Individual Cottage Pie recipe is a classic cozy comfort food dinner that’s perfect when you want a single serving of this classic dish. This savory pie is easy to make and uses simple ingredients. Double the recipe to share.

Great uses for leftover ground beef are my slow cooker goulash recipe for one or a single serving stuffed bell pepper dinner.

Serving of cottage pie with salad, wine and flowers in background.

Ingredients Notes

Collage of ingredients to make a cottage pie.

Easy shortcuts that don’t affect the outcome of this tasty dish include using frozen ingredients that cut down on the preparation time.

  • Vegetable Oil: Any neutral-flavored cooking oil works well. I typically use olive oil every day.
  • Ground Beef: An everyday ground beef with 20% fat is very tasty, but can I use another meat? Yes, you could use ground turkey, but you will want to add additional seasonings.
  • Onion: Use a brown or white onion.
  • Garlic: Fresh-pressed garlic or a tube of garlic paste can be used.
  • Seasoning: salt, pepper & dried thyme. Play with the spices by adding more or less to your personal taste.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This really gives the mixture a deep flavor.
  • Tomato paste: I use a tube of tomato paste because I don’t want to open a can for just a couple of tablespoons unless I have another recipe I’ll be making soon that will use up the remaining amount.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is used as a thickener. (not shown in the image above)
  • Frozen Peas: I buy frozen peas and sometimes a peas and carrots medley, which is perfect for this recipe. You can also add in some frozen corn. If using canned vegetables, add them in right before you are ready to transfer the beef mixture into the baking dish.
  • Beef Broth: I use Better than Bouillon, so I can make exactly the amount I need without waste.
  • Mashed Potatoes: To make this quick and easy I used frozen mashed potatoes, they are perfect for this type of recipe. You can also, add in a little extra garlic for flavoring. If preferred, make the masked potatoes from scratch or use leftovers.

Step by Step Recipe Directions

(Note: For complete written instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)


Skillet with onions cooking.

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.

Ground beef cooking in skillet.

Step Two: Add the ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in the garlic, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally until the found beef is cooked thoroughly, about 6 minutes.

Skillet with ground beef and peas cooking.

Step Three: Stir in the tomato paste, flour, frozen peas and carrots, and beef broth. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. When done, remove from heat and set aside.

Mashed potatoes in white bowl.

Step Four: Place the frozen potato medallions in a small microwave-safe bowl and prepare per package instructions.

Round baking dish with ground beef filling

Step Five: Transfer the beef mixture to a small 12-ounce baking dish and spread it out in an even layer.

Cottage pie topped with mashed potatoes in round baking dish.

Step Six: Spoon the mashed potatoes over the ground meat mixture. Place the dish on a small baking sheet and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Meat filling of a cottage pie.

Cooking Tips

  • When using fresh carrots, blanch them first. In a medium-sized pan, bring the water to boil. Add the raw carrots to the pot and boil for about 3 minutes. Remove carrots from the pot and let cool.

What to Serve With Cottage Pie

Cottage pie can be enjoyed on its own, sometimes you want a side dish to round out the meal.

  • Serve cottage pie with roasted vegetables.
  • A classic green salad is a good side dish to balance out the heartiness of the cottage pie.
  • Fresh crusty bread is perfect for mopping up any extra gravy or sauce from the cottage pie.

How to Store Leftovers

If you want to make the recipe in advance, store covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

To freeze, wrap the dish tightly in plastic wrap and over-wrap it with aluminum foil. For best quality use within 2 weeks. When ready to eat, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees.

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Overhead view of baked cottage pie in round baking dish on plate.

Cottage Pie for One

A classic Cottage Pie recipe made with ground beef. Scaled down to make a hearty single serving meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 (10-ounce) casserole
Calories: 833kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 dashes salt
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup frozen carrots and peas mix
  • ¼ beef broth
  • ¾ cup mashed potatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in the garlic, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally until the ground beef is cooked thoroughly, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, frozen peas, and beef broth. Bring to a slow boil the reduced heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. When done, remove from heat and set aside,
  • Place the frozen potato medallions in a small microwave-safe bowl and prepare per package instructions.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef mixture to a small 12-ounce baking dish. Spread out the beef mixture in an even layer.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef. Place dish on a small baking sheet and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Brown the Meat Well: Browning the meat helps to develop a deep, savory flavor.
Cook the Vegetables: Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft. This will help them blend in with the meat and make the pie more flavorful.
Use a Thickening Agent: To achieve a rich, gravy-like consistency in your filling, use a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch. Mix it with a bit of water before stirring it into your cooked meat and veggies.
Season the Mashed Potatoes: Season your mashed potatoes well with salt, pepper, and a bit of butter or cream. This ensures that the top layer of your pie is just as flavorful as the filling.
Layer Properly: Spread the meat mixture evenly on the bottom of your dish, and then layer the mashed potatoes on top. Make sure to spread the potatoes to the edges of the baking dish to prevent the filling from bubbling over the top of the potatoes

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 833kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 38g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1253mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g
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