Quick and Easy Family Cottage Pie Recipe

When you are in a rush and the kids have places to go you need a quick and easy meal for the family that tastes delicious and fills everyone up. These easy individual cottage pies are ready in just 30 minutes from starting and are perfect for cold rainy days and winter dinners. So here you go my recipe for family cottage pie that is ready in 30 minutes!

Delicious upside down cottage pie recipe with the mash on the bottom

Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie

I often get asked why is this a cottage pie and not a Shepherd’s pie. It’s because I grew up with a grandma that was adamant that a Shepherd’s pie should only include lamb or mutton. NOT beef.

homemade cottage pie in an individual little pot for family dinner

This cottage pie uses ground beef to make the delicious sauce and then some homemade mashed potatoes.

It’s a cosy sweater in a bowl.

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Individual Cottage Pies

Although you can of course make this as one big dish I love serving this up in little individual pots for each family member.

It really helps when we are going off in different directions as can it can be kept warm once made or if I use a microwave dish for each person then can be reheated when they get in.

I know that my husband loves mashed potatoes whereas both the kids aren’t fans. So I add a little more to his and a little less to theirs.

making cottage pie in the skillet, just add in the mashed potatoes and serve for each member of the family

It also means that I can sprinkle some cheese on the bottom of mine and my daughters to make it perfect for us!

Adding Hidden Veg to Mid-Week Meals

I know that getting your kids to eat some vegetables can be a challenge so this recipe is ideal for you to try with them.

Although I’ve added onion, celery and carrot to the recipe below you can easily switch them out and add in different vegetables depending on what you have available. Parsnip, squash and zucchini are ideal for mixing in as they are sweet and disappear fairly quickly.

What to Serve with the Cottage Pies

Although there’s a lot of vegetables in these pies, I do like to add a side as well here are some suggestions of what you could also serve with the cottage pies,

Then add in a dessert – our Rustic Apple Pies are perfect to serve with these.

How to Make Individual Cottage Pie Servings

So how do you make these pies? Well, it’s really easy and you just need to follow the recipe below to make them. Oh, and when I made them for my toddlers I made sure to reduce the amount of salt in them slightly.

Yield: 4

Upside Down Cottage Pie

homemade cottage pie in an individual little pot for family dinner

Quick and easy cottage pies for busy families. These individual cottage pies are made upside down so they don't dry out whilst you keep them warm for other family members to eat!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (shredded)
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes


  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the oil
  2. Brown the ground beef, drain, then return to the panbrowning ground beef in a skillet to make ahead beef goulash
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the mashed potatoes as you like them.
  4. Chop the onion, celery and carrot finely.
  5. Add in the chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrot), rosemary, and minced garlic then cook until tender, about 5 minutesmaking cottage pie in the skillet, just add in the mashed potatoes and serve for each member of the family
  6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the beef broth with the flour
  7. Add the broth mixture to the pan and bring to a boil
  8. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes
  9. Stir in the salt and pepper
  10. Divide the mashed potatoes among 4 serving bowls then top with the beef mixturehomemade cottage pie in an individual little pot for family dinner


If you are making this with a toddler or baby in mind slightly reduce the amount of salt and add for your own taste at the table.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 558Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1390mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 36g

Did you make this recipe and loved it?

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More Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes for Fall

heaty home cooked beef goulash for chilly days when comfort food is needed for family dinners
chicken fajitas on a wooden board with the instant pot behind slices of avocado and cheese are sprinkled inside the tortilla and a bowl can be seen in the distance with salsa in.
cannelloni noddles covered in tomato and ground beef sauce topped with melted cheese, the noodles are stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella mixed with the tomato and beef sauce on a white plate with a fork beside on a wooden table.
Quick and Tasty Cottage Pie

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