Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Posted March 12, 2015 by Stephanie
shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe -

shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe -

shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe -

shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe - shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe -

Is there anything more delicious than shepherd’s pie? Savory meat swimming in gravy, studded with tender vegetables topped off with smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes? Dream meal right there. Shepherd’s pie is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I think I could eat it for every meal straight for a week and not be sick of it. Pie day is coming up (March 14th, get it?!) so I made this guy to celebrate pie of the shepherd’s variety.

First things first, shepherd’s pie is supposedly made with lamb and cottage pie is made with other meats. But really, what’s in a name, right? As long as it’s a potato topped pie, it’s shepherd’s pie in my books. Growing up, it was my all time most favorite thing to eat ever. My mom made it with ground pork (because we didn’t eat beef back then and there was no ground lamb to be seen) and topped it off with homemade mashed potatoes. I lived to lick the mashed potato spoon, much the same way other kids lived to lick frosting off beaters.

As a holdover from my childhood days, I like a shepherd’s pie with a high potato to meat ratio: I’m talking three-quarters potato to one-quarter meat filling. But, since not everyone in this household is an extreme potato lover (ahem, Mike), I eased it up a bit to more of a two-thirds potato, one-third meat situation. And then I proceeded to scrape off extra potato tops for myself.

It was hard not to – I made a roasted garlic cream cheese mash and I think they were what totally made this whole pie. I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing because I really wanted leftovers. I should have made a double batch because, I like big pies and I cannot lie. Next time, next time.

Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe
serves 4


  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 cloves roasted garlic*
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temp
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup beef broth (you can sub water, if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoon butter, if desired

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place peeled, cut and rinsed off potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the pie filling. Heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat in a large oven proof skillet. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and brown slightly, 2 minutes or so. Add the garlic and carrots and cook until slightly tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into pieces. When browned and cooked through, drain off the fat (if any) and add the broth (or water), tomato paste, and thyme. Stir and cook over medium low. Stir in the the frozen peas and corn. Mix well, taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of an oven-safe casserole dish or if your skillet is oven-friendly, just spread it out evenly.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain well and return to the pot. Add the roasted garlic. Over very, very low heat, mash the potatoes and garlic. Stir in the butter and cream cheese. Stir in the milk until desired consistency. (I like a pretty stiff mash for shepherd’s pie.) Don’t over work the potatoes! Taste and season generously. Top the meat with the mashed potatoes and dot with tiny cubes of butter, if desired.

Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. If needed, broil for 5-8 minutes for an extra golden potato top. Enjoy warm.

Note: To roast my garlic, I just lop off the tops, drizzle a bit of oil on, wrap well in foil and toss it in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes. When they’re done you can squeeze them right out. Here’s a link on how to roast garlic if you want more details.

shepherd's pie with roasted garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes Recipe -


  1. Kathryn says:

    Only you could take something as delicious as shepherd’s pie and make it even better! That roasted garlic mash on top is just perfection.

  2. How ’bout four-quarters potatoes? :-) With roasted garlic and cream cheese, they look so delicious!

  3. Mmm!!! I love Shepherd’s Pie! And I love the idea of adding roasted garlic to the mashed potato topping. My one constant when making is to add a few ounces of Guinness to the ground beef, then drink the rest of the bottle while cooking :)

  4. Abby says:

    This shepherd’s pie looks so delicious, Stephanie! I’m a big fan of this meal myself, and also prefer more potatoes over more meat. :D

  5. This looks absolutely delicious, Stephanie! Roasted garlic potatoes is taking it to a whole new level and I love it!

  6. Sonia says:

    this looks soooo good! must. make. soon!!

  7. cynthia says:

    This entire post is perfection. That garlic cream cheese mash (!!!!) and these adorable stories (a mini-Steph clamoring to lick the mashed potato spoon is pretty much the cutest thing I could possibly imagine!) and “I like big pies and I cannot lie” omg. You make my day!!

  8. Flannery says:

    Yum. We are making this right now. What temp should the oven be when we bake it at the end? I’m guessing 350?

    1. steph says:

      Oops, yes! 350°F works. I usually do it at 375 cause I like a lot of browning. I’ve updated the recipe – thanks for the heads up!

  9. Gaby says:

    This is my kind of comfort food! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  10. Meghan says:

    Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie.. I’ve called it “Little Bo Peep’s Pie” ever since I can remember. Not sure why, but it’s what I grew up on. This recipe has me super nostalgic and wanting to curl up with a big bowl just to myself. Definitely making this soon!

  11. Rebekah says:

    This looks fantastic! I had my first shepherd’s pie late last year and I feel like a new world opened. Your rendition is now on my “to make” list. Thank you!

  12. Um, yes please! That burnished top on that pie looks unbelievable. Aaaaaand now I’m hungry…

  13. Julie says:

    Fantastic mouthwatering food!

  14. Jillian says:

    looks amazing! i love shepards pie yum

  15. Shepherd’s pie brings back so many childhood memories for me! It has been sorely missed since I went veg, but someone made me a veggie one with beans and lentils once and that was delicious! I love my mash super garlicky, the next time I decide to make veg shepherd’s pie I will definitely be taking a page outta your book!

  16. I bet roasted garlic makes all the difference here! Love that idea! I usually add some sort of cheese to the potato topping, but never thought to try roasted garlic. Going on my list of things to make soon!

  17. Adam Garratt says:

    You always manage to take such stunning photos. Why can’t I do that? Looks incredible and sounds very tasty, although being from the UK a Shepherds pie is most definitely lamb, and a cottage pie is beef, there’s no confusing the 2.

  18. Brad says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! The roasted garlic in the potatoes made the dish. I added a sweet potato because I was low on russets and it was a nice little twist. Definitely keeping this one on hand. I’ve made several of your recipes from your book and blog and they are really great! Keep em coming!

  19. Yang Hu says:

    I did this yesterday and it was sooooooo good! AND of course we had leftovers and I’m planning to follow your next grilled cheese recipe hahaha, thanks steph!

  20. Mari says:

    I made this dish last night, it was really lovely. I made the mash with potatoes and orange sweet potatoes.

  21. I am so going to try this! This recipe sounds absolutely divine! I love cream cheese in my mashed potatoes anyway! I would love to feature this in the cost breakdown portion of my blog, with your permission, of course! I can hardly wait to make this and have my family try it too! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Nii says:

    Thanks for this post. It inspired me to cook a yam, yes yam Shepard’s pie. Cheers

  23. Bec says:

    I’m also a mash-potato masher licker. Iss soo good

  24. Wendy says:

    I have this in the oven right now, and everything tasted great as I was putting it all together. I seasoned the meat with Maggi seasoning and some pepper. I used three small Idaho potatoes and one sweet potato. The only thing I noticed as I was making it following the instructions, the pie filling lists 2 garlic cloves, but it’s never mentioned in the instructions, so I completely forgot to add it! That’s okay though, I added a little more roasted garlic to the mashed potatoes. Can’t wait to taste it out of the oven.

  25. Neil Ledbetter says:

    Loved it never made it before and I’m 62. It is gooooooood!!!!!

  26. Scott says:

    Holy shit.

  27. Linda c White says:

    I add sharp cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes and use some chili powder mix in the meat with italian green beans. Love it!!!

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