Tonight’s Dinner: Cottage pies

Kids, no matter what age, can be really picky eaters. But if you hide the veggies inside a ground beef and mashed potato pie, every member of your family, including your little ones, will be begging for more.

Cottage pie

If there’s one thing my family loves, it’s ground beef. It doesn’t matter if I use it in tacos, turn it into hamburgers or use it for a nice hearty bowl of chili. If ground beef is the base for dinner, those plates are going to be licked clean. Unfortunately, while my son loves ground beef, he is not a fan of vegetables. But since I know he likes his meat, every so often I’ll take a bag of frozen veggies, chop them up and mix them into a beef pie… a shepherd’s pie really. It’s the perfect option at this picky toddler stage because he gobbles it up and gets his veggies, while my husband and I get a delicious, flavorful meal.

What I especially love about shepherd’s pie is that you can put whatever veggies you like inside from the standard peas and carrots, to mushrooms or broccoli. As for the crust, you don’t have to use your basic plain mashed potatoes. You could do a cheesy or even a garlicky version. But whatever mixture you choose to use, the end result is pure deliciousness that will keep even the pickiest palates happy.

Cottage pies

Serves 4


  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Italian-blend shredded cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 portabella mushroom, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Whisk in the butter, garlic and milk until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cheese and set aside.
  3. While the potatoes cook, brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about five minutes. Stir in the peas, carrots and mushrooms and cook until tender about three minutes. Stir in the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce until the beef and veggies are coated.
  4. Spoon the beef mixture into four ramekins. Spread a third of a cup of the mashed potato mixture over the top of the ramekin and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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Cheesy chipotle mashed potatoes
Chicken melt with mashed potatoes
Spinach mashed potatoes


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