Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries
Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries are a fun St. Patrick’s Day treat, taking the classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe and flipping it upside down. You have your beef, veggies, and potatoes, plus it’s totally comforting and can be made in 30 minutes!
It’s one of the most genius recipes using frozen French fries you’ve ever seen, and a perfect way to enjoy a gluten free St. Patrick’s Day!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alexia Foods . The opinions and text are all mine.
There are days that it really hits me that my kids are growing up. OK, OK, they are still little, but I am officially out of the baby days and even beyond toddler-hood. And when you spend a day or two making phone calls about registering them kindergarten, and making checkup appointments with the doctor because, oh my gosh, they’re gonna be another year older, reality sets in.
It’s bittersweet, really. I mean, I’m thrilled to be done changing diapers and I don’t miss food being thrown on the floor to indicate that it’s the end of dinnertime (oh wait, that still happens). But they are learning and doing so much, and it’s all so exciting and all happening so fast!
Plus now we are doing to karate thing, the Cub Scouts thing, the park thing, the birthday party thing – you know, the stuff that big kids do! And while I love seeing my kids having all of these new experiences and learning so many skills, it does mean a heck of a lot of running around, especially during the time that I used to be able to make dinner at my leisure. As a stay-at-home mom with babies and toddlers, I wasn’t making gourmet five course meals on a regular basis, but I had some flexibility to make dinner on my own time. Plus now I’m also doing the work-at-home mom thing, which means time is tight!
But I am determined to up my repertoire of make-ahead and quick and easy dinner recipes, while still using real ingredients to make sure my family is getting fed and getting fed well. Plus, I have to think about those growing boys, and inevitably, one day, all of their hungry friends! I need meals that are simple, tasty, kid-friendly, and can satisfy a bunch of rumbly tummies.
Quick and easy meals like Shepherd’s Pie Loaded French Fries!
You can have Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries in about 30 minutes. I used the same flavorful beef and vegetable mixture you’ll find in my Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe, as well as my Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes. 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 them 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, and dinner is ready to go!
For Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries, 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! 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!
How do you make Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries?
- You can start with a bag of your favorite frozen French fries, like the Alexia Smart Classics Roasted Crinkle Cut Fries with Sea Salt used here, or make your own baked, deep fried, or air fryer French fries.
- While the fries are cooking, heat up your skillet to make a simple beef and veggie mixture with a rich sauce made from tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Some people prefer more of a brown gravy-style Shepherd’s Pie, but I like the depth of the flavor in this version because it really tastes like it simmered all day.
- Simple brown the beef with onion and garlic, add the sauce ingredients, and stir in your favorite blend of frozen mixed vegetables. I usually buy the giant bag at Costco that has carrots, peas, corn, and green beans.
- 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 and some shredded cheddar cheese (white or yellow is fine), then pop back into the over or under the broiler to get the cheese melted and browned.
- Dig in!
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Here are more creative takes on the classic shepherd’s pie…
And if you like these Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries, I found a few more recipes you might like. Spend With Pennies loaded up some Irish Pub Style Potato Nachos. And another Irish classic got a twist with Reuben Waffle Fries from Melanie Makes.
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!
Shepherd's Pie Loaded Fries
- 1 32 oz. package frozen Crinkle Cut French Fries (I used Alexia Smart Classics Roasted Crinkle Cut Fries with Sea Salt)
- 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 4oz.)
- 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.
Enjoy! (First published on Apr 16, 2015)