Cottage Pie

  • 20MINS
  • 40MINS
  • 465KCAL

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

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4

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories465
  • Carbs34g
  • Protein36g
  • Fat20g
  • Saturates7g
  • Sugars7g

Cottage Pie - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

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 to know in the blurb!

Cottage Pie is a classic for a reason! Fluffy mash, meaty filling and a deliciously rich gravy, and all of it can be enjoyed on a slimming diet! In fact, it’s similar to non-diet versions but we’ve used lean mince and omitted the flour and you really can’t taste the difference. Hearty and comforting, Cottage Pie is a weekly staple in our house.

One of the best bits about this recipe is that it’s great to make up in advance to pop in the fridge and heat up when you’re ready, it’s SO easy. Try it instead of a traditional Sunday roast when you fancy a change!

What diets is this Cottage Pie suitable for?

This Cottage Pie 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 Cottage Pie if you’re dairy free.

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

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?

  • You need to count 7 Points per portion of this Cottage Pie recipe if you’re on WW Green. 
  • You need to count 7 Points per portion of this Cottage Pie recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 4 Points per portion of this Cottage Pie recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

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.

Do you need any special ingredients to make Cottage Pie?

Rather than using flour, we tend to just allow the sauce to reduce until it thickens slightly or we use xanthan gum to thicken the mince. 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!

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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!

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A nice big ovenproof dish is needed to bake the cottage pie until it’s bubbling.

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How many calories are in this Cottage Pie?

There are 465 calories in each portion of our slimming friendly Cottage Pie. This means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence recipe category.

This Cottage Pie 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.

Step 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.

Step 1 pinchofnom.com

Step 2

Add the stock to the pan, then add the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Season with black pepper.

Step 2 pinchofnom.com

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 6 pinchofnom.com Step 6 pinchofnom.com

Step 7

Place in a pre heated oven (200-220°C) and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 8

Serve with a selection of vegetables and some pickled beetroot and red cabbage.

Cottage Pie - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesWhat should you 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!

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

How do you know when the 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.

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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!
  • Prep Time
    20 MINS
  • Cook Time
    40 MINS
  • WW
    7 Smart
    Points
  • KCals 465
  • Carbs 34G
  • WW Points:
  • 7 Green
  • 7 Blue
  • 4 Purple

Ingredients

  • 500 g lean minced beef
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 500 ml beef stock made with 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 600 g potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • ⅛ - ¼ tsp xanthan gum optional
  • salt and pepper
  • low calorie cooking spray

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

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.

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29 comments

See what others have to say

DebbieSaturday 11th July 2020

Just started using the recipes on the site this week. Made this tonight and absolutely loved it!!! Couldn’t cook to save my life and have already did the Mexican potatoes, Chicken in black pepper sauce, Cheesy Garlic bread and the Chicken Fajita pasta. All went down a storm. Cant wait to try more!!!!

Reply

    LisaSunday 12th July 2020

    Thank you for the lovely comment, Debbie! So glad you are enjoying the recipes!

    Reply

Victoria SmithMonday 29th June 2020

A firm favourite for us! I usually add a bit of gravy granules instead of the gum to thicken it up a tad and serve it with green vegetables. So nice best cottage pie I’ve found!
Need to invest in some of the cookbooks soon as I’ve been using your website almost every day!

Reply

    HollyTuesday 30th June 2020

    Hey Victoria, so glad you like the Cottage Pie and great idea on the gravy granules!

    Reply

EmilyMonday 8th June 2020

Made this today and it was delicious. Added 1 heaped teaspoon cornflour in place of xanthan gum and some diced swede to bulk it out – it went down a storm.

Reply

    SharonTuesday 9th June 2020

    Hi Emily, thanks for letting us know how you adapted this recipe and so glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

Karen KennanSunday 7th June 2020

Hi – sorry if I’ve missed it but could you tell me how many portions this is? 4? Thanks

Reply

    SharonMonday 8th June 2020

    Hi Karen, yes, this recipe serves 4. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find the recipe card, this is where you will find this information. Thanks for getting in touch and enjoy the recipe!

    Reply

SandieMonday 24th February 2020

Add baked beans….delicious and bulks it up!

Reply

    Sharon FitzpatrickWednesday 6th May 2020

    Hi Sandie, great idea! Thanks for sharing your suggestion.

    Reply

SarahWednesday 22nd January 2020

Do you have to use xanthan gum for the cottage pie

Reply

    Sharon FitzpatrickWednesday 13th May 2020

    Hi Sarah, no, you don’t have to use xanthan gum in this recipe. You can either just reduce the sauce until it thickens slightly or you could use cornflour instead. A 1/4 tsp xanthan gum is equivalent to 1 tbsp cornflour, so you could mix 1 tbsp cornflour with 1 tbsp water until it forms a smooth liquid and stir it into the mixture to thicken it in step 3. You will need to cook the mixture for a few minutes after adding the cornflour mixture. You may need a little more or a little less cornflour depending on how much you want to thicken the mixture, but 1 tbsp is a guide. Hope this helps.

    Reply

RavhelFriday 6th September 2019

Hi looks like a lovely recipe excited to make it, just wondering if anyone knows the calories if you use quorn mince instead ? I’m assuming it’ll be lower, thanks

Reply

Kylie AdamsThursday 2nd May 2019

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

Reply

    Emma TThursday 20th June 2019

    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!

    Reply

KatieFriday 26th April 2019

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.

Reply

Lisa SmithThursday 7th February 2019

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

Reply

MishFriday 13th July 2018

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

Reply

Elaine TraquairMonday 18th June 2018

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

Reply

FinolaMonday 19th March 2018

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

Reply

Mary DavidsonMonday 22nd January 2018

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.

Reply

StephenSunday 14th January 2018

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

Reply

ChantaThursday 13th July 2017

Can you replace potatoes with aubergines for example or any other vegetable?

Reply

    Emma TTuesday 12th September 2017

    Hi Chanta,

    You could replace the potato mash with mashed carrot and suede, or even mashed butter beans works well ????

    Reply

FayeFriday 3rd March 2017

What do you use to make the mash Please? Obviously potatos but don’t you use butter or milk ot anything xx

Reply

ShirleyThursday 2nd March 2017

Ditto the above many thanks .

Reply

    Emma TTuesday 12th September 2017

    Hi Shirley,

    So glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

Yvonne HarrisTuesday 22nd November 2016

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

Reply

Susan meighFriday 4th November 2016

These meals look o lovely can’t wait to try them

Reply

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