This recipe is not a traditional Shepherd’s pie. It’s a variation for a quick and easy dinner that kids gobble up! I usually plan this meal to follow a night we have had mashed potatoes. I make a bigger batch with dinner the night before so prep for the Shepherd’s pie is so fast and easy. The key to this one? The cheese topping. Once I added that, it was like the kids couldn’t get enough! This recipe was tested with my own kids and my daycare gang with great success. This recipe can be frozen very easily and cooked from frozen or after defrosting in the fridge overnight.
1 lb ground beef
Mashed potatos (about 4-5 medium sized potatoes worth)
500G bag of frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans condensed tomato soup
2C shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to taste
1/2C diced onion (optional)
Casserole dish (I used 2.5 qt)
As I said in the introduction, the easiest time to make this is when you’ve had mashed potatoes and have leftovers. It makes preparation so fast and simple.
Start by browning the ground beef in a pan. Add the seasonings and diced onion. If you’re unsure how much to add, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of garlic powder and 2 tsp of paprika is a good measurement. Cook until brown all the way through and drain any excess grease. If you don’t have any mashed potatoes ready to go, start by peeling and cutting the potatoes to make mashed as they will take longer than your beef.
While the beef is cooking, warm the mashed potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the cooked beef to the casserole dish. Add enough frozen vegetables to suit your preference. I add about 2/3 vegetables to beef. Stir in 2 cans of condensed tomato soup. Stir all 3 ingredients together until mixed well. Top with the mashed potatoes. I add a hearty spoonful in various places over the top of the beef mixture, then spread evenly with the back of a spoon until about 2 inches thick. Sprinkle the grated cheese over top. My kids prefer marble cheese on almost anything, but you can use any cheddar you like.
Cover the casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes longer. The sauce will be bubbling up the sides and the cheese melted and golden on top. If you are cooking from frozen, it will take an hour to an hour 20 to cook all the way through. Cover for the main portion of cooking, then remove the cover for the last 20 minutes if cooking from frozen. Again, the side will be bubbling and the top melted and golden.
Remove from the oven and serve.