Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6

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This Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is the best way to use up all your holiday dinner leftovers. It’s loaded with turkey and veggies, then topped with mashed potatoes. The perfect comfort food!

overhead image of creamy shepherd's pie in baking dish with spoon stuck in.

You know what I love? Leftovers.

Leftover soup, leftover pizza, leftover pasta…I just can’t get enough.

But I think we can all agree that the best day for leftovers is the day after Thanksgiving. And one of my favorite past times is dreaming up ways to use them.

Obviously this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie was at the top of the list (along with this Turkey Tetrazzini and this Turkey Noodle Soup).

I mean, it’s kind of brilliant right? Toss in pretty much everything you’ve got from your holiday dinner (turkey, gravy, veggies, potatoes), then throw it in the oven to warm it up and your delicious dinner is ready to go.

turkey shepherd's pie on grey plate with fork stuck in.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Oil or Butter: you can use butter or canola oil throughout the recipe depending on what you prefer. Butter is going to be more, well, buttery while oil is going to have more of a neutral flavor.
  • Veggies: we’re using the classic veggies trio made up of onion, carrot, and celery.
  • Garlic: use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
  • Flour and Chicken Broth: our makeshift gravy to add moisture and flavor to the pie.
  • Frozen Peas: frozen peas make a great addition to the veggie blend and add some extra texture.
  • Turkey: leftover cooked and chopped turkey is perfect for this recipe.
  • Seasonings: a simple blend of salt, pepper, and dried thyme rounds out the flavors in the Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Potatoes: use leftover mashed potatoes or whip up a quick batch using your favorite recipe! Try Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, you name it.
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How to Make Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Since we’re using our Thanksgiving leftovers, this pie is just about as easy as it gets! Just 10 minutes to prep!

  1. Sauté the veggies: In a medium oven-safe skillet, melt butter, then add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until tender, then add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Make the filling: To the veggies, add another tablespoon of butter, then mix in flour and broth. Cook and stir until thickened, then mix in peas and turkey. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes: Top the filling off with mashed potatoes, then add remaining butter.
  4. Bake: Bake the pie at 375ºF until the potatoes are heated through.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie FAQs

What’s the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

Both cottage pie and shepherd’s pie are savory meat pies, but there is a technical difference. Cottage pie is traditionally made with ground beef. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with ground lamb. So I guess this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie isn’t either, but now we’re just getting technical.

How do you spice up Shepherd’s Pie?

This Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is plenty flavorful as-is, but feel free to spice it up using whatever seasonings you want. Try any dried herbs, a sprinkle of cayenne or red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, you name it.

Can this be prepared ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can assemble your Turkey Shepherd’s Pie up to a day before you want to serve it. Do not bake. Instead, cover in plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to serve, bake as directed, adding time as needed.

How to store:

Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie will last in the fridge for up to 4 days, depending on how fresh your ingredients were when you started.
It can be wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 2 months, although only do this if you used high fat dairy in your mashed potatoes. The texture of the potatoes can change after freezing. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm in the oven until heated through.

overhead image of leftover turkey shepherd's pie on grey plate with fork.

Tips and Notes

  • Start with an oven-safe skillet. Make the filling in an oven-safe skillet so you can easily layer on the potatoes and bake it. Just one dirty dish!
  • Add other veggies. Feel free to sauté whatever veggies you want with the carrot, onion, and celery. Try mushrooms, bell pepper, green beans, you name it.
  • Use any leftovers you have. You’re totally not limited to mashed potatoes and turkey. Layer in whatever you have in your fridge. Corn? Stuffing? Cranberry sauce? If it sounds good to you, it’s probably good!
  • Make it cheesy. A sprinkle of cheddar cheese on the potatoes would be delicious.
  • Use another meat. This recipe works great with any leftover meat you have on hand. Leftover shredded chicken is a great option.
  • If you don’t have leftover meat, feel free to use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. Just cook it with the veggies before assembling the pie!

Serving Suggestions

This Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is loaded up with pretty much anything you could want in a meal, so you can totally serve it on its own.

While it’s great as-is, it’s also delicious served next to Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls, Roasted Veggies, or Garlic Bread, or Roasted Green Beans.

More Shepherd’s Pie Recipes to Try

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Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (aka Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie!)

5 from 31 votes
This Creamy Turkey Shepherd's Pie is the best way to use up all your holiday dinner leftovers. It's loaded with turkey and veggies, then topped with mashed potatoes. The perfect comfort food!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 255cal

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter or canola oil divided
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced (about 1/3-½ cup)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cooked chopped turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F (*but not if you are making ahead — see notes).
  • In a medium oven-safe skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat (or add canola oil). Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until tender (about 15-20 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add one more tablespoon butter or canola oil to cooked vegetables. Add flour and stir until combined completely. Add broth, and cook and stir until broth is thickened.
  • Stir in peas and turkey until peas are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add thyme.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and dab with remaining butter or brush with 1 tbsp canola oil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are heated through.

Notes

*To Make Ahead: prepare the casserole completely but do not bake. Cover in plastic wrap or tin foil and refrigerate up to 1-2 days in advance, then bake as directed. You may need to add an additional 10-20 minutes baking time.
** To Use Leftover Vegetables: you get to skip ahead! Instead of having to cook the veggies all the way through, just reheat the leftover vegetables you’re using in the butter, then add the extra butter and flour, then broth, and continue on with the recipe.
*** To Use Leftover Gravy: Depending on how much you have leftover, you may want to just add it in with the turkey and peas if it’s a small amount. Or you may want to skip the extra tbsp butter, flour and broth that makes the gravy in the recipe, and simple stir in your own if you have at least 1.5 cups.
 
Storing:
Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie will last in the fridge for up to 4 days or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm in the oven until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 255cal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3630IU | Vitamin C: 40.2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Candice! I think it would be fine. You just need 3 cups of mashed potatoes, how you cook them is up to your preference!

  1. Brooks says

    Good Evening! I just made this and while yes, it’s consistency was loose I’m not certain I would use the term “creamy”. The flavor was delicious, however is the recipe missing milk or half-and-half or something along those lines?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Brooks, glad you enjoyed the flavor. After testing this recipe a few times, the flour helps thicken it up and I didn’t find a need for milk. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Susan says

    Brilliant! Use whatever you have leftover from Thanksgiving and make a delicious casserole! I love it! Tweak this recipe a bit and use your leftovers from a large ham dinner also!

  3. Kelly says

    This is the best way to use up all those leftovers! 🙂 Shepherds pie is the ultimate comfort dish! This looks amazing and I love how easy it is too!

  4. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! Perfect for all those leftovers! My husband makes a casserole he call “squish” where he layers all the leftovers (except the cranberry sauce) and bakes it until it is hot and bubbly – very similar to this. Our good friend brought us a 16 pound ham a few days ago and yesterday he showed up with an 8 pound prime rib – I already had an 8 pound turkey breast thawing in the frig!! I truly appreciate his generosity, but the problem is it is just the two of us and him for Thanksgiving!! I’m going to be making many things with leftovers this year! 🙂

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Wow, it sounds like you’ll be left with a lot of food! I love leftovers, especially the meat! This year I cooked a ham and a turkey, chopped them both up and froze in individual bags for quick meals. It’s so handy to have! Enjoy your Thanksgiving Dorothy!

  5. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    Ahh I’m totally craving this for breakfast right now! I love thinking of new ways to use leftover turkey, so this looks fantastic! Shepherds pies are always so warm and comforting, so this is just perfect for all of that leftover food I’ll have on Friday. Looks so delish!

  6. Nora | Savory Nothings says

    Oh Ashley. Is it weird that I kind of want to marry you right now? This looks so, so good!! I cooked an entire turkey for the first time two years ago for Christmas, and then almost our entire family got the flu on the 24th and we ended up with one huge turkey and four people eating. I wish I would have had this recipe then, because I really didn’t know what to do with SO many leftovers!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Haha, I will put mashed potatoes on EVerything! 😉 I love having leftover cooked meat in the freezer ready for those days I’m too lazy to really cook. I would have been ecstatic! (Though not so much about the flu!)

5 from 31 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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