The Capsule Pantry: Shepherd’s Pie + Four Other Comfort Food Recipes

Hard day? Long week? Missing home? These recipes are for you, friend. They will fill your belly and warm your heart every single time. These are my comfiest meals that will have you going back for seconds and yet still often times leave enough leftover to cover lunch the next day.  If you’re just tuning in, be sure to go back and checkout the Capsule Pantry introduction and download the printable list. Here’s the cliffs notes version:  A thoughtful collection of ingredients to have on hand at all times from which you can make a myriad of meals at a moments notice.  We’ve decided to break up twenty of the capsule pantry recipes into categories and this week I’m giving you 5 different recipes for my favorite comfort food recipes, beginning with this Shepherd’s Pie.

You’ll notice that these meals are not overly complicated and they do not contain a million ingredients. Remember, my goal with this Capsule and these recipes is to make the process of throwing together a meal so easy, you can’t say no. I promise despite coming from your pantry, they have a ton of flavor and may even become a household favorite. First up, and the one we shot, is my favorite comfort food and the epitome of a homey meal, Shepherd’s Pie. I showed how I like to change this recipe up by using sweet potatoes but it’s incredible with russet too. The remaining recipes will bring you to that cozy place too with chili, corn chowder, bunless burgers, and tostadas. All of these have dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian options within the recipe.

Before we dive in, I want to touch on spices, something I didn’t address in the Pantry Capsule intro. I know spices can add up and they go bad with time, so you don’t want them sitting on your shelf for months and months. If you don’t want to invest in a multitude of individual spices, I would suggest going for some classic blends like: Italian, Chili Powder, Garlic Herb, Herbs de Provence, and an All Purpose. These are perfect for covering many bases and will add lots of flavor to your dishes.

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Pantry Capsule – Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Lauren Daniel
  • Yield: 5-6 Servings
  • Category: Comfort

Description

The epitome of a homey meal, shepherd’s pie. This versitile recipe can be swtiched up by using sweet potatoes but it’s incredible with russet too. Dairy free, gluten free, & vegetarian options included.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef (or ground meat of choice, vegetarians use 1 ½ c cooked lentils)
  • 2 c frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • ¼ c milk of choice
  • ¾ c broth of choice
  • 1 tbsp flour of choice (I used GF all purpose)

Mashed Potato Topping

  • 3 large potatoes, sweet or russet, chopped & cut into large chunks (peeled if that’s your preference)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter, ghee or oil
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with water, add potatoes and bring to a boil, cook for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a large saucepan heat oil to medium and saute onions until clear, add meat and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle meat with flour and stir until mixed in with meat. Add garlic, salt, pepper, spices, garlic, broth, and milk.
  5. Cook for 2-4 minutes until sauce thicken slightly.
  6. Add frozen vegetables, stir, and cook on low for 4 minutes.
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Mash potatoes roughly and add salt, pepper, butter, milk, continuing mashing until well combined.
  9. Pour vegetable and meat mixture evenly into a 3-quart baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, cover to the edges and bake for 25 minutes.

Notes

This recipe is a part of a series using one list to make 20 recipes. Visit the orignal pantry post to print your TEC Pantry Capsule List: theeffortlesschic.com/effortless-chic-capsule-pantry/

Now here are five more recipes for your capsule pantry dining pleasure!

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Pantry Capsule: Chili

  • Author: Lauren Daniel
  • Yield: 5-6 Servings
  • Category: Comfort

Description

As part of our Pantry Capsule series, this easy chili recipe is adaptable to what you have in stock with gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb of ground meat OR 1 cup of lentils OR 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite size chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can or box of tomatoes
  • 1 can of chili beans
  • 1 can of pinto or white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen corn (optional)
  • 2 tsp chili powder, split 1 & 1
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp cayenne powder for extra heat and shredded cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat oil to a large skillet to medium. Add onions and cook until clear, add ground meat and 1 tsp chili powder. Once fully cooked, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine meat, onions, and all other ingredients in a large pot (do not drain tomatoes or chili beans.) Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 30-40 minutes.

Notes

If using a slow cooker, follow these same instructions, simply cook on low for 4-6 hours.

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Pantry Capsule: Corn Chowder

  • Author: Lauren Daniel
  • Yield: 5-6 Servings
  • Category: Comfort
  • Method: Slow Cooker

Description

As part of our Pantry Capsule series, this recipe is simple and easy to make using ingredients from the list. It’s rich flavors come from a dairy alternative, but I guarentee you will not be able to tell the difference. Dairy free, gluten free, and option for vegetarian.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c russet potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, canned
  • 1 tablespoons flour of choice
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice

Optional additions:

  • 1 lb chicken, cut into bite size chunks
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • Pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Place chicken (if using), potatoes, onion, veggies, and corn into a slow cooker. Stir in broth, garlic, and spices; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk and flour. Stir in milk/flour mixture and oil during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  4. Optional: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. When soup is ready to serve, top with bacon bits.
  5. Serve topped with bacon and chives, if desired.
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Pantry Capsule: Tortilla Pizzas

  • Author: Lauren Daniel

Description

Not your typical pizza, this comforting meal is like a combination of chips and salsa and thin crust pizza. Gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options.


Ingredients

  • 4-6 Tortillas, corn or flour
  • 1 cup salsa or tomato sauce
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Baby tomatoes, halved
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
  • ½ c cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice
  • Optional: Cilantro, Chicken or ground meat, Avocado

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil up on medium heat.
  3. Fry each tortilla in the oil just until lightly browned and crispy, remove and set aside on paper towels
  4. In the same pan, add potatoes, saute until soft about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, cook any meat (if using). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drain and rinse beans and corn.
  7. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of salsa or sauce on tortilla then evenly spread cheese.
  8. Then top with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, black beans, meat (if using) and sprinkle chili powder over top.
  9. Repeat these steps for all tortillas.
  10. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Remove from oven and top with cilantro and avocado (if using).
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Pantry Capsule: Bunless Burgers with Steak Fries

  • Author: Lauren Daniel
  • Yield: 4-5 burgers
  • Category: Comfort

Description

This Pantry Capsule recipe is a healthier version of your favorite drive thru eats. Dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian options included.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat of choice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • ½ tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • ½  tbsp aminos or soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • Optional: You choice of greens & sliced onions for topping

Steak Fries

  • 3-4 potatoes, russet or sweet, cut into wedges
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tbsp herbs de provence
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • Optional: ketchup for dipping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine oil and spices in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add potatoes and mix around until evenly covered. Place in rows on a baking sheet and place in oven.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the potatoes. Roast again until the potatoes are tender and golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
  3. While fries are cooking, combine meat, garlic, spices, mustard, sauces and egg using a fork or hands.
  4. Once you’ve flipped your fries, heat oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Form meat mixture into 4-5 patties (may be sticky) and add to heated pan carefully. The burgers should sizzle on contact — if they don’t, nudge the heat up a little.
  6. Let cook for 3-4 minutes then flip. Then allow to cook for 4-5 more minutes.
  7. Top with greens and onions if desired.

If you’re a vegetarian or into ‘meatless monday’, your burger is a bit different, but your steak fries are the same as above:

  • 1½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 c chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ c quinoa
  • ⅔ c stock or water
  • Salt & pepper

Veggie Burger INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toss sweet potatoes with spices and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, combine quinoa and stock (or water), bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, then cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until water is completely absorbed. Once cooked, remove lid and set aside.
  3. Add cooled sweet potatoes, chickpeas, garlic and worcestershire to the food processor. Pulse until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, combine processed mixture and quinoa into 6-7 patties.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. The burgers should sizzle on contact — if they don’t, nudge the heat up a little.
  6. Let cook for 3-4 minutes then flip. Then allow to cook for 4-5 more minutes.

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  1. I’d love to make the vegetarian version of the shepherd’s pie! It looks so good!!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated