The pros: Trader Joe's Beef Shepherd's Pie is an all in one meal that contains vegetables, meat and starch
The cons: Not a well done shepherd's pie and some of the soggiest mashed potatoes I've had. The mashed potatoes overwhelmed this dish as did the lack of flavor here.
The verdict: For $4.49 you get a "pie" that contains two servings. However, this is not a true shepherd's pie in most senses of the word. This is a beef stew topped with mashed potatoes (and not good ones at that either). The directions tell you there are two different ways of preparing this dish: microwave or oven. For once, I opted for the oven. My review is only discussing the results of how it came out using that method. If you tried it in the microwave I'd love to hear your thoughts. What came out of them oven was a thin layer of stew at the bottom of some of the most soggy mashed potatoes which is an unusual outcome for something prepared in an oven. The mashed potatoes needed salt but they did have large chunks of cracked pepper. So either your bite was plain or it bit you back with overwhelming pepper. The veggies at the bottom came out ok. They had texture and tasted fresh. The beef was just ok. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why they chose to do a beef shepherd's pie instead of lamb. If you've been the freezer section Trader Joe's makes an excellent Lamb Vindaloo. I can't imagine lamb not coming out well in this application. My issue here is the ratio of potatoes to filling. If you look at the picture on the box, you would think you are getting lots of filling and some potatoes on top. Mine was the total opposite ratio as pictured. All being said, I'm only trying this once and I won't be repurchasing.
The box of Trader Joe's Beef Shepherd's Pie :
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
How Trader Joe's describes the product:
Out of the package you get:
After being cooked you get:
After being partially eaten to see the ratio problem presented in this dish:
Would I buy this again? No. There is so much room for improvement in Trader Joe's Beef Shepherd's Pie. It wasn't inedible, but there are items I enjoy far more than this. It was too much mash to everything else and it wasn't even good mashed potatoes at that.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Beef in a Shepherd's pie? The world has gone mad! Better check that the lamb vindaloo is actually lamb and not aardvark or badger.
Loving this blog BTW. Good work.
Thank you very much.
Anna M Anderson says
I too wondered about the use of beef, and that is was more like shredded pot roast that as not very tasty. I am used to ground lamb. The potatoes, which were more that 50% of the dish, were watery and very thin. They also had no flavor. The vegetables were not bad, but they were not enough to make me want to try this again.
I'm glad it wasn't just me who had the experience. Thanks for sharing!
My Scottish mum made Shepard's Pie often growing up. She did it with ground beef, vegies and thick mashed potatoes. I loved it. She also did a slight variation of this, without the vegetable called mince meat which was ground beef in a slightly creamy sauce over mashed potatoes. I loved that, too. When I was in Nova Scotia, they also made it with beef, so not sure why everyone is dissing it.
I'm 100% sure your mum's Shepard's Pie would run laps around this. Unfortunately, this was watery and I haven't repurchased it since I originally reviewed it.
We picked it up the other day and it’s the first time I ever noticed it at trader joes, even though its my default grocery store and down the street from me, so I wonder if they pulled it from the shelves, made it worse, and then started selling it again. Hands down the worst thing I have ever tasted from TJs! So bad that I felt compelled to google it to see if others have actually tried this vile concoction. I microwaved it, which I’m sure didn’t help. If they did try to fix it, they definitely didn’t add salt to it, because it was bland, mushy, stringy, soggy, bitter, and overall gross. I wouldn’t try this again if they paid me.
Hey Tiffany! Thanks for sharing and I totally agree. Although the beef cabbage rolls were the worst thing I've tried. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing!
I’ve been reading your reviews whenever I try something new from TJ’s, and I find that your opinions usually line up with mine– this is no exception!! This “pie” tasted like dog food. Took waaaay longer to cook in the oven than the directions stated, and when it was finally done I was disappointed to find that it was 90% thin, watery mashed potatoes, with a sad layer of equally-watery stew underneath. Very disappointing. I would love to see this redone with less potatoes and lamb instead of beef. Won’t be buying again at this rate, sadly…
Hey Maddio! I'm glad I could help. And I wish this product were better. Thanks for sharing and even if we don't come to the same conclusion your thoughts are always welcome here.