The perfect dish to prepare ahead of time for future use, shepherd’s pie is a firm family favourite that is full of flavour while being relatively straightforward to make. But, is it freezable or not?
Can You Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?
Yes, you can freeze shepherd’s pie for up to 3 months. You could also freeze shepherd’s pie in parts if you’d prefer, keeping the mince mixture and potatoes separate until it comes time to reheat them.
Does Shepherd's Pie Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Shepherd's Pie? Yes
How to Freeze Shepherd’s Pie
Freezing shepherd’s pie isn’t too complicated. You just need to think about how you will use it when it comes to defrosting and reheating it and ensure you freeze it in the appropriate portion sizes.
Here’s a breakdown of the necessary steps you will need to follow to freeze shepherd’s pie.
- Allow to Cool
Before you think about freezing your shepherd’s pie, you must leave it to cool on the countertop. If you’re freezing the leftovers of your family meal, you can leave it to cool while eating and clearing up.
- Separate Into Portions (If Required)
If you’ve prepared a whole shepherd’s pie for freezing so you can enjoy it at a later stage, you can skip this step. If you’re freezing leftovers, we would recommend splitting them into appropriate portion sizes before you place them in the freezer.
- Place Into Freezer-Safe Containers
Place your individual portions into freezer-safe containers. It’s not a good idea to use bags because your pie will lose its shape when you come to freeze it.
- Cover the Top Layer With Cling Film
Make sure there’s a small gap between the top of the pie and the lid of the container. Then cover the top layer with cling film before securing the lid. This will help to protect the potato from freezer burn.
- Label and Freeze
Label your container by writing the date you prepared the pie, as well as the date you need to use it. Remember, you can keep your shepherd’s pie in the freezer for up to three months.
3 Tips for Freezing Shepherd’s Pie
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing shepherd’s pie to have the best results:
Freeze Elements Apart
Some people worry about the pie losing its form in the freezer – the potatoes and the mince mixture freeze together, as opposed to retaining their initial shape. If you prefer, you could freeze the potatoes and mince mixture separately and then build your pie once you’ve defrosted the components.
Add Cheese When Reheating
If you enjoy sprinkling your shepherd’s pie with a topping of cheese, we advise you to leave this off before placing the pie in the freezer. If you do add cheese before freezing, make sure it’s cheese with high-fat content.
Try Cooking from Frozen
While it’s best to thaw your shepherd’s pie in the fridge before reheating it to ensure it heats evenly, it is possible to cook your pie from frozen.
How Long Can You Freeze Shepherd’s Pie?
You can freeze shepherd’s pie for around 3 months. Many people prefer freezing the mashed potato and mince mixtures separately, particularly if they’ve prepared the pie intentionally to freeze it for future use.
Of course, this isn’t possible if you’re freezing leftovers, but you don’t need to worry, as your shepherd’s pie will freeze perfectly well as long as you follow the above steps.
Leftover shepherd’s pie will last for around 4 days in the fridge. You should keep it in a covered dish.
How Do You Defrost Shepherd’s Pie?
As has already been mentioned, you can actually cook your shepherd’s pie directly from frozen.
However, to ensure the ingredients are heated equally and for best results, we recommend thawing the pie in the freezer the night before you wish to reheat it.
Reheating your pie this way will ensure your dish is perfect for your family. You shouldn’t defrost your shepherd’s pie on the countertop as the meat can spoil and go bad, mainly if it’s a warm day outside.
Can You Refreeze Shepherd’s Pie?
As long as you have thawed your shepherd’s pie in the refrigerator, it’s safe to refreeze it if you have any leftovers.
However, potatoes can sometimes lose their texture or discolour if you refreeze them more than once, so we would suggest freezing your pie in appropriate portion sizes, so you don’t have to worry about taking more out of the freezer than you need.
Does Shepherd’s Pie Freeze Well?
Providing you follow the instructions outlined in this post, your shepherd’s pie will freeze extremely well, and you will have access to a delicious family meal whenever you require it.
Shepherd’s pie is one of the best meals to prepare in advance, and you will unlikely notice any difference between a shepherd’s pie that is fresh out of the oven and one that has been frozen and reheated.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing shepherd’s pie or pie in general, then these may help:
Although it is likely to be safe to do, we recommend checking the packaging for any instructions on whether it is suitable for home freezing. There is a chance that the meat they have used was previously frozen.
Yes, you can freeze an assembled shepherd’s pie without any major issues. You may find that the topping dried out a little but you can mask this with a good sprinkling of cheese when reheating it.