Leftover Cottage Pie

Close up of leftover beef cottage pie

There might not be anything better in this world than roast dinner leftovers. Especially when you can then use them to make something really delicious, like this leftover cottage pie.

Please note that this post uses affiliate links, which means I might earn a small amount of commission if you buy something through a link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra. Thank you!

Cottage pie is a quintessentially English dish which contains beef and vegetables in a gravy, topped with mashed potato. It’s then put in the oven until the top forms a delectable golden, crunchy crust. Yum!

There are many varieties of cottage pie, and it’s possible to make it with beef mince, but cottage pie made with roast dinner leftovers is absolutely the best.

When I made a roast beef dinner with all of the trimmings at the weekend, I knew I had to make this next. It’s a great way of making those leftovers go further.

The great thing here is that you really can make use of lots of your leftovers – all of the beef, vegetables and gravy can go into your pie.

Leftover Cottage Pie – The Ingredients

  • Beef – you have to have beef to make a cottage pie. If it’s lamb, it would be a shepherd’s pie. It doesn’t matter how you cooked your beef – slow or fast, rare or we’ll done – just make sure you cut it up into bite size pieces.
  • Lardons – not a requirement, but lardons add a great bit of flavour and fat.
  • Carrots – leftover carrots from a roast dinner work best. However, you can use raw carrots, just slice thinly and add at the same time.
  • Red wine – optional, but adds great flavour.
  • Leftover gravy or beef stock – leftover gravy is best. You’ll need 800ml liquid, so if you don’t have that much gravy left, add water too. If you don’t have gravy, use beef stock or 800ml water and a beef stock cube.
  • Frozen peas – I used frozen peas because I didn’t have any green veg leftover after my roast. If you have broccoli, leeks, kale or any other green veg feel free to use this instead (or as well as) the peas.
  • Cornflour – a little cornflour is all you need to thicken the sauce to the perfect consistency.
  • Potatoes – use white potatoes to make the mash.
  • Butter – butter in the mash makes it creamy and delicious.
  • Cheese – a little cheese makes the perfect topping. I used cheddar but you can use any melting cheese.

Making the Pie

Cottage pie is straightforward to cook, but here are my top tips:

  • For a smooth mash, make sure you cook the potatoes for long enough. You’ll know they’re done when you insert a knife and there’s no resistance. Well cooked potatoes are easier to mash without lumps.
  • If your filling is too watery, just add a little more cornflour (mixing it with cold water, as per the recipe). The cornflour thickens the sauce.
  • If you don’t have as much leftover beef as I did, that’s fine! Just use more vegetables. It’ll still be absolutely delicious.

Want to browse my favourite cookware? Head to my storefront.

Close up of leftover beef cottage pie

Leftover Cottage Pie

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A delicious beef pie topped with mashed potatoes, made with leftover roast dinner meat and vegetables.
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 6 People


  • 500 g leftover roast beef
  • 100 g bacon lardons
  • 150 g roasted carrots
  • 1 small glass red wine
  • 800 ml gravy see note above if you don’t have this much gravy
  • 200 g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1.5 kg white potatoes
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g grated cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Start by cutting your beef into bite size pieces (or shred it, if you slow cooked it). Cut your carrots into 1cm chunks.
  • Put a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the lardons and cook for two minutes until the fat begins to seep out.
  • Add the beef and carrots – stir.
  • Tip in the red wine and let it simmer down, then add the gravy. Turn down the heat and let it simmer while you cook the potatoes.
  • Peel your potatoes and cut into large chunks. Add to a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Put in a medium heat, bring to the boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Drain.
  • Tip the drained potatoes back into the saucepan and add the butter along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.
  • To finish the filling, get a small cup and mix the cornflour with 50ml cold water. Stir until smooth then tip into the beef sauce and stir until thickened. Add the frozen peas and stir.
  • Tip the beef mix into a large, high sided ovenproof dish. Top with the mashed potato and use a fork to smooth the top. Scatter the cheese on top and put in the oven for 40 minutes until golden.
Keyword beef, leftovers, pie
A delicious cottage pie recipe, made with leftover roast beef and vegetables, topped with mashed potato and cheese.

5 responses to “Leftover Cottage Pie”

  1. 5 stars
    Had some leftover roast beef so was excited to find this recipe! It was absolutely delicious. Will make again 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Made this cottage pie recipe with leftover roast beef dinner and it was great! The whole family loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought to use leftover roast to make a cottage pie. This is fabulous. It’s a delicious, hearty meal that my family will love.

  4. 5 stars
    The flavors were even better the next day. The mashed potato topping was creamy and the beef filling was savory and comforting.

  5. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!! Definitely a family favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.