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This easy ground venison shepherd’s pie recipe is the ultimate meat and potatoes meal! Ground venison combines with healthy vegetables in a silky and flavorful gravy all topped by a gorgeous crust of parmesan mashed potatoes.
This hearty dinner checks all the important boxes. Loaded with protein? Check. Includes potatoes? Check. Has a generous dose of vegetables? Check.
Shepherd’s Pie has its origins in Ireland. It used to be made with leftover meats and undesirable vegetables all held together with the widely available (and cheap) potato.
While I’m all about building a meal on a foundation of potatoes, I had to give the Irish dish a modern spin. It has been updated to include ground venison and parmesan cheese. It's easily one of my favorite venison recipes!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Ground Venison
- Salt & Pepper
- Onion & Garlic Powder
- Corn Starch
- White Onion
- Minced Garlic
- Beef Stock
- Frozen Peas & Carrots
- Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Cheese
How to make Shepherd’s Pie using Ground Venison
- Brown the venison. In the same pot you sautéed the onions and garlic in. Season it generously.
- Make the gravy. Beef stock provides flavor and corn starch helps to thicken it.
- Add the frozen peas and carrots. Doing this now prevents the peas from drying out and becoming chalky or overcooked.
- Top with mashed potatoes. You can use leftovers! Or simultaneously make a batch of my favorite buttery mashed potatoes while you’re prepping the filling for the pie. Whichever you choose, stir in one cup of parmesan cheese.
- Adjust your seasoning. Always double check the salt levels!
- Bake and then broil. Baking makes everything cohesive, broiling creates a beautifully browned top.
Serving shepherd’s pie
Shepherd’s pie is one of those great meals that has every component in one package. The protein, the carbs, the vegetable. We often serve it in big bowls and call it a day. But! It’s also great with green beans or roasted carrots on the side.
Freezing & Reheating Instructions
When storing leftover shepherd’s pie it will keep in the fridge for up to four days. If desired, the entire casserole can be made and frozen in a glass baking dish. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze.
To reheat: thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350, remove the plastic wrap and recover the dish with the foil. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes, or until warmed through.
Other great ground venison recipes
Easy Ground Venison Shepherd’s Pie
- Shallow Dutch Oven
- Baking Dish optional
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 ½ cups diced white onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds ground venison thawed
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 pound frozen pea and carrot blend
- 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
- 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese (or ½ cup of the canister shaky cheese)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a heavy bottomed shallow Dutch oven (or a large skillet) set over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Add the onion and a pinch of Kosher salt, stirring to coat. Cook until onions have started to become tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute more.(If making mashed potatoes from scratch, start the process now in tandem.)
- Add the ground venison and season with the remaining Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in the cornstarch once meat is browned.
- Stir in the beef stock, mixing well to avoid lumps.
- Bring to a boil and cook until beef stock is reduced to a silky gravy, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in frozen peas and carrots (they’ll cook in the dish, don’t worry!).
- Meanwhile, stir 1 cup of parmesan cheese into the prepared mashed potatoes and spread over the top of the filling.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then broil on low for 6 minutes (or on high for 3 minutes if you’re brave). Remove dish from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven that can go from stovetop to oven to table, you can prepare the filling in a large skillet and pour it into a 9x13 casserole dish before topping with potatoes and proceeding with the recipe as instructed.
- Leftovers can be store in refrigerator for up to four days.
- Make ahead option: Make the recipe as directed above, stopping before broiling. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Next, wrap the cooled shepherd’s pie in plastic wrap and then in tinfoil and freeze for up to two months.
- To reheat frozen shepherd’s pie: thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350, remove the plastic wrap and recover the dish with the foil. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes, or until warmed through and then broil.
- This recipe calls for Kosher salt and not regular table salt. If you don't have Kosher salt, use 1 ½ teaspoons of regular table salt instead of 1 tablespoon, being sure to taste as you cook to avoid over-seasoning.
Nicole Nathan says
Yumo!!! Totally easy and totally delish!
So happy you liked it Nicole! Thanks for making my recipe 🙂
Michael Hayden says
My mashed potatoes sank into the meat mixture. Not sure why this happened
Hmm, I'm not sure either, Michael! That's never happened to me. My best guess would be that perhaps your taters were a little too mashed and that caused them to be absorbed? Or perhaps they were under mashed and too heavy so they sank? What a mystery! What size pan did you bake the pie in? Did you use my mashed potato recipe or another? Did you find the filling to be overly liquid? I'd love to troubleshoot this with you. 🙂
Do you use fresh Parmesan or the grated kind in a shaker (like Kraft?) Thank you!
I like to use fresh Parmesan but I've used shaky cheese to great success before! So feel free to use that if it's all you have on hand!
Katherine White says
Oh.My.Word. This is the best Shepherd's Pie we've ever eaten! I didn't use the garlic and onion powders, used half the parmesan cheese, and had to substitute chicken broth for beef. Even so, this is comfort food to die for. Thanks for a great recipe!
Yes! Ultimate comfort food for venison fans! So happy you enjoyed it, Katherine 🙂
Taylor Onate says
Right!! I used jar garlic and real onions not powder. I also used 1/2 the cheese. And chicken broth and! Flour instead of cornstarch (just blend it).
Mel B. says
I made it and it was delicious. I used Tapioca flour instead of cornstarch and it worked just fine. I will definitely make this again!
Hi and Thank You for a great recipe!
A few things that made it a bit more yummy for the kids; used 1/3 lb 90/10 HB meat, added 1-2tsp of red vinegar to the meat after it started to thicken up & sprinkled a little Romero in-between the meat & potato combo and cooked perfectly!!!
Even the pickiest eaters Loved it!!!!
Sounds great! If I only have 1 pound of ground venison to work with would I also cut all the other ingredients in half? Thanks!
Amanda Gajdosik says
Hi Matt! Yes, you absolutely can just halve all of the ingredients. If you're going to bake it in a pan I'd suggest a 9x9 square pan, or 9-inch cast iron pan. Enjoy!
Taylor Onate says
Best shepherds pie I’ve ever had!
Jen W. says
Have you made it with fresh carrots and peas? I don’t have a frozen pack and have alot of leftover fresh. Was thinking I’d just precook them so they’re soft already and ready to bake in the mixture?
Amanda Gajdosik says
I haven't made this with fresh. I'd mix them in with the beef stock and let them cook while the sauce simmers away. That should be enough cook time and you won't have to dirty another dish! Let me know how it turns out 🙂
This is definitely a do over in my household. It was amazing! Everyone in the family enjoyed it. Simple yet flavorful. Thank you for an easy go to recipe for our family!
This recipe is always a hit! Perfect, comforting meal. I usually just make it for my husband and I, and I half the recipe. Today I made it for 5 men after they worked out in the cold all day and the whole pan was devoured in about 5 min.
Look forward to making this with venison sausage. What size dutch oven do you recommend for this recipe?
Amanda Gajdosik says
Hi Erin, I normally use a Le Creuset 3.5qt shallow braiser that's got about the same surface area as a 9x13 pan. If you don't have a shallow Dutch oven like that you can use a baking pan!