This Layered Shepherd's Pie casserole has all the flavors of the shepherd's pie we love but with a little twist. Instead of the classic mashed potato topping, we thinly slice potatoes and layer them with a savory beef filling and a little cheese. The top potato crust is crispy and delicious!
We used lean ground beef to make this a little healthier. If you're using regular ground beef, you'll just want to be sure to drain it well before adding the seasonings. Technically, using ground beef makes it a cottage pie rather than a shepherd's pie. You could also use ground turkey or chicken if that's what you prefer.
You can use any kind of cheese you want in this recipe, but we really love the combination of mozzarella and Parmesan. The mozzarella melts into all the layers, while the Parmesan adds a ton of flavor.
To make this even quicker, we use frozen vegetables which are readily available and affordable! If you have a picky family member who doesn't eat a particular vegetable, just add the frozen vegetables they will eat, rather than using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.
Russet potatoes are recommending for making this casserole. They're great for baking and, since this dish is baked, they work perfectly!
If you don't have a baking pan that's the exact size, just use the closest you've got and adjust the ingredients accordingly. If you use a larger pan, you can just make a bottom and top crust of potatoes and shorten the cooking time a little.
Speaking of cooking time, it's very important to partially cook the potatoes beforehand. If you don't, it will take much longer to cook. If you have an aversion to using a microwave, you can also just boil your potatoes for about 6 minutes.
Layered Shepherd's Pie Recipe
1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 pound lean ground beef
3 large russet potatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Italian parsley, optional
How to Make Layered Shepherd's Pie:
Preheat your oven to 450ºF degrees.
Wash and dry the potatoes and use a fork to poke a few holes on each side.
Microwave the potatoes for three minutes, flip them over and cook for another three minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and allow them to cool while you make the filling.
Add all of the seasonings to the meat and cook for another two minutes.
Add the mixed vegetables and 2 1/2 cups of beef broth to the pan. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat down to medium.
While the vegetables and beef are cooking, add the flour and remaining broth to a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Pour the flour mixture into the pan a little at a time and rapidly stir after each addition.
When all of the flour/broth mixture is added, continue to stir until it's completely incorporated and simmering. Turn the heat down to low while you prepare the potatoes.
Carefully slice the potatoes into thin rounds. If they're too thick, they won't cook through. But if they're too thin, you won't get nice layers. Try to get them about 1/8″ inch thick.
Liberally spray an 8x10x4″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. (An 8″ square pan will also work.)
Make one layer of potatoes on the bottom, overlapping them as you go. Top the potatoes with 1 1/2 cups of the meat filling followed by 3/4 cup of cheese. Make another layer of potatoes, top with the remaining beef and another 3/4 cup of cheese.
Top the casserole with a final layer of potatoes, and brush them with either a little olive oil or melted butter. This is optional but ensures a brown, crispy top!
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the potatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Tightly cover the casserole and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover the casserole, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the potatoes are fork tender.
Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley before serving, if desired.
Shepherd's Pie Variations:
In place of ground beef, you can substitute ground turkey or plant-based crumbles. For the cheese you can choose to use cheddar or swiss instead.
How to Store Shepherd's Pie:
If you have any leftovers (and it's likely you won't), store well-covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. We recommend baking in a dish that has a cover that can be attached once the dish is fully cooled, like this Pyrex Baking Dish.
Shepherd's Pie Freezer Meal Option:
If you want to prepare this as a freezer meal, cook the recipe as is, through all the steps except garnishing. Once the dish cools to room temperature, cover it tightly with foil and store in the freezer for up to two months. Once you're ready to eat it, bake for one hour in a 350ºF oven, with the foil still in place.
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 906mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition is calculated automatically and may not be accurate.