Disclaimer: This post was graciously sponsored by the FoodSaver® Brand. All opinions contained herein are my own. Special thanks to them for helping me bring you this budget and freezer friendly meal!
Hey Friends! I’m back to share another great freezer recipe with you today. For this one, we’re going with one of my son’s favorites, Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve worked up this recipe to be easy to make ahead (in larger quantities if you like) and freeze so you can have a tasteful and easy supper without the fuss whenever the need arises.
This is another one of the delicious meals in my Foodsaver® System Series! And as always, my trusty FoodSaver® System is the hero in this recipe. I shopped for groceries in bulk and bough enough to make 14 complete meals for around $275 – a savings of over $200 when compared to a trip to a traditional grocery store. To make sure my meat and fresh produce stayed fresh until my family was ready to eat them, I used my FoodSaver® System to vacuum seal the meat before storing it in the freezer and used my FoodSaver® Fresh Containers to keep my fresh veggies fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Whenever I make this meal, I like to save time and money by making several batches at once, at least two or three. Then, I have my son’s favorite supper in the freezer and on busy days, all I have to do is pull out my vacuum sealed meal, place it in the fridge to thaw, then pour the contents into a casserole dish at supper time and bake.
To begin with, you’ll need: Butter, chopped onions*, brown gravy mix, Ranch dressing mix, frozen mixed veggies, and some browned ground beef**. You’ll also need some water.
Ranch dressing mix is a wonderful flavor enhancer for just about any dish and it really lends a great pop of flavor in this dish.
*If you’ll notice, my pre-cooked onions are in a FoodSaver® Fresh Container. I seal these using my FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System that has a little attachment that connects to the top of the containers and vacuum seals them for longer storage. The containers also have a ‘dimple’ indicator on the top of them to let me know every time my seal was successful. When I am planning my meals for the week I like to chop up and pre-cook all of the onions I am going to need and place them in here. This makes meal prep more streamlined and the containers are designed to keep food fresh up to twice as long.
**One of my favorite time and mess saving tips is to brown a large quantity of ground beef all at once and then portion it out into FoodSaver® bags before freezing. If you’ll notice here, all of my ground beef is already cooked in this bag so all I have to do for this recipe is toss everything together in a large skillet and cook until my veggies are tender and the sauce is thickened. We have a lot of ground beef meals, several nights a week, so only browning it one time rather than with each meal is a huge time saver!
Combine all ingredients in a large skillet and stir over medium high heat until bubbly and vegetables are tender. Now that your filling is done, allow to cool slightly and then divide into two equal portions and package in FoodSaver® bags and vacuum seal before freezing.
You can also make freezer mashed potatoes to go along with this, or make mashed potatoes fresh using your favorite recipe. You can find my Freezer Mashed Potato recipe here .
Helpful Hint: Mashed potatoes are now offered in the refrigerator section of your local grocer and all you have to do is open the lid and spread them atop your filling.
To bake: Place filling and mashed potatoes (if using) in the refrigerator the night before to thaw. Continue with step two of the recipe below.
- 3 pounds ground beef, cooked
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Ranch dressing mix
- 6 tablespoons brown gravy mix
- 2 cups hot water
- 24 ounces frozen mixed veggies
- One Half Recipe Freezer Mashed Potatoes, thawed and heated (will link to recipe)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add in ground beef and all other ingredients. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are tender.
- Place ½ of beef mixture in bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.
- Top with freezer mashed potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Place remainder of beef filling in a FoodSaver Bag and seal. Freeze until ready to use.
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