Don’t you just love the perfect combination of creamy mashed potatoes and savory and rich ground beef of shepherd’s pie? Us too!
But here’s one secret you need to know: that pie you’re referring to is not shepherd’s pie—but a cottage pie! Shocker, right?
We’ve always called it shepherd’s pie too!
So what is traditional shepherd’s pie?
Well, it’s similar to cottage pie because it also has a thick layer of mashed potatoes, but instead of ground beef, it has ground lamb.
But regardless of which pie you’re preparing, the real question is: what do you serve with shepherd’s pie?
- Try Baked Goods to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie
- What Salad Goes with Shepherd’s Pie:
- Vegetable Dishes to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie:
Continue reading to explore our list of top side dishes to pair it with:
Try Baked Goods to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie
If you want to pair your shepherd’s pie with something crispy or crusty, baked goods are the way to go. Here are some of the best-baked goods to serve with shepherd’s pie:
1. Irish Soda Bread
The taste texture of Irish soda bread is similar to that of a biscuit—crusty on the outside, dense on the inside—which perfectly complements the thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes.
Additionally, its mild flavor and slight sweetness (due to the raisins) will balance the richness of the ground lamb of shepherd’s pie.
And if you’re a bit intimidated to bake the bread, we’ve got great news for you. Irish soda bread doesn’t require yeast.
But wait, there’s more!
The absence of yeast also means that the dough doesn’t need lots of kneading and rolling, making it one bread recipe that’s easy enough for beginner bakers.
Everything you need to make this bread is already in your pantry—sugar, raisins, buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and salt.
Fun Fact: Since this dish recipe uses baking soda, you can have the bread ready in just an hour!
2. Condensed Milk Bread
If you haven’t tried eating your bread with condensed milk yet, you’re missing half of your life!
Condensed milk bread is one of the best bread to pair with shepherd’s pie because it’s airy and fluffy instead of dense and heavy. Additionally, it’s sweet and buttery, which can perfectly cut through the lamb’s richness.
3. Dinner Rolls
Do you know why baked goods are one of the best side dishes to shepherd’s pie?
That’s because bread can soak up all the sauces of shepherd’s pie. The best option is warm, soft, and fluffy dinner rolls if you like this idea.
Not only that, but it also has a chewy texture which creates a lovely contrast to the creaminess of the pie.
The best thing about dinner rolls is all of its ingredients are pantry staples—unsalted butter, milk, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and dry yeast. Because of this, you can quickly whip up a batch anytime!
Pro Tip: You can always get a pack of dinner rolls in your local grocery store if you have no time to bake.
4. Yorkshire Pudding
How about serving your shepherd’s pie pub-style? For that, we recommend serving it with a Yorkshire pudding.
So what exactly is this pudding? Well, it’s the British version of your favorite American popover and is crispy on the outside yet highly tender on the inside.
Like all the other baked goods in this category, this pudding is also easy to make. You only need salt, flour, eggs, milk to prepare the batter, then let the oven do its magic.
Pro Tip: Instead of serving shepherd’s pie with Yorkshire pudding, try serving it inside the Yorkshire pudding!
To do this, fill the middle of the pudding with the ground meat and top it off with the creamy mashed potatoes in shepherd’s pie.
What Salad Goes with Shepherd’s Pie:
Do you consider baked goods to be a carb-heavy option?
Well, salads are your best side dishes if you want to pair shepherd’s pie with something light and healthy.
Check out our recommendations below:
5. Goat Cheese Salad
Salads will goat cheese will always be an excellent choice for shepherd’s pie. That’s because the salty goodness of goat cheese will go well with the savory flavors of the lamb and the creamy texture of the mashed potatoes.
But what other ingredients will go well with goat cheese? We have lots of recommendations:
– Crisp pears for a touch of sweetness
– Pecans for a wonderful crunch
– Bed of greens for a fiber boost
Pro Tips: To complete the salad’s flavor profile, you can also add something tangy (cherries or white wine vinegar dressing) or bitter and earthy (beets).
6. Corn Salad
For a healthy dose of fiber and to add a touch of color to your plate, serve shepherd’s pie with corn salad.
Some of the ingredients you’ll need for this side dish are juicy tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, and red onions. In addition, you can mix extra virgin olive oil with lime juice, freshly ground black pepper, and salt for the dressing.
What we love about this salad is the wide range of textures and flavors that it has. Not only that, it’s one of the easiest salads to prepare since no cooking is involved!
Pro Tip: To make the corn salad more special, top it off with crumbled feta cheese, then garnish with chopped fresh basil.
7. Apple Walnut Salad
Do you want to serve shepherd’s pie during the fall season? If yes, serve it with a fall-style salad. An apple walnut salad perfectly fits the bill.
Just imagine this: a gorgeous blend of greens topped off with crisp and sweet apple slices and crunchy and nutty walnuts.
Yes, you can get just about all the flavors and textures you need in one salad. Oh, and let’s also not forget about the fiber boost that comes with it.
Vegetable Dishes to Serve with Shepherd’s Pie:
The best side dish to serve would be vegetable dishes to complete the full nutritional profile of shepherd’s pie.
The good news is that there are many delicious options that you can choose from. Here are our top suggestions:
8. Mushy Peas
Mushy peas are the side dish you shouldn’t forget for a truly authentic British dinner. While the name of the plate is not appetizing, you’ll be surprised by how well it complements your shepherd’s pie.
It’s also pretty easy to do.
You just have to sauté the peas in butter and mash them up. Afterward, season it with salt, lemon, and pepper. To make it thicker and creamier, you can also throw baking soda into the mix.
Pro Tip: Since the thick layer of mashed potatoes is already mushy, serving it with mushy peas may not be appealing to you. Our next best recommendation would be brown butter peas with mint.
The idea of adding mint leaves to crunchy peas may seem unusual, but you will never go back once you’ve tried it.
9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
A lot of people complain about its bitter taste. But did you know that it has an irresistibly nutty, smoky, and sweet flavor when it’s cooked, right?
With that said, the best way to cook them is to roast them then drizzle olive oil all over. The final product? A nutritious vegetable dish that’s crisp on the outside and creamy and nutty in the center.
The best thing about it is it only takes 15 minutes to prepare!
Pro Tip: To bring out its sweet flavor, try drizzling a mixture of lemon juice, honey and balsamic vinegar all over the veggies after roasting.
10. Roasted Eggplant
Eggplant has always taken the backseat among all vegetables. Sure, it’s usually served during barbecue parties. However, it’s always just a supporting cast and not the star.
Well, we’re about to shine the spotlight on this underrated vegetable.
Here’s one thing you should know about eggplants: they are plump, tender, and provide the shepherd’s pie a nice contrast when cooked well.
If you want its natural, delicious flavor to shine through, season it with olive oil, pepper, and salt, then roast it until you achieve a nice caramelized exterior.
11. Sautéed Swiss Chard
If you’ve always considered swiss chard to be a bland vegetable, we’re here to prove you wrong.
Yes, it doesn’t look appetizing, nor does it seem crave-worthy, but give these leafy greens a chance, and you will certainly take back all of those things you’ve said about it.
So are you ready to take a shot on these greens and serve it with shepherd’s pie?
If so, just wash down the greens and sauté it in sweet onions and garlic, and you’ll get to enjoy earthy, bitter, salty, and sweet flavors in just one bite!
Pro Tip: Serve this with a tangy dressing if you want to enjoy a marriage of flavors like no other.
12. Roasted Cauliflower
With its savory lamb meat and creamy potato goodness, the shepherd’s pie needs a side dish with a mild flavor to balance out all of its richness.
Well, roasted cauliflower may just be what you’re looking for.
Surprise: Even though it has a mild flavor, it will never become boring since this dish is highly customizable!
You can keep it simple by seasoning it only with salt, pepper, and olive oil, or you can choose from a wide range of herbs and seasonings to achieve the flavor you want.
Pro Tip: Go for the Italian way and season it with lemon, parmesan, and parsley, or inject a Mexican flair to it using cilantro, cumin, lime, and chili.
13. Glazed Carrots
Since there are potatoes in shepherd’s pie, there should be crunchy carrots too.
Don’t you agree?
It’s like one combination that we’ll never get tired of!
And here’s one way to cook carrots that you might have never tried before: cook it with brown sugar!
Why should you serve it with shepherd’s pie?
Well, it will add a crisp texture and hint of sweetness to the meal—one texture and flavor the shepherd’s pie doesn’t have.
14. Roasted Asparagus
The asparagus is a humble vegetable on its own but roast it to perfection, and you get a side dish that will keep the shepherd’s pie lighter and more well-rounded.
This elegant side dish is very easy to cook, and you only need a few simple ingredients to get it done right—olive oil, pepper, lemon, and salt.
Pro Tip: For an asparagus experience you will never forget, add red pepper flakes, parsley, and parmesan to the mix.
15. Parsnip Puree
Can’t get enough of the creaminess of mashed potatoes in your shepherd’s pie?
You may want to pair it with a side dish that’s equally as fluffy—parsnip puree.
Best news: you don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to whip this up!
All you need are cauliflower, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and parsnip, and you’re good to go!
16. Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon
If you’ve always loved fall flavors, then you’ll adore this butternut squash side dish that we’ll share with you.
Warning: Butternut squash tends to be mushy, which may not pair well with mashed potatoes of shepherd’s pie.
Roasting it will help solve this issue.
You get a butternut squash with a crisp exterior and soft chew interior when roasted right.
Pro Tip: Add in a few cispy roasted bacon bits for a savory flair.
17. Baked Beans
Savory, creamy, and filling— it seems like shepherd’s pie already has it all. Well, except for two flavors—smoky and sweet! Luckily, you can these from smoky baked beans!
However, this shepherd’s pie side dish comes with one con: it takes forever to make!
Pro Tip: If you don’t have the time to bake the beans, you can simply use canned baked beans and season them with spices of your choice.
18. Roasted Garlic Lemon Green Beans
Are you looking for a healthy and vibrant side dish for shepherd’s pie that you can prepare in just 15 minutes?
Well, go for green beans!
Green beans have a crisp texture that contrasts nicely with the creamy texture of shepherd’s pie. Not only that, but the vibrant color of green beans will also brighten the dish and make it look more appetizing.
When it comes to green beans, keeping it simple is the key. Just simply stick with garlic and lemon, and you’ll never go wrong.
Pro Tip: Top it off with toasted almonds for a nice crunchy texture.
The Bottom Line
Shepherd’s pie or cottage pie—undoubtedly, both pies are tasty and filling. But if you want these to be a well-rounded meal nutritionally and taste-wise, you have to pair it with a suitable side dish.
We hope that our list of best side dishes to serve with shepherd’s pie can help you find what you’re looking for.