Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

disclosure-compensationMake Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe

I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. I love the twinkle of the lights on the tree. I love scoring the perfect gift at a discount. I love having my family around me on Christmas morning. What I don’t love is being torn in a million directions. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to shop, wrap, cook, entertain, etc.

A Stress-Free Holiday Season

So, I am on a mission to tackle the holidays smarter, not harder. I am going to make the holidays easy for a stress-free season. For my gift shopping, I am doing most of it online. There is nothing worse then standing in those long lines at the stores this time of year. Besides, they frown upon you wearing your pajamas while you shop! This way, I hit a few buttons, whip out my debit card and the UPS man brings me my package in a few days.

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe store photo

When it comes to cooking and entertaining, I have that covered as well. I plan to do my grocery shopping at my local Knoxville Save-A-Lot. Not only do they have everything I need to make our favorite dishes, but I can save up to 40% everyday! Now that is a smart way to manage my holiday budget! And with their Save-A-Lot Smart Shopper Club, you will get amazing recipes, clever kitchen hacks and entertainment tips delivered to your in-box! Find the closest store near you here.

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe foil

Save Time With Make Ahead Meals

When I was growing up, our house was the hub of activity during the holidays. Mom did a LOT of cooking and baking from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Instead of making each dish individually, mom would make several dishes at once. Then she would label and date them and refrigerate or freeze them until it was time to serve the meal. She was able to save time with make ahead meals. This gave her more time to spend with her family and friends.

I have followed mom’s tradition of make ahead meals during the holidays. I will spend all day Sunday cooking and baking, labeling, dating and freezing. Then, when we are ready to eat, or have a function to attend, we just grab a dish from the freezer and we are good to go. One of my favorites is my Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe.

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe casserole

Save Time And Money With Sav-A-Lot

I have so many reasons I love to shop with Sav-A-Lot. The stores are smaller, so I can get my shopping done in less time. The staff is always friendly and often go out of their way to help me. They offer their own exclusive brand as well as national brands. They offer fresh cut meat in-store every day and high quality fresh produce. You can shop for high quality food and household needs, with prices well below the other retailers.

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe casserole 2

When I was shopping for the ingredients for my Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe, I finished my shopping in 15 minutes and spent less than $15. Because my Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe serves eight, that comes out to less than $2 per person! (of course, prices will vary by location.)

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe casserole 3

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is perfect because it is so versatile. You can tweak it to fit your families taste or dietary restrictions. If you are a vegetarian, just replace the protein with lentils and the chicken stock with vegetable stock. If you want it less spicy, just leave out the taco seasoning. Not a fan of corn or peas? Carrots and green beans work great with this recipe. Just have fun and don’t stress!

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd's Pie Recipe casserole pin

Make Ahead Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


  • 1 pound ground turkey, beef or pork
  • 1 pound red potatoes
  • 1 small bag of frozen peas
  • 1 small bag of frozen corn
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 can of black beans (optional)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, divided
  • One packet of taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a medium pot, add potatoes and cover with water, bring to a boil and them simmer for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and return to pot. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Mash to preferred consistency.
  2. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add ground protein. Cook thoroughly. Reduce heat. Add remaining chicken stock and taco seasoning. Next, add peas, carrots and black beans and peppers. Cook until frozen vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Grease a 9x12 casserole dish. Add meat/vegetable mixture. Top with potatoes. Cover with foil. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Preheat oven to 350. Place casserole in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown. Serve immediately.
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What is your tip or hack for a hassle free holiday? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Jinxy reader will win a $25 Save-A-Lot gift card. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 12/27/16. Good luck!

$25 Save-A-Lot Gift Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Save-A-Lot. The opinions and text are all mine.

About Kelly

Kelly is a wife, mom of 5 (2 are furry), camera bug, tech lover, gadget grabber, travel enthusiast, music aficionado and TV junkie. Her goal is to share with you recipes, DIY ideas and crafts that are fun, easy to make and won’t break the bank.


  1. shannon fowler says:

    I would probably use it to get some lean protein meats. I try to help educate my family on nutrition when I am home. They tend to think healthy means less flavorful

  2. Jennifer Rote says:

    I would use the gift card to stock up on snacks. They have a great selection.

  3. Meredith Miller says:

    For a hassle free holiday, I shop early, and use a list to make sure everything gets picked up! I try to put together some pre-made meals for busy nights also.

  4. Terri Quick says:

    I like Aldi’s Belmont brand cheesecake sampler. Yum 🙂

  5. ellen beck says:

    One of my tips is shop for next year when the after Christmas sales happen. For example, if you know you have teens girls to shop for, buy the gift baskets when they are 70 percent off and save them until next year!

  6. I buy all my Christmas items the day after and save for next time. Beat the crowds and save a ton of money! If I win I’ll buy some holiday cookies!

  7. Brittney House says:

    I like to plan ahead as much as possible because I don’t like to try to rush last minute. I like to stop with deals and coupons as well to save money.

  8. Melissa Storms says:

    My best hack is to use frozen or premade doughs and crusts for as many of my holiday baking as I can. I buy milk, cheese eggs and all of my baking supplies at Aldi.

  9. I would like to buy snacks for the household.

  10. Soha Molina says:

    I;;d buy yogurt snacks.

  11. Anita Duvall says:

    I would put the Sav a Lot Card toward a big Spiral Sliced Ham for Christmas Dinner. Would love to be able to buy a pricey one!!

  12. I would use it towards a Christmas dinner.

  13. Adrienne Gordon says:

    I’d get chips and dips and a cheese plate.

  14. My tip is prep a little at a time. Trying to do it all at once can become overwhelming.

  15. Debra Hall says:

    i would buy fresh fruits and veggies

  16. I shoot for easy meals during the holiday season. baked chicken, frozen veggies….
    I cook up batches of rice or quinoa, keep beans on hand to add to them.
    I just wish I could find a meal like this that my daughter would like! lol.

  17. I would buy a lot of snacks!

  18. I would buy fruits and veggies with the gift card.

  19. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    I shop Save A Lot every grocery trip. For big holiday cooking, I do as much as possible ahead of time. I also shop more oftemn, saving the last things until right when needed so as to keep fridge space free.

  20. shelly peterson says:

    I would buy stuff to bake some sugar cookies and to make some fudge.

  21. I’d use it to stock up on snack foods plus they have some desserts I wouldn’t mind trying

  22. Sandy Klocinski says:

    Take one task that drives you crazy during the holidays and tackle it in a new way.

  23. I try to choose recipes that can be made ahead of time so I’m not going crazy at the last minute.

  24. I would buy some snacks

  25. Steve Weber says:

    I would get cheese and meat and crackers to make a platter.

  26. Jessica To says:

    I have to make a lot of lists to make it thru the holidays. I would buy baking supplies.

  27. I would buy lots of cheese!

  28. aaron reck says:

    I shop there. I buy my pizza rolls and lots of things there. My local one even sells from some of our local restaurants. So good! Love Save a lot.

  29. vickie couturier says:

    i always shop during the holidays early in the mornings,its not crowded and you can get in and out faster

  30. I would purchase the America’s Choice bacon macaroni n cheese with the gift card if I won.

  31. Deanna Adkins says:

    I love to buy salad dressings, mayonnaise, Vinegar, Mushrooms, pickles, mustard. Have very cheap prices and all is good quality. I save a lot of money buying at Save-A-Lot.

  32. Julia Barnes says:

    I would use it for regular groceries so that I can use my grocery money to buy more presents!

  33. elizabeth miller says:

    I would use this to buy our ham for Christmas dinner. My stress free tip after all these years is to remind myself I am always going to forget something so be ready for it and that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  34. Barbara Montag says:

    With the gift card I would buy frozen berries for my smoothies.
    thank you

  35. Shop year round for holiday gifts.
    Thanks for the contest.

  36. Julie Murphy says:

    Shop online.

  37. christina moore says:

    I would foor for our Christmas Eve Dinner for the family

  38. brittany doerfler says:

    I would buy a christmas ham with my sav-a-lot gift card if i won.

  39. I would buy pre-made snacks to make it easier. Also use paper plates, they make cleanup so much easier and everyone uses them around the holidays.

  40. Line everything with aluminum foil

  41. Cheryl B ( arress) says:

    I spend one day completely shopping for all my gifts. Then I can relax and enjoy the season.

  42. Soha Molina says:

    I;d buy fruit,

  43. I would buy cheese and fruit

  44. kATHY DALTON says:

    i wold buy their new cookies and the bacon and chese mac an cheese

  45. I would buy fresh fruit and cereal. We go thru a lot of cereal.

  46. Holly Thomas says:

    I would buy produce.

  47. Susan Christy says:

    I would buy some cake mixes to make cupcakes.

  48. kathi bennett says:

    I always give the kids jobs, they love helping and I get extra time to make things nice. I always buy a couple turkeys at Save A Lot to throw in the freezer so that is what I would buy with a gift card.

  49. Kaitlyn Ortega says:

    I like to get little extras at Save A Lot because it is not too far from my home.

  50. Thoma Murphy says:

    I would buy snacks.

  51. Barbara Fox says:

    I would stock up on some Prego spaghetti sauce.

  52. My tip is to buy gifts all year long while they are on sale or clearance so when the holidays come, you’re set and don’t have to deal with the crazy droves of people.

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  53. John Joseph says:

    Putchase pre cut meats that only require heating up christmas day

  54. Order as much as you can and save your self a lot of work. I’d buy pies from Save A Lot

  55. I would actually give it to a family member who is having some monetary problems, and even a little help with food would be a good thing.

  56. Michelle S. says:

    For a hassle free holiday I try to do as much as I can ahead of time and make lists of what I need. I try to do that on google docs and that way I can edit my list from wherever as well as access from my phone. I started keeping recipes there and that way I can check off what I need when I’m at the store and not trying to remember things. I try to find as many deals as I can so this is probably the most time consuming for me but it also allows me to provide more for my family than I could otherwise. I would probably buy canned goods with the GC and items for lunches.

  57. I would my everything to make gumbo.

  58. Stephanie Liske says:

    I would get some FARM FRESH PRODUCE.


  60. I would stock up on some stuff to make taco salad

  61. Brooke Allen says:

    I don’t worry about getting EVERYTHING done. Just do what you can. I’d get groceries with the card :-)/

  62. My tip – Buy one gift card per month to give as presents at Christmas. Makes the money crunch not so bad. I would buy some canned goods, cereal and milk with a Save A Lot gift card.

  63. Teresa Moore says:

    I would buy some chicken and broth and vegetables and make some homemade soup!!

  64. Cheryl Chervitz says:

    I try to make sure that I have everything needed for my weekly recipes. That way no running around at the last minute.

  65. I would buy produce and meat for meals.

  66. I would buy some snack cakes for lunches.

  67. My tip is try to make easy meals that do double duty. For instance, cook extra taco meat and use it for other meals, etc.

  68. Rajee Pandi says:

    Love to buy cheese and milk

  69. Peggy Rydzewski says:

    I would stock up on paper products for the holidays.

  70. Denise Donaldson says:

    I would buy their hearty brats

  71. I would stock up on the basics–milk, bread, fruits & veggies–so that we have it on hand, esp. in the case of unexpected guests.

  72. For a hassle free holiday I try to plan ahead so tasks don’t overwhelm me, I would love to pickup items to make my homemade lasagna.

  73. Cindy Peterson says:

    To relieve stress be satisfied with “good enough”. You don’t have to create the most over the top party. You don’t have to do everything. Know when to stop.

  74. I would put it towards my new year’s menu.

  75. We went on a cruise for Christmas. It was the least hectic Christmas we have ever had. Thank you

  76. I would buy supplies for New Years Eve

  77. My tip,is to do as much in advance as possible

  78. Richard Hicks says:

    My tip for hassle free holiday is to preplan and shop throughout the year for gifts

  79. Dan Dykstra says:

    For my hassle free holiday I would buy all my party supplies like chips soda, cheese etc.

  80. Buy your decorations now, that way you have plenty of stuff to decorate house next year but for half the price.

  81. Trisha McKee says:

    My tip for a hassle-free holiday is to plan and make a lot of lists. I kept organized and things were not as chaotic as they had been in the past.


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