Freshly chopped vegtables

Homemade Hidden Veg Cottage Pie

One thing I have learnt about having a ‘picky eater’ is that you need to hide goodness where ever you can! I feel I am one of the luckier ones, Harry will eat some things with veg hidden in them, like casserole, bolognese and cottage pie. So here is my ‘Hidden veg cottage pie’ recipe, it’s largely based on this ‘BBC Good Food’ recipe.


  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 small turnip diced
  • 1 medium parnisp diced
  • A large pinch of cumin
  • 250g lean mince beef (5% fat)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400ml low salt beef stock (I used 1 beef Oxo cube)
  • 5 small Maris Piper potatoes
  • 5 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 50g butter
  • 60g grated cheddar


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook for around 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, carrots, and cumin.
  2. Cook for a further two mins, then add the mince. Brown the meat, tipping off any excess fat.
  3. Add the tomato purée, then fry for a few mins more.
  4. Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook for 40 mins, stirring from time to time.
  6. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  7. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with the butter.
  8. At the same time, boil the parsnip and swede in one pan, and the broccoli in another until soft. Drain both pans and mash well.
  9. Add your parnisp and swede mash to your mince meat mixture- stiring well.
  10. Spoon mince and veg mix into a large oven proof dish.
  11. Top with broccolie mash and then your mashed potatoes.
  12. Top with grated cheese. (The pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month
  13. Bake for 30 mins until the top is golden and the mince is bubbling up at the sides. (Cook from frozen at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for about 40 mins, then turn up to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 20-30 mins or until golden on top and piping hot in the centre.) 
  14. Leave to stand for at least 10 mins before serving. Check it has cooled down sufficiently in the centre before giving it to young children.


Adapt recipe to add any vegetables you like
Freezing after cooking is also fine
Top with gravy when serving to add extra flavour if dry (dependent on your brand of beef mince)
Why not try lamb mince instead?

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