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!
Table of Contents
You know what I love? Leftovers.
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.
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.
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the mashed potatoes: Top the filling off with mashed potatoes, then add remaining butter.
- Bake: Bake the pie at 375ºF until the potatoes are heated through.
Turkey Shepherd’s Pie FAQs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
More Shepherd’s Pie Recipes to Try
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin this recipe to your favorite board
Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (aka Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie!)
- 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
- 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.
** 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.
Want to save this recipe?
Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.
Tried this recipe?
Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel — I love to see what you’re making!Tag @thereciperebel