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Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

Slow Cooker Cottage Pie is one of those staple dinners that’s always lovely to cook whatever the weather. It’s also one of those dinners you end up having for another meal later in the week, and it tastes even better than it did first time around!

Picture of Slow Cooked Cottage Pie

We love this recipe because it’s really easy to hide the veggies – we’d struggle to get our little one to eat leeks but he unknowingly scoffed two massive portions of this.

Even better, you can make it a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge if you need to. Cooling it before reheating also means that the layers keep better shape when you serve it, although we didn’t bother because we just wanted to eat it!

Serving spoon with cottage pie

Can you make Cottage Pie in advance?

Absolutely! Cottage Pie is a great pie to cook if you want a home cooked dinner with minimal fuss in the evening. As an additional bonus, by cooking in advance the layers will keep better shape when you serve it.

Once the pie is cooked, allow it to cool, cover, and put the whole dish into the fridge.

How do you reheat Cottage Pie?

Simply put it in the oven (covered) for 20-25 minutes at 160C. Check it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.

If you’re reheating more than a single portion you may find it easier to portion it before reheating to allow the heat to penetrate.

Do I need a slow cooker to make Cottage Pie?

Whilst the taste will be better by slow cooking the ingredients, it’ll still taste great if you replace the slow cooking by 45 minutes of simmering. Check the pan after 30 minutes and if you still have a lot of liquid, increase the heat to reduce the sauce a little.

How to make Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

Picture of Slow Cooked Cottage Pie

Slow Cooker Cottage Pie

A Slow Cooker version of the definitive family recipe – complete with hidden veggies this Cottage Pie can be made up to two days ahead.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine British


Pie Filling

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small leek chopped
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 100 g mushrooms chopped
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 600 ml beef stock
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper

Pie Topping

  • 4 potatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 200 g cheese
  • salt


Pie Filing

  • Turn your slow cooker on to high. Brown the mince, then set aside.
  • Fry the chopped onion, leek and carrot until softened slightly, then add the tomato puree, plain flour, basil and thyme and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and bay leaves, then stir. Check the consistency of the sauce now as it won't thicken once cooking. Reduce if necessary, re-add the beef mince and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to the slow cooker and cook for four hours on high or seven on low.

Pie Topping

  • An hour before the filling is ready, boil the potatoes until tender.
  • Drain and allow to steam-dry for a few minutes, then add the butter, milk, and half the cheese, and mash well.

Pie Construction

  • Fill a pie dish with the filling from the slow cooker, taking care to remove the bay leaves. It's not essential, but allow the filling to cool before topping to stop the potato sinking into the filling.
  • Add the potato topping, then grill on high for five minutes until the potato starts to crisp. Add the remaining cheese and grill for a further five minutes.


Calories: 546kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 31gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 612mgPotassium: 1358mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2805IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 369mgIron: 9mg
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