This is the recipe to use up all of your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner leftovers! A creamy base loaded with turkey and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes — the perfect comfort food!
You know what I love? Leftovers.
They have to be the right leftovers though. Leftover pancakes? No thanks. Some people claim you can make pancakes in advance and reheat them….. and you absolutely can. I’m just not going to eat them.
Leftover soup or pizza? Can’t get enough of it.
And though I’ve never actually made a whole turkey, I almost want to some years, just for the leftover turkey. There are just so many things you can do with it!
So when I had made us a nice Labor Day Thanksgiving dinner (I wish I was joking #foodbloggerproblems), I found myself with leftover Turkey and mashed potatoes. So I started dreaming up ways to use them. Obviously, Shepherd’s Pie was top of the list.
I mean, it’s kind of brilliant, right? You can throw in pretty much everything from your holiday dinner: the turkey, the gravy, the veg, the potatoes. Stuffing? Why not! Throw it on top and crisp it up.
For my recipe below, I used precooked turkey and mashed potatoes, but I’ll include some directions to help if you’re using up leftover vegetables and gravy, too.
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 1/3-1/2 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.