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Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots

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Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots starts with ground beef and veggies in a rich gravy sauce. Then it’s topped with cheddar cheese and tater tots for a fun twist that combines Shepherd’s Pie with the ease of Tater Tot Casserole. A plate of Shepherd's Pie with Tater Tots sits next to a cast iron skillet.

I don’t know about you, but I can never have too many easy and hearty ground beef casseroles. Cheap, easy, and my kids will actually eat it? Sold! This Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots totally fits the bill. 

What is Shepherd’s Pie? 

Shepherd’s Pie sometimes also known as Cottage Pie is a hearty casserole that originated in the UK.  It is traditionally made from either minced beef or lamb (that’s where the shepherd part comes in). The meat is cooked in a gravy or sauce with mixed vegetables. Sometimes shepherd’s pie is topped with a layer of cheese, but it’s always finished with a layer of mashed potatoes. 

This easy variation keeps all the classic flavors of shepherd’s pie, but switches to tater tots for the topping. I love using my cast iron skillet for these kinds of casseroles, because you can go straight from the stove top to the oven. I got this one for under $40 on Amazon and I use it for everything! 

A spoonful of Shepherd's Pie with Tater Tots is scooped out of the skillet.

How to make Shepherd’s Pie with Tator Tots: 

Brown 1 pound of ground beef with a half cup of chopped onion and a clove of garlic. You can also use ground turkey, lamb, or chicken in place of the beef.

Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into the cooked meat until the flour is completely dissolved. Then whisk in 1 can of beef consomme and ½ cup of milk. You’ll need to whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and the sauce thickens so no lumps form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and season with black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. 

Shepherd's Pie with Tater Tots starts with ground beef in a gravy sauce.

Add the frozen mixed vegetables to the ground beef and sauce. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, now is the time to transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13 casserole dish. If you do have a cast iron skillet, continue on!  The mixed vegetables are added to the ground beef and sauce.

Top with the shredded cheddar and tator tots and then bake until the tops of the tots are nice and crispy. About 25-30 minutes. A layer of cheddar cheese is added before finishing the casserole with a layer of frozen tater tots.

This recipe is very easy and forgiving! Feel free to change things up based on your preferences. Try it with sweet potato tater tots for an interesting twist!

Shepherd’s Pie with Tator Tots also freezes well. To make ahead and freeze, simply assemble your casserole in a freezer safe dish or foil pan. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 

When you are ready to bake allow the casserole to thaw completely in the fridge and then bake as directed! 

Serve this casserole up with a green salad, some hot rolls and call it good!

Related Recipes:
Amish Country Casserole
Chicken Zucchini Casserole
Oven Baked Muffaletta
A cast iron skillet of oven baked muffaletta on a tray next to a white plate with a serving of the muffaletta.

Oven Baked Muffaletta

A spoonful of Shepherd's Pie with Tater Tots is scooped out of the skillet.

Shepherd's Pie with Tater Tots

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots; ground beef and veggies in a rich gravy sauce that's topped with cheddar cheese and tater tots. An easy weeknight dinner.


  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 (10 ounce) can beef consomme
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12 ounce bag) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (30 ounce) bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the hamburger with the diced onion and garlic.
  3. Add the flour to the browned hamburger and stir until it's completely dissolved. On medium heat, whisk in the consomme and milk. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture has thickened and is bubbly.
  4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and mixed vegetables.
  5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top of the hamburger and vegetables. Then top with tater tots.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling at the edges.


If you do not have a cast iron skillet, move the mixture to a 9x13 pan after Step 4 and continue as directed.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

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Shepherd’s Pie with Tater Tots makes a comfort food classic into an easy one dish weeknight dinner. Ground beef and mixed vegetables in a savory gravy topped with cheese and tater tots. #shepherdspie #tatertothotdish #maindishcasserole #weeknightdinner #accidentalhappybaker

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Joe Bacon

Saturday 6th of January 2024

Mom made shepherd's pie only once with mashed potatoes. She didn't like the way the dis turned out and after that she used Tater Tots which made the dish a lot more tasty. I think her version is close to the posted recipe!

Amy D

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Nice! Gotta love those nostalgic memories of the foods our mommas made.


Saturday 29th of April 2023

Made today with ground lamb and also used beef stock in place of consume. Turned out delicious! Thanks for recipe!


Sunday 25th of April 2021

Delicious dish, also We call this tater tot hot dish, where im from. One of my favorite dishes when i go back home.


Wednesday 29th of July 2020

This was so yummy! Great recipe! Thank you!


Sunday 26th of April 2020

We just made this (with beef stock instead of consommé since that was all we had) and this was delicious!! Thank you!!

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