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Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings

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This Mexican Shepherd’s Pie is a spicy twist on classic shepherd’s pie. Ground beef, corn, and peppers and onions are seasoned generously with taco seasoning, layered with homemade mashed potatoes, topped off with melty cheese, then served with tortilla chips for dipping!

overhead image of mexican shepherds pie in casserole dish
Table of Contents
  1. What is the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?
  2. Mexican Shepherd’s Pie ingredients:
  3. How to make Mexican Shepherd’s Pie
  4. Mexican Shepherd’s Pie variations
  5. Serving suggestions
  6. Can Mexican Shepherd’s Pie be made ahead of time?
  7. How to store
  8. More make ahead meals!
  9. Mexican Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Maybe you’ve noticed, but we’re big on classic comfort food around here. And as I’ve said only about 100 times before, I love new spins on classic dishes…especially if those dishes are covered in cheese…and mashed potatoes…and served with chips.

Okay fine, I just love this Mexican Shepherd’s Pie. I mean, what’s not to love though, right?!

It’s made up of ground beef, fajita veggies, taco seasoning, corn, salsa, mashed potatoes, and so much cheese! And if that doesn’t sound good enough, you can swap your utensils out for tortilla chips!

Because let’s be honest…any meal you can eat using chips is a winner!

two bowls of mexican shepherds pie with jalapeno and avocado

What is the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?

Shepherd’s pie and cottage pie are very similar but there is one primary difference: the meat used in the filling. Shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb (hence the word “shepherd” in the name) while cottage pie uses beef. So, I guess technically this Mexican shepherd’s pie should be called Mexican cottage pie.

No matter what you call it, this meat pie is delicious!

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie ingredients:

  • Ground Beef: I recommend using lean ground beef so the filling isn’t overly oily.
  • Red Pepper and Onion: a veggie duo often used in Mexican food to add flavor, color, and a boost of nutrition. Feel free to use any color peppers!
  • Taco Seasoning: start with less and add more to taste.
  • Cumin: there’s usually already cumin in taco seasoning, but I love to add a bit more to really highlight it’s warm, earthy flavor.
  • Salt: enhances other flavors within the shepherd’s pie. Add more or less to taste!
  • Frozen Corn: mixed into the filling for a sweet pop of texture in each bite.
  • Salsa: you can use your favorite store-bought salsa or whip up a homemade batch.
  • Potatoes, Milk, Butter, and Salt: makes up the smooth, creamy mashed potato layer.
  • Shredded Cheese: use any melty cheese you like. Try cheddar, colby jack, Monterey jack, you name it.
mexican shepherds pie laid out

How to make Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe really could not be any easier! It takes just 20 minutes to throw together, 25 minutes to bake, and you’re enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal in no time at all!

  1. In a large frying pan, fry beef, pepper, onion, taco seasoning, cumin, and salt until the beef is browned and the veggies are tender.
  2. Stir in corn and salsa, then transfer the mixture to a 2.5 quart casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 10-15 minutes), then mash with milk, butter, and salt.
  4. Spread the potatoes over top of the beef mixture in the casserole dish, then top with shredded cheese, and cover with a lid or tin foil.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes. Remove, top with additional cheese, then return to the oven until the cheese is melted.

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie variations

  • Spice it up. If you’re a fan of spice, add in a handful of diced jalapeño for a kick of heat.
  • Add more veggies. I just use red pepper and onion, but you can add in any color pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
  • Use another meat. This recipe also works with ground turkey, lamb, or chicken. Got leftover chili? Use that instead! (Check out my Instant Pot Chili or Slow Cooker Three Bean Beef Chili recipes!)
  • Add sour cream. Give the mashed potatoes an even creamier texture and slightly tangy flavor by mixing in a generous scoop of sour cream.

Serving suggestions

I highly recommend serving this Mexican shepherd’s pie with tortilla chips for dipping!

You could also serve it as a filling for tacos topped with sour cream and additional cheese or skip the mashed potatoes and serve the meat filling over a plate of french fries for a fun twist on chili cheese fries.

close up image of mexican shepherds pie in bowl with spoon

Can Mexican Shepherd’s Pie be made ahead of time?

It sure can! To make ahead of time, prepare as directed up until baking. Instead, cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, bake as directed, adding about 10-15 minutes to the cook time to ensure that it cooks all the way through.

How to store

Leftover shepherd’s pie will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge (if frozen), then microwave, warm on the stove, or cover with foil and bake at 350ºF until heated through.

Notes: recipe card doesn’t have oven temperature. I assume 350 since meat lover’s shepherd’s pie was that, but just fyi

There are two times for adding cheese. Is that correct or do you just add cheese after baking as in meat lover’s?

More make ahead meals!

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Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

This Mexican Shepherd’s Pie is a spicy twist on classic shepherd’s pie. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 445cal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning to your tastes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt to your tastes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 6 medium potatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese


  • In a large frying pan, fry beef, pepper, onion, taco seasoning, cumin and salt until beef is browned and vegetables are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Stir in corn and salsa. Pour into a 2.5qt casserole dish and set aside.
  • Boil potatoes until tender, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your dice. Mash with milk, butter, and salt. Spread on top of beef mixture in casserole dish.
  • Top with shredded cheese and cover with a lid or tin foil. Bake 20-25 minutes until heated through. Top with cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted.


To make ahead, prepare up until baking point and refrigerate. Pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. You might need to add 10-15 minutes to baking time to ensure everything is reheated.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 445cal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 939mg | Potassium: 1593mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1345IU | Vitamin C: 47.5mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4.1mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. D. Ashley says

    I had this idea to make Mexican shepherds pie and your recipe confirmed it was a pretty good idea. Thanks! I had many variations with my items on hand. I had “Mexican meat” that was seasoned already, added onions, bell peppers, a pinch of jalapenos with most seeds removed, and corn for the filling. Mashed potatoes made from boxed potato flakes. Grated cheese and black olives on top. Delicious!

  2. Tanya Canedy says

    This looks amazing! I’m going to try to make those Cauliflower mashed potatoes to top it so my boys won’t know it’s good for them too! Thanks for this!

  3. Cheryl Newton says

    I’d probably try to get a jump on my Christmas shopping. Because, as the woman who cuts my hair reminded me today, only 18 more Fridays until Christmas.

  4. Vickie Craft says

    Looks delicious. I would buy my granddaughter and granddaughter on the way something for their new room, if I won the money.

  5. Samantha says

    What a great warming recipe! Thanks for sharing. What I would do with $125 for school. That would be a brand new fall outfit for sure! Thanks for the chance, it’s awesome!

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