Make an inside out shepherd’s pie for St. Patrick’s Day with these fun Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes! They’re gluten free shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes that are a delightful twist on the classic comfort dish with a crispy potato skin filled with ground beef and vegetables.

Shepherd's Pie Baked Potatoes cut open on a plate

March is a love/hate month for me, mainly because of St. Patrick’s Day.

I studied abroad in Ireland for a semester in college, so I always miss it this time of year.

It really did feel like a second home; after all, I lived there for four months (plus the government made me pay them money for staying longer than 90 days).

I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, which ironically was filled more with tourists than locals (the locals stay far away during the parade).

Surprisingly I didn’t eat much Guinness shepherd’s pie while overseas, but every year I make it at home along with my stovetop corned beef and cabbage and mini Irish soda bread.

Traditionally shepherd’s pie is ground beef or lamb and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes.

However, I wanted to do a fun twist with these Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes.

They’re shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes, which means you serve the meat filling inside potato skins. Almost like an inside out shepherd’s pie.

Ok technically they’re cottage pie baked potatoes since I used beef instead of lamb, but hardly anybody here in the U.S. calls it that.

And because you don’t use flour to thicken the filling, they’re gluten free.

Don’t have time to make them twice baked? Spoon the filling directly on top like I did with my chicken pot pie baked potatoes.

Shepherd's Pie Twice Baked Potatoes on cookie sheet

What are twice baked potatoes?

Twice baked potatoes get their name by baking the potatoes once, scooping out the insides to make a filling, then restuffing and baking them a second time.

Since shepherd’s pie is topped with mashed potatoes, it made perfect sense to make twice baked potatoes so you still have that mashed potato topping.

Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes on plate with knife and fork

Ingredients For Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes

The ingredients for shepherd’s pie stuffed potatoes are:

  • Russet potatoes: Russet potatoes are the best because they are high in starch with a fluffy interior. Make sure you select large enough potatoes to scoop and fill.
  • Ground beef or lamb: Traditional shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb while its cousin cottage pie uses ground beef. I almost always use beef as it’s more common and affordable.
  • Onion and garlic: Both are aromatics that make the meat tastier.
  • Canned tomato sauce: Helps build flavor for the sauce, which then cooks down into a delicious filling. No flour needed to thicken your sauce!
  • Beef broth or stock: Homemade beef stock will always be better, but I usually use boxed/canned broth to help save time.
  • Frozen vegetable medley: I used a bag of frozen vegetables to make prep even easier, which usually contains carrots, peas, corn, and green beans. Sometimes if I only have frozen peas and corn, I’ll add fresh chopped carrot (which you then cook with the onion).
  • Worcestershire sauce: Hard to pronounce yet brings so much flavor. This is what chefs love to call umami.
  • Rosemary: Adds a bit of freshness to the dish. You can also use thyme or leave it out completely.
  • Butter, milk, and cheese: You can’t make the best mashed potatoes on top without these!

What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

The difference between a shepherd’s pie and a cottage pie is a shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb while a cottage pie uses ground beef.

The best way to remember this is a shepherd looks after sheep, hence lamb in shepherd’s pie.

I stuck with the name shepherd’s pie even though I used beef because that’s what everyone in the U.S. calls it, regardless of the meat used.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen cottage pie on a restaurant menu; I’ve always seen shepherd’s pie even if it’s made with beef.

If you are a purist, use ground lamb. If you don’t care, use ground beef. Whichever meat you choose, it’s still going to be delicious.

Close up of shepherd's pie baked potato

How To Make Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potato

There are two parts to making shepherd’s pie: the filling and the potato. Here’s how to make your twice baked potato shepherd’s pie style:

  1. Bake potatoes at 425F for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender. You can also microwave them for 5-10 minutes to speed up this process.
  2. Brown the meat with onion until no longer pink in a large skillet then drain off the grease.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, broth, vegetables, and Worcestershire sauce then bring to a boil.
  4. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half. This allows the sauce to thicken without flour, making it gluten free.
  5. Scoop out potatoes then make mashed potatoes with butter, milk, and cheese.
  6. Fill potato skins with meat filling then top with mashed potatoes.
  7. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve your shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes with Green Onion Salad.

Cottage pie baked potato with side salad

Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potato FAQ

Can I use another potato instead of Russet?

As long as your potato is big enough for stuffing, you can use any variety you’d like! You can even make stuffed sweet potatoes.

Can I make Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potato ahead of time?

Yes! Make your baked potato and filling ahead of time. Once ready to serve, stuff the potato skins then bake for 20-25 minutes.

Can I freeze shepherd’s pie?

You can freeze the meat filling by itself, but potatoes don’t freeze well.

More Potato Recipes

Since you’ll likely have leftover Russets from buying a 5 pound bag (or more), here are more potato recipes for you to make:

Shepherd's Pie Baked Potatoes

Shepherd's Pie Baked Potatoes

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Make an inside out shepherd’s pie for St. Patrick’s Day with these fun Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes! They’re gluten free shepherd’s pie twice baked potatoes that are a delightful twist on the classic comfort dish with a crispy potato skin filled with ground beef and vegetables.


  • 2 large Russet potatoes
  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) ground beef
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/4 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen vegetable medley (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans), thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Place potatoes on a baking sheet. Brush each with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and prick with the tines of a fork. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender*. Lower oven temperature to 350F.
  2. Meanwhile in a large hot skillet, add the beef, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the beef is browned, breaking it into pieces with a spatula as it cooks, about 5-8 minutes. Drain off any excess grease.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and vegetables then bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, turn down the heat down to simmer and cook until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the rosemary then taste and adjust for salt if necessary.
  5. Once the potatoes are done cooking, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides into a large mixing bowl leaving 1/4 inch border, being careful not to tear the shell. Place the hollowed potato shells back onto the baking sheet.
  6. With an electric mixer on very low speed or by hand with a potato masher, mash the cooked potato insides until mashed and smooth (do not overbeat or it'll be come gluey). Beat in the butter and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until completely incorporated then slowly beat in the milk. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Taste and adjust for salt if needed.
  7. Divide the meat mixture among the potato shells. Top with mashed potatoes then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.
  8. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and cheese has melted.


  • *Don't have time for twice baked potatoes? Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe casserole dish. Prick with the tines of a fork then brush each with oil and sprinkle with salt. Microwave at full power for 5 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3-5 minutes or until soft. Cut potatoes in half (do not scoop) then spoon meat filling on top. Serve with cheese and sour cream on top, if desired.
  • Serve with Mini Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Want to make traditional pie? Check out my Shepherd's Pie For Two.

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First published February 29, 2016