This St. Patrick’s Day, keep it simple with this instant shephard’s pie recipe – made with lean ground beef, frozen vegetables and instant potatoes.

My favorite holiday is right around the corner. It’s time to celebrate the Irish!

St. Patrick’s Day is more than shamrocks, green beer and wearing green clothes – it’s festive food, too. Potatoes, cabbage and noodles, and corn beef hash are traditional Irish foods that might come to mind.  But, I’ve been to Ireland – I can say, for sure, that Irish food is more than that.

Dairy and beef farming are both big business’s in Ireland. That means lots of delicious cheeses and beef dishes are very common.  Lamb, pork and chicken (think chicken and dumplings) are also part of the food culture.  Wheat, oats and barley are common grains, while potatoes, cabbage and curly kale are popular vegetables.

Another popular dish, and a family favorite in my house – Shephard’s pie.

If you think preparing a traditional meal to celebrate the holiday is out of the question, think again. This shepherd’s pie recipe is made with busy families in mind. A traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but I don’t expect you to make a special trip to the butcher. Unless you want too, of course. Instead, I’m showing you how to make a St. Patrick’s Day meal with minimal ingredients, minimal time and minimal effort. In fact, the only thing this is not minimal in in taste. It’s delicious. My family agreed. I didn’t even get to eat leftovers for lunch the next day.

Your grocery list consists of the following items (don’t worry about writing this down; you can print the recipe below) – 97% lean ground beef, a packet of beef gravy, a box of instant mashed potatoes, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, butter and skim milk. That’s it!

Now, if you have more time on your hands, you can make your own gravy, and make your potatoes from scratch. But, you don’t have too. Shephard’s pie blends ingredients together, making it easier to take some shortcuts like using instant potatoes.

This recipe can be made directly in the skillet by layering the meat mixture in the bottom, then topping with the mashed potatoes. Or, you can make single-serve portions using large muffin tins or mini loaf pans. Using individual loaf pans or muffin tins are a great way to teach proper portion size. Plus, the kids get a kick out of them.

This recipe is lower in fat and calories than traditional recipes, but believe me, it is delicious.

I want every family to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a healthy, warm meal that the entire family can enjoy. Give this a try, and let me know what you think.

Simple Shephard's Pie

This St. Patrick's Day, keep it simple with this instant shephard's pie recipe – made with lean ground beef, frozen vegetables and instant potatoes.
Author: Heather Mangieri, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 97% lean ground beef
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables, frozen
  • 2 cups potato flakes, dry
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Spray large muffin tin with cooking spray.
    Cooked ground beef until done. 
    Steam mixed vegetables in the microwave until done.
    Make instant potatoes according to the box ingredients (the 1 cup skim milk listed in the ingredient list is for the instant potatoes.)
    Prepare gravy according to directions. I used McCormick Beef gravy mix fro this recipe, which was just prepared with water. 
    Combine beef, beef gravy and mixed vegetables in a large bowl and stir well. Scoop ~1/2 cup of mixture into large muffin tins or individual baking dishes. Top with ~1/2 cup mashed potatoes. 
    Using a fork, make lines in the top of the potatoes. Drizzle melted butter over each individual portion.
    Sprinkle with paprika and ground pepper.
    Transfer to oven and bake for ~30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown.
    Makes 8 servings.

Notes

  • Recipe Makes 8 servings
  • Serving Size– 1 large muffin portion
  • Nutrition Facts: 310 Calories, 51 carbohydrates, 4 fiber, 18 protein, 4 fat, 2 saturated fat, 40 cholesterol, 200 sodium, 6% daily calcium, 10% daily iron, 10% daily potassium
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?  Tag @heathermangieri on Instagram and hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition

What’s on your dinner menu for St. Patrick’s day?

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