If you are wondering what to serve with shepherd’s pie it’s all here! Cottage pie makes a filling meal on its own, but many people like to eat shepherds pie with vegetable side dishes, breads, salads, and desserts. Find a variety easy recipes, plus serving tips, all right here!
Best sides to serve with shepherd’s pie
Shepherd’s pie, also known as cottage pie, is a family favorite meal because it’s an all-in-one casserole! What is not to love about a saucy beef vegetable mixture under a layer of creamy mashed potatoes?
Traditional recipes use ground lamb or minced mutton in a brown gravy sauce, but there are many popular variations. Gluten-free shepherd’s pie may switch out the wheat flour with gluten-free flour or be made without canned soup.
Other versions include a ground beef or ground turkey mixture (referred to as cottage pie), sweet potato topping, vegetarian, or low carb recipes with a mashed cauliflower.
However you enjoy it, you will find everything here to complete your meal. From easy side dishes, breads, salads, and more, this is the complete resource to find what goes with shepherds pie!
Although cottage pie contains veggies in the meat filling, many home cooks like to pair an additional vegetable side to go with it, offering a variety of savory texture. Prepare the veggies as the casserole oven bakes or as the dish stands before serving.
- Glazed carrots
- Steamed corn
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Corn on the cob
- Roast butternut squash
- Baked beans
- Creamed spinach
When thinking what to eat with shepherd’s or cottage pie, a fresh, green salad usually comes to mind. Since the dish is a meal wrapped up in one casserole, a light, healthy salad makes one of the best side dishes!
- Caesar salad
- Chopped salad
- Arugula salad
- Three bean salad
- Green dinner salad
- Tomato, mozzarella caprese salad
- Corn salad
- Mint salad
- Goat cheese salad
If you are wondering what bread to serve with shepherd’s pie, you may choose from traditional Irish or English recipes, to comforting bread recipes popular state-side!
- Irish soda bread
- Brown bread
- Garlic toast
- Texas toast
- Yorkshire pudding
You cannot have a perfectly balanced meal without a little sweet treat at the end! Choose one of these scrumptious desserts to go with your shepherd’s pie meal!
- ice cream
- baked apples
- fruit crisp or cobbler
- chocolate chip cookies
alternative shepherds pie toppings
While mashed potatoes commonly top this classic dish, there are many alternative options. Choose one of these unique toppings as a flavor twist or to accommodate different dietary needs or ingredients on hand.
- Sweet potatoes – mash with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp melted coconut oil or vegan butter for dairy-free
- Hash browns topping (follow this recipe for gluten-free cottage pie)
- Sliced potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt and black pepper
- Pastry dough – roll a single crust, brush with egg wash, cut slits, and bake at 375ºF for 35-40 minutes.
- Mashed cauliflower
- Sprinkle bread crumbs or bacon on top of grated or mashed potatoes
FAQ’s about Shepherd’s pie
Yes! Not only does it make the ultimate comfort food, but it is ideal for a make-ahead freezer meal or meal train dinner! To freeze, prepare the meat filling and cool completely before spreading in a freezer-safe dish. Spread the potato topping over top.
Wrap securely with several layers of plastic wrap, then cover with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
To reheat shepherd’s pie, cover securely with foil. If thawed, heat in a 350ºF oven for 30-40 minutes. If still frozen, it will need 60-70 minutes. Remove the foil the last ten minutes to brown top.
Although the names are often used interchangeably, shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. Cottage pie is the same exact dish except using ground beef for the filling.
more side dishes to serve with shepherd’s pie
Still haven’t found the perfect side dish? These popular and easy side recipes are family favorites of ours!
1. 20 Minute Roasted Zucchini (Not Soggy!)
2. Sweet Irish Soda Bread
3. Maple Dijon Glazed Roasted Carrots and Apples
4. Bacon Maple Brussels Sprouts
5. Creamy Corn Casserole
6. Southern Baked Beans
7. Baked Broccoli and Cheese
8. Crispy Oven Roasted Cabbage Steaks
9. Marinated Green Bean Salad
10. Harvest Salad
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35+ Easy Sides To Serve With Shepherd’s Pie: Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all purpose flour or gluten-free flour, (I recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, see recipe notes for substitutions
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a cast iron skillet or 9-inch round pan with butter. (See recipe notes for other options.)
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center by pushing the dry ingredients away from the center.4 cups all purpose flour or gluten-free flour,,1 cup granulated sugar,1 teaspoon baking soda,1 teaspoon baking powder,¼ teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, buttermilk, and egg.⅓ cup unsalted butter,,1⅓ cup buttermilk,1 egg
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, pouring it into the well and stir to form a soft dough. The dough will be very thick and might need to be kneaded slightly to work in the flour. Add the cranberries. Mix or knead until no flour pockets remain.¾ cup dried cranberries,
- Shape dough into a ball (use lightly wet fingers if dough is sticky) and transfer to the prepared pan. Use a sharp knife to make an "X" on top of the the ball.
- Bake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Insert a knife or toothpick in the middle to make sure it's set. To prevent the bread from becoming overly brown, loosely tent foil over top for the last 10-15 minutes baking time. Baking times can be longer, depend on the size of pan you bake it in and if using gluten-free flour, which takes longer.
- DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? DON'T FORGET TO GIVE IT A STAR RATING AND COMMENT BELOW!
baking pan optionsThe easiest substitution for a cast iron skillet is a round cake pan. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and shape the dough into a ball in the middle. As the bread bakes, the dough will spread and fill out the pan. A baking sheet may also be used. Simply shape the dough into ball in the middle of a greased baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. The dough will spread slightly, but it will still maintain its ball shape. Some readers have also split the dough between two bread loaf pans. If diving the dough, the baking time will decrease. Start checking around 35 minutes baking time.
Substitution for Buttermilk
- Pour 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.
- Add milk until you have 1 1/3 cup total liquid.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stir, and then use.
More baking tips and modifications
- Instead of cranberries substitute raisins, dried cherries, or leave the dried fruit out completely.
- For an added hint of orange add 1 tablespoon orange zest with the wet ingredients.
- Adjust the amount sugar for personal taste.
- When baking gluten-free Irish soda bread, the baking time will increase by 5-10 minutes.
- For an authentic add-in, substitute raisins and add 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.
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