And so it begins. The zucchini onslaught.
In fact, it’s almost Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Day. (Although that usually works better at night.)
See, at this time of year, at least here in Pennsylvania, zucchini plants are in super production mode, and we gardeners often find ourselves with way more than we can handle. One can only put away so many loaves of zucchini bread, no matter how yummy it may be.
But I’ve found what every veggie lover dreams of – a new way of serving my family zucchini, and it’s one they actually love. The kids, too!
In this season of salads (and, for us, many meatless meals), we often find ourselves craving something hearty and flavorful. This version of shepherd’s pie, featuring beef and mushrooms topped with shredded potato, cheese and lots of zucchini, fits the bill.
The best part? You can doctor it up with even more vegetables and herbs, depending on what you’re got in your garden at the moment.
Maybe a more apt name would be Gardener’s Pie?
Either way, I’m sure you’ll call it delicious. And the leftovers are even better.
I just hope your neighbor isn’t too disappointed.
Zucchini Shepherd’s Pie
*To avoid a runny casserole, shred zucchini 2 hours in advance, place into a strainer like in the photo above, sprinkle with salt and let it sit. This will draw out much of the unwanted moisture.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8–10 oz package fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional)
- 2 envelopes Simply Organic mushroom sauce mix (or use a slurry made with 2 cups beef broth and 1 tbsp flour)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium to large zucchini, shredded (with moisture pressed out)
- 4 medium potatoes, shredded
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese (The whole 8 oz makes it really cheesy, so you may not need the whole thing. I used about 3/4 and it was great.)
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- Chopped fresh or dried parsley, to taste (optional)
In a large skillet, brown ground beef. (While beef is browning, whisk mushroom sauce mix into 2 cups water or create beef broth slurry.)
Drain fat from beef; add onion to beef and cook until fragrant and translucent. Add garlic; cook one minute more. Add sauce mix or beef broth mixture and black pepper and cook, stirring, until thickened.
Preheat over to 375º. Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread beef mixture in bottom of pan. In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, potatoes, egg, milk, half of bread crumbs, cheese and garlic salt. Spread zucchini mixture on top of beef mixture. Top with remaining bread crumbs and parsley, if desired. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15–30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.