As we get older, we grow out of a lot of habits and likes.
Yet, our taste buds still crave the comfort food we ate as kids.
Think of the hearty ground lamb meat with crisped vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes. All in a heart-warming casserole.
Yes, I’m talking about shepherd’s pie!
It’s a timeless favorite that everyone I know enjoys eating all year round. (I know I do!)
The only issue is that reheating can be a bit of a challenge since no one really wants to eat a soggy pie.
In this post, we go over how to reheat shepherd’s pie in the oven, air fryer, microwave, and pan.
As a bonus, you’ll find two twists on the traditional presentation of shepherd pie filling in the end. So, hang tight!
Is Shepherd’s Pie Even Reheatable?
The average shepherd’s pie is good for six servings.
If you’re a small household, you’ll probably wonder how you can keep the potatoes and minced meat fresh for the longest time possible.
As long as you properly store your food in airtight, you should be fine eating leftover pie that’s 3-4 days old.
The issue here isn’t about safety.
Just like with reheating chicken pot pie, it’s more of preserving the texture and flavor of the pie without turning your favorite comfort meal into a soggy mess.
Keep in mind that each reheating can reduce the quality of your leftovers.
Figuring out how to reheat frozen shepherd’s pie is an even bigger challenge since defrosting often ruins the texture.
Knowing how long to reheat shepherd’s pie is an entirely different hassle!
What’s the bottom line?
After a rough road of trial and error, I found that oven reheating is the best way to reheat your leftover pie.
However, depending on the amount you need to reheat, and the available time, you might prefer microwaving, air frying, or pan heating.
It’s all up to the chef’s (you) preference!
How to Reheat Shepherd’s Pie
Let’s take a closer look at each of the four reheating methods before you device which is better for you:
1. Reheating Shepherd’s Pie in the Oven
Nine times out of ten, the oven is my go-to for reheating leftovers, especially those that were already baked.
It’s just a well-rounded method that preserves the original texture without sogginess or drying out, as long as you cover the pie with a foil.
I’ll let you in on a secret.
For extra-crisp, remove the foil for the last few minutes and let it heat directly under the oven’s broiler. The result is as crunchy as a fresh pie!
As a plus, the oven is also suitable for reheating large amounts of leftover shepherd’s pie all at once.
The only problem?
Ovens aren’t particularly fast when it comes to cooking or reheating. Not as fast as microwaves, at least.
Check out how to reheat shepherd’s pie in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉
- Wrap up the pie casserole with foil
- Set the oven timer for 30 minutes (double that if you’re starting with frozen pie)
- Check that the center is steaming hot with a knife or toothpick
- Let the pie cool without the foil cover
2. Reheating Shepherd’s Pie in the Air Fryer
In terms of texture and flavor, the air fryer comes in second place after the oven reheating method.
If it weren’t for the availability and convenience, both methods would have been pretty much the same, at least for me.
Make no mistake about it.
Air fryers are basically just convection ovens, and their reheating process is very similar to your regular oven.
Plus, since the heat is facing the top side first, you regain the outer crisp that you might have lost during refrigerating.
The downside here is that most air fryers have very limited reheating space. The basket will usually take one or two pieces at a time.
If you’ll only be reheating shepherd’s pie for two, the air fryer might save you in a pinch. Let’s see how:
- Check if your air fryer has a preheat setting on 350℉
- Line the basket with a holed parchment liner to avoid leaving a mess
- Butter up the pie’s top for extra crisp (optional)
- Set the timer for 5 minutes on 350℉ (add 15 minutes if your pie needs defrosting)
- Check up on the progress halfway
3. Reheating Shepherd’s Pie in the Microwave
Moving on to the master of leftovers and lazy nights: the microwave!
The issue with microwaving is that the texture hardly comes out right.
In the case of shepherd’s pie, the outer layer loses its crisp, and the vegetables leak out their moisture, turning the whole dish into a mushy pie.
But one thing’s for sure.
It’s a quick-fire and hassle-free method of reheating leftovers. You just pop it in there and take out your hot plate in under five minutes!
Personally, I only resort to microwaving leftover shepherd’s pie if it’s frozen and I’m in a bit of a rush.
If you care about reheating speed more than crispness, here’s how you can do it in the microwave:
- Cut up the pie into small portions to ensure even heating
- Cover it up with a microwave-safe lid to minimize splattering
- If your pie is dried out, use a damp paper toil to restore moisture as it heats up
- Heat the dish over 30-second intervals
- Let the pie cool down before serving
4. Reheating Shepherd’s Pie on the Stove-top
If you want a hassle-free alternative to oven reheating, you might be interested in using a pan on the stove-top.
Sounds silly? It’s not.
Some people even make oven-less shepherd’s pie from scratch. So, you definitely can reheat it on the stove-top.
It’s easy, quick, and the flavor isn’t as rich as the original, but it’s a close enough match!
There’s one little catch.
You won’t get the prettiest presentation from this reheating method since you’ll have to mash it all in together.
Another major issue here is that the heating pattern is sometimes uneven. This means that you can’t use this method to reheat frozen shepherd’s pie.
Let’s see how you can use a pan to reheat a leftover shepherd’s pie on the stove-top:
- Melt a slice of butter in a pan over medium heat
- Add a portion of pie into the pan and mash it
- If your pie was left out to dry, pour a tablespoon of water to provide moisture
- Stir periodically to avoid scorching the bottom
- Do a taste check every couple of minutes
Revamping Leftover Shepherd’s Pie with a Surprising Twist
I’m always on the look for creative ways to serve traditional leftover food.
Eating leftovers doesn’t have to turn into a depressing meal. Not when you can revamp it to create an entirely new dish!
The beauty of revamping leftover meals is that you can mask any flaws with the texture, flavor, or appearance.
With the juicy shepherd’s pie, the presentation always gets a bit wrecked as you reheat it.
Since oven reheating is my preferred method, I’ll be relying on it for the two shepherd’s pie twists.
However, you can swap it up with air frying for similar results.
Here are two ways you can spruce up your serving style of old shepherd’s pie:
Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Potato Skins
Why serve baked potato skins filled with shepherd’s pie?
Well, why not?
Looks elegant. Check.
Works a bite-sized appetizer. Check.
Adds an extra nutritional boost. Check.
All in all, it’s the perfect leftover revamping idea, and it doesn’t even need any special culinary skills!
To turn the hearty pie into a mouthwatering appetizer, start by cutting potatoes into halves and use a spoon to carve them up without breaking the skins.
Here’s a little tip:
For a side dish, use large potatoes. Meanwhile, for an appetizer, baby potatoes work better.
Scoop your room temperature leftover shepherd’s pie into the skin shells and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Once your delicious loaded shells are ready to go, top it up with a sauce of your choice. My go-to topping is fresh shallots and butter.
Pair it with a plate of glazed carrots, and you’re all done!
Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Bell Peppers
Knowing how to hollow up a bell pepper can be a challenge at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll all be up to muscle memory.
If you’re feeling the Halloween vibes, try out this Jack O Lantern theme!
While you’re preparing the peppers, preheat your oven to 350℉.
Once you’re done, all that’s left is stuffing the peppers with your leftover pie filling and popping it in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
And if you want some meal accompaniment ideas, check out our list of shepherd’s pie side dishes to help make your entire meal new again!
Buckle up. It’s only getting better.
The bell pepper makes exactly the right portion size that allows the oven to evenly heat the pie. Finally, you know how to reheat shepherd’s pie without cold cores!