Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes

4.7 from 26 votes
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Turn your favorite comfort food casserole upside down to make Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes for a fun family dinner. Stuffed baked potatoes become a full meal when they are loaded with a ground beef Shepherd’s Pie filling and plenty of melted cheese. This easy recipe will be a new (and naturally gluten free) favorite!

Why You’ll Love Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Irish-inspired
  • Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

My kids are not picky eaters in the least, but my youngest would not eat a potato for years. That is until I took the filling from my favorite Shepherd’s Pie and, instead of doing all the work of peeling and boiling and mashing potatoes, I just turned it into a stuffed baked potato. Yes, you’ll see I called it “Shepeherd’s Pie”, but since it is made with beef, technically it is “Cottage Pie”. Hence, Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes, even though I usually slip and call them Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Potatoes.

Whatever you call it, there are a million reasons to love this recipe, but here are just a few:

  • Makes a classic easier. Yes, no fussing with making mashed potatoes. Plus there is no need to prepare a roux or slurry to thicken the gravy. So while it is slightly different than a traditional cottage pie filling, it’s extra simple and super delicious. It’s also easier than other cottage pie baked potato recipes which essentially call for twice-baking by scooping out the centers to make a mashed potato topping.
  • Naturally gluten free. Yes, with no flour for thickening, this entire dish uses completely gluten free ingredients. It can even be dairy-free my omitting the cheese or using a vegan option.
  • Absolutely timeless. While it is one of our favorite easy dinner recipes for any night of the year, especially during comfort food season, this loaded baked potato recipe is a perfect way to enjoy a gluten free St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t have time to make corned beef and cabbage!

Rave Reviews

And they are not a favorite solely in my family. Check out what some of the nearly 150,000 people who have pinned this recipe and nearly 8 million people who have seen the video on Facebook have to say:


This is such a perfect, comforting, cozy meal for fall and all of the colder months. I have always loved Shepherd’s Pie, but have never had it like this before. Such a great idea! -Bee

I love this recipe. I’ll be making it again tonight for I think the 5th time <3 -Andrea

A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!! If you question whether to try this or not…you HAVE to try it! It is sooo good and perfect comfort food! -Jenny

Loved these! Great for the whole family and super easy! -Jenna

A closeup of a baked potato stuffed with ground beef and vegetables and topped with melted cheddar cheese.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes Recipe Ingredients

This entire recipe has only nine ingredients and just a few steps. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make it. You can find the full quantities and detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Russet baking potatoes. Wash and dry them to prepare to make the baked potatoes.
  • Ground beef. I like to use 90% lean ground beef.
  • Onion. Chopped.
  • Garlic. Minced or crushed in a garlic press.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Worcestershire sauce. If needed for you, in the United States, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free. But in other countries or with other brands, do check the label or company website.
  • Beef broth. Boxed broth or stock has the best flavor if you can’t make homemade.
  • Frozen mixed vegetables. Here we use a mixture of carrots, peas, green beans, and corn.
  • Cheddar cheese. Use yellow or white cheddar. Vegan cheese can be substituted for a dairy-free option.
Bowls and plates of ingredients to make cottage pie baked potatoes.

How to Make Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

One of the best parts of this stuffed baked potato recipe is how easily it comes together. The filling can actually be made during the last twenty minutes or so that the baked potatoes are cooking. Let’s briefly go over the steps.

  • Bake the potatoes. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and bake them at 400°F for about an hour. If you need them ready faster, you can have them prepared ahead of time in the crockpot, or cook them in the microwave, Instant Pot, or air fryer. I have a detailed article on how to make baked potatoes that details each method.
Prepare baked potatoes
  • Make the shepherd’s pie filling. Brown the ground beef in a skillet with onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Add vegetables and simmer till thickened.

Fill and bake potatoes. Once the potatoes are baked, cut through the potato skin and open them up with a fork. Place the potatoes in a cast iron skillet or glass pie plate and spoon the filling inside. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and return them to the oven until the cheese melts.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes Variations

There are countless ways you can customize these stuffed baked potatoes to your preferences. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Make true shepherd’s pie. That means instead of cottage pie baked potatoes using beef, you can make them with ground lamb.
  • Lighten it up. Alternatively, if you want a leaner option, you can substitute ground chicken or turkey.
  • Swap the veggies. This loaded baked potato recipe calls for mixed veggies, but you can use a single type of veggie, stick with peas and carrots, or go with something entirely different like cauliflower or mushrooms.
  • Try sweet potatoes. For those love combo of sweet and savory as much as I do, try stuffing the filling into baked sweet potatoes.
  • Change the cheese. Besides using dairy-free cheese, if needed, you can also try something like Monterey Jack or even a melted cheese like Havarti. It’s up you you.
  • Use the filling. You can stick with this same filling but repurpose it in different ways, like Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries, Mini Shepherd’s Pie in Ramekins, Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Peppers, or even Tater Tot Shepherd’s Pie.
Cottage Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes in a round glass pie plate.

Tips for the Best Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

Here are a few suggestions for the ultimate baked potato meal:
  • Choose the right potatoes. Russet potatoes make the best baked potatoes because the skins get crispy and the interiors fluffy. You’ll want to choose potatoes that are about the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Thicken the filling. You’ll want to make sure you let the mixture simmer just a bit to get nice and sauce so the juices don’t just run out of the potato.
  • Fluff it up. Cutting an “x” in the potato and pressing it open allows you to fully open and fluff the cooked potato and maximize how muck filling you can fit inside.
  • Make it ahead. You can bake the potatoes and make the filling in advance, then just stuff and bake them before serving. In this case, either reheat the filing on the stove or in the microwave and the potatoes in the oven or microwave first. Or fill them cold, cover them, and bake in the oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes until they are heated through before adding the cheese.


What are the best potatoes to use?

Russet potatoes are the best choice for making baked potatoes. Their high-starch content provides structure to create fluffiness, and the skin gets nice and crisp.They also have a mildly sweet flavor.

Is a traditional Shepherd’s Pie made with beef or lamb?

In the United States, many people refer to what is traditionally called “Cottage Pie” as “Shepherd’s Pie”. Technically, Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb and Cottage Pie is made with ground beef.
However, ground beef is easier to find and used more in American households than ground lamb. Since Shepherd’s Pie is a more comment term, that has led to this confusion. The dishes themselves are essentially the same with a mixture of minced meat and vegetables in gravy, baked in a casserole dish with a cap of mashed potatoes.

Can you freeze baked potatoes?

Yes, wrapped well, baked potatoes can be frozen for up to 2 months. However, while they can safely be frozen, do note that the texture may change slightly as they can become a little more watery due to the formation of ice crystals.

A Shepherd's Pie Baked Potato on a blue plate.

Storing and Reheating Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Refrigerator. You can store either the prepared baked potatoes and cottage pie filling or any fully prepared leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Freezer. If tightly sealed, they can also be frozen for up to 2 months. But be sure to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating. Reheat cottage pie baked potatoes in the microwave until steaming hot, or return them to the oven for about 20 minutes. In this case, I would recommend covering them so the cheese doesn’t get too brown and hard.

Make-ahead. If you’ve prepared but not assembled the stuffed baked potatoes, you can first reheat the potatoes in the oven or microwave and the filling on the stove or microwave, then fill and bake just to melt the cheese, as directed. Alternatively, you can fill the potatoes while cold, then cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F or until heated through before topping with shredded cheese.

A stuffed Baked Potato with a ground beef filling an melted cheddar chese on a blue plate with a side salad

Serving Suggestions for Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

When most people think of a stuffed baked potato, they usually think of a side dish like Broccoli Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes to serve with a steak. However, this is a baked potato dinner, so you might only need some lighter sides like these:

A Shepherd's Pie Baked Potato on a blue plate.
4.7 from 26 votes

Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes

Turn your favorite comfort food casserole upside down to make Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes for a fun family dinner. Stuffed baked potatoes become a full meal when they are loaded with a ground beef Shepherd's Pie filling and plenty of melted cheese. This easy recipe will be a new (and naturally gluten free) favorite!


  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 garlic clove crushed or minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup tomato paste one 6-ounce can
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables thawed (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese about 4 oz.


  • Bake the potatoes in a 400°F oven for about an hour or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. Or you can cook in the microwave for about 10 minutes, rotating after five minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until it is browned. Drain any excess grease.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth.
  • Add the vegetables, bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut a slit down the length of one potato then another one perpendicular to make an “x”. Squeeze the sides of the potato to open it up and place in a glass baking dish. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
  • Spoon the filling into the potatoes and top with shredded cheese.
  • Return to a 400°F oven for about 5 minutes, or place under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Nutrition Facts
Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 564 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 1195mg50%
Potassium 2214mg63%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 8g32%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 5665IU113%
Vitamin C 36.3mg44%
Calcium 310mg31%
Iron 8.1mg45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  1. DeAnna Pettit

    3 stars
    This was an awesome concept and my kiddos loved the baked potatoes, however, this tasted more like a sloppy joe mix than we were expecting. We will keep the idea of the Shepherd’s Pie baked potatoes but I will probably continue to make it like I normally would. Thanks for giving us something new to try!

  2. Linda Matsko

    I made this recipe tonight. I cut a small slice off eat potato and scooped out some of the potato. There was so much meat mixture left I used 3 large ramekins and put left over potato in bottom. Filled them with meat mixture and topped with cheese. Put all in oven to melt cheese. The boys will love the larger portions. Will definitely do this one again!

  3. Jenny

    5 stars
    A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!! If you question whether to try this or not…you HAVE to try it! It is sooo good and perfect comfort food!

  4. Carrie H

    5 stars
    Sooo good!! I would just recommend “deconstructing” the potato a little more before adding the filling for more surface area to soak in and moisten the potato more. The filling alone is delicious!! Thank you for posting!

  5. Linda

    I made this for dinner, and I will definitely make it again! It was soooooo delicious, and loved by all.
    Thank you for sharing 😁

  6. Marian

    5 stars
    Made this dish and my family thought it was better that original Shepard’s pie! Definitely will be making again!

  7. Sidney

    5 stars
    My husband and I are staying in because of the terrible Coronavirus that’s unfolding (March 2020)
    I have stocked up on ground beef and sweet potatoes so I’m going to try making this beef mixture and stuffing it into the sweet potatoes ? .
    I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  8. 5 stars
    This is such a perfect, comforting, cozy meal for fall and all of the colder months. I have always loved Shepherd’s Pie, but have never had it like this before. Such a great idea!

  9. 5 stars
    I like the new spin on Sheppard’s Pie. Makes for a nice change even if no lamb was used. HA HA HA. How old is the kid? Young children do not like mushy food because their teeth are growing and they want something hard to bite into. Which is why he goes for the fries which are harder. Hey maybe you can serve this over fries for him? You can call it Sheppard’s Poutine (Canadian style) and voila you have a new recipe. Oui?

      1. Cinnamon Vogue

        5 stars
        Awe thanks. Glad to oblige. We shall wait for you to come up with that recipe and comments and feedback from the brat. ?

    1. Susan

      I don’t see any instructions to take the potatoes out and mash with butter, cream cheese or seasoning. I think you need a seasoned “mashed potatoes’” before you but the filling and cheese. Just me.

      1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

        Hi Susan,
        I’m sorry for any confusion. This recipe isn’t for Shepherd’s Pie… it’s for Shepherd’s Pie loaded baked potatoes. You are correct that Shepherd’s Pie has mashed potatoes on the top, but this recipe is the reverse of that. You use baked potatoes and add Shepherd’s Pie toppings to it.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy to hear that the recipe was a hit with your family, Amy. Thank you for your comment!

  10. […] Cupcakes & Kale Chips gives us another easy recipe that will make weekday meals so much easier. If you’re already a fan of shepard’s pie, then you’ll definitely be a fan of this loaded potato. It’s filled with all the best ingredients from the classic dinner dish! […]

  11. Atalanta

    4 stars
    Although this looks pretty tasty, I’m fairly certain this is actually Cottage Pie. Shepherds Pie would be ground lamb.

    1. Yes, you are probably right, but I have seen the beef version referred to as Shepherd’s Pie in many places. My family is not a fan of lamb but we like these flavors together, and beef is more readily available for some people, so I hope everyone can enjoy is, whatever they want to call it, or which meat they decide to use!

  12. Sue

    Hi! This sounds perfectly yummy and quick (while fairly inexpensive :)and exactly what this tired single mom is looking for! and thank you for including the change serving option!! I am trying this recipe this weekend! Enjoy your day 🙂

  13. Ben Wallace

    After eight paragraphs, several pictures, and a video, you finally got around to showing the recipe. Protip: recipe first, fluff second.

  14. Jason so stuffed

    WE MADE THIS! Forgive my vernacular but it is stupid good! The meat sauce alone is ridiculous, together i fear it to be a potential felony. A must try for everyone. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Haha! Thank you for the smile, Jason. I’m glad you’re “so stuffed” and happy with the recipe!

  15. Pretty sure the only way you could make Shepherd’s Pie better is to stuff it in a baked potato. I’m pretty in love right now! So glad you linked up with us at Idea Box. Make sure you join us again for this week’s party–starts tomorrow at 6am sharp! You’ll be one of my features for the week 🙂

  16. Your book story is funny. One of my grandsons became ill after eating peanuts years ago and refuses to eat them from now on. So funny. Your recipes sounds fabulous! I’m so glad you share with us at Merry Monday.

  17. That sounds like a cute book, and one I need to read to my nephew for when I am trying to get him to eat something I make! In other news, these loaded ‘taters are genius! I always feel kind of lazy and don’t want to make Shepherd’s Pie for just the two of us, and this is a perfect solution!

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