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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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Welcome to our comforting and hearty meals section! Today, we’re sharing a delicious and easy recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. This dish features seasoned ground beef, creamy mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables, all topped with melted cheese. It’s perfect for a cozy family dinner. Let’s get started!

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb browned and seasoned ground beef
  • 2 cups hot mashed potatoes (pre-made or homemade)
  • ½ package of cream cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups frozen vegetables (thawed)
  • 1 cup beef gravy (from a jar)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Meat Layer

  1. Brown and Season Beef: In a skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain any excess fat. Season with salt, pepper, and any additional desired seasonings (such as onion powder or Worcestershire sauce).
  2. Add Garlic: Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add Gravy: Mix in the beef gravy and heat through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Mashed Potato Layer

  1. Mix Cream Cheese and Potatoes: In a bowl, combine the hot mashed potatoes with the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated, creating a creamy texture.

Step 3: Assemble the Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Layer Meat: Spread the browned and seasoned ground beef mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Add Vegetables: Spread the thawed frozen vegetables evenly over the meat layer.
  4. Add Mashed Potatoes: Spread the mashed potato mixture over the vegetables, smoothing it out to cover the entire surface.
  5. Top with Cheese: Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the mashed potatoes.

Step 4: Bake the Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the filling is heated through.
  2. Broil (Optional): For a golden brown top, switch to broil for the last 2-3 minutes, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Cool and Serve: Allow the Shepherd’s Pie to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy this comforting and delicious dish!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Beef Options: You can substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Use leftover mashed potatoes or instant mashed potatoes to save time.
  • Vegetable Options: Feel free to use any mix of vegetables you prefer, such as peas, carrots, corn, and green beans.

Variations

Cheesy Garlic Shepherd’s Pie

Mix 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder into the mashed potato mixture for extra cheesy and garlicky flavor.

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie

Add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the ground beef mixture for a spicy kick.

Herb Shepherd’s Pie

Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley) into the mashed potatoes for an herbaceous twist.

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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Use plant-based ground meat, dairy-free cream cheese, and vegan shredded cheese. Substitute the beef gravy with a vegetable-based gravy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the Shepherd’s Pie up to the point of baking, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the cover and bake as directed, adding an extra 10 minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Can I freeze Shepherd’s Pie?

Yes, you can freeze the baked Shepherd’s Pie. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What can I serve with Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s Pie is a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with a side salad, crusty bread, or steamed vegetables for a more rounded meal.

How can I make the top extra crispy?

For an extra crispy top, broil the Shepherd’s Pie for the last 2-3 minutes of baking, or add a layer of breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter on top of the cheese before baking.

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie is a comforting and delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With seasoned ground beef, creamy mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy making and sharing this delightful Shepherd’s Pie with your loved ones!

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