Are you looking for a tasty new casserole to try? Well, this isn’t a new casserole but it is much simpler. Try this Simplified Shepherd’s Pie recipe today.
There is a reason that casseroles have been so popular over the years. You can put everything in one dish and then pop it in the oven and forget about it until it’s finished. Then you serve it to your family as though you slaved for hours. It makes you look good as the meal preparer and it makes everyone happy to have a good, wholesome, home-cooked meal to eat. Over the years, casseroles have gotten some bad raps but their popularity didn’t wain and probably never will.
Today I’m going to share with you my take on a classic casserole dish that is easy to put together and has all the key components of a perfect casserole.
Get FREE Printable Meal Planning Worksheets.
You'll also get access to The Busy Mom Free Printables Library with dozens of free printables designed to help busy moms save time and money.
I’ll add here that while I do refer to this as a Shepherd’s Pie, it is actually a Cottage Pie. The difference is that traditional shepherd’s pies are made with lamb or mutton while cottage pies are made with ground beef. Since ground lamb isn’t as widely available, I always make my pie with beef and I call it a shepherd’s pie because that’s what my mama called it.
My shepherd’s pie starts with, you guessed it, a pound of ground beef. Start browning the beef while the water heats for some potatoes and a few cloves of garlic. Simmer the potatoes until they’re tender, usually for 15-20 minutes.
Once the beef is finished, drain it and return it to the pan. Stir in a tablespoon of flour and cook it for a minute. Add the vegetables, broth, and ketchup and cook for another 5 minutes.
While your vegetables cook, drain the potatoes and then return them to the pot. Add in some sour cream and mash until you’re satisfied. This is a good way to relieve some stress if the kids have been driving you crazy. Not that they would, but I’m just saying. When your potatoes are to the consistency you want, stir in a ¼ cup of shredded cheddar.
And there you have it, one dish filled with everything you need for a hearty meal. Even though this casserole does use more dishes in preparing it that most, I like that I have plenty of time to clean up while the casserole cooks so that after dinner, the kids and I don’t have nearly as much to do.
To prep this casserole as a freezer meal, cook the meat as directed above. Once it finishes cooking, add the flour and continue to cook for one minute. Allow the meat to cool slightly if you’re going to be using a storage bag for your freezer meal. Once the meat cools some, pour it into the bag and add the vegetables, broth, and ketchup before placing the bag in the freezer. If using an aluminum pan, you can add the meat, vegetables, broth, and ketchup to the pan and place it in the freezer. Allow your freezer meal to thaw in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it. Then cook your potatoes and spread them on top, cooking them as directed below.
Simplified Shepherd’s Pie
This new version of Shepherd's Pie is easier, making it the perfect weeknight dinner option.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb potatoes, cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp ketchup
Preheat oven to 375°.
Boil potatoes and garlic in a large pot for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to mash. Drain. Return to pot, add sour cream, and mash until the consistency you prefer. Add 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
Brown ground beef in a skillet. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add vegetables, broth, and ketchup and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour meat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.
If you enjoy classics like this one, I’d love to hear about your favorite. Leave a comment below and tell me about it.