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If you're looking for the ultimate comfort food my gluten free cottage pie is a easy meal you're going to want to face-plant!
Cottage Pie combines beef mince and a vegetable base in a thick, tasty gravy, smothered in mashed potato and topped with cheese.
It's just a plate of pure joy and easy to make gluten free and coeliac-safe, with some simple swaps to make it dairy free too.
Cottage Pie is traditionally made with beef mince but if you want a gluten free Shepherd's Pie, simply swap this for lamb mince.
Personally lamb is the one food I cannot eat (I just cannot stand the smell of it!?) so cottage pie has always been my comfort food of choice!
I like to serve this hearty meal with a serving of green veg and extra gravy.
It's also an amazing recipe to cook in bulk and freeze - feel free to increase the quantities if you want to make a bigger batch!
Is cottage pie gluten free?
On the face of it, it's easy to think that cottage pie is gluten free and it's largely just meat and potatoes.
However there are a few ingredients to watch out for that would make a traditional cottage pie or shepherd's pie not gluten free.
Using flour in the meat mixture helps to thicken the gravy but standard flour does contain gluten.
A traditional recipe also often contains stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce. Both of these ingredients contain gluten unless specified gluten free.
So if you're eating out, don't just assume a cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a safe option - make this gluten free version instead!
Ingredients and Substitutions
There's a full printable recipe card below with the method and quantities but here are the main ingredients and ideas for substitutions.
- Vegetable Base: I use a standard white onion in this recipe as well as celery, garlic and carrots. This helps to bulk out the pie keeping costs down, but also creates an amazing base flavour for the cottage pie.
- Beef Mince: Cottage pie uses beef mince (or ground beef) and I always go for a 12-15% fat steak mince where possible. You can use lower fat beef mince but I find a higher fat content gives a better flavour.
- Beef Stock Pot: I always use the Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pots because they just have the best flavour and they're gluten free. You can find other beef stock cubes - I have a handy list of suggestions here.
- Plain Gluten Free Flour: This is used to thicken the gravy in the meat part of the cottage pie. Any plain gluten free flour blend will work or you could alternatively use cornflour too, which is gluten free.
- Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce: I use the Tesco free from one but other brands can be found. Henderson's Relish is also a good gluten free alternative.
- Red Wine: I love using wine in cooking and red wine adds a lovely depth to this cottage pie. If you want to keep it alcohol free simply use water instead.
FOR THE mashed potato TOPPING:
- Potatoes: Any potatoes will work for this recipe. I love picking up the 'wonky' potatoes from the supermarket as they're just as tasty but often cheaper. When it's all getting mashed up it doesn't matter what they look like before!
- Butter and Milk: I find using butter and milk makes for the perfect creamy mash. For a dairy free version use any dairy free/vegan alternative.
- Cheese: You have to have a cheesy top with cottage pie - it's non-negotiable! Top your mash potato with dairy free cheese if needed.
Don't forget there's a full recipe card below with all the ingredients, quantities and printable method.
How to make gluten free cottage pie
Making a cottage pie is surprisingly simple and doesn't take too long.
Firstly you'll need to cook the vegetable base and beef mince until browned, then add the rest of the filling to form a thick gravy.
Once cooked, this forms the base of your cottage pie.
At the same time as cooking this, boil the potatoes ready to mash them up with milk and butter once cooked.
When everything is cooked add the mince to an ovenproof dish and top with a thick layer of mash.
Finish with grated cheese and then bake until the filling is bubbling up and the cheese is golden on top.
See - I told you it was simple! And 100% worth it for a plate of pure comfort.
My gluten free cottage pie recipe
This hearty gluten free cottage pie makes enough for four people and it's great for portioning up and freezing.
I like to freeze it in portions for those night when I'm short on time and want a nice, easy meal.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (finely chopped)
- 1 celery stick (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 Knorr rich beef stock pot
- 1 tbsp gluten free plain flour
- 1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 175ml red wine (or hot water for alcohol-free)
For the topping:
- 1 kg potatoes
- 50g butter
- 50ml milk
- 75g grated cheddar cheese
- Peel and quarter the potatoes and place in a large pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for around 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked (a knife should easily go through them). Once the pan is on, start making the rest of the cottage pie, and when the potatoes are done, drain in a colander and set to one side.
- Add the olive oil to a pan and place on a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and fry, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes until the veg has softened. A little browning around the edges is also good!
- Turn the heat up to med-high and add the beef mince and chopped garlic. Fry (while stirring) for another 4-5 minutes until completely browned.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the stock pot, plain flour, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, thyme and wine (or hot water). Mix well and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for around 15 minutes. The gravy should thicken up in this time. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4.
- Remove the meat from the heat. Pour the drained potatoes back into the pan you cooked them in. Add the butter and milk and mash using a potato masher until smooth.
- Add the beef mixture to an ovenproof dish and even out into one layer. Dollop the mash on top and smooth out. Sprinkle with the cheese and place in the oven for around 25 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the cheesy potato is golden on top.
- Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months and reheated thoroughly.
Need more gluten free dinner recipe inspiration?
Here are some more easy dinner recipes you can try out once you've made this Gluten Free Cottage Pie.
If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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