Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie is a classic layered meat and potatoes comfort food dish that’s straightforward and scrumptious.
Making shepherd’s pie in the pressure cooker allows you to cook the beef filling and make the potatoes for the topping all at the same time. It saves time and work and tastes just like traditional shepherd’s pie.
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For years, I made Shepherd’s Pie the old-fashioned way, making the filling and boiling potatoes on the stove, then baking everything in the oven. It was a favorite comfort food dish, but it took a lot of work and left behind a mountain of dishes.
These days, whenever possible, I try to cook items together at the same time in the Instant Pot. In my recipes for Instant Pot Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes and Instant Pot Korean ground beef with rice, the double-duty method saved so much time.
For this recipe, I wanted to cook the potatoes while the filling cooked and then assemble it in a traditional layered fashion just before serving. So I followed the steps I use when making Instant Pot mashed potatoes and incorporated them into this recipe!
Even though this recipe has a few different steps, you’ll still love how easy it is to make this Instant Pot shepherd’s pie.
What is Pressure Cooker Cottage Pie?
Let’s talk names for a minute. Often, the terms shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, and Cumberland pie are used interchangeably. All three have British roots, but they are slightly different.
Traditionally, a shepherd’s pie used lamb, a cottage pie used beef, and a Cumberland pie could use either meat. Shepherd’s pie and cottage pie traditionally used plain mashed potatoes as the topping, whereas the Cumberland pie included the addition of cheese and breadcrumbs.
Today, many dishes are called shepherd’s pie because that’s a common and familiar term, but most of what we think of as shepherd’s pie is actually a combination of the original dishes.
The same is true for this recipe. This would technically be a mash-up of a cottage pie and a Cumberland pie since I’m using ground beef and cheese.
No matter what you call it, making this tasty comfort food dish in your Instant Pot pressure cooker is so simple. Serve alongside some delicious homemade dinner rolls for a meal you’ll want to make often.
How to Make Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
It’s really easy to make this layered beef and potatoes comfort food dish.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Beef broth
- Ground thyme
- Ground Sage
- Worcestershire sauce
- Peas and carrots
- Russet potatoes
- Cornstarch and water
- Shredded cheese
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Prepare the filling. First, you’ll saute the beef and onions in the insert of the Instant Pot, draining excess grease if needed. Deglaze the pot with the beef broth and stir in the salt, thyme, sage, and Worcestershire sauce before adding the peas and carrots.
Cook the filling and the potatoes. Next, you’ll use a trivet and place a steamer basket on the trivet, over the beef filling. Add the potatoes to the basket. Seal the Instant Pot and cook for 8 minutes at high pressure. Follow with a quick release.
Mash the potatoes. Then, you’ll add the cornstarch slurry to the beef mixture while you mash the potatoes.
Place the potatoes into a mixing bowl and pour in the butter and warm milk. Mash until smooth and then add the shredded cheese.
Layer the Dish. Last, you’ll pour the beef mixture into a casserole dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Broil in the oven for 3-5 minutes until the potatoes begin to brown.
Notes and Adaptations:
- Not a fan of peas and carrots? Use whole kernel corn instead. It’s not as traditional but is a tasty, kid-friendly alternative.
- If you have a Ninja Foodi or an air-fryer lid for your Instant Pot, you don’t even need a pie plate! You can leave the beef mixture in the bottom of your pressure cooker, then layer on the mashed potatoes and use the air fryer lid to brown the potatoes. Serve it directly from the Instant Pot!
- If you prefer a cheesy top, sprinkle with cheese before browning.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 large onion, diced (approx. 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 12-oz frozen peas and carrots
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 TBSP cornstarch + 2 TBSP water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheese, such as Cheddar or Colby Jack
- In the insert pot of the Instant Pot, combine ground beef and onions. Press the Saute button to cook, breaking apart the beef as it browns.
- Once the beef is cooked, press Cancel to turn off the Saute function. Drain excess grease, if needed.
- Add beef broth and scrape up any browned bits of beef from the bottom of the pot.
- Add salt, thyme, sage, and Worcestershire sauce to the beef mixture.
- Add frozen peas and carrots, stirring to combine.
- Set a trivet on top of the beef mixture and add a steamer basket on top. Add potatoes to the steamer basket.
- Close lid and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a cook time of 8 minutes at high pressure.
- While that's cooking, melt the butter and warm the milk in a heatproof dish in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove.
- After the cook time is complete, perform a quick release of pressure. Once the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid.
- Transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl and remove the steamer basket from the Instant Pot.
- Stir the cornstarch slurry into the beef mixture until combined, and allow it to thicken while you prepare on the mashed potatoes.
- Add the melted butter and warm milk to the potatoes, mashing together with a potato masher. Add the shredded cheese and mash to incorporate.
- Transfer the beef mixture to a casserole dish (I use a deep dish pie pan) and top with mashed potatoes (see notes below for alternative).
- Place the baking dish in the oven and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until the top of the mashed potatoes starts to turn golden.
- If you prefer, you can leave the beef mixture in the insert pot and top with mashed potatoes directly in the pot, instead of transferring everything to a baking dish. If you have a Ninja Foodi or an air fryer lid for your Instant Pot (I have a Mealthy CrispLid), you can use that lid to brown the top of the mashed potatoes instead of popping them in the oven.
- If you prefer the shredded cheese melted on top of the potatoes instead of in the potatoes, you can sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes before broiling.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 998mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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