Shepherd’s pie stuffed potatoes

A great new way to enjoy a classic dish!

Truthfully, this dish should be called ‘cottage pie stuffed potatoes’ but since few people today remember that Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with minced lamb and cottage pie with minced beef, I’m just going to use the more commonly-known name. Note that the meat mixture can be cooked ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months; reheat before proceeding to stuff the potatoes. If you want to make a vegan version of this dish, you can use my delicious lentil-based Shepherd’s pie filling instead of meat.


  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 3 pounds / 1.3 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
  • 1/4 cup (61 g) sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (22 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (12 g) chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (675 grams) ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) white or red wine (optional but delicious)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 mL) Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 3/4 cup (123 g) frozen corn niblets


  • Prick the potatoes several times with a fork then cook until tender. You can microwave, flipping occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, or bake in a 400F oven for about an hour. When done, let cool slightly before proceeding.
  • While potatoes bake, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet placed over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add the beef and cook, breaking up any clumps with a spatula or spoon, until no traces of pink remain (about 6-8 minutes). Stir in garlic then increase heat to medium-high then stir in the wine; let cook for 2 minutes until wine has partially evaporated and garlic has softened.
  • Reduce heat to medium and stir in the salt, pepper, thyme, tomato paste and Worcestershire. Pour water over top and stir to blend well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat until just simmering; let cook 2 minutes then add the frozen corn and cook 2 minutes more.
  • Cut each cooked, slightly cooled potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl and put the emptied potato skins on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Using a fork or potato masher, coarsely mash the scooped-out potato. With a large fork, electric hand mixer or whisk, very quickly beat in the butter, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth in texture. Do not over mix or the potatoes will become gluey in texture. Fold in the Parmesan and chives and set potatoes aside.
  • Spoon the beef mixture into the potato skins. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture and fluff the potato topping with a fork to create ridges.
  • Note that potatoes can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before returning them to the oven to finish cooking; cooking time will have to be increased if refrigerated.
  • Bake the stuffed potatoes at 400F until heated through and the potatoes are browned on top, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Makes 8 stuffed potato halves.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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