Family Favourite Healthy Cottage Pie


Author: Rebecca Verduci

I love using this recipe because it is sooooo easily adaptable. Basically I use whatever vegetables need to be used up in my fridge, as long as they’re not too watery. If the mixture isn’t thick enough, adding more flour is always an option. My kids would never know that I grate zucchini in their favourite cottage pie (no telling). Add some extra herbs for added flavour. Try some mixed Italian herbs at the browning off meat stage. Yummo, my mouth is watering just typing. You can even make the “meat and veg”mix portion and have frozen portions in the freezer. Just defrost, whip up some mashed potatoes and place in oven. A weeknights meal ready within 30 minutes while you’re helping the kids with their homework. For guaranteed low fat meat, I always choose my cuts at a butcher and ask them to mince the meat.

Give it a go and let me know what vegetables you added.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, chopped
250g sliced mushrooms
900g lean beef mince (ask your local butcher)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beef stock (salt reduced)
2 tbslp tomato sauce (low sugar)
1.2kg sweet potato and normal potatoes (higher sweet potato ratio gives a healthier recipe)
20g butter, chopped
1/2 cup milk


  • Step 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook mince in 2 batches, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms to pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Step 2

    Return mince to pan. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened.
  • Step 3
    Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan over low heat. Mash until smooth. Add butter and enough milk to achieve mash consistency. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Step 4
    Spoon mince mixture into a 1.4 litre casserole dish. Top with potato mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden (brush with egg before placing in oven for a golden top). Serve with side salad

Serves 8-10

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