Shepherd’s pie is traditional comfort meal that’s been thoroughly enjoyed many times over. Spruce things up with a zesty new spin on the classic with this buffalo chicken version. Buffalo chicken shepherd’s pie is the fun new dinner idea that will have you falling in love with an easy meat & potato dinner all over again.
I love traditional foods with a twist.
They make classic favorites over and into something new and exciting without completely offending those that enjoy routine. All the while, preserving the core elements I truly enjoy about the original.
My husband is a creature of habit, while I enjoy more variety in our monthly meal plan, and here’s another one of those types of recipes that manages to keep us both full and extremely happy.
This buffalo chicken shepherd’s pie is all of that and more, a bit of delicious compromise for a kitchen aficionado who loves experimenting and my tried and true kind of guy.
I don’t mention the sons since they learned long ago, A. It’s best to be nice to and not question the cook, and B. You get what you get and don’t throw a fit.
Sorry, I’m not sorry. But they’re troopers anyway and if it involves food cooked by Mom, they’re game.
Potatoes – you’ll need whole potatoes, and to dice them. I prefer to leave the skins on but you can peel them in your family prefers them without.
Milk – I use 1 or 2 %, but for this recipe any milk will do. Just don’t use cream, as it will be too thick.
Oils – You’ll need both a bit of oil and butter for this dish. I recommend using canola oil.
Vegetables – Carrots and onion, both freshly peeled & roughly chopped. Yellow onion works best, but red onion will work too.
Seasonings – Salt & pepper are all I use, but you can shake things up if you prefer with others.
Ground Chicken – You can buy chicken already ground, or use an attachment for your stand mixer to grind up boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Tomato Sauce – the cheap canned variety, NOT pasta/spaghetti sauce.
Wing Sauce – I used a milk version since I was making it for a family dinner. Adjust the heat levels to fit your family’s preference.
Shredded Cheese – I used cheddar, but have also used a blend of cheddar & mozzarella and colby jack.
How To Make
Add the washed, chopped potatoes to a large pot. Fill the pot with water just until it’s covering the potatoes. Bring the pot of water to a boil, and let it boil for roughly 10 minutes.
You’ll know the potatoes are done when a fork pierces them easily, also known as ‘fork tender’.
Drain the potatoes completely, and then add them back into the pot. Add the milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the potatoes in the pot.
Using a potato masher, mash the potato mixture until creamy and completely incorporated. It’s ok if it’s still a bit lumpy.
While the potatoes are cooking, it’s best to go ahead and prepare the filling- that way everything’s ready to go in the casserole dish around the same time.
Add a bit of oil to a medium/large skillet set over medium heat. Let the oil heat up briefly- this will happen quickly.
Add the carrots and onions to the skillet, stir them, and then allow them to saute for 5 minutes- or until they’re slightly tender and the onions have turned translucent. Season this mixture with salt & pepper, to taste.
Now add the ground chicken to the skillet and let it cook through, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks.
Once the chicken’s cooked through, it will be completely white with no visible pink, add in the tomato sauce, wing sauce, and Worcestershire.
Stir everything together gently to combine, and let the mixture simmer just until heated through.
Lightly spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. You can use either an 8 or 9″ square dish. Transfer the chicken mixture to the greased baking dish, and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly out over top.
Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly out over the cheese in dollops with a large spoon. Using the back of the spoon, gently spread them out into an even layer.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly out over top of the dish, and then add the pieces of cut up butter.
Bake the buffalo chicken shepherd’s pie at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
This quintessential comfort food was an automatic winner! I love nights like that. It’s the only time there’s silence in the house, when everybody’s too busy savoring supper to be bothered with things like actual words.
The cheesy mashed potatoes scream creamy comfort while the filling is flavored with tangy, and in our case, slightly spicy buffalo wing sauce.
I’ve also made this with ranch seasoning mixed into the sauce, about 2 tablespoons worth, because sometimes the two flavors (buffalo & ranch) seem inseparable to me. With the ranch, or just the basic recipe, this cozy casserole doesn’t disappoint.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Use whatever spice level of wing sauce your family feels comfortable with, whether it’s mild or hot. Don’t have wing sauce? You can sub plain old hot sauce, but the same rules apply about level of heat.
- Stir some ranch dressing mix powder to the filling mixture while it simmers for a delicious pop of flavor.
- Want more veggies? Both thinly sliced celery & diced bell peppers go great in the filling. Stir them in & cook with the other veggies.
- Do you crave blue cheese with your wings? Add some blue cheese crumbles to the top of this casserole before baking!
If you’ve tried this BUFFALO CHICKEN SHEPHERD’S PIE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Buffalo Chicken Shepherd's Pie
- 1 lb potatoes russet red, yukon, or sweet potato will all work, diced
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oil
- half of a medium onion chopped about ½ c
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce I used a mild version. Use more or less depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp butter cut into tiny pieces
- After you’ve put your diced potatoes in a pot, fill with water until just covering the potatoes. Boil for 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes. Put potatoes back in the pot (make sure it’s been removed from heat), add the milk & salt, and use a potato masher to mash and mix it all up.
- While you’re boiling your potatoes, add the oil to a skillet and let it heat up over medium heat. Once heated, add in the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper.
- Sautee for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are starting to turn clear and the carrots are slightly tender.
- Add in the chicken, crumbling it while it’s cooking.
- Add the tomato sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire, stirring to combine, and let it simmer until everything is heated through.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and then transfer the chicken mixture to a lightly greased, 9 in square baking dish, and spread it out evenly.
- Spread half of the cheddar cheese evenly over the buffalo chicken.
- Top the chicken and cheese with the mashed potatoes, and carefully spread them out evenly over the mixture.
- Spread them remaining half of cheese over top the mashed potatoes and dot with the cut up butter.
- Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until everything’s heated through and the top is nice and crispy.