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Hearty and Nourishing Cottage Pie Recipe

by | Diet and Nutrition

Jun 2, 2022

Do you know that meal that feels like it’s hugging you from the inside? Now, this is it—cottage pie. I did add some non-traditional ingredients, aka vegetables, in the cottage pie recipe because I always feel guilty when I eat a meal without some. 

The flavours added by the vegetables add to the richness of this meal. And don’t fret if you’re lactose intolerant. Below I add some alternatives that will still work well without taking away from the cottage pie meal. I do have to warn you that this isn’t a fast meal and you really have to know this ahead of time. 

Preparation and cooking time 

1 ½ hour 

Number of servings and serving size

4 – 6


For the mashed potatoes 

  • 8 large potatoes (chopped)
  • 4 tbsp Sour cream 
  • 1 tbsp Butter 
  • 100ml Milk 
  • 40g Mozarella cheese

For the filling 

  • 700g Minced meat (beef or lamb) 
  • 1 Red onion (chopped)
  • 200g Sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 200g Mushroom 
  • 3 sticks of celery (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 cup beef stock 
  • ½ cup Red wine 
  • 2 tbsp Worcerchetser sauce 
  • 1 ½ olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves 


  • Paprika 
  • Cayenne pepper 
  • Thyme 
  • Rosemary 
  • Barbecue spice 
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt 

Step-by-step directions

For the filling 

1. Add oil to a large skillet and use high heat. 

2. Add the minced meat to the skillet and fry until golden brown. 

Cottage pie - add minced meat to the skillet and fry

3. As the minced meat turns golden brown, add the spices. 

4. Finally, set aside the mincemeat for use later. 

5. Chop the garlic, onion, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and celery into sizeable chunks. (see Note 1)

6. Adjust the heat to medium heat and add some oil. 

7. Add the onion and garlic, and sautee until they’re transparent and fragrant. 

Adding spices to the minced meat

8. Add the rest of the vegetables as well as spices and continue cooking for 3 minutes or until softened and sweet.

Additing more vegetables to it

9. Return the minced meat to the vegetables. 

10. Add the broth, wine, and Worchester sauce and cover the skillet and allow to simmer rapidly. 

Well mixed and cooked - cottage pie recipe

11. Stir occasionally, and once the liquid has vapoured off and thickened, set aside. This is usually after 30 mins. 

For the potatoes

1. Thoroughly wash your potatoes in cold water. 

2. Peel and cut the potatoes into small pieces. This will help when you’re boiling them so that they don’t take long to cook through. 

3. Fill a saucepan with water and salt to flavour. 

4. Add the potatoes and place the saucepan on high heat. Be sure to add adequate water, as you don’t want the potatoes to stick to the bottom of the saucepan. 

5. Let them boil until they’re easy to poke using a fork. 

Potatoes boiling on stove

6. Drain all the water in a colander. (see Note 2)

7. Pour the potatoes back into the saucepan and place them on the stove with low heat. Here is where we will mash the potatoes. 

8. Add a knob of butter, sour cream, and a bit of milk. 

Mashed potatoes for the cottage pie recipe

9. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until they reach the consistency that you prefer. 

10. Finally, add some mozzarella cheese to the mashed potatoes and mix it in.

Related: The Best Healthy Eating Blogs to Read

Assembling the pie

1. Preheat the oven to 180° C.

2. Pour the filling on the base of a casserole dish but do not overfill. 

3. Spread the potatoes on top of the filling, being careful not to let the sauce mix with the potatoes. (see Note 3) Use a fork to rough up the edges. This will create nice edges which will turn golden once baked. 

4. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30 mins or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. 

After baking in the oven

What to serve cottage pie with

This cottage pie recipe is pretty carb and protein-loaded, so it doesn’t need much of that. But a good leafy salad will go well with it. (see Note 4) If you don’t add vegetables to the pie, then you could add some vegetables as a side dish. I usually love adding some glazed green beans or grilled carrots with an orange tomato glaze. (see Note 5)

Read: Oven-Baked Chicken and Rice (One Casserole)

Notes and FAQ

  1. The vegetables added here are completely optional and can be left out. I find that they add more texture to the pie-making. It’s tastier. 
  2. Do make sure to drain the potatoes before you start mashing thoroughly. You don’t want the mash to become too watery because it will mix with the filling and affect the look of the pie. When you spread the potatoes on top of the filling, make sure that the potatoes are still hot, this makes them easier to spread. 
  3. If you want to ensure that the potatoes do not mix the sauce whilst you assemble the pie, let the filling cool before assembling everything. 
  4. If you want a leafy salad that will go well with this dish, mix the following ingredients together: rocket lettuce, shaved parmesan (use a peeler), blueberries (halved), and avocado. Serve with a balsamic glaze and trust me, you won’t regret it. 
  5. Here is the recipe for the grilled carrot orange tomato glaze. 


  • 2 oranges (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill (chopped) 


In a small bowl, place all the ingredients inside and whisk them together. Then transfer everything to a pan and simmer at medium-low heat. 

Once the carrots are done grilling, then add the glaze on top. You can garnish with any remaining dill and then serve warm. 

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By Munodiwa

I’m Munodiwa, and I really love all things home, from decor, hosting, and DIYs to cooking. So I decided to start documenting and sharing my journey online with you. The interior style of modern traditional glam is my jam, but so is travelling. I hope my articles, at the very least, inspire you or even put a smile on your face.

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