Cottage pie: how to make cottage pie with or without meat

Cottage pie is our go to when we're after warm, comforting food. This recipe can be enjoyed with or without meat

cottage pie
(Image credit: Quorn)

Cottage pie is a quintessential British meal that's warming, nourishing and packed full of flavour. Plus, it's pretty simple to make, which is great news if you're trying to juggle working from home, home schooling and childcare with preparing healthy, balanced meals.

While cottage pie is traditionally made using beef mince, it's also possible to substitute this with a meat alternative – such as Quorn – if you're vegetarian or looking for easy ways to reduce your meat consumption. And it's guaranteed to be just as tasty.

Check out the full recipe below. Then, head over to our food hub for more recipe ideas and inspiration.

  • Special thanks to Quorn for sharing this recipe with us

Cottage pie recipe


  • Mince, 350 grams (choose between Quorn mince and beef mince)
  • Olive oil, one tablespoon
  • One medium carrot, finely chopped
  • One medium onion, finely chopped
  • Frozen peas, 100 grams
  • Vegetable stock, 400 millilitres
  • Worcestershire sauce (or vegetarian alternative), one desert spoon
  • Soy sauce, two tablespoons
  • Cornflour, one tablespoon
  • Potatoes, 700 grams peeled and roughly chopped
  • Parsnips, 225 grams peeled and chopped
  • Semi-skimmed milk, two tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning 


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, Gas Mark 4.

2. Boil the potatoes and parsnip until tender. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and the carrot and fry gently until softened.

4. Add the mince, frozen veg, vegetable stock, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, soy sauce and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the cornflour made into a paste with the tablespoon of cold water and continue to simmer gently, stirring all the time, until thickened. Place in an ovenproof dish.

5. Mash the potatoes and parsnip with the milk until smooth, season to taste with the salt and pepper. Place the topping over the mince filling and fluff up with a fork.

6. Bake for 20 minutes until the topping is crisp.

Looking for more recipe ideas?