Q. I made a Shepherd’s pie for dinner the other day and my family loved it. They ate the whole thing in one sitting and then requested that I make it again as soon as possible. While I’m happy that they enjoyed it, making it is a lot of work. I really don’t feel like making a Shepherd’s pie each week. Instead, I would prefer to make a few of them and freeze them, but I’m not sure if they will taste the same after freezing. Can you freeze Shepherd’s pie?
A. Yes, you can freeze Shepherd’s pie! Many people freeze whole pies for later, make mini pies for freezing, or freeze individual serving slices. The tricky part about freezing Shepherd’s pie is the mashed potato top layer. Mashed potatoes can sometimes have a different consistency once defrosted, changing the taste a bit. It can sometimes help to freeze the pie before baking it in the oven to improve the taste and texture.
How to freeze shepherd’s Pie?
To freeze Shepherd’s pie, make sure to freeze it as soon as possible after cooking to avoid having the liquid separate from the meat. Prepare your Shepherd’s pie according to your preferred recipe but do not put it in the oven to bake. If your recipe calls for shredded cheese to be added, add that after thawing. Allow the pie to cool to the point where there is no longer any steam coming off the pie.
Cover the pie in a layer of plastic wrap, and then wrap the entire container in aluminum foil. Securing the foil with an elastic will help protect the Shepherd’s pie from freezer burn. Place the Shepherd’s pie in the freezer until completely frozen before placing any items on top of it to avoid squishing the Shepherd’s pie.
To thaw the Shepherd’s pie, it can be cooked directly from frozen by unwrapping it and placing it into a preheated oven at the time indicated on the recipe. Add any grated cheese at this point. Keep in mind that it will take longer than indicated in the recipe to heat through. The pie could also be removed from the freezer the night before and placed in the fridge to thaw, and then placed in a preheated oven until heated through. Thawed Shepherd’s pie will keep in the fridge and can be reheated, but should not be refrozen.