I’ve had this recipe forever, though I think I’ve only made it a couple of times. Probably because we don’t often have leftover mashed potatoes and cooking potatoes to mash for the top of a casserole just seems like too much work. (Update: I now often make these with just cheese and skip the potatoes when I don’t have them because the filling is so good!)
Then I had the idea to make them in ramekins when I did have some leftover mashed potatoes recently, and I gotta tell you- I’ll be making these a lot more often. And making the filling with tomato sauce amps up the flavor, too- it’s different than other “pot pie” recipes I’ve tried. And in a good way.
What is it about ramekins that elevate a normal “casserole” to new heights? The presentation is SO much nicer than a spoonfull of glop, and they actually seem to taste better- I think because the topping doesn’t get lost in the filling during baking or serving.
Whatever the reason, I can see a lot of “ramekin meals” on the horizon, as this would be wonderful with leftover beef, pork, or sausage, too. I should probably serve my Individual Berry Crisps for dessert and make it a slam dunk.
Or do you think that’d be too much ramekin love?
Individual Chicken-Tomato Shepherd’s Pie
(or Beef-Tomato, Pork-Tomato, Sausage-Tomato…you get the idea, it’s adaptable)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tb. butter or olive oil
- 2 c. diced cooked chicken or other meat (can use uncooked- just cook it until done with the onions)
- 2 c. green beans, thawed if using frozen
- 1 c. tomato sauce (8-oz. can)
- 1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2-3 c. mashed potatoes
- Grated cheddar cheese for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat butter or oil in a large frying pan, add onions and saute for a few minutes (if using uncooked meat, add also and cook until done).
- Add the remaining ingredients, except mashed potatoes, and mix well. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, grease six 8-oz (1 cup) ramekins with oil or butter. If mashed potatoes are leftover, warm slightly (stovetop or microwave), adding more milk if needed.
- Fill each ramekin 3/4 full with the filling and top with 1/3-1/2 cup of the potatoes. Top with about a tablespoon of grated cheese and transfer the ramekins to a cookie sheet before placing in the heated oven.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the sides are bubbling.
- Let sit about 10 minutes before serving to cool a bit.