In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I am sharing this Easy Shepherd’s Pie For Two recipe that is made with hash brown potatoes. Although it is not a traditional Shepherd’s pie, it will give you all the flavors of the iconic dish, with very little effort.
When you are cooking for one or two, making traditional recipes around the holidays is difficult. Most recipes, including this Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe, provides enough for 8-10 servings.
Although some of these recipes are great to use when you are wanting leftovers or for freezing meals for later in the week or month, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to make a dish that large.
And that is exactly why I developed this easy, short cut recipe. You still can enjoy the holiday celebrations, but in a unique way.
History of Shepherd’s Pie
For those who aren’t familiar with Shepherd’s Pie, let me explain. First of all, traditional Shepherd’s Pie is composed of a ground meat cooked in gravy, onions, carrots, celery, and is topped with a mashed potato crust.
Although, the origin of this famous Irish dish started in Britain in the late 1700’s as Cottage Pie. It became a popular recipe in an effort to use leftover beef, vegetables and mashed potatoes.
However, when the recipe reached the Ireland borders, the beef in this recipe got replaced by lamb. That was because lamb was readily available on the Emerald Aisle, and beef was not.
And there my friends, is the most simplistic description of the origin of this recipe. However, in America today, most people refer to Shepherd’s pie whether it is made with ground lamb or beef.
And since we are breaking all the traditional rules, we are going to take it one step further. Because I rarely have leftover mashed potatoes on hand, I will use shredded hash browns as the topping since they are often found in my freezer.
So let’s get to the actual short cut recipe and see what you think!
Easy Hash Brown Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.
- Ground beef
- Diced onion
- Mixed vegetables, such as diced carrots, corn, or peas
- Beef broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Frozen hash brown potatoes
- Shredded Cheddar cheese
The first step in making this Easy Shepherd’s Pie For Two is to preheat the oven to and spray a 1.5 quart oval baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pan aside while you make the ground beef filling.
In a medium size skillet placed over medium-high heat, add the ground beef. Cook until half of the mixture is no longer pink.
Then add the diced onions and cook until the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain and return the beef to the skillet on the stove set over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.
Add the flour to the beef mixture and stir until the flour is absorbed. Then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.
Bring the broth to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Add the frozen vegetables and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.
Taste the cooked filling and if needed, add more salt, pepper, Worcestershire, or other seasonings of your choice. I like to add in a few hot pepper flakes to give a little more zing to the filling.
Once the Easy Shepherd’s Pie filling is to your liking, pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
Hash Brown Topping
In a medium bowl mix the frozen hash browns and shredded cheese together and season with salt and pepper. If the hash browns are frozen in clumps, use a wooden spatula to break the majority of them apart.
Once the potatoes and cheese are combined, evenly place the mixture over top of the ground beef filling. Smooth out the top so that there is an even coating of Hash Browns on top of the Easy Shepherd’s Pie filling.
Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top of the hash browns are golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit 5 minutes before serving. Serve with Irish Soda bread to complete your meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use Tater Tots in place of the shredded hash browns?
Instead of using Hash Browns, you can layer tater tots on top of the Easy Shepherd’s Pie For Two filling. However, I recommend thawing the tater tots prior to placing them on top.
This will help decrease the bake time. Cook until the tater tots are hot and have turned golden brown.
2. What mixed vegetable blend is best to use?
It is recommended to use a blend of mixed vegetables that include corn, peas and carrots. However, you will often find mixed vegetables that also include green beans and/or lima beans as well.
You can use whatever you have on hand or whatever blend that you prefer.
3. Can I make this with another type of ground meat?
Of course, as mentioned before, traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb meat. However, if you want to make this dish even healthier, you can use ground chicken, ground turkey or even plant based crumbles.
That means that you can also adjust the type of broth that you use as well. Although beef broth will give you the most flavor in this recipe, you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth instead.
As you can see, this recipe is quite versatile and can be adjusted in just about any way.
4. What can I make with the other half pound of ground beef left over?
Other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
If you are looking for other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes, I have listed some of my favorites below. Although not all of them are designed as a small batch recipe, you can adapt them to meet the needs of you and your family.
- Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Irish Beef Stew
- Irish Shepherd’s Pie
- Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
- Bangers and Mash
- Short Cut Irish Boxty
- Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
- Guinness Cupcakes
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- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, such as diced carrots, corn, or peas
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and spray a 1.5 quart oval baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
- Add ground beef to a medium size skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until half of the mixture is no longer pink. Add the diced onions and cook until the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain and return to the pan to the stove over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the flour to the beef mixture and stir until the flour is absorbed.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Add the frozen vegetables and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.
- Taste the cooked filling and, if needed, add more salt, pepper, Worcestershire, or other seasonings of your choice. Pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl mix the hash browns and shredded cheese together and season with salt and pepper. Evenly place the mixture over top of the ground beef filling.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top of the hash browns are golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe provided by iCookfortwo.com
Nutrition InformationYield 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 828Total Fat 49gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 31gCholesterol 78mgSodium 1432mgCarbohydrates 70gFiber 10gSugar 8gProtein 31g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.