My slow cooker shepherd’s pie is an easy meal which your whole family will love. Prepare it earlier in the day and then leave the slow cooker to work its magic, it is perfect for a family mealtime when you are short on time.
You’ll love the rich lamb filling topped with soft and crispy mashed potatoes!
Traditionally made with leftover lamb from a Sunday roast, for this slow cooker shepherd’s pie you can either chop up some leftover roast lamb or use fresh lamb mince (ground lamb).
It depends on what you have available. I have tried both ways and they both work well.
So flexible and easy to do whether you have leftover lamb to use or not! And isn’t it great to use your slow cooker to make a one-pot meal the family will love.
How do you make a shepherd’s pie in the slow cooker?
Think of a shepherd’s pie and you won’t immediately think you can make this dish in your slow cooker. But it is possible, you just have to use a few hacks to make sure the mashed potato topping doesn’t sink into the lamb filling, and to brown the top.
This is the ultimate lazy dish really, as you make the lamb filling in the slow cooker and cook it for a while, and then you put the mashed potato on top inside the slow cooker, and so don’t have to use any more pans to bake it in the oven!
For me if I was making it the traditional way I would be using one casserole dish to make the lamb filling on the hob, another pan to boil the potatoes for the mashed potatoes, and then one more baking dish to layer up the meat filling and mashed potato topping and then bake it in the oven.
This method saves one pan as you just use the slow cooker and the pan for the potatoes!
Ideal if the last thing you want is more washing up to do. It turns out very well, the lamb becomes very tender and the mash does not sink into the pie, and remains moist. Definitely a recipe I will make again and again.
My kids really enjoyed my slow cooker shepherd’s pie and it was much less hassle for me. Win-win situation!
How do you prevent the mashed potato from sinking?
The key is to add the mash only 1-2 hours from the end of cooking, not at the start.
This means there is less time for the mashed potato to sink!
How do you brown the top?
Oddly, while I always find that slow cooker lasagne gets a brown and crispy top on its own, mashed potato doesn’t seem to take on colour in the slow cooker alone.
So at the end of the cooking time you simply brown the top of the shepherd’s pie under the grill (broiler) for a short time. Make sure your slow cooker pot is safe to do this with first, the sear and stew slow cookers have metal pots and can be used this way.
Mine was an old ceramic pot and I put it in a baking tray so that if it did crack I wouldn’t lose the contents all over the oven. Thankfully it was fine! The last thing you would want is that mess.
Why not pin it on Pinterest?
More slow cooker recipes to try
Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
- 500 g fresh lamb mince or leftover roast lamb if you have it
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 large carrots diced
- 100 ml chicken stock or beef/lamb if you have it
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 g peas fresh, frozen or tinned
- Salt and pepper
- Enough potatoes to top your dish I used 3 large baking potatoes
- Splash of milk
- Knob of butter
- Brown the onion. If using fresh mince, brown the lamb mince at the same time.
- Add the onion and browned mince to the slow cooker with the carrots and peas.
- Pour in the stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree, and season.
- Cook on low for 5 hrs or until the carrots are tender.
- Half an hour before the end of the five hours, peel and chop the potatoes and simmer them for 20 mins approx until tender.
- Mash the potatoes in the saucepan with the milk and butter.
- Spoon the mash on top of the shepherd’s pie filling in the slow cooker.
- Cook for 1-2 hours more on low.
- Brown the top of the shepherd’s pie under the grill for approx 20 minutes.
- Serve the shepherd’s pie straight from the slow cooker pot.