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Shepherd’s Pie AKA How to Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

This shepherd’s pie recipe is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes!

These creamy make-ahead mashed potatoes are practically a requirement for holiday dinners. Even my nephew, who hates mashed potatoes, served himself up three servings of them last Thanksgiving — which is totally fine by me!

However, it can often be tough to determine just how big of a batch I should make. And sometimes I just flat out get it wrong. Luckily, it’s usually that I’ve erred on the side of preparing too much, so it’s not a big deal because they’re just as delicious reheated.

Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com

How To Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

But if I ever get it really wrong, I know I have this yummy shepherd’s pie recipe on hand as a fallback. It’s a fabulous way to repurpose those left over mashed potatoes into a meal that your family can get excited about!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com

You simply layer the mashed potatoes over a tasty filling of ground beef and veggies for a satisfying meal that’s not only delicious, but quick and easy to prepare. Always a bonus after coming off of a holiday cooking marathon!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com

Make-Ahead Shepherd’s Pie

Or if you’re really feeling ambitious, just go ahead and intentionally make extra mashed potatoes. Then you can cook up the filling ahead of time and spread it in one of those aluminum pans I mentioned picking up at Walmart the other day. Layer your mashed potatoes over the top, cover with foil, and refrigerate the entire dish for baking the day after your holiday dinner.

How nice would it be to clean up the kitchen after your Thanksgiving meal knowing that you already have a hot, comforting shepherd’s pie waiting to be baked the following day? Especially with no mess to clean up afterwards… Yes, please!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com

Shepherd’s Pie AKA How to Use Up Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 16-oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it's cooking. Add in onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the frozen vegetables, beef broth, flour and dill, and cook until the veggies are warmed through and the sauce thickens up, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the meat and veggie mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top.
  5. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to brown on top.

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unsophisticook!

 
Not a fan of mixed veggies? Try using just frozen green beans or peas instead. Another suggestion is to sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes. This is an easily customizable dish!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com
Shepherd's Pie Recipe -- shepherd's pie is a fabulous comfort food, as well as one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes! | unsophisticook.com
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Melania

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Thank you for your prompt reply! I do want to clarify that this would work for both the Shepard’s Pie and your Taco Tater Tot Casserole?

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Yes, it should work for both.

Melania

Monday 22nd of June 2020

I made your recipe for taco tater tots casserole yesterday and need to know if I can freeze the leftovers? Melania

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 22nd of June 2020

Yes, you can freeze and reheat it! Just reheat from frozen at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.

Ellen

Sunday 1st of December 2019

An added idea is to whip cream cheese into your mashed potatoes, it helps make the potatoes stay a bit more firm, but an added delicious flavor too!! I look forward to trying this recipe!!

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 1st of December 2019

Yes! My favorite mashed potatoes recipe includes both cream cheese and sour cream, and you're right, it's SO good!

marie

Saturday 20th of April 2019

I did it today and seasoning the meat with latino sofrito and others spices , double the portion of mashed flakes potatoes and seasoning with garlic and onion powder and the sprinkle with paprika .

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 20th of April 2019

Sounds delicious, Marie -- thanks for sharing!

Sarah gardner

Wednesday 21st of March 2018

Yummy!!! I added one egg and one cup of cheese to the mashed potatoes before spreading on top of the meat and veggie mixture. My picky eaters lived this! Thank you for the easy recipe.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Wednesday 21st of March 2018

Mmm, that sounds like a delicious way to add a little extra protein. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

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