Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

Do you love Shepherd’s Pie? Or Cottage Pie? It’s been a fave of mine since I was a kid. I have a recipe on my site made from ground beef, but the Shepherd’ Pie that will have me running to the kitchen (and the family running to the table) is this one: Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast.

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast


I’ve seen it on tv, so it must be true: Shepherds Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie with beef. Whatev, people, this dish will always be Shepherds Pie for me. And this Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast has gravy which just makes it! Best of all, it doesn’t take much leftover pot roast to make this, only about 2 cups worth of the beef, chunked up. (By the way, if you have leftover stew, using it as the base and topping with these mashed potatoes is a great way to refashion and stretch it.).

About Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast:

There’s something about Shepherds Pie that’s so comforting. I think it’s the mashed potatoes. Well, that, and the fact that any Shepherd’s Pie is kind of just down-home comfort food, filling, delish and easy to make. And while most recipes are made from ground beef or lamb, like my Shepherds Pie already on my site, this one is made from leftover pot roast (you might have guessed that already, lol!) I made this Shepherd’s Pie from some beef leftover from That Old Lipton Onion Soup Pot Roast, but just about any leftover pot roast will make a stellar Shepherd’s Pie. I do have a few other Pot Roast recipes on my site, too; check my main menu for Beef Meals & Entrees if you’re looking for options.

Part of what makes a Shepherd Pie made from leftover pot roast and gravy (and I show you how to make the gravy or more gravy if you need it, in the recipe) is not just how the gravy coats all the beef and veggies, kind of like a pot pie, but how it also bubbles up around the edges of the pan and kind of melds with the bottom portion of the mashed potato topping. It’s just divine! This is one of those want to lick your plate clean kind of meals!

My  Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast has a deep, rich, long-braised flavor from the pot roast leftovers – and it’s the kind of meal you probably won’t even guess came from leftovers. But if you have one of those people in your family who won’t eat leftovers, don’t give them any of this. Nope. They just don’t deserve it. Tell them to make a peanut butter sandwich while you dine like a Queen. Or King. Ok, maybe you can’t do that but it’s fun to think about! At least for me…I hate cooking for someone who doesn’t like leftovers.

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

Making Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast:

You’re going to start out this recipe with sauteing the veggies. Then when that’s done, you’re going to have to figure out how you’re going to get the gravy. You’ll need about 2 1/2 cups, which isn’t really super particular, but you want it close enough so everything isn’t drowning in gravy or even sadder, too dry. Chances are, even if you do have leftover gravy, you might not have just the right amount. Or maybe you don’t have any gravy? No worries because we’ll make up a quick pan gravy to supplement what you do have or to make your own, right in the skillet you’ve sauteed the veggies in.

So put any gravy you’ve got in a measuring cup and figure out how much additional gravy you need to make 2 1/2 cups total for the recipe. Most gravies have a pretty standard ratio of 1 tablespoon of flour to 1 cup of liquid. So just sprinkle the amount of flour you need over the veggies, cook it off a bit so it loses it’s “raw” taste and then add in beef broth. If you need one more cup of gravy, use 1 tablespoon flour and 1 cup of broth. If you need 1 1/2 cups of gravy, use 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and 1 1/2 cups broth and so on. Use the full amount of flour and broth in the recipe if you have no gravy at all.

When you saute the veggies, make the gravy, add in the leftover gravy and leftover roast and the peas, the mixture really doesn’t look like much. You might have some doubts about the amount but once the mashed potatoes are on and it’s all baked up you’re going to find it’s all ok. I dunno, it’s maybe a little magical the way Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast manages to stretch a few leftovers to feed a family.

Here are the recipes I make from the leftovers from That Old Lipton’s Onion Soup Pot Roast, though just about any pot roast is a great candidate for Leftover:

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Saving on Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast:

You can never go wrong when you utilize your leftovers in a way that stretches them for another meal, especially if the second round is just as good (or even better) than the first. I always say leftovers are the most expensive food in your house! You’ve paid for the groceries, transported them, stored them, cooked them & then stored them again. That’s a big investment in money, time, energy and your own energy. Anytime you can use a bit of leftover this or that as a shortcut or building block to another recipe, you’re that much further ahead. See my menu for Fabulous Leftovers on the right-hand sidebar or click the link. I’m always adding and updating my leftover possibilities.

Potatoes are usually cheapest when bought in the larger bags. I just spotted 10 pounds at Aldi for $3.49. And while potatoes are always available most everywhere in the States, they’re in season in late summer to early fall and at their very cheapest. (Unless there’s a great sale around a holiday when the stores want to lure you in.)

Larger bags are often a mix of different sizes. I go through the bag and set aside the larger uniform ones for baking and then use the mixed sizes and shapes in recipes like soup, pot roast, mashed potatoes or any recipe where a uniform size doesn’t matter. Store your potatoes in a loosely closed bag away from any onions and in a cool place. It’s not unusual to see them next to my back kitchen door in the fall and winter, but in my small kitchen, I have to be creative!

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast


Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x
  • Category: Casseroles
  • Cuisine: Irish



You will want about 2 1/2 cups of gravy to make this recipe. If you have enough leftover, great. If not, figure out how much leftover gravy you have and make the quick gravy in the recipe to make up the difference. Use a tablespoon of flour for every cup of broth. Example: you have one cup of gravy, you’ll want 2 1/2 cups total. Make 1 1/2 cups of gravy using 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons broth.

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and boiled (about 4 medium see note)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • about 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste

For the Shepherd’s Pie:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, in small dice, about 3/8ths
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • up to 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • up to 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional
  • splash of red wine, optional
  • about 2 cups leftover pot roast, cut in 1/2″ chunks & any gravy leftover from the pot roast
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter to brush on top of potatoes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, make the mashed potatoes:

Start the potatoes to boil (see note below) and then continue with the rest of the recipe. In the pan the potatoes were cooked in, while potatoes are still hot, mash the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the milk and continue to mash. Add salt and pepper. The mash should be stiff and heavy but a texture that’s spreadable. Add a little more milk if needed. Cover to keep warm while the rest of the dish is assembled.

Make the shepherd’s pie:

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the three tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and stir. Continue to cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with the amount of flour needed to make the amount of gravy you need. Stir for about 2 minutes until flour begins to appear dry and incorporated. Add the amount of broth you need and stir, bring to a simmer and cook several minutes until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add any additional leftover gravy and heat through. Taste and add Worcestershire sauce, a splash of wine, salt, and pepper to taste.

Gently stir in leftover pot roast, sprinkle with peas, top with mashed potatoes. Make the top attractive with swirls or with a crosshatch done with a fork. Brush with the melted butter and place in oven to heat through, about 20 minutes. It’s ready when hot; the gravy will probably be bubbling up around the edges of the pan. If the top isn’t browned to your satisfaction, turn on broiler and watch carefully. It usually takes three or four minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.


To cook potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot to keep warm.

If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, the ingredients for Shepherd’s pie can be transferred, after cooking, to a casserole and then topped with the potatoes.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Carrots, Irish, leftover beef, mashed potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, shepherd's pie

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I’ll be sharing my Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast at Fiesta Friday #243, hosted this week by Catherine @ Kunstkitchen’s Blog and Becky @ Bubbly Bee.

I’ll also be sharing at the Lazy Gastronome. Helen posts a weekly link up, What’s for Dinner?

Shepherds Pie is good but Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast, with classic veggies, that gravy & beautiful browned mashed potatoes is great! This is such a great way to use any leftover Pot Roast #ShepherdsPie #ShepherdsPiePotRoast #ShepherdsPieWithGravy #LeftoverPotRoast #LeftoverPotRoastRecipe


49 thoughts on “Shepherds Pie from Leftover Pot Roast

  1. Canadian Chick

    This was perfect! I like how the recipe was written too – broken up into sections. I didn’t need to make mashed potatoes, so I just skipped over that section. I also like how you give straight forward and simple instructions on amounts to make more gravy if you don’t have enough left over…which I didn’t. Big hit in our house and am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. Many thanks! Your page earned a spot in my saved recipe collection! 😁

  2. Pingback: 20+ Delicious Leftover Roast Beef Recipes - The Kitchen Community

  3. Gwen

    This was delicious. I had quite a bit of leftover pot roast, and this recipe was thee perfect way to use it. I had all the other ingredients on hand. I used about a cup of leftover beef stock and juices from the pot roast plus a cup and a half of beef stock from a carton. I love being able to use food items I already have in stock. It took me a long time to put it together because of all the chopping, but it was worth it! My mom is a picky eater, and she cleaned her plate.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Gwen, thanks for stopping back to comment! I always love to hear when family members love something, too! I love this just as much if not more than the original pot roast and that’s saying a lot! Raised in Iiowa, we were all about the meat and potatoes – in any form!! Have a great day,


    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Cate. Thanks! There’s not much that screams good down home cooking than cast iron whether it’s true or not lol. 🙂

  4. Pingback: What To Make With Leftover Pot Roast: 20 Amazing Recipes - Because Food Is Life

  5. Michelle

    This is a great recipe that I make a lot! I grew up with this type of cooking where Sunday my mom would make something big like a chicken or pot roast, and then re-purpose the leftovers. Thanks for a great recipe! The only difference is that I make my mashed potatoes in the instant pot. I peal and cut them into 2 inch chunks, add 1 cup water, pressure cook for about 8 min, quick release and test. If done, I drain, return the potatoes to the hot insert, mash with butter, and then add cream. If needed you can keep it on warm while you work on the rest of the dish.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Michelle, thanks~ We also went through a Sunday main meal with spin offs through the week! And these days I almost always use my IP for my mashed. I have seen some recipes where they use the cooking water as part of the recipe, but I’m with you. I drain, return and then use butter and milk (or cream if it’s a special occasion!).

      Thanks for commenting and leaving the instructions.


  6. Wendy

    Another one I grew up on. But, mom would run her out roast through her meat grinder along with all the vegetables from the previous night’s dinner and some of the gravy. The rest of the gravy was served at the same time. The first time I made a ground beef version for her, she told me up front my version was most assuredly was NOT shepherd’s pie. It was ground beef stew with mashed potatoes. LOL

    • Diane

      Hi Wendy, technically, your mom is incorrect! Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb (shepherd… sheep). So tell your mom (in a loving way) that she is making cattleman’s pie!

      • FrugalHausfrau

        Hi Diane, I think Wendy’s Mom used lamb and didn’t think shepherd’s pie was made with beef.

        Actually for centuries shepherd’s pie (sometimes called cottage pie) was made in (what is now) the UK with either beef or mutton. The very first distinction in the names (shepherd’s pie using lamb cottage pie using beef) is not an old one! It came about in the late 1930s!

        Many people in my Mom’s generation (she grew up in the 30s) must not have gotten the “memo” lol~ I grew up in the 60s and shepherd’s pie was definatey made with beef in my area. I have only seen the idea that it was called shepherd’s pie because shepherd’s raised sheep touted about recently.

        What’s interesting, when you stop to think about it, it’s very likely no shepherds made shepherd’s pie! Thy wouldn’t have had the time, equipment or skills to make this and it’s very likely they wouldn’t touch meat from a lamb or sheep under their care. Most shepherds were hired out and the penalties would be pretty stiff…possibly up to an including death depending when/where they lived!

        As far as cattleman’s pie, that’s a new term for me!

  7. Jan B

    Thanks, Mollie, but it prints the whole article…17 pages! I’m used to a button that just prints the recipe. I’m trying to just print pp 4-5, but haven’t had success yet. I appreciate your quick response! Btw, I just stuck it in the oven! Very excited about new way to use pot roast! Smells delish!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Jan, sorry about that! I will try to troubleshoot b/coz it should NOT do that! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you love it; actually I wish I had a plate of it now…:)

    • Wendy

      Hi Jan. If you ever run into that again, use your preview option to see how many pages there are and then only let it print the pages with the recipe. Like, maybe the recipe is on pages two and three, tell it to only print pages two and three. I do this with tax forms and other things to avoid printing pages I don’t need.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Jan. There should be a print button under the recipe name, after the number of servings and the difficulty. Is it not showing up on your device? When you click the button it should open up to a new page with the preview and your printer/printing set up. Let me know if it isn’t working right, please. It looks good on my end.


    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Ashley – I was a little out of commission yesterday, so sorry to reply so late! Yes, you can put it together ahead – just bake it a little longer (but you maybe already did that? Anyway, I hope it worked out for you!!


  8. Yes yes Mollie – I love both cottage and shepherd’s – they were childhood staples for me thanks to the lack of variety in hot dishes that came out of my school kitchen. For a long time I got stuck on Jamie Oliver’s more-ish recipe…..nowadays I’m more likely to experiment with vegetarian versions…great post!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks for stopping back with the update! I’m so glad you liked it. Gravy can be mystifying to some people, I think, because it’s always included with recipes so each one is kind of specific.

  9. Ron

    Shepard’s or cottage pie, I’m all in. We love to use our leftover roast meat,poultry and fowl in such a way. Pure comfort. For me, all I need is a plate of the pie and a cold beer and I’m good to go. Mollie, have you ever had fish pie? A similar dish and very popular over this way.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I haven’t had fish pie but I recently saw a picture of one not with a mashed potato but with a shingled potato crust. It looked amazing!

      Being from Iowa, then Colorado and now Minnesota, I wasn’t raised on much fish. In Iowa it was mostly Northern, which people often smoked, in Colorado, trout and here in Minnesota, it’s all about the Walleye which I don’t care for as much. But you almost have to seek fish out here in the Twin Cities. It’s easy to forget that most of the world depends on fish as a mainstay of their diets!

      • Ron

        Mollie, fish pie is the best place to use frozen fish in my mind. We use frozen salmon or cod most often. But, about any frozen fish of choice would work. Hum, maybe I should do a post on my favorite fish pie.

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