Shepherd’s Pie Loaded French Fries

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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.

Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries Recipe

As a busy mom with two busy kids, 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 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!

Yes, Shepherd’s Pie Loaded French Fries!

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!

Overhead cast iron skillet with Shepherd's Pie Loaded Fries with cheese on top

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!

A green plate with a serving of Shepherd's Pie Loaded Fries

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • 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.

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.

  1. Prepare your fries according to the package instructions.
Process shot of Frozen French Fries on a baking sheet
  1. Brown the beef with onion and garlic.
Process shot cooking ground beef with onions and garlic
  1. Add the sauce ingredients, and stir in your favorite blend of frozen mixed vegetables.
Process shot of Shepherd's Pie mixture simmering in a skillet
  1. 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.
Process shot putting Shepherd's Pie ground beef and vegetables on baked french fries
  1. Top with shredded cheddar cheese (white or yellow is fine).
Process shot of topping Shepherd's Pie Loaded French Fries with shredded cheese
  1. Pop everything back into the over or under the broiler to get the cheese melted and browned.
Process shot of taking cast iron skillet of shepherd's pie loaded fries out of the oven
  1. Dig in!
Shepherds Pie Loaded Fries recipe

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

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.

Side dishes

While this is a full meal, maybe you want to up the veggie factor. Try some of these:

How to Make Shepherd's Pie Loaded Fries for St. Patrick's Day

More loaded fries

Cast Iron Skillet with Shepherd's Pie Ground Beef Topped French Fries

Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Fries

A new twist on the classic dish that’s a balanced meal, totally comforting, and can be made in 30 minutes even on a busy weeknight.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 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.)

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Shepherd's Pie Loaded Fries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 933mg39%
Potassium 746mg21%
Carbohydrates 307g102%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 5145IU103%
Vitamin C 16.6mg20%
Calcium 151mg15%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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More family-friendly ground beef dinner recipes

Enjoy!