Fluffy Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes Recipe

There are few meals more comforting or simple than a humble baked potato. With its crisp outer skin and light, fluffy insides, a baked potato is delicious on its own or paired with a wide variety of fillings. It's a great meal option for basically any occasion, from a quiet weekday meal for one to a crowd-pleasing dinner for a large gathering.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with eating your baked potato as it is, why not step up your game and make these fluffy cottage pie baked potatoes? Created by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye, this recipe takes the humble baked potato up a notch (or three) by combining it with a similarly ultra-comforting cottage pie recipe. Ground beef is stewed alongside classic cottage pie ingredients to create a rich, minced-meat mixture. This is then used to fill hollowed-out baked potatoes, which are topped with delightfully fluffy mash that is created from the discarded inners of the potatoes. Finished off with a sprinkling of sharp cheddar before being baked once more, these fluffy cottage pie baked potatoes are definitely something to write home about.

Gather the ingredients for this fluffy cottage pie baked potatoes recipe

To begin this fluffy cottage pie baked potatoes recipe, you will first need to gather the ingredients. For the cottage pie mince mixture, you will want ground beef, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, a can of chopped tomatoes, red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. You will additionally need baking potatoes, olive oil, salt, black pepper, milk, butter, nutmeg, and cheddar cheese.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Prepare the potatoes

Prepare the potatoes by pricking them all over with a fork, then coating them in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Step 3: Bake the potatoes

Place the potatoes into the oven to bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Step 4: Heat a pan

Meanwhile, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high in a large pan.

Step 5: Brown the mince

Add the ground beef, season it well with salt and pepper, and brown it for 5–6 minutes.

Step 6: Remove the beef

Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

Step 7: Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic

Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.

Step 8: Saute the vegetables

Saute for 6–8 minutes, until soft.

Step 9: Add ingredients to the pan

Return the browned beef to the pan along with the canned tomatoes, red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Step 10: Simmer the mince

Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Step 11: Remove the baked potatoes

When the potatoes are cooked, set aside to cool for 15 minutes and turn up the oven to 400 F.

Step 12: Scoop out the potato

Cut the tops off of the potatoes and scoop out the soft potato insides.

Step 13: Add milk and seasonings

In a large bowl, mix together the potato insides, milk, butter, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 14: Mash the potato

Mash it well to make the potatoes super fluffy.

Step 15: Fill the potatoes with mince

Spoon the beef mixture into the hollowed out potato skins.

Step 16: Top the potatoes with mash

Top the meat layer with spoonfuls of the fluffy mashed potato.

Step 17: Top with cheese

Sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheddar cheese.

Step 18: Bake again

Place the filled potatoes into the oven to bake for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden.

Step 19: Serve

Serve the potatoes hot from the oven.

How can these cottage pie baked potatoes be adapted?

This cottage pie baked potato recipe is a wonderful twist on the classic cottage pie dish, and it combines the layers of minced beef and fluffy mashed potato with delicious baked potatoes to create one, knockout meal. There are plenty of ways this recipe can be adapted to suit dietary needs or personal preferences. For a simple flavor swap, why not substitute the beef mince, which is classically used in cottage pies, for another kind of mince? Try turkey for a leaner meal, or lamb for a richer resulting dish. Alternatively, this recipe can easily be adapted for a vegetarian diet by using Quorn mince, lentils, or another vegetarian protein alternative.

If you prefer sweet potatoes, why not swap the regular baking potatoes for a sweet variety? This can add a unique twist to the resulting dish, and the flavors pair beautifully. For smaller adaptations, the cheese on top can easily be substituted for a different variety, such as parmesan or gruyère. And, if you are looking for a way to eat more vegetables, this recipe provides a great opportunity to sneak more into the mince mixture.

How can these cottage pie baked potatoes be served?

These cottage pie baked potatoes can be served in a variety of delicious ways. One option is to serve them as individual portions for a main meal, where they create a visually appealing presentation and allow for easy portion control. You can pair them with your favorite sides, such as some simple steamed or grilled veggies. And, no cottage pie would be complete without lashings of beef gravy.

Alternatively, if you're catering for a large group, why not serve these potatoes as part of a buffet? Because they look like a hearty and satisfying potato "boat" filled with the delicious cottage pie filling, they are quite well self-contained, and you could even treat them as finger food. If that is your intention, it's probably best to hunt for potatoes that are on the small side. Gravy may not be the best accompaniment in this context, so you could consider serving them alongside some crème fraîche, which your guests can dollop on top for a zingy creamy counterpoint to the dish. If you're really looking to impress, make your own crème fraîche.

Fluffy Cottage Pie Baked Potatoes Recipe
4.9 from 35 ratings
This recipe upgrades the standard baked potato by merging it with the classic British recipe for cottage pie, resulting in a hearty and filling dish.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.75
hours
Servings
4
servings
cottage pie baked potatoes on ceramic plate
Total time: 2 hours
Ingredients
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 + 1 + 1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare the potatoes by pricking them all over with a fork, then coating them in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place the potatoes into the oven to bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high in a large pan.
  5. Add the ground beef, season it well with salt and pepper, and brown it for 5–6 minutes.
  6. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  7. Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  8. Saute for 6–8 minutes, until soft.
  9. Return the browned beef to the pan along with the canned tomatoes, red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  10. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  11. When the potatoes are cooked, set aside to cool for 15 minutes and turn up the oven to 400 F.
  12. Cut the tops off of the potatoes and scoop out the soft potato insides.
  13. In a large bowl, mix together the potato insides, milk, butter, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  14. Mash it well to make the potatoes super fluffy.
  15. Spoon the beef mixture into the hollowed out potato skins.
  16. Top the meat layer with spoonfuls of the fluffy mashed potato.
  17. Sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheddar cheese.
  18. Place the filled potatoes into the oven to bake for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden.
  19. Serve the potatoes hot from the oven.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 614
Total Fat 32.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.9 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 88.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 55.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.5 g
Total Sugars 6.6 g
Sodium 1,279.7 mg
Protein 24.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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