If you have not made a French Sausage Shepherd's pie before, what are you waiting for? It’s creamy and silky mashed potatoes covering a bed of sausage meat and baked with a generous layer of cheese. It is the ultimate comfort food with simple ingredients and can also be a great freezer meal!
Also called Hachi Parmentier in French, this easy dish will be a crowd pleaser. Who does not love a homemade mashed potatoes situation during a Fall or Winter meal?
Potatoes are so versatile, you can bake them on a weeknight like these roasted broccoli and potatoes, or make an elegant side dish with these duchess potatoes.
Why you will love this Shepherds pie:
- A great recipe to MAKE AHEAD
- EASY to adapt and add extra ingredients
- FREEZER meal for the organized one
- Delicious COMFORT meal
🥔 Ingredients Needed
Just a few ingredients and only two main steps to prepare, it goes to show you that the simplest things are sometimes the most delicious! This recipe is also very versatile and adapts to your taste and main dish.
A few notes on some of the ingredients:
- SAUSAGE MEAT: It can be made from different type of meat, beef, pork, chicken or lamb. I like using Italian pork sausage meat.
- POTATOES: Russet potatoes are great for mashing, they give a rich and creamy texture.
- MILK: I used 2% but use what you have.
- CHEESE: Any grated cheese would work, I used old cheddar as it gives a great flavour to the dish.
📋 Variations and Substitutions
Depending what you have on hand or the family taste, here are a few ideas and suggestions to make this recipe your own.
- MEAT: You can use Italian sausage and choose mild or spicy. Or, smoked sausage to give an earthy and woody taste to it. Of course, in a pinch, you can use any ground meat such as ground beef, turkey.
- POTATOES: You can mix them with another vegetable, preferably a root vegetable, or do a mix of sweet potatoes and regular ones. It will add some sweetness.
- ONIONS: If you have some time, take 2 onions and slowly caramelized them, it will add some sweetness to the dish.
- SPICE IT UP: Add some fresh ground pepper to the meat to give a gentle kick.
- DELUXE: Add some mushroom to the sausage meat!
🔪 Instructions to prepare it
The recipe is in 2 main steps: the sausage meat and the mashed potatoes. First, put a large pot of water to boil and peel the potatoes. Then, let's prepare the meat.
Start by finely chopping your onion and garlic, set aside (Picture 1). Next, in a hot skillet, pour some olive oil, the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until soften and golden. Then, add the sausage meat and crumble it as it cooks until there is no more pink (Picture 2). Set aside.
Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes cut in quarter and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Once done, drain the water and put the potatoes back into the pot (Picture 3). And now, add the milk and butter and using a potatoes masher, mash your potatoes (picture 4).
Lastly, assemble your shepherds pie but putting the meat in a baking dish (picture 5) and cover it with the mashed potatoes (Picture 6). Generously spread the grated cheese on top and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
It's ready, enjoy!
Tip: Add some nutmeg in the mashed potatoes!
🍽 What to serve with it?
Although this is a great recipe on its own, I like to add an option of vegetables or salad on the table:
- This Caprese salad is a great option for a leafy side.
- The Tuscan kale salad is always a hit on the table!
- The carrot fries are delicious and made in the Air Fryer since the oven is busy!
💭 Recipe FAQs
Absolutely, you can make it the day before and keep it, covered, in the fridge until you are ready to put in the oven.
I would not go any longer than 48 to 72 hours in an air-tight container.
Yes! You can freeze it and thaw it out over night before cooking it 30 minutes. If you wish to pop it in the oven frozen, consider leaving it for an hour.
Not all are great to mash, the most popular and starchy one for this purpose is the Russet. However, the Yukon potatoes would work too.
Just buy the sausage of your choice and take the meat out.
👩🏻🍳 More Recipes With Potatoes
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📖 French Sausage Shepherd's Pie
- 1 baking dish 9 x 13
For the meat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 600 g sausage meat
- Salt to taste
For the mashed potatoes
- 6 Russet potatoes
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- Bring a large pot (I used my large Le Creuset, 7 qt) with water.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in quarters. Once the water is boiling, add potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 400F.
For the meat
- Chop finely the onion and garlic.
- In a hot skillet, pour olive oil, the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until soften and golden.
- Add sausage meat and crumble it as it cooks until there is no more pink. Set aside.
For the mashed potatoes
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and put potatoes back into the pot.
- Add the milk, butter and salt and using a potatoes masher, mash your potatoes.
- Pour the sausage meat in the baking dish and cover it with the mashed potatoes.
- Generously spread the grated cheese on top.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Make the shepherd's pie ahead of time and freeze it or keep it in the fridge overnight.
- Use Russet or Yukon gold potatoes.
- Italian, spicy or honey garlic sausage meats are all delicious options.
jess meddows says
That layer of cheddar gives it such a delicious looking crunch to the top. And I do love the fancy French name. ;)
I know French sounds always more fancy hehe! Thanks for stopping by Jess!
Sarah | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean says
So I lived in Quebec for a lot of years and I vaguely recall something about "pate chinois"...does that sound right? Is that shepherd's pie too? Lol. This looks really really good. Love cheese on top of shepherd's pie :-).
That's right, I do believe they have that in Quebec Sarah but they add peas and corn, which is a good idea actually to have some color.
Kristy @ she eats says
My mom always makes shepherds pie. and it's divine. or it was divine until I realized - and was politely informed by my oh so eloquent English bf - that it wasn't shepherds pie. in his words (he does have a PhD mind you) ... "what you're eating is efing cottage pie. Shepherds pie efing has efing lamb, not beef. ef". I was stunned. stunned that my mother had led her little lamb so astray but also at his vehemence as to the ingredients that go into a pie. the only time he gets that riled up is when I try to mimic his accent. which I just did. REGARDLESS .... we don't care. you and me are good. not as good as this pie looks though. I've always wanted to try it with cheese. you make this for me, yes?
honoured to be a part of FBC with you my love!
I would love to make some for you Kristy :) Ahah too funny about your boyfriend, he should know that the sky is the limit in the kitchen :) You and I are definitely good! Take care!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Now of course this is a British classic ... but believe it or not I've never made my own. I know, scandalous! I also had no idea there was a French version! Thanks for this, Melanie!
Wow Helen, you have to make it, it is easy and it freezes well too. Thanks for stopping by :)
Love Shepards Pie - total comfort food for us! We always add peas to ours and sometimes sweet potatoe puree instead of white potatoes!
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext.com says
My favourite dish! Have grown up eating Shepard's Pie! Love the cheese, my Mum always puts Cheddar on and it's always so delicious when it's gets all melty and crispy! Love the French name- haha! :D