gluten-free.

This shepherd's pie has a filling of flavorful ground beef browned with veggies, a tasty sauce made with just a few common ingredients you have in your pantry, and tender white beans all snuggled together under a Parmesan-infused blanket of mashed potato. Baked until golden brown and delicious, I promise you'll be reaching for seconds!

Plate of shepherd's pie with white beans.

I created this recipe for Randall Beans, and I love sneaking in beans in places that they shouldn't be, such as Irish Guinness Beef Soup with Beans, and Shakshuka with Feta and White Beans. I feel like they just make comfort food even more delicious and heartier, while adding budget-friendly protein and fiber.

Shepherd's pie is one of my favorite recipes because it's just so EASY: brown the beef and veggies for 10 minutes, mix mashed potatoes with shredded Parmesan cheese (do NOT use the powdered stuff in the green bottle! Go with the fancier Parmesan from the cheese/deli section, even if it's pre-shredded), and bake. About 20 minutes of hands-on work. Sometimes I prep the onion, carrots, and garlic the night before so everything is ready to toss into the skillet when it's time to cook dinner.

So let's get started with this shepherd's pie recipe!

Close up of shepherd's pie with beans.

More comfort food dishes: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

What kind of mashed potatoes to use for shepherd's pie

You can use leftover mashed potatoes or instant mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie. You'll need about 4-5 cups of mashed potatoes, depending on the size and shape of your baking dish. If you intend to use leftover mashed potatoes, make sure to make extra to have enough for shepherd's pie. I love recipes using leftover mashed potatoes!

If using instant mashed potatoes, most small packets of seasoned mashed potatoes make 4 cups of mashed potatoes, so that should be enough.

Whatever kind of mashed potatoes you decide to use, make sure they're seasoned well! I only add shredded Parmesan cheese to the mashed potatoes for this shepherd's pie, which adds a little salt and cheesy flavor, but that's because I use seasoned mashed potatoes. If using plain mashed potatoes, make sure you season them with some salt, pepper, onion, powder, garlic powder, etc.

More recipes using leftover mashed potatoes: Mashed Potato Fritters, Bubble and Squeak

Mixing shredded Parmesan cheese with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (90% or 93% lean is best!)
  • 1 cup carrots, diced (about 2 small carrots)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary, crushed into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 14-oz can white beans (such as Great Northern or navy beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups mashed potatoes (you can use leftover or instant mashed potatoes)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (shred some yourself or buy shredded from the deli section, try to skip the grated stuff in the green bottle if you can)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves for garnish, very finely minced

You'll also need:

  • A large pan (12 inches with high sides)
  • An 8x10-inch baking dish, or something similar in size. 11x13-inch might be too big and the layers in the shepherd's pie would be very thin. 8x8-inch should work fine. The medium one from this set would work, or an oval one like this.
Ingredients to make shepherd's pie with white beans.

More comfort food dishes: Cauliflower Chorizo Casserole with Beans

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 10x8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

Step 2: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef, diced carrots, diced onions, and minced garlic. Sauté over high heat, breaking up the ground beef into smaller crumbles, for about 10 minutes, or until the ground beef is browned and the carrots and onions start to soften. Carefully drain any excess oil.

Step 3: Stir in the salt, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and peas, and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the white beans.

Ground beef shepherd's pie filling with great northern beans.

Step 4: In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Taste the mixture and see if it is seasoned enough. If the mashed potatoes seem bland, add a pinch of salt and some garlic powder or onion powder to spice things up.

Step 5: Transfer the beef mixture to the baking dish, and carefully spread the mashed potatoes on top. You might have to add scoops of the mashed potatoes on top and then gently press down with a spoon to spread them out, because you don't want to mix up the mashed potatoes with beef, you want 2 separate layers.

Spreading mashed potatoes on shepherd's pie in baking dish.

Step 6: Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until the Shepherd’s Pie is heated through and the potatoes turn a light golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, and serve warm.

Baked shepherd's pie in a baking dish.

What to serve with shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie has protein and carbs (beef, mashed potatoes) and a few veggies. The healthier option is to serve it with more veggies, such as a starter salad, or if you prefer warm vegetable side dishes, roasted carrots or bacon roasted vegetables.

But I'm not going to lie, the tastier option is so serve it with some bread for sopping up the delicious juices. Perhaps a homemade baguette?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

This Shepherd's Pie with White Beans is the ultimate comfort food recipe using leftover mashed potatoes and other hearty ingredients for a delicious, easy casserole.
Print Recipe
4.82 from 11 votes

Shepherd’s Pie with Beans

This shepherd's pie can be made with leftover mashed potatoes or instant mashed potatoes, and uses canned white beans to make an even heartier dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef 90% or 93% lean
  • 1 cup carrots diced (about 2 small carrots)
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary crushed into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • 1 can white beans (14-oz, such as Great Northern or navy beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups mashed potatoes (leftover or instant mashed potatoes)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • fresh parsley leaves for garnish very finely minced

Special equipment

  • 2.5-quart baking dish approximately 10x8 in, 8x8 in, or similar
  • Large skillet

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 10x8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef, diced carrots, diced onions, and minced garlic. Sauté over high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the ground beef is browned and the carrots and onions start to soften. Carefully drain any excess oil.
  • Stir in the salt, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and peas, and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the white beans.
  • In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Add the beef mixture to the baking dish, and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until the Shepherd’s Pie is heated through and the potatoes turn a light golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, and serve warm.

Notes

  • Make sure your mashed potatoes are well seasoned. If your potatoes are bland, the shepherd's pie will be a little bland.
  • I recommend using shredded Parmesan cheese, either freshly shredded or from the deli/cheese section of the grocery store. I do not recommend using the grated Kraft Parmesan powder.... but it's fine to use if that's all your have.

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) | Protein: 25g (50%) | Fat: 7g (11%) | Saturated Fat: 3g (15%) | Cholesterol: 42mg (14%) | Sodium: 589mg (25%) | Potassium: 1021mg (29%) | Fiber: 7g (28%) | Sugar: 4g (4%) | Vitamin A: 3819IU (76%) | Vitamin C: 44mg (53%) | Calcium: 117mg (12%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

Share this post by clicking the buttons below:

Comments or questions about the recipe?
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Robert

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

That's Cottage Pie by the way, not Shepherd's.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.