Skip to Content

We Wrote a Cookbook!

Learn More

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Calories: 471
Homemade Turkey Shepherd's Pie in a cast iron skillet  being scooped with a spoon

Leftover turkey gets new life in this ultra-hearty, rich, savory turkey shepherd’s pie recipe.

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.

turkey, mashed potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, green beans, spices, flour, milk, butter and chicken stock in bowls

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:

  • Bay leaves

  • 2 sticks of butter

  • Milk

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion

  • Celery

  • Carrots

  • Flour

  • Thyme

  • Chicken or turkey stock

  • Green beans

  • Cooked turkey (or chicken)

  • Russet potatoes (only if you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes)

onion, celery and carrots in a skillet
onion, celery, carrots, buter, spices and flour in a skillet
onion, celery, carrots, butter, spices and flour being stirred in a skillet with a wooden spoon
onion, celery, carrots, butter, spices and flour being stirred in a skillet with a wooden spoon

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:

  1. Sauté onion, celery, carrots in butter until the onions are translucent.

  2. 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.

  3. Very slowly, whisk in the milk and then the stock. Simmer, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the frozen green beans and leftover turkey (or chicken) to the pan.

  5. Spread the mashed potatoes over the filling, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

  6. And your shepherd’s pie is done!

onion, celery, carrots, butter, spices, flour and milk being stirred in a skillet with a wooden spoon
onion, celery, carrots, butter, spices, flour and milk being stirred in a skillet with a wooden spoon
cooked onion, celery, carrots, butter, spices, flour and milk topped with green beans and  cooked turkey in a skillet
homemade turkey shepherd's pie filling in a skillet

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.

homemade turkey shepherd's pie filling topped with roasted garlic mashed potatoes in a skillet
homemade Turkey Shepherd's Pie in a skillet on the counter

Tools You’ll Need:

5 More Savory Pie Recipes to Try

homemade Turkey Shepherd's Pie in a skillet on the counter
Homemade Turkey Shepherd's Pie in a cast iron skillet  being scooped with a spoon

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!

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Calories: 471

Ingredients

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 3 lb Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup Salted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup Whole milk, room temp or warmed
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Turkey Filling

  • 1/2 cup Salted butter (1 stick) cut into 8 tbsps
  • 1 cup Chopped yellow onion, 1 small
  • 2 Celery ribs, 1/4-inch sliced
  • 2 Medium carrots, peeled, 1/4-inch sliced
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Fresh thyme leaves, minced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Whole milk (room temp or warmed)
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken stock (room temp or warmed)
  • 1 cup Frozen green beans
  • 3 cups Chopped cooked turkey or chicken
  • Parsley, minced optional

Method

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.

  2. Fill a large pot with water, 1 tablespoon salt, the potatoes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are just fork-tender but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.

  3. While the water is heating up, make the turkey filling. In a large/deep oven-proof skillet or braiser**, melt the 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat until bubbling. Add the onion, celery, carrots to the butter and cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent.

  4. Add the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme to the butter and vegetables to create a thick paste. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds.

  5. Slowly stir in the milk. Once the milk is fully incorporated, slowly stir in the chicken stock. Simmer, whisking continuously until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add the green beans and leftover turkey or chicken to the sauce. If you are not using an oven-proof skillet, transfer the filling to a 9x13 baking dish at this time.

  7. Drain the potatoes into a colander. Add the potatoes back to the pot and place it back on the stove over low heat. Keep it there for about 2 minutes to dry out the potatoes. The dryer the potatoes, the more liquid they will reabsorb. Remove the bay leaves.

  8. Use a ricer or potato masher to mash the potatoes. Add one stick of softened butter and 3/4 cup warmed milk to the potatoes, stirring quickly with a large spoon until they are fully absorbed. Season with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Spread the mashed potatoes over the turkey filling creating soft peaks as you spread it*** Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. If you’d like a little color, broil for 5 minutes.

** If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet or braiser, you can use a regular skillet for the stove-top cooking and transfer the filling to a 9x13 pan to finish the shepherd’s pie in the oven.

*** If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, you will need about 5-6 cups. They will need to be warmed up in order for them to spread easily over the top of the casserole.

****If your mashed potatoes reach the top of your baking dish, place the baking dish on top of a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflow.

****To freeze: Instead of making the 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 it cool completely. Cover with foil and freeze. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat it, defrost it in the fridge for a day, then bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes, until it is warmed through.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 471
  • Protein 22 g
  • Carbohydrates 43 g
  • Total Fat 24 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4 g
  • Cholesterol 97 mg
  • sodium 555 mg
  • Total Sugars 6 g

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Questions & Reviews

Start the discussion with a question or review.

or