Have you ever had Shepherd’s Pie at The Cheesecake Factory? I have not, but my friend Alyssa shared a knock off recipe for CF Shepherd’s Pie with me that she had tried. We were talking about how much she loves Corned Beef and I love Shepherd’s Pie.

I have changed and messed with this recipe for years. It has become a family favorite for sure. My kids LOVE when this is for dinner. This is definitely NOT your mom’s Shepherd’s Pie!

It is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you don’t have leftovers, then get some potatoes peeled, chopped and boiling. This is a great job for a little sous chef! My boys love prepping potatoes for me, which is actually helpful.

I like to take about 10 minutes, and prep and chop all the veggies so they are ready to toss in.

I cut the zucchini in these flat strips.

In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil. Then add some red wine or a little broth. If you are going for Gluten Free make sure the broth is gluten free! Stir and cook till all liquid cooks off. Remove the mushrooms to a plate.

Next add 1 tablespoon more olive oil to the skillet, and sauté the carrots, onion and garlic.

*Quick Tip – I buy a bag of shredded carrots next to the prepared bags of lettuce at the grocery store. They are handy to have on hand to throw into soups, salads, casseroles etc.

Spread the carrots and onions to the outside edge, add a little more oil if needed, and place in the ground meat. Break it up, and gently mix in with veggies. Stir and cook till the meat is all browned.

Season the meat as it cooks with thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the mushrooms, peas, and 1 Tablespoon of butter. Next sprinkle the flour over the meat, and mix in. If you are doing GLUTEN FREE use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch instead of flour. Add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and remaining wine, or 1/2 cup of beef broth. For GF make sure the Worcestershire sauce you use is GF. Most of them are, but double check.

Add in the cup of broth. I always use beef. Simmer and stir till it thickens and slightly reduces into a nice gravy.

Take off the heat and add in the zucchini.

Pour the meat and veggie mix into a prepared 9×13 dish.

Prep the mashed potatoes by draining them once they are fork tender. Mash or use an electric mixer and mash them with a little butter, cream or milk and salt & pepper.

Evenly spread the potatoes over the meat and veggies mix. Then brush the whisked egg over the top of the potatoes.

Sprinkle fresh parmesan over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until it’s a light golden color on top, and the gravy is bubbling up around the sides.

I love to prep a few ramekins that are freezer and oven safe, fill with the meat, then cover with mashed potatoes, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze! They are a fantastic lunch option for when I’m working at home, and the family is gone. Thaw for about an hour. Take off plastic. Brush with whisked egg, sprinkle on some parmesan and bake on a small baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. Bake longer if it didn’t thaw as long.

Shepherd’s Pie

NOT your mother's Shepherd's Pie! This is decadent Shepherd's pie adapted from a Cheesecake Factory knock off.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Irish


  • 2 Tablespoons oil, divided
  • cups white mushrooms chopped
  • 8 ounce red wine *can substitute beef broth, I use cooking wine found by the vinegar at your grocery store.
  • ½ cup carrots julienned or shredded
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef I prefer ground beef
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons flour for GF use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce for GF make sure your brand is safe
  • 1 cup beef stock for GF make sure it is gluten free
  • 2 medium zucchini julienned
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes 6 medium yellow potatoes, 4T butter, ½ cup cream, salt & pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 Tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated


  • *If you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes, skip to step 2.
    Boil diced potatoes in salted water until soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Butter large casserole dish.
  • In large skillet, heat 1T oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms.
    Sauté mushrooms until soft and brown. Add ¼ cup red wine (or beef broth) to the hot pan, stirring and scraping the pan till all the liquid cooks off. Remove mushrooms to a plate.
  • Add 1T remaining oil to the skillet and heat to medium.
  • Saute carrots until beginning to soften, then add onion and garlic.
  • When onions are soft add ground meat and brown, breaking meat into large chunks.
  • When meat is browned, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Add mushrooms, peas and 1T butter.
  • Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir. Then add tomato paste, Worcestershire and remaining ½ cup red wine (or beef broth).
  • Cook and stir mixture for several minutes. Add beef stock and simmer until sauce is thick and somewhat reduced.
  • Remove from heat and stir in zucchini. Season to taste.
  • Pour meat mixture into casserole dish, lightly sprayed with oil.
  • Drain and mash potatoes with butter, cream and salt & pepper.
  • Spoon mashed potatoes over meat, spread and smooth the top. (At this point you can refrigerate or freeze the dish as desired. I freeze individual portions in ramekins).
  • Brush potatoes with a beaten egg and sprinkle with parmesan. I also like to sprinkle more thyme on top.
  • Bake casserole 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and potatoes are browned. *Cook time will be longer for a cold or frozen dish.
Keyword dinner, main dish, casserole, family dinner