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Italian Potpies

Keep ground beef and homemade tomato sauce in your freezer (or use best-quality jarred sauce) for a biscuit-topped Italian rendition of shepherd's pie.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Italian Potpies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin, thawed if frozen
  • 2 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; make a well in center, and add butter and milk. Stir just until dough comes together.

  3. Spoon meat mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins; mound dough on top. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet; bake until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cook's Note

Ground beef can be frozen for up to 3 months. Also, the better the tomato sauce, the better the results.

Reviews (23)

  • 1275 31 Mar, 2012

    Great recipe! I skipped the oil when browning the beef and onion, the beef fat is sufficient. Instead of beef sirloin I used 1 pound of ground beef. In place of a 2 cups tomato sauce you can use a 15 oz. can. This recipe is very sufficient for 6 people. In the bottom of each custard cup I placed 4 bite size pieces of cooked cheese tortellini. Also, the biscuits need to be baked almost twice as long as directed. Overall, very good and cute in individual cups!

  • Astarte 11 Mar, 2012

    This is a favorite with all ages in my family, but it's an especially great way to get kids to eat vegetables -- my marinara includes carrots and celery.

  • WatergirlSB 16 Jan, 2011

    How can something so simple be so GOOD??? Thank you Martha

  • swootliff 13 Jan, 2011

    I doubled the biscuit mixture and used diced sausage instead of beef. Any hard cheese can replace the Parmesan cheese. Added celery, garlic, can of diced tomatoes and a few extra spices. Absolutely delicious! May use the biscuit recipe mixture for other dishes.

  • Kristi47 12 Jan, 2011

    This was great! And it is open to many substiutions for your taste.

  • BestBabi 12 Jan, 2011

    mrsladonnajonze, Boca makes a soy "crumbles" product that you can use to replace the beef. It's found in the frozen foods. I believe Morningstar Farms also makes a similar product.

  • rnmomov4 12 Jan, 2011

    Seems like this needs some veggies maybe zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms. And why not use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white!

  • VegasVegan 12 Jan, 2011

    a good vegetarian recommendation might be mushrooms,or italian white kidney bean or a mixure of veggies such as peppers,greenbeans,spinach or other dark leafy green. I plan to try this recipe with one or a combo of these.

  • mrsladonnajonze 12 Jan, 2011

    Is there a vegetarian recommendation? I don't keep ground "anything" in my home. I rarely eat meat, and barely eat fish. Any type of bean or pea to replace the meat? What about frozen corn? I'd love to try this tonight. Thanks!

  • carolf 12 Jan, 2011


  • margekg 20 Oct, 2010

    This is absolutely the best... what flavor. An all time favorite!

  • jamwinters 28 Feb, 2010

    couldn't this be done with Bisquick? Just asking since I have some already open

  • jamwinters 28 Feb, 2010

    couldn't this be done with Bisquick? Just asking since I have some already open

  • Niconomicon 9 Dec, 2009

    gonoles-I don't understand your aversion to whole milk. Low fat milk products contain oxidized cholesterol, which is really terrible for you. I suggest you do some actual research on nutrition.

  • cheftb 8 Mar, 2009

    Very yummy and hearty. What's the best way to reheat the leftovers (oven?). I don't want the biscuit top to get too dry.

  • beavertail 3 Mar, 2009

    Very easy and yummy! I added mushrooms to the meat mixture. This reheats well for work lunches.

  • gonoles 24 Jan, 2009

    Overall this is a good recipe and it is not hard. I agree with the other person who said the meat part was a little bland. Also, I didn't like that the biscuit topping included whole milk (though it tasted good). So the second time I made these, I used skim milk in the biscuit mix and added some chopped green peppers and italian spices to the meat mixture. It turned out great.

  • hdogsmama 23 Jan, 2009

    I made the biscuit top for a traditional chicken pot pie recipe. Made it in individual ramekins and it worked lovely. The kids loved the topping. A great alternative to traditional pie crust. (A bit lower in calories too)

  • scorpiolounge 12 Jan, 2009

    It's a keeper. Overall, easy quick recipe. Crust is excellent. Used an Italian herb blend in place of just the rosemary. Meat mixture is terribly under seasoned. So add some extra spice to the meat mixture. Crate and Barrel has 10oz ramekins for $2.75 that are perfect for this. Plus they're a great size for other uses.

  • SherriWhite 11 Dec, 2008

    This is really good; the biscuit is delicious. I too, did it in one individual corningware and it worked great.

  • awh 2 Dec, 2008

    This is great and we especially loved the biscuit! I did not have individual ramekins, so I made it in a glass loaf pan and it turned out fabulously.

  • awh 2 Dec, 2008

    This is great and we especially loved the biscuit! I did not have individual ramekins, so I made it in a glass loaf pan and it turned out fabulously.

  • AZMAMA2BOSTON 20 Nov, 2008

    I was hesitant to try this because of the multiple steps; however, it was quite easy. The whole family thought it was delicious- even our 2 year old picky eater!

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