Microwaving Great Value Beef Shepherd’s Pie: A How-To Guide

Shepherd’s pie is a comforting casserole made with ground beef, veggies, and mashed potatoes. It’s a great convenient meal when you’re short on time. But can you microwave the Great Value frozen beef shepherd’s pie from Walmart? I decided to find out.

As a busy home cook and food blogger, I rely on shortcuts like frozen meals sometimes But I still want them to turn out tasty. Keep reading for my tips on microwaving this budget shepherd’s pie

First let’s cover the basics on this popular frozen meal

  • Sold exclusively at Walmart
  • Contains ground beef, peas, carrots, corn, and mashed potatoes
  • Portioned into 32 oz tray
  • Cooks in oven or microwave
  • Budget friendly at around $4-$5

This affordable shepherd’s pie provides an easy complete meal when you’re pressed for time. But how does it hold up to microwave cooking?

Is it Possible to Microwave Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd’s pie contains two main components – a protein and vegetable filling and a mashed potato topping. This combo may seem tricky to microwave but it’s absolutely possible with the right techniques.

The key is to adjust the power and cooking time to ensure even heating. The potato crust in particular needs careful attention when microwaving to make sure it cooks through without becoming dried out.

With some trial and error, I found a method that results in a hot and tasty microwaved shepherd’s pie with just the right texture.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Microwaving

Follow these steps for microwaving Great Value beef shepherd’s pie:

  • Remove plastic film cover and leave pie in the microwave-safe container.

  • Microwave on HIGH power for 2 minutes to partially defrost.

  • Remove from microwave and stir filling well to distribute heat.

  • Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) in 2 minute increments, stirring between each session, until hot throughout (about 6-8 minutes total).

  • Check that filling is piping hot and potatoes are soft when pierced.

  • Let stand 2 minutes before eating to allow potatoes to fully soften.

The initial searing helps thaw and heat the bottom. Switching to medium power prevents the potatoes from drying out while making sure the interior fills heat through. Stirring part way is key for even cooking.

Microwaving Tips and Tricks

Follow these tips for microwaving shepherd’s pie perfection:

  • Leave the plastic film on during initial defrosting to hold in steam and speed up heating. Vent it after.

  • Stir thoroughly between sessions to distribute heat – this prevents cold spots.

  • Check for doneness before the full cooking time. Appearance can be deceiving in the microwave.

  • Let it rest 2 minutes before eating so the steam can evenly absorb into the potatoes.

  • Add extra toppings like shredded cheese, hot sauce, or sour cream to boost flavor after heating.

With the right techniques, you can enjoy tasty homemade-tasting shepherd’s pie with barely any effort.

Microwaving FAQs

How long does it take to microwave shepherd’s pie?

About 6-8 minutes total at medium power, checking often and stirring.

Can it be overcooked or dried out?

Yes, so it’s important not to heat too long. The potatoes can become dried out.

What power level works best?

Start at high for 2 minutes, then reduce to medium power at 50% for the remainder.

Should the plastic film be left on or removed?

Leave it on for the initial defrosting, then vent it before continuing to microwave.

Do you need to pre-thaw or can you microwave it frozen?

You can microwave it straight from the freezer, but it will take a few extra minutes.

Time for a Taste Test

After developing my microwaving method, it was time to put it to the test. I tried microwaving two Great Value beef shepherd’s pies to compare the results.

The first I heated as is from frozen, while I let the second defrost overnight before microwaving. I followed my microwaving steps for both.

The pre-thawed pie heated slightly more evenly. But both had a hot and steamy beef and vegetable filling topped with creamy, tender potatoes after microwaving. The flavor held up well, with just the right balance of seasoning.

While the microwave version wasn’t quite as good as oven baked, it still hit the spot for a quick and tasty meal. I’d definitely buy this budget shepherd’s pie again for nights when I need dinner in a hurry.

How To Cook Walmart Great Value Beef Shepherd’s Pie

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