Perfectly soft and fluffy baked potatoes get a generous topping of a shepherd's pie style beef mixture and a copious amount of melted cheese.
Shepherd’s pie has been one of my favorite meals for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make it all the time when I was a kid and I would always ask her to put extra mashed potatoes and cheese on the top.
Mashed potatoes are my jam. But they have to be fresh mashed potatoes. None of that boxed flaked stuff.
I will absolutely take the time to make fresh potatoes every time over the boxed stuff.
Anyway, I grew up loving shepherd’s pie. As it turns out, so did the hubby. Consequently, our kids have also grown up eating and loving shepherd’s pie.
Honestly, I’m just so grateful that my kids eat just about anything I put in from of them. And they particularly love their “meat meat.” Which is basically any meat product that isn’t chicken. Chicken is still chicken. Haha!
Recently, instead of making regular shepherd’s pie, I decided to try and turn it inside out and make stuffed potatoes with shepherd’s pie filling. Kind of like those giant potatoes you can get at some restaurants that are filled with all sorts of goodness – and these shepherd’s pie baked potatoes were born.
The process to make isn’t really too different than making regular shepherd’s pie. Just that you put the filling into the potatoes instead of the potatoes on top of the filling.
Start by poking some holes in your potato with a fork and placing them in the microwave to cook for about 14-18 minutes, or longer, depending on how big your potatoes are. If you want to shorten the cooking time, you can place them in a plastic bag that is vented and it should cut a couple minutes off – this is the route I usually go.
While your potatoes are cooking, grab a large skillet and cook your onions, garlic, and thyme. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onions are slightly translucent and the garlic is nice and fragrant.
Add in your beef and cook, breaking apart until it’s done – about 6-8 minutes. You can also use ground pork, turkey, or chicken here it really is your preference. Season it with salt and pepper while it’s cooking and break apart well so the beef is in small chunks.
Stir in the beef broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and bring everything to a boil. Then we’re reducing the heat and simmering to thicken the sauce and reduce it to about half – about another 6-8 minutes.
Once everything is cooked down, add your peas and carrots. Your potatoes should also be done by this point and hopefully they’ve been resting either in the microwave or counter for a couple minutes to cool down.
If not, let them cool before cutting them open because we don’t want you to burn yourself. You can also place them in the refrigerator or freezer to cool faster if you prefer.
Once the potato is cool to the touch, slice the potatoes in half and scoop out a small portion of filling to just make a little well for the beef mixture to sit. Fluff the rest of the potato with the fork.
Take the potato you scooped out and stir it in with the beef mixture. We don’t want to waste any of that potato goodness.
Scoop the beef mixture evenly into the potatoes and top with a good handful cheese. Place under the broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven and let the potatoes cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Top with more cheese, if desired, and a garnish of parsley. My husband also like to garnish his with some sour cream and I’ve even had mine topped with Mexican crema. All are equally delicious.
I do consider one of the potatoes with filling as one serving, so there are 8 servings here. My husband can easily eat two potatoes while the little kiddos usually share one and the two oldest each eat one.
This is definitely a super fun way to mix up your regular shepherd’s pie night!
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3 Tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup peas and carrots frozen, thawed
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Using a fork, pierce the potato skins in a few spots. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 14-16 minutes, until tender. Remove and let cool to touch.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and stir to combine. Cook for about 4-6 minutes until onion is soft and slightly translucent.
- Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking apart beef, about 6-8 minutes until beef is no longer pink.
- Sir in beef broth, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened; about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in the peas and carrots and warm through.
- Preheat the broiler and spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Half the potatoes length-wise and scoop out about 1/3 of the potato filling, fluffing the rest. Stir the excess potato filling into the beef mixture.
- Place potato halves into 9×13 baking dish and top each with 1/2 Tbsp butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide beef mixture among potato halves and top equally with a good handful of cheese.
- Place under the broiler just long enough for cheese to melt; about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.