Unbelievably easy savoury mince – it’s delicious, versatile and a classic in Aussie homes. Filled with mushrooms and vegies, it’s healthy and comforting all at once.

  • The perfect weeknight dinner – easy, flavourful, comforting, healthy.
  • Great for batch cooking and freezing.
  • Warming and nostalgic.
  • Incredibly versatile – eat as is, serve in pies, the list goes on.
  • A classic, traditional home cooked recipe.

I’ve been making my savoury mince for years but, to be honest, I never knew it. I didn’t grow up with savoury mince but I did grow up with my mums homemade shepherd’s pie – a simple and delicious mince in gravy topped with mashed potato, then crisped in the oven. This is that, made easier but with all the same flavour and loads of vegetables.

Readers love this crispy Asian chilli beef mince too.

Top down view of a casserole pan filled with savoury mince.

When I first moved out of home, craving that shepherd’s pie, I created this beef mince recipe and just served it over mashed potatoes. It brought back all those cosy nostalgic vibes. So much of this recipe was born out of impatience – it tastes that good, I wanted it quick. I didn’t bother cooking veggies to go on the side but instead added them in and didn’t bother crisping the potato, just piling the meat on top.

I’ve wanted to add this recipe to the blog for a very long time, but not knowing what to call it, I kept holding it back. Those of you who know savoury mince may laugh but finally I know. Literally, the only change I made to my mince to make it truly a savoury mince recipe was to add tomato paste.

What is savoury mince?

I’m not entirely sure where this recipe originates. I know that in Australia, savoury mince just like this recipe is a popular classic recipe but it also seems to be very popular in British cooking too.

Beef mince and veggies cooked in a rich, thick gravy, this mince is often served on toast, with crusty bread, or over rice or mashed potatoes. But it doesn’t need to stop there. It’s delicious used as a pie filling using some simple store-bought puff pastry and makes a perfect cottage pie too.

Savoury beef mince is quick and can be made ahead or even frozen, making it perfect for batch cooking or meal prep.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for savoury mince on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Beef mince: I use 10-20% fat mince (80-90% lean). Don’t go too lean as you will lose out on flavour.
  • Onion: Pretty much any onion will do the job. I use a brown onion but red onion or even shallots will work.
  • Mushrooms: I can never leave out mushrooms because I love them so much but you can if you don’t like them.
  • Garlic: I don’t add a lot of garlic to this savoury mince – just one clove. For me, this is one recipe that doesn’t need it but you can go ahead and add more if you love it.
  • Flour: Just regular plain flour (all-purpose flour) is used to thicken the gravy.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This adds extra flavour to the gravy.
  • Beef stock: Beef stock is the base of the gravy.
  • Stock cube: To intensify that beefy flavour, add 1 stock cube. If you don’t have any on hand, I find a tablespoon of soy sauce is a great alternative.
  • Tomato paste: This is the super thick tomato concentrate. It does amazing things, adding umami, flavour and a touch of sweetness.
  • Vegetables: Keep life simple – use frozen mixed vegetables. I use a combination of peas, carrot and corn. They’re already blanched so just need to be heated through and they’re perfectly healthy and nutritious as well as being super convenient.
  • Seasoning: A little salt and cracked black pepper finishes off this yummy beef dinner.

How to make savoury mince (step-by-step)

A collage showing how to make savoury mince.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Onions and mushroom: Heat some oil in a large skillet or frying pan and cook the onions and mushrooms until the onion has softened. Add the garlic, stirring for a minute while it cooks.
  2. Beef: Next, add the beef and cook it, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
  3. The flour: Add the flour and cook stirring for another 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavour.
  4. The gravy: Now add the gravy ingredients – Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and crumbled up stock cube. Give it a good stir to combine everything then let it simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken.
  5. Vegetables: Add the frozen vegetables and stir them in. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is hot, then stir in the seasoning (salt and pepper).

This really is an incredibly quick and easy dinner. The whole process takes about 20 minutes and dinner is pretty much served, depending on what you plan to serve it with. If you want it super simple, just serve it with toast or a crusty baguette (so good). The veggies are already in there so there’s nothing more to do.

Tips and tricks

  • Use a large pan: This will allow the beef plenty of room to brown as it cooks. If the pan is too full, it tends to just simmer or steam instead.
  • Don’t use super lean mince: The more lean the mince is, the drier it will be and the less flavour it will have. If you use a mince that releases a lot of fat, you can certainly scoop some of that fat away before adding the flour – or not, it’s totally up to you. Less fat means less flavour so a lean mince just won’t have the same great taste.
  • Make it ahead: See more in the yield and storage section below but savoury mince tastes just as good 2 days later as it does the day it is made. If you make a big batch, you can freeze half for another time.

What to serve with savoury mince

This unbelievably easy savoury mince is often served on toast, though I prefer a crusty baguette, or over mashed potatoes. It’s also great over rice.

Other uses for the mince:

  • You can use this mince to fill meat pies or empanadas.
  • Make a shepherd’s or cottage pie, finishing it off in the oven to get a nice crispy top. You can make a fun cottage pie using potato gems as the topping too.
  • Try serving it in crusty bread rolls, sloppy joe style.
  • Spoon it into hollowed out capsicums (bell peppers) or tomatoes and bake.
  • Serve over jacket potato or baked sweet potatoes.
  • Drop it into a casserole dish then top with slices of zucchini (courgette), grilled eggplant and / or tomato followed by cheese. Bake until the veggies on top have softened and the cheese is melty.
  • Serve it as is, with corn chips for scooping.
  • Serve it with lettuce leaves (lettuce wrap style).
Closeup of savoury mince in an enamel pan.

Variations

  • Want more veg? It’s so easy to add more veg to this beef mince dish. Feel free to add diced capsicum (bell pepper) or celery with the onion at the start. Cauliflower or broccoli in very small florets, or chopped green beans, can be added with the frozen veg at the end.
  • Different meat: You can use other minces as well like pork, turkey, chicken or lamb mince. You can even use the meat out of sausages – just squeeze the meat out of the skins and break it up as it cooks in the pan.
  • Other flavourings: You can add other flavourings like herbs (dried or fresh), chilli or even a touch of curry powder.
  • Legumes: Add a tin of drained and rinsed beans or lentils.

Yield and storage

This recipe makes 4 serves. You can easily scale the recipe though make sure to use a pan large enough to give the mince space to brown.

  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Make ahead: You can make this savoury mince recipe all the way through, then treat it like leftovers, stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: Again, make it all the way through, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you add mash to the top, you’ll turn it into cottage pie which can also be frozen, ready to bake.
Savoury mince served over mashed potato on a dinner plate.

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Savoury mince and vegetables in an enamel casserole pan.

Savoury Mince

5 from 3 ratings
This old fashioned savoury mince is an easy, comforting weeknight meal. So easy to make and perfect for batch cooking too, this simple beef mince recipe will become a family favourite.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • 200 g mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 500 g beef mince (ground beef)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour (all purp flour)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 beef stock cube (bullion cube or use 1 tablespoon soy sauce)
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables (peas, carrot and corn)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)

Equipment

  • Large skillet or large deep frying pan (French pan)
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. The large pan is crucial for getting the meat, added later, nice and brown.
  • Add the onion and mushroom to the pan. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onion has softened and the mushrooms are beginning to caramelise.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring often for another 1 minute.
  • Add the beef mince and cook, stirring often and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
  • Sprinkle the flour all over the top and mix well. Let it cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and crumbled up stock cube. Stir well to combine. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until it thickens.
  • Add the frozen vegetables and simmer (not boil) a further 2-3 minutes until hot through.
  • Stir in the salt and pepper to taste (the amount of salt will depend on how salty your stock and stock cube are).
  • Serve over mashed potato or toasted baguette – see the post for more serving ideas.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Use a large pan: This will allow the beef plenty of room to brown as it cooks. If the pan is too full, it tends to just simmer or steam instead.
  2. Don’t use super lean mince: The more lean the mince is, the drier it will be and the less flavour it will have. I typically use a 10-20% fat mince.
  3. Mushrooms: Leave the mushrooms out if you don’t like them.
  4. Different meat: You can use other minces as well like pork, turkey, chicken or lamb mince or even sausage (casings removed).
  5. Other veg: Add diced capsicum (bell pepper) or celery with the onion at the start. Cauliflower or broccoli in very small florets, or chopped green beans, can be added with the frozen veg at the end.
  6. Make ahead: Can be made 2-3 days in advance and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  7. More uses: Turn your savoury mince into meat pies, cottage pie, shepherd’s pie or empanadas. Top it with sliced zucchini and / or tomato and bake. Fill hollowed out capsicums (bell peppers) or tomatoes and bake. More ideas in the post above.
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