What to serve with shepherd’s pie! Here are the best side dishes for cottage pie so you can create an amazing, classic comfort food meal.
Homemade shepherd’s pie, aka cottage pie, is a hearty and savory British dish made with ground meat and topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
It starts with ground beef or ground lamb flavored with tomato paste, beef broth, red wine gravy, or worcestershire sauce.
The savory meat mixture is typically combined with vegetables such as carrots, onions, peas, and corn, then layered with mashed potatoes and baked.
It’s basically the definition of comfort food.
While traditional shepherd’s pie is commonly topped with potatoes that are mixed with egg yolk so it turns golden brown, you can also use parsnip puree for a low carb version.
Whether you bake it right in the large skillet you used to brown the meat, or transfer it to a baking dish or casserole dish for browning and serving, it makes a beautiful presentation on the table.
And while it’s a simple dish easy enough for any home chef to serve on a weekday or Sunday supper, it’s also special enough for a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day.
While this meaty dish (with potatoes and rich gravy) can be a meal unto itself, you may want to add some bread, veggies, or other side dishes to feel like a full-on dinner.
Luckily I put together a delicious list of shepherd’s pie sides that pair perfectly, so you can create a complete meal full of delicious flavor.
Let’s plan your shepherd’s pie menu together!
Side dishes for shepherds pie
1. Green beans
It never hurts to add some extra fresh vegetables to the meal, and these sauteed garlic green beans are so flavorful that no one will mind eating their veggies.
The crispy golden bits of garlic and the bright green color make even the humble green bean look lovely on a platter.
2. Irish soda bread
When it comes to what bread to serve with shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread always comes in clutch.
It’s a hearty and dense quick bread that’s sturdy enough for dipping, but tastes especially great with a spread of butter.
And the best part? It’s far easier than most bread recipes, with just 4 ingredients, and ready in 45 minutes, start to finish.
3. Mushy peas
If you’ve never tried authentic British mushy peas, you may just want to give this traditional recipe a try.
Aside from the dried marrowfat peas, you probably already have the other few ingredients on hand.
Follow dinner up with Downton Abbey or the Great British Baking Show, and enjoy a complete anglophile evening!
Not open to the mushy peas idea? Try these brown butter peas with mint made from fresh spring peas for a refreshing option.
4. Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze
Believe it or no, when you treat brussel sprouts the right way, they’re actually fabulous!
Roasted in olive oil, then tossed in a honey and balsamic vinegar glaze, these brussels sprouts are the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
Even veggie haters will gobble up this caramelized and crispy delicious recipe.
It’s a brilliant way to sneak some more green vegetables into your family’s diet.
5. Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire pudding is traditionally served with a savory meat main dish, and shepherd’s pie is ideal.
It’s not actually pudding (as we think of it in the US) at all.
An eggy batter gets poured over drippings in a muffin tin, and then the magic happens.
It turns tender and slightly chewy, and puffs up tall with a nice crisp exterior.
So if you want to make a legit English dinner, yorkshire pudding is a must!
6. Goat cheese salad
When it comes to what salad goes with shepherd’s pie, a simple yet elegant green salad packet with flavor is ideal.
This spinach salad with cranberries, goat cheese, and walnuts is bright and light, and balances meat and potato pie perfectly.
7. Dinner rolls
Nothing beats a warm, freshly-baked batch of homemade dinner rolls.
Soft and buttery, this simple recipe takes just 1 hour, and yields fluffy pillows of perfection.
While store-bought dinner rolls are definitely an option, sometimes you just can’t beat homemade.
8. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash
This maple bacon sweet potatoes and butternut squash recipe has ALL the comfort food vibes.
You can make it in the air fryer, or on a sheet pan in the oven.
The bacon balances the sweetness of the potatoes, squash, and maple flavor.
This dish looks beautiful on the table, and offers lots of great color and nutrition.
9. Sauteed swiss chard
Garlic sauteed swiss chard is a splendid veg to serve with shepherds pie.
It’s surprisingly easy to make, nutrient-dense, and comes together with just a few budget-friendly ingredients.
10. Roasted eggplant
Tender and juicy on the inside, and beautifully caramelized on the inside, oven roasted eggplant turns basic aubergine into something you actually want to eat.
When roasted at a high temperature, it doesn’t get mushy, and develops a lot of flavor.
If eggplant is in season, this is a must try!
11. Garlic butter mushrooms
For a restaurant quality side dish, these garlic butter mushrooms are beautiful and chock full of flavor.
And not only is it easy and delicious, but it takes just 10 minutes to make, and is keto and low carb if that’s important to you.
The addition of garlic and herbs really takes inexpensive, basic mushrooms to a whole new level.
12. Apple walnut salad
This apple walnut salad has a deliciously tangy balsamic vinaigrette that’s irresistible.
The sweet, crisp apples, salty feta cheese, and crunchy walnuts is the perfect balance of textures and flavors.
The salad is not only beautiful, but it’s totally easy and quick enough for weeknights.
13. Condensed milk bread
With a super soft and fluffy texture and semi-sweet flavor, condensed milk bread might just become your new favorite bread recipe.
Delicate and a bit different from traditional homemade bread, your whole family will be gobbling it down so fast that you’ll need to act fast to secure yourself a slice.
Plus, it’s a great way to use up that can of condensed milk in the back of your pantry!
14. Corn salad
If you’re trying to avoid serving heavy sides with your cottage pie main dish, corn salad is a light, bright side dish you’ll love.
Sweet corn kernels, fresh cherry tomatoes, flavorful feta, and crisp cucumbers get tossed in a refreshing, vibrant dressing.
Not only is this salad beautiful to look at, but it’s fun to make, serve, and eat, and balances the hearty main course perfectly.
15. Brown sugar glazed carrots
Tasty and tender brown sugar glazed carrots has just 3 ingredients, and is so easy that it might just become your new go-to side dish.
Baby carrots, brown sugar, and butter are basically all you need!
Best of all, you can even make them on the stovetop, or in the oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot.
16. Brussels sprout salad
For a completely new way to eat brussel sprouts, give this bright brussels sprout salad a try.
Shaved brussels sprouts, pine nuts, cranberries, pecorino cheese get tossed in an olive oil and lemon juice dressing that comes together in minutes.
It’ll look positively beautiful on your table, so be ready for your guests to ask for the recipe!
17. Roasted asparagus
Oven roasted asparagus with garlic, lemon, and parmesan is quick to prep, and is an excellent, foolproof side dish for any savory meat dish like shepherds pie.
Asparagus is in season in the spring, so this is a must-try recipe then, when it’s at its freshest (and cheapest!).
18. Corn casserole
Sweet and savory corn casserole is a no-fail side dish you need in your repertoire.
It’s comfort food on par with shepherd’s pie, and is easy enough for a weeknight, or special enough for a holiday meal.
With just 5 ingredients that might already be in your pantry, be sure to give this crowd pleasing side a try next time you make a hearty dinner.
19. Irish cabbage and bacon
This is how you transform the humble cabbage into rich and comforting goodness.
Irish bacon and cabbage has just 5 ingredients, including bacon and chicken broth, and is just so silky and savory.
If you’re looking for a new twist on what goes with shepherd’s pie, give this easy side a try!
This southern succotash recipe is as colorful as it is affordable and tasty.
You can’t beat the combination of corn, beans, and bacon, but throw in bell pepper, okra, and tomatoes, and you have an unexpected winner.
Succotash is a staple on Southern tables, and we all know they know how to make the good stuff.
21. Roasted cauliflower
With some simple seasoning, oil, and butter, this oven roasted cauliflower is as easy as it is delicious.
The flavor and texture of plain ol’ cauliflower completely transforms into crisp-tender perfection.
Basically all you have to do is slice, season, bake, and wa-la, your side dish is done.
What dessert goes with shepherd’s pie?
22. Apple pie
The tender apples keeps the dessert relatively light, and is just ALWAYS a crowd favorite.
23. Carrot cake
This moist and easy carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting will have everyone complimenting your excellent baking skills.
Only you will know that it was actually super simple to make!
Rich, fudgy homemade brownies are so indulgently chocolatey that no one can resist.
They come together in minutes, and only need one bowl. (Fewer dishes for the win!)
If you prefer to make brownies from a boxed mix, I highly recommend the Ghiardelli brand.
Just trust me – nothing compares.
25. Pineapple upside down cake
Love to see a retro classic dessert like pineapple upside-down cake.
It’s fruity, gooey, and chock full of carmelly flavor.
Take a supermarket shortcut, and use a boxed cake mix to get beautiful dessert prepped and in the oven in just 15 minutes!
26. Strawberry shortcake
Yellow sponge cake, piled high with glazed strawberries and whipped cream makes a beautiful impression.
Strawberry shortcake has refreshing flavors, a delicate texture, and is so delicious that everyone will want a second slice.
27. Peanut butter pie
There are few desserts I like as much as peanut butter pie.
Creamy peanut butter, peanut butter cups, cream cheese, and a couple other ingredients you probably already have is all you need to create a show-stopping pie.
And best of all, it’s a refrigerator pie, so you can keep your oven available for your shepherds pie!
Ready to try these sides for shepherd’s pie?
I hope this list of good sides for shepherds pie has given you lots of inspiration for what to serve.
Don’t worry as much about what is traditionally served with cottage pie, and come up with your own creative dinner menu based on these fun ideas!
What is your favorite easy shepherd’s pie recipe?
You may also like:
- Green beans
- Irish soda bread
- Mushy pies
- Brussels sprouts
- Yorkshire pudding
- Goat cheese salad
- Dinner rolls
- Sweet potatoes and butternut squash
- Sautéed swiss chard
- Roasted eggplant
- Garlic butter mushrooms
- Apple walnut salad
- Condensed milk bread
- Corn salad
- Brown sugar glazed carrots
- Brussel sprout salad
- Roasted asparagus
- Corn casserole
- Irish cabbage and bacon
- Roasted cauliflower
- Apple pie or apple crisp
- Carrot cake
- Pineapple upside down cake
- Strawberry shortcake
- Peanut butter pie
- Choose 1-3 side dishes or desserts to serve with your shepherd's pie
- Gather the ingredients and prepare the meal
- Serve your cottage pie and enjoy!