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Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries is one of the best recipes using frozen French fries. Take the classic comfort food casserole and flip it upside down to make it even more simple and fun to eat. Plus, it’s an entire meal in one with ground beef, veggies, and potatoes. But these loaded French fries have only 9 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes. It’s a quick and easy dinner for any day of the year, but also a perfect way to enjoy a gluten free St. Patrick’s Day!
Disclosure: This was previously a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alexia Foods. The opinions and text are all mine. It was originally published on April 16, 2015, and has since been updated with video, process photos, and even more helpful information.
There are days that it really hits me that my kids are growing up. It’s definitely bittersweet.
We spend a lot of time doing the homework thing, the karate thing, the Cub Scouts thing, the birthday party thing – you know, the stuff that big kids do!
Though I love seeing my kids having all of these new experiences, it does mean a heck of a lot of running around. Naturally, all of this running around happens during the time that I used to be able to make dinner at my leisure.
That’s why I rely on having a repertoire of quick and easy dinner recipes. And while I prefer making dishes with mostly real and fresh items, and especially naturally gluten free food, I know that life happens.
So sometimes using a few convenience items chosen wisely and mixed with other wholesome ingredients it the best way to make sure the family is getting fed and getting fed well.
Plus, besides feeding your own growing kids, sometimes you might need to feed their growing friends! The solution is simple, tasty, kid-friendly, and can satisfy a bunch of rumbly tummies.
Like loaded fries? Yes, Shepherd’s Pie Loaded French Fries!
Loaded French Fry Recipes
You might often see loaded fries on a restaurant appetizer menu. Or you think of them as a game day snack. These French fries are often topped with some combination of cheese or bacon or chili. And maybe they are even drizzled with some Ranch dressing.
But with a little creativity, you can turn them into a full meal!
Just start with the same flavorful beef and vegetable mixture you’ll find in my Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It has cooked-all-day flavor, but it is ready in the time it takes to bake up a tray of frozen crinkle cut french fries.
Pull the fries out of the oven, load them up with the veggie and meat mixture and some cheese, then just a couple more minutes in the oven to get it all melty good. Dinner is ready to go!
The fluffy texture inside the crinkle cut fries makes them the perfect quick alternative to the typical mashed potatoes on top of shepherd’s pie. Nobody will miss the mashed potatoes when you load up those crispy, delicious fries with everything else to complete your meal!
How to make Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries
This easy recipe is ready in about 30 minutes. While the frozen French fries are baking in the oven, you can prepare the easy ground beef topping.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- French fries – the easiest way to make this is to use frozen French fries, but you can make your own. I like crinkle cut fries, but another thick shape, such as steak fries, will work too. Or make your own baked, deep fried, or air fryer French fries.
- Ground beef
- Beef broth
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Frozen mixed vegetables – I usually buy the giant bag at Costco that has carrots, peas, corn, and green beans.
- Cheddar cheese – yellow or white cheddar is fine.
- Prepare your fries according to the package instructions.
- Brown the beef with onion and garlic.
- Add the sauce ingredients, and stir in your favorite blend of frozen mixed vegetables.
- When the fries are done, you can either leave them on the baking sheet, place them in a smaller baking dish, or load them into a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet. Top with the meat mixture.
- Top with shredded cheddar cheese (white or yellow is fine).
- Pop everything back into the over or under the broiler to get the cheese melted and browned.
- Dig in!
Brianne’s Pro Tips
This dish was a total crowd-pleaser in my house, and the best part is that it makes a lot! We had leftovers to save for another day, but we could certainly feed a few of the boys’ friends too. And I am sure this loaded french fries recipe will be a hit all around!
Meal prep suggestions
If you double the ground beef mixture, you can freeze half of it to use later, topping it with either cheesy mashed potatoes or cheesy mashed cauliflower.
Or use it to make any of these:
Gluten free French fries
Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information.
If you are using frozen French fries, be sure to read the labels to ensure they are gluten free. Some products put coatings or seasonings on their fries that may have gluten-containing ingredients. Many varieties of Ore-Ida fries are gluten free, as are some Alexia products. But do check the labels.
You’ll also want to confirm your beef broth and Worcestershire sauce are gluten free. In the United States, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free. But in other countries or with other brands, do check the label or company website.
While this is a full meal, maybe you want to up the veggie factor. Try some of these:
- Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Cauliflower Colcannon is a veggie-fied version of an Irish classic.
- If you need Ketchup for your fries, making it homemade practically counts as a vegetable.
- Toss a salad and drizzle on some Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing or Hot Bacon Dressing.
More loaded fries
- BBQ Pulled Pork Loaded Sweet Potato Fries
- Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Bacon Cheeseburger Dip (not technically loaded fries, but perfect for dipping waffle fries)
- Irish Pub Style Potato Nachos. form Spend with Pennies
- Reuben Waffle Fries from Melanie Makes.
More family-friendly ground beef dinner recipes
Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries Recipe
When you’re going from school to practice to meetings and everywhere in between, who has time to peel and mash potatoes? This fast Shepherd’s Pie alternative takes the rich and meaty beef and veggie filling that is normally under a cap of fluffy mashed potatoes and turns it into a French fries topping. The family is going to love this loaded French fries recipe!
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a review on Pinterest or photo on Instagram!
Tag me @cupcakekalechip and use #cupcakesandkalechips!
Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries
- 1 32 oz. package frozen Crinkle Cut French Fries
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ medium onion, chopped (roughly ½ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
- ¾ cup tomato paste (one 6-ounce can)
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or about two 10 oz. packages)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare fries according to package instructions.
- While the fries are baking, heat a skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, breaking up the meat, until it is browned. Drain any excess grease.
- Stir in the tomato paste, Worscestershire sauce, and beef broth.
- Add the vegetables, bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly and fries are done. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the fries to an oven-proof baking dish or skillet (I used a cast iron skillet, but you can use a glass or ceramic baking dish).
- Top with the meat mixture and shredded cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes, or place under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.