In The Kitchen for Shepherd’s Pie

July 29, 2021

2 Shepherd’s Pies – quick and easy to make, ready to cook in a flash!

Hey everyone! I hope your summer is going well, but, if you are like me, you are already plotting and planning how to be more efficient and getting ready for back to school season. One thing I am always trying to do is meal prep and plan to make life easier, so we are headed back to the kitchen this week for an old household favorite that can be made same day or prepped in advance, and both are pretty easy. I’m sharing my Shepherd’s Pie recipe!

There are four main ingredients and they are simple and can easily be substituted for your dietary needs or preferences. I’ll share what we use and you can substitute as needed. This recipe can make a large casserole dish that will easily feed 8-10 people, or can be split into two storage containers for reheating later. This recipe even freezes well and will keep for a few months, so can be prepped and stashed for the future.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 10-12 servings of mashed potatoes
  • 1-2 cans of sweet corn
  • 4 cups of shredded cheese

First, brown your beef (or whatever meat you are using) and drain it. If you forgot to defrost your meat in advance, don’t worry! Ground meat can be put in the skillet on low-medium heat with a lid, then slowly cooked and then just scrape off the cooked layer until it is all defrosted and cooked!

Second, prepare your mashed potatoes (or substitute). We use potatoes a lot, but Florida humidity is not our friend, so we just keep dehydrated flakes on hand and prepare those. This recipe is great with homemade mashed potatoes from scratch or leftover potatoes from a holiday meal or take out.

Third, open your can of corn and drain the liquid. you can also use frozen corn or even mixed veggies for this recipe.

Next, is putting it together, and the method is a matter of preference. We like to mix ours all together, but some like theirs layered. If you mix, like me, just use a big mixing bowl and mix it well. Then, you can put it into your baking dish.

These are 8×8 baking pans from Amazon

Finally, add a layer of shredded cheese to the top as thin or thick a layer as you like. We like to use Mexican blend since we usually have that on hand for taco night, but I’ve used Mozarella left from Italian night before, or even used partial leftover bags of both mixed, and, in a pinch, have even just put sliced cheese on top. Whatever works for you!

At this point, you can either let it cool and then cover and freeze, or pop it in the oven to bake. If you go strait to the oven, bake at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If you prefer to freeze it, then you’ll want to let it set out from the freezer for a bit, if you can, then bake at 350 degrees F for about 45-60 minutes, or until hot all the way through.

And that is it! Enjoy!

I hope this helps make dinner, for at least a night or two, one less thing to worry about this month!

I’d love to hear your feedback on what your family thought of this recipe, or how you adapted it for your own tastes! Don’t forget to click that star and like this post, and be sure to subscribe to my blog to get them sent to your inbox every week! Wanna join the community? Find me on Twitter at @AddictedtoTeac1 or on Facebook at Addicted to Teaching where we all chat and share ideas, strategies, experiences, and job posts at our schools!

In the Kitchen for Taco Night – Recipe Blog

June 17, 2021

Yes, I know it’s not Tuesday the day this post is coming out, but two thoughts come to mind. One, you must have time to prepare and two, can’t every day be Taco Tuesday? In our house, it absolutely can.

This recipe has been modified over the years to become the favorite that it is now. I have both a pepper allergy and a wheat allergy, so this recipe is **GLUTEN FREE** for those of you also watching glutens, like me. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be adapted for small or large meals, or for crunchy or soft tacos or even nachos. I have premade the meat and frozen it before in both a serving dish and a freezer bag for camping.

Don’t worry, I won’t drag this out for you, I’ll get to the point, add in some pictures and tricks to help, as well as add in a savable/printable recipe card at the bottom. Prep takes about 20 minutes, bake for 7-10 minutes, then serve–which means this meal can be on the table in about 30 minutes, less if you prep the meat in advance. So let me share this delish dish with you!

First, let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need for shopping.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning mix
  • your choice of either crunchy shells (I recommend the stand and stuff), tortillas (if you choose flour tortillas, this is no longer gluten free), or tortilla chips (I recommend Tostito’s Scoops)
  • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, or anything else your family may like!

Next, let’s talk kitchen supplies.

  • frying pan
  • spatula
  • oven (conventional or toaster, either will work)
  • colander
  • measuring cup
  • can opener
  • a baking dish, a 9×13 works perfectly for a 10 pack of stand and stuff shells or soft tacos, or that size or a 9×9 dish for the nachos, depending on how many you are feeding
  • optional-cutting board and knife (for those veggies, if you don’t buy precut!)
  • optional-parchment paper or foil (For lining the baking dish and to make for easy clean up)

Finally, let’s get cooking!

Step 1: Brown the meat, drain, return to pan

Step 2: Add in the seasoning. The packet should have instructions, but a helpful tip I have is to premix the seasoning with water in a measuring cup so it mixes better with the meat. Pour over and stir in. Let simmer for 5 minutes

Step 3: Add the refried beans into the meat mixture. I find this works best by spooning in and mashing it a little, then stirring it together. Let it simmer for another 3-5 minutes until it is thick and all mixes well. I like the beans in this recipe for a few reasons–better flavor, beans are a great source of protein (some may argue better than meat for you, and for the environment), and it doubles the amount of the primary ingredient which is a HUGE cost saver if you are on a budget.

Step 4: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (or 160 Celsius)

Step 5: Prep your baking dish of choice (you do not need to spray or line it, but if you want easy clean up, I suggest lining with foil or parchment paper) and put in your taco shells or tortilla chips

Step 6: Spoon the meat/bean mixture into your shells or chips. I suggest using a tablespoon and I usually put in about 1 1/2 tbsp per taco shell. If you use the 10 pack of the stand and stuff shells, this will leave some left over for a quick nacho lunch the next couple of days, or for a nacho dinner another night this week–maybe even as an addition tonight!

Step 7: Add cheese

Step 8: Bake at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted

Step 9: While that is baking, you can chop your veggies and set the table. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen helper or two, they could be taking care of this while you are doing the other steps before, so you can have a few minutes to clean up and load the dishwasher to have less clean up after dinner. If someone else does that, then enjoy a few minutes to yourself!

Step 10: Serve and enjoy!

If you keep a recipe catalog, book, or file, Here’s a quick recap of the recipe for you!

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