Cottage Pie

This Cottage Pie is a slimming friendly version of a weeknight classic. Great for calorie counting, plans like Weight Watchers and the whole family!

Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb 👍

Cottage Pie is a classic for a reason! This recipe is easy to make with just a few ingredients and it can be made up the day before. Keep it in the fridge ready to pop in the oven when you’re ready for dinner, just make sure you heat it thoroughly before you serve it.

To be honest this recipe is pretty much the same as the one I have always used, even before my slimming days. In fact, the only difference is the omission of flour to thicken the mince and butter in the potatoes.

We have a a few recipes similar to this Cottage Pie here at Pinch of Nom;

How many Calories are in this Cottage Pie?

There are 465 calories in each portion of our Slimming friendly Campfire Stew. This means it falls into our Everyday Light recipe category. You can find all of our other Everyday Light recipes here.

This Campfire Stew is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers. 

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

What diets is this Cottage Pie suitable for?

This Campfire Stew recipe is suitable if you’re gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions; 

  • Stock cubes
  • Worcestershire Sauce

You could also enjoy this Campfire Stew if you’re dairy free. 

Please make sure to double, and triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

You could also make this dish vegetarian by using a meat free mince substitute, such as Quorn, and switching to veggie versions of stock and Worcestershire Sauce.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Cottage Pie recipe?

There are 7 Points per portion in this Cottage Pie recipe. It’s a really filling dinner for this many points!

If you want to lower the points even more, serve a half portion with a big side of zero Point vegetables.

How to Make Cottage Pie

Making this dish is really easy! Here’s a summary;

  • Fry the mince until browned. Add the onion and carrots and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add the stock to the pan, then add the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Season with black pepper.
  • Bring up to the boil and simmer, removing the lid for the final 5 minutes to reduce. Alternatively you could add a tiny bit of Xanthan Gum at this point.
  • While this is cooking boil the potatoes. When they are soft remove from the heat, drain mash with seasoning.
  • Pour the mince mixture into a dish and allow to cool slightly. 
  • Spoon the mashed potato onto the mince, and run a fork over the top.
  • Place in a pre heated oven and cook until golden brown.

What should you should serve with Cottage Pie?

This Cottage Pie is a hearty portion with meat and lots of veg. You really don’t need to serve it with anything, but you could always reduce the portion size and add a side of extra vegetables!

Whatever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values. 

Do you need any special ingredients to make Cottage Pie?

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Rather than using flour, I tend to just allow the sauce to reduce until it thickens slightly or I use Xanthan Gum to thicken the mince. 

Xanthan Gum is a gluten free stabiliser. It’s natural, thickens hot and cold liquids, doesn’t clump and stops sauces from splitting. It’s a great ingredient to have in your store cupboard!

1/4 tsp of Xantham Gum does the same job as 1 tbsp of flour, so you only need a tiny bit. This means it adds very few calories to a dish!

You can buy Xanthan Gum here on Amazon, or in the free from aisle of your local supermarket. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long, long way.

Of course, you can always just reduce the mince over the heat if you prefer!

How do you know when Cottage Pie is cooked?

The mince will be thick and rich before assembling the pie. After cooking in the oven the mash on top will be golden and crispy.

Once placed in the pre-heated oven (200 – 220°C) this will take around 25 minutes.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe. 

How long can you keep Cottage Pie in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any left overs to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Cottage Pie in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so. 

Can I freeze Cottage Pie?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat Cottage Pie?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

Some of you love this Cottage Pie recipe!

Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly
One of our Instagram followers @this_and_that_and_me made this dish and loved it!
Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly
One of our Instagram followers @kickstartkirsty made this dish and loved it!
Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly
One of our Instagram followers @wright.kelseyd.sw made this dish and loved it!

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Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

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Cottage Pie | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

Votes: 101
Rating: 3.83
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Servings

Prep Time

Cooking Time

people 20 minutes 40 minutes

Calories

WW

Carbs

465kcal 7

Smart Points (Flex/Freestyle)

Coming Soon

Per people Per people Per people
Suitable For Freezing icon
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INGREDIENTS
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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat a large pan, spray with low calorie cooking spray and add the mince. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the onion and carrots and cook for a few more minutes.
  2. Add the stock to the pan, then add the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Season with black pepper.
  3. Bring up to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, removing the lid for the final 5 minutes, and allow to reduce until it thickens. Alternatively you could add a very small amount of Xanthan Gum at this point and stir it in well. By adding a tiny amount at a time you will be able to thicken it as much or as little as you want
  4. While this is cooking boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water. When they are soft remove from the heat, drain off the water and mash with a little salt and pepper
  5. Pour the mince mixture into a large shallow dish and allow to cool slightly. If you don't the mash may sink through the mince.
  6. Spoon the mashed potato onto the mince, and run a fork over the top to cover the mince and give it some texture. Alternatively you could pipe the potato on to the top
  7. Place in a pre heated oven (200-220°C) and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Serve with a selection of vegetables and some pickled beetroot and red cabbage

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #pinchofnom — We love to see your creations on InstagramFacebook, & Twitter!

RECIPE NOTES

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Need help converting the temperature for your oven? 

Click here for our oven temperature conversion guide.

This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

- Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
- Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
- Defrost thoroughly before reheating (you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.)
- Make sure it is piping hot all the way through before serving.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Although pinchofnom.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will pinchofnom.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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16 Comments
  1. this site is amazing. just want to say how much I appreciate ye all and honestly the difference it has made to my life is brilliant. keep up the good work xoxo

  2. I have never used normal flour to thicken, always cornflour. Is chickpea flour an alternative? I want to try a different topping of celeriac / potato mash. using fromage fraise instead of milk or butter. I would use a chopped up leek too. Serve up with steamed kale

  3. I use Aduki beans instead of mince sometimes. Like dry kidney beans, Dried Aduki beans have to be soaked overnight. Drain and hard boil in fresh water for an hour. Drain again and mash. Add carrot onion, oxo stock and some Worcester sauce. And cook as mince. My husband couldn’t tell the difference, you can now get Aduki beans in cans which cuts out all the steeping and hard boiling.

  4. I’m goung to try this tomorrow. Would this keep in the fridge for a few days? And if so would this be with our without mash? Thanks for all your gorgeous and easy recipes never thought I would love cooking. X

  5. This looks so good, I’ve got steak mince is that still ok to use or does it have to be beef mince. Thanks Elaine

  6. Hi
    Sorry to ask if being silly
    So if make the cottage pie then cool and freeze then just follow the cooking instructions (once defrosted)
    I normally batch cook just meat dishes (No mash) so wanted to double check

  7. Hi, sorry if this is a silly question but I want to start batch cooking and freezing meals for the first time. Just wondered if I make the cottage pie to freeze do I have to bake it to get the crispy top before freezing or do I do that bit once it’s defrosted and cooked when I want it? Thanks, Lisa

  8. My mum says you can boil mince first, let it cool and the fat settles and hardens. You can then remove fat. That’s how they did it before 5% mince existed 😀 will save you some pennies too.

  9. How does the gum affect freezing and could it be use in something like macaroni cheese were more flour would be used traditionally.

    1. Hi Kylie,

      The xanthan gum doesn’t affect freezing. You can use it in macaroni cheese, just add a very small amount at a time and whisk like mad!

      Hope that helps!

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