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Cheddar Cheese Cottage Pie Recipe

A home-style baked cheddar cheese cottage pie.

Cottage Pie is a classic Irish recipe. Some people may read the recipe and think, “Hey, isn’t this the same as Shepherd’s Pie?” The recipes are quite similar.

However, the biggest difference between the two casseroles is that traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb or mutton, and Cottage Pie is made from ground beef. Some people do use the names interchangeably, but to be precise, it is good to know the difference.

A home-style baked cheddar cheese cottage pie.

Cheddar Cheese Cottage Pie Recipe

April Freeman
Combining savory ground beef, fluffy mashed potatoes, and sharp, tangy cheddar cheese, our recipe for Cheddar Cheese Cottage Pie is perfect for nights when you just want a bit of comfort food to help erase the cares of the world.  This recipe is easy to create and very adaptable. You can swap out ingredients that you have on hand or just to adapt it for the tastes and preferences of your family members.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 SuacePan
  • 1 Electric Mixer
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Chopping Board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Oven
  • 1 Cooking spray


  • 3 to 4 medium-sized russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ cup frozen green beans or green peas
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½  teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½  teaspoon salt


  • Peel and chop the potatoes into approximately one inch chunks. Peel the carrots and dice them into pieces that are about ¼ inch cubes. Chop the celery into pieces that are about ¼ inch pieces.
  • Prepare the green beans or peas according to package instructions. Drain any accumulated liquid.
  • Put the potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan and cover them with water. Cook the potatoes in the saucepan over medium high heat until they are fork tender.
  • Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the cooking liquid away with a colander. Return the potatoes to the pot and add the butter and the milk. Add the sour cream and the salt, and using an electric mixer, whip the potatoes until they are smooth and fluffy. 
    A fluffy mixture of potato, butter, milk, sour cream and salt.
  • Stir in the cheddar cheese.
  • About the same time that you start cooking the potatoes, heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and carrot chunks, cooking them for 5 to 10 minutes or until they are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and cook the beef, chopping it with a spatula and turning it frequently until no more pink remains. Drain the accumulated grease from the beef. 
  • Turn on your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 to 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set it aside.
  • Add the green beans to the beef and vegetable mixture, stirring it until it is fully combined.
    A marinated green beans and vegetable mixture.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, the garlic powder, the beef broth, garlic powder, and the salt to the beef mixture. Taste the beef and add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Spread the beef mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Spread the cheesy potatoes onto the top of the beef mixture in an even layer. Use a spoon or a fork to create a decorative design in the potatoes if you like.
    A fluffly-like mixture of cheesy potatoes and vegetables.
  • Bake the cottage pie in the center of your preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is lightly browned on top and the filling is bubbly. 
  • Serve by scooping the cottage pie into bowls. 
    Zesty cheddar cheese cottage pie placed in a bowl.


There are many variations on Cottage Pie. Some recipes include the cheddar cheese, while others leave it out. You can use a variety of vegetables to alter the recipe for your family’s tastes. If you don’t like carrots or celery, you can swap them out for green peas, green beans, corn, or some other vegetable that you prefer. You could even use mushrooms and cooked spinach to make a more upscale version of this recipe.
The basic recipe for Cottage Pie includes ground beef, cooked and chopped, mixed with veggies of some kind. This base is mixed with a savory sauce and topped with mashed potatoes. The whole casserole is baked in the oven until golden brown on top. 
While our recipe for Cheddar Cheese Cottage Pie is fairly mildly seasoned, you can definitely change out the seasonings for ones that your family prefers. Add some basil, oregano, and thyme for a more Italian twist, or put in some cumin and chili powder along with a dash of hot sauce for a Mexican flavored Cottage Pie
Additionally, you can change the meat if you need to. Many people try to reduce their consumption of red meat, and if this is you, feel free to use ground turkey or ground chicken in place of the ground beef. Or if you have none of that on hand, but do have a bit of ground pork, that will make a good substitution too. However, if you add lamb or mutton, you’re going to have to change the name of this recipe because you will have then crossed the line and made a Shepherd’s Pie instead. 
Keyword cheddar cheese, Cheese, Pie Recipe

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