A comfort food classic gets a Tex-Mex twist in Taco Shepherd’s Pie, with seasoned ground beef and black beans topped with cheesy green chile mashed potatoes!
This recipe was developed in partnership with the Texas Beef Council.
Today we’re taking a little break from the recent bounty of holiday recipes for some good ol’ comfort food! My family enjoys shepherd’s pie and we’re also big fans of any recipe with Tex-Mex flavors. So I decided to combine these two loves in this easy, flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs-delicious Taco Shepherd’s Pie!
I actually developed this recipe earlier this year for the Texas Beef Council when they asked me to create a Texas-inspired, beef-centered casserole recipe for the mouthwatering Recipe Central section of their website. I was eager to center my recipe around ground beef since I always have a few packages of it in my fridge and freezer. Ground beef is my go-to…if I didn’t plan ahead and am scrambling to figure out what to make for dinner at the last minute, a pound of ground beef is almost always my solution since I have plenty of quick, easy ground beef recipes in my arsenal.
And with this recipe I have one more! It’s a particularly great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (and when I make mashed potatoes, I always make extra for exactly this type of reason). Plus it’s so simple to make! Brown your ground beef along with a little garlic, flavor with taco seasoning, and add salsa for as much heat as you like (depending on whether you choose mild, medium, or hot). Then stir in a can of drained black beans.
Whether you start with fresh-made or leftover mashed potatoes, mix some grated cheddar and a can of diced green chiles into them and spread ’em on top of the beef mixture. Then top with a little more cheese and bake until golden and bubbly. So easy, y’all, and SO DARN GOOD.
Taco Shepherd’s Pie is hearty and comforting and perfect as is, but I like to add a fresh element to make it even better. While the casserole is cooking, I dice an avocado and a couple of tomatoes, chop a handful of cilantro, and stir in some salt, pepper, and lime juice for a simple salad to serve alongside (or atop!) the main dish. I promise…the contrast of flavors and textures is complete and utter bliss.
But the star of the show is that humble pound of ground beef. I grew up loving beef and I’ve always cooked it for my family, but I have a whole new understanding of it and respect for it since I attended the Texas Beef Council’s Live Well Event. I learned so much about different cuts of beef and how to prepare beef, from flavoring it to grilling it to using different methods to cook it in the kitchen.
I also learned all about beef nutrition, which was a real eye-opener for me. Beef is delicious, yes, but it’s also a protein powerhouse. A 3-ounce serving of beef contributes less than 10% of the daily calories to a 2000-calorie diet, but it supplies 48% of the recommended daily intake for protein! That serving is also loaded with other essential nutrients, like selenium, B12, zinc, niacin, and more. And because beef producers have been working to make beef leaner, beef external fat has decreased 80% in the past 20 years and ground turkey is often higher in fat than ground beef. So not only is beef tasty, but it fits right in with my philosophy for feeding my family…a balanced variety of nutritious, real food.
Now are you ready for some dinner inspiration? Hop on over to Beef Loving Texans to view this yummy Taco Shepherd’s Pie recipe (61K views and growing!) and then stick around to explore a bit — there are tons of delicious, wholesome beef recipes to be found over there!
Taco Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Taco Shepherd’s Pie with Avocado Tomato SaladPrint Pin Rate
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk, warmed
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup extra-sharp grated cheddar cheese, DIVIDED
- 1 can (4-ounces)diced mild green chiles, drained
- 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, homemade recommended OR 1 package store-bought
- 1 jar (16-ounces)chunky salsa , mild, medium, or hot, depending on your preference
- 1 can (15.5-ounces)black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 lime, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Stir in salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Use a hand-held masher to roughly mash the potatoes. Add the milk and butter and season with garlic salt and pepper, to taste. Mash the potatoes until smooth and then stir in 2/3 of the cheese and the diced green chiles. Cover the mashed potatoes and set aside.
- Arrange a rack in the center position of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- While the potatoes are cooking, crumble the beef into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain and discard the drippings. Add the garlic to the beef and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the beef and pour the jar of salsa over the top; stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, gently stir in the black beans, and transfer the mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading into an even layer all the way to the edges, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- In the meantime, place the diced tomatoes and diced avocado in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from both halves of the lime over the top, sprinkle with the cilantro, season with garlic salt and pepper (to taste), and gently toss all of the ingredients to coat and combine. Top each serving of Taco Shepherd's Pie with a big scoop of Avocado Tomato Salad.