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How to cook the most delicious and simple slow cooker cottage pie. Perfect for a fuss free Sunday dinner and you will love how you can use the slow cooker to make the mashed potatoes and to cook the minced beef filling.

Made with mashed sweet potatoes, this healthy cottage pie also freezes well, and you can use the slow cooker to reheat the leftovers the next day.

slow cooker cottage pie recipe
Slow Cooker Cottage Pie Recipe
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Healthy Cottage Pie

I’m a huge fan of shepherd’s pie and of cottage pie and have already shown you how to make instant pot shepherds pie and instant pot cottage pie.

What I wanted to do was make a cottage pie that was just as easy in the slow cooker and would be made with hardly any washing up. As don’t you hate it when you make a cottage pie and you have one pan for the mash, one for the mince and another dish for cooking the cottage pie in the oven.

Instead, in this cottage pie slow cooker recipe we just have the slow cooker dish and a bowl to mash the potatoes in. Plus, time spent cooking it is reduced as there is no waiting for it to reduce on the stove.

Then of course, as well as saving on washing up, I often get asked how to make a healthy cottage pie.

Well, firstly I hate bisto and oxo and putting other unhealthy ingredients in my meals, so there will be none of that.

Then secondly, we are swapping out the white potatoes for a sweet potato mash. So if you want a healthy cottage pie, that is easy to make, less washing up and cheaper on the energy bill, then this is it and Jorge even said (he is six) it was the best cottage pie recipe in the world!

Are You New To The Slow Cooker?

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This is perfect for you if you want to get more recipes for your slow cooker. Loaded with a lot of British classics and something for everyone.

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Slow Cooker Mince Recipes

Over the next few days on Recipe This I am celebrating one of my favourite ingredients in the slow cooker and that is mince aka ground meat. I love how you can grab a cheap pack of it from the supermarket and use it to make your favourite comfort food and also have great variety too.

You can follow our slow cooker mince series below:

You can also get all our slow cooker mince recipes here.

Can You Put Mince In Slow Cooker Raw?

Yes, you can cook mince from raw in the slow cooker and I have done this many, many times. But I find that the mince in the slow cooker is much more flavoursome if you have browned it first with some seasonings and some onion first, before leaving it to slow cook. But of course, the browning stage is optional but what makes the best ever cottage pie.

What Is The Difference Between A Shepherd’s Pie & A Cottage Pie?

We wrote an article a while back about the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie. But in a nutshell its all about the meat.

Beef mince is NEVER in a shepherd’s pie because a shepherd’s pie relates to a shepherd tending to his sheep and his lamb.

Whilst cottage pie is all about the minced beef.

Why Do Americans Call Cottage Pie Shepherd’s Pie?

I have asked many Americans this over the years as I find it weird when I see a recipe online for shepherd’s pie when it’s a cottage pie recipe.

What I discovered is that even the ready meals for shepherd’s pie are wrongly labelled and should say cottage pie and many Americans don’t even know there is a difference or that they call cottage pie by the wrong name.

I’ve also met many Americans that have never tried lamb because its simply not as popular as it is in the UK or AU.

Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can cook cottage pie in the slow cooker and it is fantastic. Just like our slow cooker fish pie you can use the slow cooker to cook your mashed potatoes first, then make the filling, then use a little of the potatoes to thicken up your filling.

You can also use the slow cooker to reheat your cottage pie too.

Slimming World Cottage Pie Recipe

Looking through the ingredients in our cottage pie recipe, the only ingredients that are not syn free is the butter for the mash and the extra virgin olive oil for the sauteing of the onions.

When you are feeding four people this cottage pie for lunch or dinner, that is not a lot on the Syns and very easy to make if you are on slimming world.

Ninja Foodi Cottage Pie

This cottage pie is made using my Crockpot slow cooker. But at the same time as making the cottage pie we have the Ninja Foodi slow cooker on with Ninja Foodi Shepherds Pie.

The Ninja Foodi slow cooker is just as good as a regular slow cooker so if you do want to make Ninja Foodi cottage pie then note you can either follow this recipe and use the slow cooker or follow our instant pot cottage pie recipe and pressure cook it.

Do You Put Cheese On Cottage Pie?

Traditionally, you don’t put cheese on a cottage pie, but I know many that do. Though if you want more of a cheese on top cottage pie, I recommend you try our slow cooker Cumberland pie recipe instead.

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What’s Cottage Pie Made Of?

What’s Cottage Pie Made Of

Mince – The most important ingredient is the minced beef, or ground beef as you may call it in the US. We used lean beef steak mince which is best for the slow cooker because there is a lot less fat and then it won’t make your cottage pie greasy.

Potatoes – A cottage pie, just like a shepherd’s pie or a cumberland pie, is not the same without the big portion of mashed potatoes on top. We are using sweet potatoes and then cooking the mash first.

Veggies – I love the mix of carrots, celery, and onion that go into a cottage pie. I use the onion first to sauté the slow cooker and the carrots and celery are added later and cooks with the mince.

Tomatoes – I also use both tinned tomatoes and tomato puree or as you might call it tomato paste. The tomato combo adds a delicious flavour to your cottage pie.

Peas – a cottage pie just wouldn’t be the same without stirring in some frozen peas. We love the colour of the peas in this slow cooked cottage pie recipe.

Seasoning – Then for seasoning we used salt, pepper, mixed herbs, and parsley.

Extras – Also to make this the best cottage pie recipe, I also recommend some milk, and butter for the mashed potato topping.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this slow cooked cottage pie recipe it has just been our Crockpot. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of slow cooker recipes and also great for easy Sunday lunches.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our slow cooker recipes category as we have more than 100 tried and tested slow cooker recipes and have been using slow cookers for 18 years.

How To Cook Cottage Pie?

slow cooker cottage pie step by step
  • Peel. Start by peeling and dicing your sweet potatoes. Load them into the slow cooker with butter, or margarine along with mixed herbs and salt and pepper. Let them slow cook for 90 minutes.
  • Prep. Next peel and dice your onion and carrots and clean and dice your celery.
  • Sauté. Remove the potatoes from the slow cooker and load into a mixing bowl. In the meantime (no need to clean first) add your diced onion and sauté with a little extra virgin olive oil. Then brown your meat.
  • Dump. Next dump in the rest of your ingredients (apart from the potatoes) stir and then slow cook on high for 90 minutes.
  • Mash. When the slow cooker is back on add margarine and any extra seasonings and some milk to the bowl and mash until you have creamy mash.
  • Topping. When the slow cooker is done, stir the slow cooker and add in frozen peas and if not thick enough add in a little sweet potato as they are a natural creamy thickener. Do a taste test and if needed add in extra seasonings. You now have your cottage pie filling.
  • Finish. Cover with mashed potatoes, then slow cook for the last hour before serving.  

And I am sure you can see why this recipe for cottage pie is a true favourite of mine.

How Long To Cook Cottage Pie?

Our cottage pie slow cooker recipe takes JUST 4 hours on high or 7 hours if using the low setting. We do this in three cooking stages including the making of the mashed potatoes, the minced beef pie filling, assembling your cottage pie and cooking together.

How To Reheat Cottage Pie?

To reheat cottage pie is just as amazing as making it. That is because if you have leftovers and they are sat in the slow cooker cooking pot, you can just transfer the cooking pot to the fridge.

Then the next day, simply load the slow cooker cooking pot back in and cook on low for 90 minutes.

You will then have reheated cottage pie without extra washing up!

More Slow Cooker Dinners

slow cooker cottage pie

Your cottage pie in the slow cooker recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

How to cook the most delicious and simple slow cooker cottage pie. Perfect for a fuss free Sunday dinner and you will love how you can use the slow cooker to make the mashed potatoes and to cook the minced beef filling.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4
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Slow Cooker Mash

Cottage Pie Filling

Kitchen Gadgets:


  • Peel your sweet potatoes and dice them and load the potatoes into the slow cooker with half the butter or margarine, salt, pepper, and mixed herbs. Allow to slow cook for 90 minutes on high to create soft mashed potatoes. After 90 minutes put the potatoes to one side in a suitable bowl and add the milk and other half of the butter.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • Whilst the potatoes are cooking in the slow cooker, peel and dice the onion and the carrots as well as cleaning and slicing the celery.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • When the slow cooker is done, and you have emptied out the potatoes use the slow cooker on the stovetop to sauté the onion with extra virgin olive oil.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • Once the onion is sautéed add in the minced beef and brown all over but don’t cook.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • Then remove the slow cooker from the stovetop and add everything else into the slow cooker (apart from the potatoes and peas) and mix well. Slow cook for 90 minutes on high. When the slow cooker is back on mash your sweet potatoes with the butter and milk until they are nice and creamy.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • After 90 minutes stir in the peas, fork test your carrots to make sure they are cooked and if needed add some extra sweet potato mash to thicken up your filling.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?
  • Load up with sweet mash potatoes and then slow cook on high for 1 hour before serving.
    Can You Cook Cottage Pie In The Slow Cooker?


Mince. I highly recommend using 5% fat minced beef. This is because the lower in fat the less greasy the mince will become as it cooks in the slow cooker.
Thicken. I always use a little mash potato as a natural thickener. It tastes so good, and you are already making mash to go with the pie so why not?
Thanks for reading our cottage pie in slow cooker on Recipe This. We have many more slow cooker recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like more slow cooker dinner recipes, do check out our slow cooker sausages and onion gravy recipe next.


Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 2062mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 32970IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 232mg | Iron: 8mg
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slow cooker cottage pie @ recipethis

About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie maker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hello when you say saute the onion and mince in the stove top you can do this like take the crock pot from the slow cooker and put it on the hob to brown said ingredients for the cottage pie and it won’t crack or break buy putting it on the hob heat I’m slightly scared to do this you are sure that this is a thing many thanks 😀

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes it will be fine unless you have a ceramic pt then it is advised not to do it, but the pots in most slow cooker can be taken out and used in this way 😊

  2. 5 stars
    Got to love a traditional cottage pie, i have never cooked it in a slow cooker so i was surprised how easy it was and the fact you can leave it and it turns out so good is a huge plus point for us busy mums like me.