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Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This pressure cooker shepherd’s pie is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for a family dinner on a chilly night. The ground lamb is cooked to perfection in a savory broth, then topped with a layer of fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes, creating a delightful contrast of textures. This one-pot wonder is easy to make, full of flavor, and guaranteed to satisfy your cravings.


Photos of Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe should be readily available in your local grocery store or supermarket. However, ground lamb may not be as common as beef or chicken in some areas. If you can't find it in your local supermarket's meat section, try checking at a butcher shop or an international food market. Additionally, avocado oil is a healthier alternative to vegetable oil, but the latter can also be used if the former is not available.

Ingredients Required for Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

Avocado oil: This oil is used for sautéing. It has a high smoke point and is full of healthy monounsaturated fats.

Ground lamb: The main protein of this dish. It's flavorful and tender, making it perfect for a hearty pie.

Yellow onion: Adds sweetness and depth to the filling.

Celery stalk: Gives a slight crunch and fresh flavor to the pie.

Large carrot: Brings a sweetness and beautiful color.

Garlic: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.

Kosher salt: Balances the flavors. Can be adjusted to taste.

Dried thyme: Adds a slightly floral, peppery taste to the mixture.

Black pepper: Provides a mild heat. Can be adjusted to taste.

Worcestershire sauce: Gives the dish a tangy, sweet and savory flavor.

Tomato paste: Adds color and a rich, sweet and tangy flavor.

Vegetable broth: Used as a liquid for cooking the lamb and vegetables.

Frozen peas: Adds sweetness and texture.

Russet potatoes: Makes the creamy, fluffy topping for the pie.

Whole milk: Used to mash the potatoes for a creamy texture.

One reader, Erin Halsey says:

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This pressure cooker shepherd's pie recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the meat is tender and juicy. The pressure cooker makes the process so much quicker and easier. It's a family favorite now!

Erin Halsey

Techniques for Making Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

How to sauté the lamb: Heat the avocado oil in the instant pot and add the ground lamb. Sauté the lamb, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, for about 7 minutes, until it is cooked through and no traces of pink remain.

How to prepare the mashed potatoes: After cooking the potatoes in the instant pot, transfer them to a bowl and add the milk and remaining salt. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth.

How to broil the shepherd’s pie: After assembling the shepherd’s pie in a broiler-safe baking dish, broil it in a toaster oven or conventional oven for about 5 minutes, checking often, until the potatoes are lightly browned.

How To Make Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie

Browned meat and sauteed vegetables come together for this shepherd’s pie. It has a creamy mashed potato topping that’s broiled until golden.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • 1tbspavocado oil,or other neutral oil with high smoke point
  • 1lbground lamb,or beef
  • 1yellow onion,diced
  • 1celery stalk,diced
  • 1large carrot,diced
  • 1clovegarlic,minced
  • tspkosher salt
  • 1tspdried thyme
  • ½tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbspWorcestershire sauce
  • 1tbsptomato paste
  • 1cupvegetable broth
  • 1cupfrozen peas
  • lbsrusset potatoes,(4 medium), peeled
  • ½cupwhole milk


  1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the avocado oil. Add the lamb and sauté, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, for about 7 minutes, until cooked through and no traces of pink remain.

  2. Set a colander in a bowl. Wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift out the inner pot and pour the lamb into the colander, letting it drain. Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot housing.

  3. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of the salt to the pot and sauté for about 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. 

  4. Stir in the thyme, pepper, Worcestershire, and tomato paste. Return the lamb to the pot, then add the vegetable broth and peas.

  5. Place a tall steam rack in the pot, making sure all of its legs are resting firmly on the bot­tom. Place the potatoes in a single layer on the rack.

  6. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual program and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pres­sure before the cooking program begins.)

  7. When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting.

  8. Using tongs, transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Add the milk and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, then use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth.

  9. If the filling seems a little liquidy at this point, put the Instant Pot on the Sauté function and let it simmer while mashing the potatoes.

  10. Wearing heat-resistant mitts, remove the steam rack from the pot. Stir ½ cup of the mashed potatoes into the lamb mixture in the pot. Taste both the mashed potatoes and the filling at this point, and add more salt if needed.

  11. Transfer the lamb mixture to a broiler-safe 8-inch square baking dish, dollop the mashed potatoes on top, and spread them out with a fork, creating a surface texture.

  12. If desired, instead of assembling and broiling the pie, simply serve the lamb mixture with the mashed potatoes on the side.

  13. Broil the shepherd’s pie in a toaster oven (or a conventional oven) for about 5 minutes, checking often, until the potatoes are lightly browned.

  14. Spoon the shepherd’s pie onto plates and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep for about a week in the fridge and can be warmed in a low oven or in the microwave.


  • Calories: 433.49kcal
  • Fat: 21.04g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.44g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.10g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.91g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.97g
  • Fiber: 4.50g
  • Sugar: 5.50g
  • Protein: 18.95g
  • Cholesterol: 57.22mg
  • Sodium: 548.35mg
  • Calcium: 86.58mg
  • Potassium: 1160.66mg
  • Iron: 3.71mg
  • Vitamin A: 137.87µg
  • Vitamin C: 18.55mg

Crucial Technique for Perfect Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

When mashing the potatoes, ensure they are still warm as this will make the mashing process easier and result in a smoother texture. Also, adding the milk gradually while mashing will help you control the consistency of the mashed potatoes. For a creamier texture, you can add a bit more milk. Remember, the key to perfect mashed potatoes is not to overwork them, as this can make them gluey. Instead, mash until just smooth and creamy.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Shepherd's Pie in a Pressure Cooker

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the vegetables and meat in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multi-task: While the filling is cooking in the pressure cooker, use that time to prepare and mash the potatoes to save time.

Use frozen vegetables: Using frozen peas instead of fresh ones can save time on prep work without sacrificing flavor.

Pressure cook: Utilizing a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time, making this shepherd's pie recipe a quick and easy meal option.

Make extra: Consider doubling the recipe and freezing individual portions for quick and convenient future meals.

One-pot meal: This recipe is a complete meal in itself, minimizing the need for additional dishes and cleanup.

Batch cooking: Consider making a larger batch of the filling and freezing it for future use in other recipes, such as tacos or pasta dishes.

Substitute Ingredients For Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • avocado oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil is a suitable substitute for avocado oil and will provide a similar flavor and health benefits.

  • ground lamb - Substitute with ground beef: Ground beef can be used as a substitute for ground lamb, providing a different flavor profile while still maintaining the essence of the dish.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with white onion: White onions can be used as a substitute for yellow onions, providing a slightly milder flavor.

  • celery stalk - Substitute with celery seed: Celery seed can be used as a substitute for celery stalk, providing a similar flavor without the crunch.

  • large carrot - Substitute with parsnips: Parsnips can be used as a substitute for carrots, providing a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a convenient alternative with a milder flavor.

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt, providing a similar level of saltiness.

  • dried thyme - Substitute with dried oregano: Dried oregano can be used as a substitute for dried thyme, providing a different herbaceous flavor.

  • freshly ground black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper, providing a milder and slightly different flavor.

  • Worcestershire sauce - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can be used as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce, providing a similar umami flavor.

  • tomato paste - Substitute with ketchup: Ketchup can be used as a substitute for tomato paste, providing a slightly sweeter flavor.

  • vegetable broth - Substitute with chicken broth: Chicken broth can be used as a substitute for vegetable broth, providing a richer flavor profile.

  • frozen peas - Substitute with frozen corn: Frozen corn can be used as a substitute for frozen peas, providing a different texture and flavor.

  • russet potatoes - Substitute with Yukon Gold potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes can be used as a substitute for russet potatoes, providing a similar texture and flavor.

  • whole milk - Substitute with unsweetened almond milk: Unsweetened almond milk can be used as a substitute for whole milk, providing a dairy-free alternative.

Presentation Tips for Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

  1. Elevate the mashed potatoes: Create a smooth and creamy texture by incorporating whole milk and seasoning with kosher salt. Use a piping bag to pipe the mashed potatoes onto the shepherd's pie for a refined presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or chives over the shepherd's pie to add a pop of color and a touch of freshness to the dish.

  3. Opt for individual servings: Instead of a large baking dish, consider assembling the shepherd's pie in individual ramekins for an elegant and personalized presentation.

  4. Create a potato crust: Spread the mashed potatoes in a thin, even layer on top of the lamb mixture, then use a fork to create decorative patterns on the surface, adding visual appeal to the dish.

  5. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce delicate and colorful edible flowers such as nasturtiums or pansies as a beautiful and unexpected garnish for a touch of sophistication.

  6. Utilize a ring mold: Layer the lamb mixture and mashed potatoes in a ring mold for a structured and refined presentation. Carefully lift the mold to reveal the neatly layered shepherd's pie.

  7. Add a drizzle of olive oil: Just before serving, lightly drizzle a high-quality olive oil over the shepherd's pie to enhance the flavors and add a glossy finish to the dish.

  8. Serve with a side salad: Accompany the shepherd's pie with a vibrant mixed green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette to provide a contrast in colors and textures on the plate.

Essential Tools for Making Shepherd's Pie in a Pressure Cooker

  • Instant Pot: A versatile electric pressure cooker that can be used for sautéing, pressure cooking, slow cooking, and more.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula: Used for stirring and breaking up the ground lamb while sautéing.
  • Colander: Used to drain the cooked ground lamb.
  • Steam rack: Placed in the Instant Pot to elevate the potatoes above the liquid while pressure cooking.
  • Potato masher: Used to mash the boiled potatoes for the shepherd's pie topping.
  • 8-inch square baking dish: Used for assembling and broiling the shepherd's pie.
  • Toaster oven or conventional oven: Used for broiling the shepherd's pie to brown the mashed potato topping.

Storing and Freezing Shepherd's Pie Made in a Pressure Cooker

  • Allow the shepherd's pie to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • For short-term storage, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze, wrap the cooled shepherd's pie tightly with plastic wrap, then cover with aluminum foil. Label the dish with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw the frozen shepherd's pie in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat, remove the plastic wrap and cover the dish with foil. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until heated through. If the top begins to brown too quickly, keep it covered with foil throughout the reheating process.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place a serving on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • For best results, consume the reheated shepherd's pie within 2 days of thawing.
  • Note: The quality of the mashed potatoes may deteriorate slightly upon freezing and reheating, but the overall dish will still be enjoyable.

Reheating Leftover Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

  • To reheat leftover shepherd's pie, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes to allow the mashed potatoes to crisp up slightly.
  • For a quicker option, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place a serving of shepherd's pie on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. If desired, you can place the plate under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp up the top.
  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your shepherd's pie and achieve a crispy top. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C), place a portion of the pie in the basket, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and the top is crispy.
  • For a stovetop method, place a portion of the shepherd's pie in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of broth or water to the pan to prevent the filling from drying out. Cover the skillet and heat for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the lid for the last minute or two to allow any excess liquid to evaporate.
  • If you have a sous vide machine, you can use it to reheat your shepherd's pie while preserving its texture and flavor. Place a portion of the pie in a vacuum-sealed bag and heat it in a water bath at 140°F (60°C) for about 30 minutes, or until heated through. For a crispy top, transfer the reheated pie to a broiler-safe dish and broil for a minute or two.

Interesting Fact About Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is a traditional British dish, also known as cottage pie when made with beef instead of lamb. It is a comfort food that dates back to the late 1700s and was created as a way to use up leftover meat. The pie was originally topped with mashed potato, which acted as an inexpensive and filling crust. Over time, it has become a popular dish in many households and is often customized with various vegetables and seasonings. Shepherd's pie is a versatile and hearty meal that can be enjoyed in different variations, making it a staple in many kitchens.

The Economics of Making Shepherd's Pie at Home

The cost-effectiveness of this pressure cooker shepherd’s pie recipe is quite high. Ground lamb is the most expensive ingredient, but the dish serves 4 people and provides a hearty, satisfying meal. The use of affordable vegetables and basic pantry staples makes it a budget-friendly option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it an economical choice for a delicious and filling dinner. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Shepherd's Pie Recipe Healthy?

The pressure cooker shepherd's pie recipe is a relatively healthy dish with a balance of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. The use of ground lamb provides a good source of protein, while the vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, and peas) offer essential vitamins and minerals. The recipe also incorporates healthy fats through the use of avocado oil.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe to lower the overall sodium content
  • Use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk to decrease the saturated fat content
  • Incorporate more vegetables into the filling, such as mushrooms or zucchini, to increase the fiber and nutrient density
  • Opt for lean ground lamb or even ground turkey as a lower-fat alternative

To further enhance the nutritional value of this shepherd's pie, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes for the topping to add more vitamin A and fiber
  • Incorporate a side salad or steamed green vegetables to balance the meal and provide additional nutrients
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to add flavor without relying on excessive salt
  • Portion control is key – enjoy this comforting dish in moderation as part of a balanced diet

Editor's Opinion on This Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie Recipe

The pressure cooker shepherd's pie recipe is a delightful twist on a classic dish. The use of the pressure cooker streamlines the cooking process, resulting in tender lamb and flavorful vegetables. The addition of worcestershire sauce and tomato paste adds depth to the filling, while the creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and satisfying topping. The broiling step creates a beautiful golden crust, adding a delightful textural contrast. Overall, this recipe offers a convenient and delicious way to enjoy a comforting shepherd's pie.

Enhance Your Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Whipped sweet potatoes with a hint of cinnamon and a dollop of honey butter
Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Crispy brussel sprouts tossed in balsamic glaze and topped with shaved parmesan
Garlic Green Beans: Tender green beans sautéed with garlic and finished with a sprinkle of toasted almonds

Similar Recipes to Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty stew is packed with tender beef, carrots, and potatoes in a rich and flavorful broth. It's the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in.
Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan: Enjoy a healthier version of this classic Italian dish by baking breaded chicken breasts until crispy and topping them with marinara sauce and melted cheese. Serve over pasta for a satisfying meal.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing: Combine a variety of fresh fruits such as berries, melon, and citrus, then drizzle with a sweet and tangy honey-lime dressing for a refreshing and colorful salad that's perfect for any occasion.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Pressure Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. These bite-sized appetizers are perfect for any gathering and will leave your guests wanting more.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant Caprese skewers, featuring fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze. These colorful and delicious skewers are a refreshing and light appetizer option for any occasion.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a savory meal.
Apple Crisp: Enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crunchy oat topping in this classic apple crisp. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful dessert experience.

Why trust this Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie Recipe:

This pressure cooker shepherd's pie recipe is a delicious and convenient way to enjoy a classic comfort food dish. The use of ground lamb adds a rich and savory flavor, while the combination of onion, celery, and carrot provides a hearty and aromatic base. The inclusion of worcestershire sauce and tomato paste enhances the umami profile, and the addition of thyme and garlic infuses the filling with depth. The creamy mashed potatoes on top create a satisfying contrast in texture. This recipe is a reliable and flavorful option for a comforting meal.

Share your thoughts on this pressure cooker shepherd's pie recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
Can I use ground beef instead of ground lamb for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use ground beef as a substitute for ground lamb in this recipe. The flavors will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.
Can I use a regular pot instead of a pressure cooker?
Absolutely! You can use a regular pot to cook this shepherd's pie. Just adjust the cooking times as needed and make sure to cover the pot while simmering the filling.
Can I freeze the shepherd's pie for later?
Yes, you can freeze the shepherd's pie for later. Just make sure to cool it completely, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer.
Can I use different vegetables in the filling?
Of course! Feel free to customize the vegetables in the filling to your liking. You can add mushrooms, bell peppers, or any other vegetables you enjoy.
Can I make the mashed potatoes ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. Just reheat them gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before using them to top the shepherd's pie.

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