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Instant Pot Shepherd's Pie Recipe (or Cottage Pie)

Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot + Oven
  • Cuisine: British


A timeless classic, this Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie) with rich, flavorful ground meat filling, creamy potato top and golden cheese crust will put a smile on everyone’s face and you will be making it over and over again. It’s easy, quick and leaves you with fewer pots and pans to clean than the stovetop version.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 lb / 450-500 g ground lamb or ground beef mince

1 cup diced carrots (about 2 small or 1 large)

1 cup diced mushrooms

1 cup frozen corn and peas (1/2 each)

3 cloves garlic, finely diced or minced

1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1.5 cups water

3 tablespoons brown gravy powder (about 1 oz packet)

For mashed potato topping:

2.2 lb / 1 kg white potatoes, peeled and cut in halves

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup grated cheese such as Cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste


  • Turn the Saute function on (Normal heat mode) and once hot add the oil and onions and cook for 4-5 minutes to soften. 
  • Add the meat (lamb or beef), garlic and herbs and change the mode to More (press the Saute button again until it changes the heat level). Cook the meat with onions for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water and stir through. Cancel the Saute function. 
  • Add all other ingredients but the gravy powder. Stir through well, scraping the bottom. 
  • Place a trivet inside on top of the beef with handles up. Place a cake pan or a round heatproof dish that fits on top of the trivet, and press down gently if needed. Place the potatoes in the pan and add 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Secure the lid and set it to Pressure Cook for 12 minutes on HIGH. Pressure will take about 10 minutes to build up. Once the timer is done, release naturally for 5 minutes and then do the quick release. 
  • At this stage, preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F. If not using the oven, see the notes below for another option. 
  • Open the lid and remove the pan with the potatoes and the trivet. 
  • Stir the meat sauce. Add the gravy powder and stir through. It will thicken and add that lush meaty, savory flavor to our filling. Now, press the Saute function again and cook the meat for 5-7 minutes, allowing the gravy sauce to reduce slightly. 
  • Transfer the potatoes to a bowl or a pot and add the butter, sour cream, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a splash of milk or water if needed. Mash until smooth. Taste for salt and add more to taste. Tip: If you like creamier, smoother mashed potatoes, add a little more milk or water to thin it out. 
  • Transfer the meat mixture to a casserole dish and level the top. Let it cool for 5 minutes, it will thicken and settle. 
  • Add mashed potatoes in clumps until it evenly covers the top. You can use the spatula to spread it gently. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in the oven on the upper shelf for 15 minutes until the top is golden. 
  • If you don’t have the oven, leave the meat mixture in the Instant Pot and spread the potato over the top. Sprinkle the cheese and cover the pot with a regular lid. Press the Keep Warm setting and leave for 5-10 minutes for the cheese to melt over the top. 


You can use ground lamb or beef for this recipe. 

For a dairy-free version, replace butter with margarine and omit sour cream and cheese from the potatoes, or use a dairy-free alternative.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the pie
  • Calories: 619
  • Sugar: 6.2 g
  • Sodium: 631.7 mg
  • Fat: 41.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
  • Fiber: 5.8 g
  • Protein: 22.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 100.9 mg

Keywords: Cottage Pie, Ground Lamb, Ground Beef, Casserole Recipes, Shepherd's Pie, Dinner Recipes