Pssst Italian Seasoned Shepherds Pie

Have you heard about the Pssst...? Pssst is a tool for General Mills to reach out to consumers for input on newest product launches. Some time ago, I signed up for a free Pssst account. In my mailbox one day last week were two boxes of Betty Crocker mashed potatoes, Creamy Butter and Roasted Garlic. Along with the samples were coupons to share with family and friends.

I have to confess, I prefer instant mashed potatoes. Moreover, and this might sound like a lie, so does my hubby! Of course, that was before his new meat and veggie diet began. Anyway, I was already craving a carb-loaded meal perhaps a nice pasta dish when my Pssst package arrived. Garlic mashed potatoes… My immediate thought was shepherds pie it is! On the other hand, maybe not a shepherds pie what about hubby. I thought aloud, Well heck, make it hearty, and ring the casserole with mashed potatoes. Hubby can eat the center. He was skeptical but went along with the plan; it was that or he makes dinner.

Betty Crocker Instant Potatoes are made with 100% real potatoes. The Home-style creamy butter variety mashed potatoes are based on a scratch recipe. With two pouches in every box, Betty Crocker mashed potatoes offer a better value than other leading brands. In a hurry, these mashed potatoes are ready in just 8 minutes.

Italian infused Shepherds Pie

1 pouch Betty Crocker Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1.25 lbs lean ground beef
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables or 2 cups leftover veggies
1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 can diced petite tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese

Preheat oven 350. Prepare mashed potatoes according to directions. Sauté ground beef until it is no longer pink. Add onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning, cook for two or three minutes at most. Add the veggies, chickpeas, tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about half; transfer to a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle grated cheese over top, spread mashed potatoes around the edge of the dish. Sprinkle mozzarella, covering over the center and sparingly atop the mashed potatoes. Bake about 20 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and cheese is slightly brown.

I often use the leftover veggies, rice, and pastas in a dinner casserole like this. This particular casserole included broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and mixed dill seasoned veggies. When the kids were at home meals like this were commonly served. They are economical, hearty, and best of all quick. Change up the ground meat or veggie combinations and use alternate seasonings. For a Mexican flare, substitute ground turkey and chorizo for ground beef. Season with chili powder and cumin, top with Monterey Jack cheese.

Thank you to General Mills for providing the potatoes and satisfying my carb craving!

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