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I was so proud of myself for being so prepared before this baby came. I have a ton of recipes made and photographed – all ready so that I can take a little break from the kitchen. I guess I should have prepared a little more and had them all written up and prepared to post – I wasn’t really planning on having those post-less days! But I’m sure you’ll all forgive me! 🙂

But I do have a lot of tasty recipes coming your way. And this is definitely one of them. When I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s talk show, I knew it was one that I’d have to try because my daughter loves tater tots. And what an easy twist on Shepherd’s Pie!! The only complaint I had with this recipe is that the gravy and meat sauce never really thickened up like I wanted it to. But it was still really good – and the leftovers were great as well!

Potato Tot-Topped Shepherd’s Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An updated shepherd's pie - instead of mashed potatoes, the beef and vegetable mixture is topped with tater tots!
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 2½ cups beef broth
  • 1½ to 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan. When oil ripples, add meat and brown well, stirring occasionally. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften vegetables, 10-12 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in ½ cup of the beef broth. Reduce by half then whisk in the rest of the broth and thicken to a loose gravy.
  4. Place meat and vegetables in a casserole dish and stir in gravy. Top with cheddar and tots, and bake until tots are golden and crispy on top.
  5. ----------------
  6. slightly adapted from The Rachael Ray Show

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8 Responses to Saturdays with Rachael Ray – Potato Tot-Topped Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Helzie Baking says:

    Lovely recipe! must try the new twist to the sheperd's pie sometime!
    I love your blog, and congratulations on the little one =] x

  2. Tammy says:

    I like this version of shepherds pie, I never liked making that because of the mashed potatoes adding so much time, but tater tots rids that reason! If your daughter likes tater tots come visit my blog and look under tater tot casserole, this is a recipe everyone likes! How is your daughter taking to the baby?

  3. Joanne says:

    Dude when you give you birth you TOTALLY get a few days off! Don't sweat it! One thing I miss that I haven't eaten in FOREVER is tater tots. This shepherd's pie sounds awesome!

  4. Nancy StylenDecorDeals.blogspot.com says:

    The recipe looks delicious! Precious baby too!
    Following from the hop.
    Hope you can find time to hop over to:

  5. bellini valli says:

    I have loved tater tots sicne i was a kid. Now I feel the need to head to the store!

  6. Tammy says:

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was really good!

    A nice alternative to your standard shepherd’s pie and was eaten by the whole family

  7. barbara says:

    I have made this reciopes with mashed potatoes and wanted to try with tots but I wanted to tell ppl to try this with venison. We love it

  8. Katie says:

    The nature of a shepherd’s pie is that it is made of lamb, not beef.
    Hence the name “shepherd” which is truncated form of sheep herder.
    Try the lamb version, it is superb.. The best I have made is without leftover roast lamb or roast mutton, with gravy. Yummmmmmm.

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