Copycat Cheesecake Factory’s Shepherd’s Pie (but better!)

December 27th, 2011 by katie

My mom’s Shepherd’s Pie is one of my favorite recipes from childhood.  Every now and then she makes a few small pies and gives me one to heat up on a busy weeknight. I am always thrilled to dig beneath the warm potatoes to the tender beef and vegetables.  She is the one who actually turned me on the the Shepherd’s Pie at the Cheesecake Factory-one of our favorite restaurant dishes.  It’s luxurious and rich with mushrooms and zucchini and an amazing gravy.  Our quick, easy version doesn’t hold a candle to it.

I don’t typically make Shepherd’s Pie myself but I have always wanted to re-create that rich, meaty pie from the Cheesecake Factory.  I think I may have actually stumbled upon an even better recipe.  It’s not a quick dish but it’s not hard and once you’ve got it in the baking dish you can refrigerate it or freeze it until you are ready.  It’s a good long, slow weekend dish: one that takes some time but gives you plenty of delicious leftovers for the week. 

Shepherd’s Pie

serves 8, prep 20 min, cook 40 min
  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 12 oz white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 8 oz red wine, divided
  • 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb or beef
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (6 medium yellow potatoes, 4 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup cream)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. If you happen to have left-over mashed potatoes skip to step 2.  Boil diced potatoes in salted water until soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Butter a large casserole dish.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms until soft and brown.  Add 2 oz red wine to the hot pan, stirring and scraping the pan.  Remove mushrooms to a plate.
  4. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, heat to medium.
  5. Saute carrots until beginning to soften, then add onion and garlic.
  6. When onions are soft add ground meat and brown, breaking meat into large chunks.
  7. When meat is browned, season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Add mushrooms, peas and 1 tbsp butter.
  8. Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir.  Then add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining 6 oz wine.
  9. Cook and stir mixture for several minutes.  Add stock and simmer until sauce is thick and somewhat reduced.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini.  Season to taste.
  11. Pour meat mixture into the prepared casserole.
  12. Drain and mash potatoes with butter and cream as needed.
  13. Spoon mashed potatoes over meat and spread and smooth the top. (At this point you can refrigerate or freeze the dish as desired.)
  14. Brush potatoes with a beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  15. Bake casserole 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and potatoes are browned.  Cook time will be longer for a cold dish.
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Posted in Main Dish, Things I Love

29 Responses

  1. Biz

    Sans the mushrooms and onions, I am all over this one Katie!

    Happy New Year!

  2. anne from olympia

    This is so delicious! I made it last night and the flavors are to die for.

  3. linda from nj

    I have been searching a long time for a shepherd’s pie recipe that I would like and I believe my search to be over. This one looks amazing and I am looking forward to making it soon. Thank you so much for posting it and sharing! 🙂

  4. cara

    Spent more time than I should have today looking at your blog and the wonderful recipes…

  5. Biz

    Hope you are doing okay Katie! 😀 Hugs!

  6. Sando @ the daily deelight

    Hi! I just wanted you to know that I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! I love reading your blog. Your recipes are fabulous + so are your photos. And I wanted others to know about your fabulousness too!! 🙂 Here’s my link about it.

    Have a great day!! 🙂

  7. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet

    I love the Cheesecake Factory! Not sure I’ve ever had their shepherd’s pie, but this looks great!

  8. Emily

    I just made this for dinner so we could have something to eat while watching the London Olympic opening ceremonies! It’s so good! 🙂

  9. Ruben

    I’m trying this tonight. I recently moved into an area that has no Cheesecake Factory for miles and I was really craving a heaping spoonful of shephard’s pie today. I just got back from the grocery store with the ingredients and can’t wait to dive into this.

    Thank you for the recipe!!

  10. Jan

    I just made this. It is close to the Cheesecake Factory version. And it is very very yummy! I used beef instead of lamb, and I think the lamb would be better.

  11. Dana

    Their recipe has rosemary in it you can taste it and see it so I doubt your recipe is correct

  12. Brandice

    This recipe rocks! I used sharp cheddar on top instead of eggs and parmesean cheese. My children loved it too.

  13. Angela

    We are big fans of the Cheesecake Factory Shepard pie. As someone had pointed out, their recipe contains rosemary. We just added about 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary & followed the rest of the recipe. It came out exactly like the Cheesecake Factory version, even better. Also, I believe they use thinly julienned cucumbers instead of zucchini. I think the zucchini taste better but lack the crunch that the cucumber has.
    Thank you for this recipe! We will keep in our family recipe binder.

  14. Meme

    When do you add the peas. I added them with the zucchini but I was just wondering if I was supposed to actually add it earlier.

  15. Tara

    What kind of wine?! I’m making it tonight without I hope it turns out good!

  16. Ty

    Hi – There is still an aromatic spice missing from this recipe that Cheesecake Factory puts in. Can’t seem to figure out what it is. Not Tarragon. Any ideas?

  17. Brooke

    this is absolutely amazing! It’s so rich! The first Shepherd’s pie I ever ate was my husband grandma’s and… it was okay. It didn’t leave me craving shepherds pie any time soon. But this recipe!!!! I seriously think about this recipe at least once a week! I’m gong to be making it again for dinner next week, and I can’t wait for the leftovers to take to work for lunch!

  18. Niya

    Tried the recipe and it is delish! This one’s a keeper. With the rosemary it tastes really close to the real deal. I used ground turkey and it’s still soooo delicious. I’m usually disappointed with these types of recipes but this one is a home run!

  19. Sue

    This is so delicious. Make it on a day when you have plenty of time. There is quite a bit of prep work and several cooking steps. It would be a great company recipe.

  20. Amanda

    I made this last night, and the sauce still seems to be missing something. It did not have the richness that the cheesecake factorys pie had. However, I used 93/7 ground beef. Cheesecake factory obviously used a way fattier beef and did not drain the fat… so maybe that is what it was. I am hoping not because as good as it was I felt my arteries clogging. Any ideas on the richness? I don’t it was just because it didnt have rosemary in it.

  21. Missy

    Hi – I had this the other day at CF and I think they used salisbury steak, broken up and browned. It was delicious!

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  24. Lisa

    I just made this recipe with slivered sirloin. It was the best Shepherd pie we’ve had yet!! Thanks for posting the recipe!!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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