Slow Cooker Chinese Pie With Ground Beef and Potatoes

Chinese Pie With Ground Beef

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
425 Calories
15g Fat
49g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 592mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 32mg 162%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 1084mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

"Chinese Pie" is a French Canadian—and later New England—name for a pie or casserole made with layers of ground beef, corn, and potatoes. It's very similar to a cottage pie or shepherd's pie. One theory for the Chinese part of the name is that Chinese workers might have first introduced the "pie" to Canadian railway workers in the late 19th century as an adaptation of the English style shepherd's pie.

This slow cooker version puts sliced potatoes over a beef and gravy layer, and then it is topped with the corn mixture. We used canned and drained sliced potatoes in this dish. If you use raw sliced potatoes, slice them very thinly. It will take a little longer to cook the casserole with raw potatoes.

There are several versions of the original mixture, including one with a layer of pickled eggs or beets. In some versions, ketchup is mixed into the ground beef. A gravy mix seasons and thickens this version.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef, about 85 to 90 percent

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, green, red, or a combination

  • 1 (4/5-ounce) packet gravy mix, brown, onion, or mushroom

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans sliced potatoes, drained, or about 3 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

  • 1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

Steps to Make It

  1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking up and turning, for about 3 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring, until the onion is translucent, and the beef is no longer pink. 

  2. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the ground beef mixture to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the gravy mix.

  3. In a bowl, toss the drained sliced potatoes with the melted butter, about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the potatoes over the beef and gravy layer.

  4. Combine the cream-style corn with the drained kernel corn in a bowl; mix well. Pour the corn over the potatoes and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 4 hours. If using raw sliced potatoes allow an extra 2 to 3 hours, or cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.