Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

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How to cook the most delicious slow cooker shepherd’s pie. This shepherd’s pie slow cooker recipe is loaded with lean minced lamb, hidden veggies, red lentils, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and is full of great flavour.  

Looking for the best shepherd’s pie recipe UK and disappointed that many are not authentic and are missing lamb, then you will love this classic best of British slow cooker option.

slow cooker shepherds pie recipe
Slow Cooker Shepherds Pie Recipe

Recipe For Shepherd’s Pie UK

I have been there, and I feel your pain. You search for a shepherd’s pie recipe and all you see is loads and loads of recipes called shepherd’s pie, that are in fact cottage pie.

You scroll down the ingredients list, and it hits you the words “ground beef” and you click off the recipe and search again.

Then you eventually find a proper shepherd’s pie recipe featuring minced lamb and you can start cooking.

Whilst I love a cottage pie (check out my instant pot cottage pie or my slow cooker cottage pie) I love more a classic shepherd’s pie UK recipe that is loaded with minced lamb and reminds me of the shepherd’s pie that my grandma cooked for me as a kid.

Today would have been my grandma’s birthday. This week I have done many baking recipes that my grandma made for me including rock cakes, fruit scones, egg and bacon pie and fat rascals, but I have not touched on her best savoury offering.

Aka shepherd’s pie.

I remember my parents went on holiday during my final exams from high school. They went away for six weeks, and my grandparents moved in to take care of me.

I would watch her making shepherd’s pie with lamb fresh from the butchers on my mum’s stovetop.

It was so delicious and the whole house smelt of lamb.

But her secret ingredient was red lentils. It helped to thicken up the pie but also left you full for hours and you ate less, which made more leftovers and you could enjoy the meal over two sittings.

In this slow cooker shepherd’s pie I will be showing you how to make my grandma’s shepherds pie in the slow cooker and how you too can stretch this over two meals.

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.

What Is Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s pie is a British comfort food classic that goes down generations of family cooks. My grandma taught me how to cook shepherd’s pie and her grandma taught her.

It’s a meal of savoury minced lamb with carrots and peas that have been topped with mashed potatoes. Though many also refer to it as a meat and potato pie.

Can You Cook Mince In A Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can cook mince in the slow cooker and its delicious. What I love most about mince is how versatile it is and how you can use it for so many different recipes.

You can make pasta dishes with it such as mince pasta bake, or you can use it for savoury mince, you can use it for a cottage pie and so many others.

I always bulk buy mince then I can have a good collection in the freezer ready for slow cooker meals and also for using in my other kitchen gadgets.

Can You Put Frozen Mince In Slow Cooker?

No, it is not recommended to put frozen mince in the slow cooker. When you cook mince from frozen it doesn’t cook as well and you can have lumps in the mince and some browned well and others not.

Plus, you run the risk of food poisoning for bits of the mince that have not quite cooked.

Do You Have To Brown Mince Before Slow Cooking?

No, its not essential that you brown the mince before slow cooking, but it makes such a difference to what you are cooking.

It adds flavour to the slow cooker mince and stops the mince from being bland.

What Is The Difference Between Cottage And Shepherd’s Pies?

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. The recipe today for shepherd’s pie in the slow cooker is a classic recipe using minced lamb.

Why Is My Shepherds Pie Sloppy?

Your shepherd’s pie becomes sloppy because it has not been properly thickened before the mashed potato topping has been added.

We solve the sloppy shepherds pie problem by cooking the shepherds pie with red lentils and using a little mashed potato to naturally thicken up the mince.

Slimming World Shepherds Pie

Looking through the ingredients in our shepherds 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 shepherds pie for lunch or dinner, that is not a lot on the Syns and very easy to make if you are on slimming world.

Would you like easy & amazing slow cooker recipes from slow cooker experts? Click here and join the Recipe This Newsletter. We will then send you the BEST slow cooker beginner recipes direct to your email inbox along with other useful kitchen gadget resources.

Shepherd’s Pie Slow Cooker Ingredients

Shepherd’s Pie Slow Cooker Ingredients

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

Potatoes – A shepherd’s pie, just like a cottage pie or a cumberland pie, is not the same without the big portion of mashed potatoes on top. We are using some white potatoes that need using up and cooking them first in the slow cooker.

Veggies – I love the mix of carrots, celery, and onion that go into a slow cooker shepherds pie. I use the veggies first to sauté the slow cooker and then add other ingredients later.

Lentils. Red lentils are the old school trick with a shepherds pie for feeding the family and keeping them full for hours. There is not a lot of lentils that go in just enough to thicken and fill you up and you never taste them.

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 mince.

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

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

Extras – Also to make this lamb mince shepherd’s 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 shepherd’s pie in slow cooker 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 Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?

slow cooker shepherds pie step by step
  • Peel. Start by peeling and dicing your 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, celery, and carrots and sauté with a little extra virgin olive oil. Then brown your lamb mince.
  • Dump. Next dump in the rest of your ingredients (apart from the potatoes and peas) 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 mash potato as they are a natural creamy thickener. Do a taste test and if needed add in extra seasonings. You now have your shepherd’s 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 lamb mince shepherd’s pie is a true favourite of mine.

How Long To Cook Shepherd’s Pie?

Our shepherds 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 lamb pie filling, assembling your shepherds pie and cooking together.

More Slow Cooker Dinners

Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

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Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

How to cook the most delicious slow cooker shepherd’s pie. This shepherd’s pie slow cooker recipe is loaded with lean minced lamb, hidden veggies, red lentils, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and is full of great flavour.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Slow Cooker
Servings: 4
Calories: 954kcal


Slow Cooker Mash

Shepherd’s Pie Filling

Kitchen Gadgets:


  • Peel your white 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.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • 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.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • When the slow cooker is done, and you have emptied out the potatoes use the slow cooker on the stovetop to sauté the onion, celery, and carrots with extra virgin olive oil.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • Once the veggies are sautéed add in the minced lamb and brown all over but don’t cook.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • 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 potatoes with the butter and milk until they are nice and creamy.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • After 90 minutes stir in the peas, fork test your carrots to make sure they are cooked and if needed add some extra mash to thicken up your shepherds pie filling.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?
  • Load up with mash potatoes and then slow cook on high for 1 hour before serving.
    How To Slow Cook Shepherd’s Pie?


Mince. I highly recommend using 5% fat minced lamb. 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 shepherds 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: 954kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 2097mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 9143IU | Vitamin C: 117mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 9mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Recipe This

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 marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

1 thought on “Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. 5 stars
    A traditional shepherds pie is one of my all time favourites and this is great for a Sunday once you get it on, you can set it and forget, i did and came back to a lovely shepherds pie which fed everyone even the hungry grand kiddies.


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