Irish eyes will be smiling because the air fryer makes the best shepherd’s pie recipe around!

Savory meat and veggies are cooked under a cheesy potato topping in the air fryer with minimal prep and cleanup! It’s your lucky day!

slice of air fryer shepherd's pie on a plate

Amazing Air Fryer Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  • What is Shepherd’s Pie? It’s a savory entrée made with a base of seasoned ground beef (or lamb), mixed vegetables, and covered with a cheesy mashed potato topping.
  • The traditional shepherd’s pie recipe has been made even quicker, easier, and just as delicious in the air fryer so it’s on the table in minutes without heating up the stove or oven!
  • Shepherd’s pie can be prepared fresh, but it’s also a great way to use up leftover meat, veggies, gravy, or mashed potatoes.
  • Super versatile shepherd’s pie can be assembled up to one day in advance. Let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking in the air fryer.
ingredients assembled to make air fryer shepherd's pie, including frozen mixed vegetables, shredded cheese, instant mashed potatoes, ground beef, brown gravy mix, garlic, onion, butter, milk, and worcestershire sauce

Ingredients and Variations

Meat – Traditionally, shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, but any meat like leftover cooked turkey or chicken will make this a budget-friendly and delicious dinner! For vegetarians, simply switch out the meat altogether for tofu, seitan, or black beans.

Filling – Instead of brown gravy mix, use a can of cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soup

Mashed Potatoes – This recipe is made uber-easy by using instant mashed potatoes, but leftover mashed potatoes or even a tub of store-bought will work great!

How to Make the Best Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

  1. Prepare mashed potato topping and set aside.
  2. Cook beef in a skillet and drain fat. Add the remaining ingredients (per the recipe below). Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sauce is thickened.
  3. Pour the beef mixture into the bottom of an air fryer-safe pan. Cover with potato topping. Cook until the top is golden.

Storing Shepherd’s Pie

Keep leftover Shepherd’s Pie in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or the microwave.

For frozen air fryer Shepherd’s Pie, prepare as directed and cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Cook as directed.

More Ground Beef Recipes

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air fryer shepherd's pie in a pan
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Air Fryer Shepherd’s Pie

This Air Fryer shepherd's pie recipe makes this classic dish in a snap!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings


Mashed Potato Topping

  • 2 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded, optional


  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix 3 Tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves


Mashed Potato Topping

  • In a medium bowl add prepared mashed potatoes, milk, melted butter and cheddar cheese (if using). Stir until well combined. Set aside.

Meat Filling

  • Combine beef or lamb, onion and garlic in a large skillet. Cook over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Add frozen vegetables, gravy mix, Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer at medium-high heat for 7-9 minutes or until thickened.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
  • Place the beef mixture in the bottom of an air fryer/heat safe pan. Top with the potato mixture.
  • Place pan in the air fryer basket and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and the top is golden.


Ensure your pan is heat safe before cooking in the air fryer. We use this round air fryer pan.
Before adding the shepherd’s pie to your pan, ensure the pan fits in the air fryer.
Fresh vegetables can be used in place of frozen. Ensure they are finely diced. They may need a few minutes of extra cooking time.
Traditional Shepard’s pie uses lamb, cottage pie uses beef. 
TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES: Scrub 4 medium russet potatoes under running water and thoroughly dry. Poke potatoes with a fork and place in the air fryer. Bake the potatoes at 390°F for about 40-45 minutes or until tender. Remove the potatoes, scoop out the flesh (reserve the skins for potato skins if desired) and mash with a potato masher.
Keep leftover Shepherd’s Pie in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or the microwave.
5 from 11 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 1177mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2756IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a mom of 4 with a love for all things air fryer! Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Really good! After the first few bites, I added another pound of meat, but I just like lots of meat.

  2. Place pan in the air fryer basket and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

    At what temperature? Please be specific in your recipe.

  3. Great tasting recipe, but one thing. In the ingredients spices are listed (thyme, salt, and pepper), but it doesn’t say anywhere in the instructions when to app them.

    1. We add the spices in step 4 when sprinkling the beef mixture with the gravy mix. Hope that helps!