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Slow cooker cottage pie
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4.88 from 8 votes

Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

Recipe for cottage pie, pie with mashed potato and a beef filling, made in the slow cooker, a great winter warmer
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Slow Cooker
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Oven time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 287kcal


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large field mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 450 g beef mince
  • 1 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 rich beef stock pot melt or a beef stock cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • For the mash: 3 large potatoes a splash of milk and a knob of butter, peeled


  • Fry the red onion in the oil, and once softened add the garlic and fry for one minute more.
  • Add the mince to the pan, turn up the heat and cook until browned through. Drain any fat in the pan away and add the mince and onion mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Chop the carrots and mushrooms and add them to the pot.
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, rich beef stock pot or beef stock cube, tomato puree, stir well, season it with salt and peppr, and cook on high for 4-5 hours.
  • When there is approx 2 hours left of the cooking time, make the mash. Simmer the potatoes for approx 20 mins until softened, then add the milk and butter and mash with a potato masher.
  • Spoon the mash on top of the filling in the slow cooker pot. Cook for the rest of the time remaining.
  • Preheat your grill/broiler and put the slow cooker pot in a roasting tray, then put it under the grill for 20 minutes to brown the top of the cottage pie. Warning: only do this if you have a sear and stew type slow cooker with a metal pot, or a pot which the instructions say can be used under the grill, or, if you are a bit reckless like me, an old slow cooker pot that you don't mind losing if it cracks.


Recipe variations
  • If you are vegetarian you could use veggie mince or lentils to replace the meat and make a vegetarian version.
  • We also enjoy my slow cooker shepherds pie if we fancy lamb instead of beef.
  • Swap the vegetables for your favourites - add in some red pepper, peas or sweetcorn.
  • Make an Indian-spiced or keema cottage pie by adding in some chilli powder and garam masala when making the sauce.
  • Serve with peas, cabbage or carrots on the side.
You can freeze the cooked cottage pie. It is best to freeze portions in individual containers I find. When freezing always leave the dish to cool fully then portion into containers and freeze right away.
As this cottage pie is cooked in the slow cooker with the mashed potato on top, you probably won't be freezing it uncooked.
To defrost, transfer containers to the fridge and thaw overnight.
To reheat this cottage pie from room temperature: microwave individual portions in a Tupperware dish or oven dish until piping hot. Or transfer to an oven dish and heat at approx 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F until completely heated through and piping hot, for approx 30 minutes.



Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3500IU | Vitamin C: 9.5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2.4mg