Hello, Leftover Turkey! So Nice To See You Again.
We hear that some kind Thanksgiving hosts send their guests home with leftovers. Sadly, we are not so generous. We wait all year for that leftover turkey goodness. We stock up on mayo for turkey sandwiches. We make stock with the turkey carcass. And this year, we’re hoping for enough leftover turkey to make this cozy turkey shepherd’s pie! In creating this comforting recipe, we leaned hard into classic Thanksgiving flavors and ingredients—garlic, thyme, onion, green beans and butter (and butter, and more butter). If you are really lucky and end up with lots of leftover mashed potatoes—you’ll need about 5-6 cups of mashed potatoes—you can use them for the topping rather than making the garlic mashed potatoes fresh.
Leftover Turkey and...Everything Else You’ll Need To Make This Shepherd’s Pie
So actually, if you’re wanting to make this turkey shepherd’s pie and you don’t have any leftover turkey, that’s OK! You can use chicken instead and it’ll be just as good. Or, if you hosted Thanksgiving and ended up with tons and tons of leftover turkey and mashed potatoes, this shepherd’s pie recipe almost makes itself! In other words, it’s surprisingly versatile—all that will vary is the amount of effort you’ll need to put in. Here’s everything you’ll need to make a leftover turkey shepherd’s pie:
2 sticks of butter
Chicken or turkey stock
Cooked turkey (or chicken)
Russet potatoes (only if you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes)
How To Make A Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
If you’ve got leftover turkey and leftover mashed potatoes (at least five cups worth), you’re about halfway done with this recipe already. How great is that? Here’s how quick and easy it is to finish the job:
Sauté onion, celery, carrots in butter until the onions are translucent.
Season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme and stir in flour to create a thick paste. This paste will form the creamy base for your turkey (or chicken) pie filling.
Very slowly, whisk in the milk and then the stock. Simmer, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes.
Add the frozen green beans and leftover turkey (or chicken) to the pan.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the filling, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
And your shepherd’s pie is done!
Yes! You Can Freeze This Shepherd’s Pie. Here’s How:
Not quite ready to enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving all over again quite yet? That’s OK! Instead of making this shepherd’s pie in an ovenproof skillet or braiser, bake it in a freezer-safe dish like a 9x13 Pyrex or even a foil baking pan. Bake it all the way through, then let the shepherd’s pie cool completely. Cover it with foil and freeze. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to two months. Freezing your shepherd’s pie is also a great way to share the wealth of Thanksgiving leftovers with friends or neighbors who could use a little help—whip up this pie, freeze it and drop it off for them to enjoy whenever they’d like to.
Let the Thanksgiving Leftover Bonanza Begin!
What’s your favorite way to use up all those lovely leftovers? We hope this shepherd pie recipe makes it onto your list! When you try it out, we’d love to know how it goes! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!