Shepherd’s pie is a ground meat pie of English origin, made with a crust of mashed potatoes and ground red meat cooked in a gravy with onions and other vegetables, like peas, carrots, celery, and sweetcorn. Leftovers are common, with such a delicious and rich meal.
What is the best way to reheat Shepherd’s pie? The best way to reheat Shepherd’s pie is to use an oven, but if you’re in a hurry you can use the microwave or reheat your leftovers on a skillet.
The Best Ways To Reheat Shepherd’s Pie
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to reheating Shepherd’s pie, and the first one is that you need to be mindful of how you store your leftovers.
Remember that you shouldn’t keep your food out for more than 2 hours at room temperature, because bacteria tend to grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. You can store Shepherd’s pie in your fridge or in the freezer.
Freshly baked Shepherd’s pie will last for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge, especially if you refrigerate your leftovers covered with aluminum or plastic. Shepherd’s pie will last for about 4 to 6 months in the freezer, properly stored in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Another important thing is to always check if your Shepherd’s pie has gone bad or if it’s spoiled: if mold appears or if you think there’s an off smell or appearance, it’s better to discard the whole pie.
Keep in mind that freezer burns can occur, especially if the food isn’t properly sealed or covered: your Shepherd’s pie can develop a layer of frost which can absorb all of the moisture and leave you with inedible leftovers.
You also need to consider where the leftovers are coming from, because frozen food takes a long time to reheat than food that was stored in the fridge, and it usually needs to be defrosted beforehand.
We have prepared a fully detailed guide to help you choose the best way to reheat Shepherd’s pie, so keep reading if you want to find out that’s the best method for you!
How to reheat Shepherd’s pie in the oven
The first method we’re going to talk about is reheating Shepherd’s pie in the oven: this is probably the safest way to reheat your leftovers, even if it takes a little longer than others.
The process of reheating Shepherd’s pie in an oven, whether it comes from the fridge or the freezer, is basically identical: you just need to keep in mind that if you’re going to reheat frozen Shepherd’s pie, you’re going to keep it in the oven for twice as long.
If you’re starting with a frozen Shepherd’s pie, you can decide to place it straight in the oven to cook or to let it thaw in the fridge before. Thawing in the fridge before heating will generally lead to more evenly heated food, but you can skip this process if you don’t have the time.
Remember to choose an oven-safe container, like a cast iron pan or a baking dish such as a casserole, and to remove any cover or lid from the fridge.
Here are the steps to reheat Shepherd’s pie in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 177 degrees Celsius).
- Place Shepherd’s pie into an oven-safe container.
- Cover the pie with tin or aluminum foil: this is important because it will help you keep all the moisture and flavor.
- Make the seal as airtight as possible.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the Shepherd’s pie from the oven and check if your pie is ready to serve using a toothpick: stab the center of the pie and see if the toothpick is hot to the touch.
- If it’s hot, your Shepherd’s pie is ready to be eaten.
- If it isn’t hot, cover the pie again and place it back into the oven for an extra 10 minutes.
- Remember you’ll need twice as much time for a frozen Shepherd’s pie.
How to reheat Shepherd’s pie in the microwave
The second method you can use is to reheat Shepherd’s pie in a microwave, and this is a really useful method for when you only want to reheat a small portion of Shepherd’s pie, or for when you’re particularly in a hurry.
Modern microwaves have also improved their defrost options, so you can easily defrost a frozen Shepherd’s pie and heat it up, all in a matter of a few minutes.
The only downside of reheating Sheperd’s pie in a microwave is that if you don’t take the necessary precautions, your Shepherd’s pie might end up soggy and lose its crispy texture and flavor.
Remember not to leave Shepherd’s pie in the microwave for a long time without checking on it, otherwise, you’ll risk overcooking it or even burning some ingredients, especially if you’re trying to reheat veggie Shepherd’s pie.
Here are the steps to reheat Shepherd’s pie in the microwave:
- Take out your Shepherd’s pie from the freezer a few hours in advance if you don’t have a way to defrost it quickly, like the microwave. If it was stored in the fridge, it’s enough to take it out 15 minutes in advance.
- Place the amount of Shepherd’s pie you want to reheat into a microwave-safe container.
- Make sure the pie is distributed evenly in the container: you don’t want to risk getting a few cold spots because of uneven heating. If you have an inverter microwave, you don’t need to worry about cold spots, but still make sure the pie is distributed all over the available surface.
- Set your microwave high for the first 2-3 minutes, and then turn down the heat.
- Check your Shepherd’s pie after the first few minutes, and turn the pieces around.
- If you think it’s not hot enough, add another 30 seconds and proceed like this until you think it’s ready.
How to reheat Shepherd’s pie in a skillet
If you don’t have an oven or a microwave, or if you don’t think these methods are good enough to reheat Shepherd’s pie, you can always try to reheat Shepherd’s pie in a skillet.
This is a fairly simple process, but you’ll need to add a few more ingredients to really get your leftovers to come together into a delicious meal.
This is a great method to get all the original flavors of Shepherd’s pie: keep in mind that you’re going to stir your leftovers a lot in the skillet, so your pie won’t probably retain its original shape. If this is a problem for you, it’s probably better to stick to one of the other two methods.
Here are the steps to reheat Shepherd’s pie in a skillet:
- Coat the skillet with butter (one teaspoon should be enough).
- Heat the skillet.
- Place your leftover Shepherd’s pie in the skillet.
- Add more salt, more pepper and, if you feel like it, more cheese.
- Keep stirring until evenly heated.
Can you reheat Shepherd’s pie?
Of course you can reheat Shepherd’s pie, and guess what? You can also make it taste almost as good as freshly cooked pie, provided that you store it and reheat it properly. There are a few tips and tricks you can follow, in order to achieve the best texture and flavor.
There are several different methods you can use to reheat Shepherd’s pie, so you can choose your preferred ones based on your personal preference, cooking experience, or the availability of your kitchen appliances.
Remember to store your pie correctly: don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours, and then choose the fridge if you’re going to reheat your Shepherd’s pie in the next few days, or the freezer if you want to reheat it over the next few months.
The safest way to reheat Shepherd’s pie is to use an oven: this works perfectly well with frozen Shepherd’s pie as well as most foods that include potatoes or meat and, while it does take a bit of time, you can be sure you’ll end up with tasty leftovers.
You could also use a microwave if you need to reheat your pie quickly and easily: with this method, you can end up with a soggy pie, so be careful and follow all the instructions we listed above to avoid this.
The third method is to reheat Shepherd’s pie using a skillet: this is another really fast and easy way to reheat your pie, but keep in mind it doesn’t work if you want to retain the pie’s original shape.
As long as you follow the reheating process of the methods we’ve listed above, you can also reheat your Shepherd’s pie more than once. The key is to ensure your pie gets heated to a high enough temperature to kill off any bacteria that might have formed.
If you have doubts, remember to check our step-by-step guide again, so you can be sure to enjoy your leftover Shepherd’s pie for days to come.