For a hearty and flavorful meal on a cool night, you’ll want to try this Instant Pot Cottage Pie. This easy recipe is made even easier with the pressure cooker. Gluten-free and grain-free.

cottage pie served on a small white plate with a gold fork and fresh parsley on top

If you’ve never heard of Cottage Pie, then a simple description is that it is a casserole-like dish made with ground meat, onion, and peas served with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes on top. Cottage Pie is very much like a Shepherd’s Pie, but using ground beef instead of ground lamb.

Cottage Pie comes from the United Kingdom and can be adapted to suit your needs. For instance, I have seen variations using ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

For this version, we’re using traditional ingredients, but made without too much fuss using the Instant Pot pressure cooker. In fact, if you have two Instant Pots, then this dish will be made even faster. Be sure to check the recipe card at the end of this post for all the details.

Recipe Steps

Step One

The first half of this recipe is making the mashed potato layer. I have shared my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe before, and this recipe is very similar. You essentially just cook 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes with water, and then mash in some ghee or butter, and a little milk.

Set the mashed potatoes aside while you make the meat filling. Or, for the fastest version, use two Instant Pots so you can make the potatoes and the meat at the same time.

process shots for instant pot mashed potatoes for cottage pie

Step Two

After you have made the mashed potatoes (or while the potatoes are cooking), it’s time to make the meat filling. As I mentioned, it’s traditional in a Cottage Pie to use ground beef.

I always use an organic, grass-fed ground beef that I order online. Learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed beef compared with grain-fed beef.

Step Three

The meat mixture for the Cottage Pie also gets made in an Instant Pot. It’s as simple as sautéing the meat for a few minutes, and then popping on the lid to cook for six minutes.

Again, please see the printable recipe card at the end of this post for all the exact measurements and cooking times.

meat and pea mixture for cottage pie in an instant pot

Step Four

Once your meat mixture is done cooking, then it’s time to assemble your Cottage Pie. This step is as simple as transferring the meat and pea mixture to a baking dish, and then using a spatula to spread the mashed potatoes on top. Don’t be afraid to make the potatoes into a nice thick layer as this is what really gives this dish its heartiness.

cottage pie in baking dish ready for baking

Step Five

At this point, you can either serve the Cottage Pie hot, or you can bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Baking the dish just helps the mashed potato layer thicken up and makes sure everything is nice and hot.

I do recommend this extra step of baking the final dish, but it’s not required if you don’t have access to an oven or you just don’t have time.

baked cottage pie served on a plate with a gold fork


What if I only have one Instant Pot and not two?

That’s okay! Just make the mashed potatoes first, then transfer them to a serving bowl. Cover them with foil and then make the meat filling.

Why would I want to use the Instant Pot to make this dish?

You don’t have to, but I think it’s a great way to make a dish without a lot of hands-on time. If you prefer to make this dish without a pressure cooker, then you’ll just need to cook the mashed potatoes in a pot and then cook the meat mixture in a saucepan.

Other Gluten-Free Instant Pot Dishes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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slice of cottage pie on a white plate

Instant Pot Cottage Pie


For a hearty and flavorful meal on a cool night, you’ll want to try this Instant Pot Cottage Pie. This easy recipe is made even easier with the pressure cooker. Gluten-free and grain-free.


  • 1 1/2 pounds medium potatoes, scrubbed, patted dry, and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter (for dairy allergies, use vegan butter or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup frozen petite green peas


  1. In a 3-quart or 6-quart Instant Pot, combine the potatoes and water. Lock on the lid and set the time to 8 minutes at high pressure.
  2. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Carefully drain the water from the pot by either using a colander or simply tipping the pot over a sink (be careful, it’s hot!).
  3. Stir in the ghee or butter, almond milk, and salt and pepper. Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the potatoes until they are fairly smooth. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
  4. Set the mashed potatoes aside while you make the meat filling. Or, if you have two Instant Pots, you can make the potatoes and the filling at the same time.
  5. To make the meat filling, press the sauté button on a 6-quart Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and let it heat up for a few minutes. 
  6. Then, add the onions, garlic, and ground beef. Use a spatula to start to break up the meat. Let the mixture cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then, cancel the sauté function and add the broth, tomato paste, and dried thyme. 
  7. Lock on the lid and set the time to 6 minutes at high pressure.
  8. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for about 5-10 minutes. Then, carefully use the quick release and remove the lid. Stir in the frozen peas.
  9. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F while the meat filling is cooking. 
  10. Carefully pour the meat and pea mixture into the bottom of an oven-safe medium sized baking dish. Then, use a spatula to layer the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture.
  11. Bake the cottage pie for 20 minutes, or until the meat mixtures starts to bubble up from the sides.
  12. Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve hot.


This recipe is made the fastest when you can use two Instant Pots at the same time. However, it is not required that you have two Instant Pots. 

Baking the cottage pie at the end before serving is not absolutely necessary, but it can help add some crispness to the top layer. If you don’t want to bake the cottage pie or you don’t have access to an oven, then you can simply serve the cottage pie after you assemble it. Just make sure that both layers are hot when you assemble them. You may also want to defrost your green peas before adding them to the meat mixture, just to make sure they get cooked through.

Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze any leftovers for up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat before serving.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: instant pot shepherd’s pie, whole30 shepherd’s pie, instant pot casserole

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