Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Don't think leftovers when you look at your Thanksgiving turkey—it's the raw material for all new recipes. Kurt Holm, co-founder of Notakeout.com, shows how to make a hearty shepherd's pie without the traditional lamb.

Served with crudites and leftovers
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Shopping List/Ingredients On Hand
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
4 celery sticks
1 head broccoli or cauliflower
1 long (English) cucumber
Fresh thyme
Fresh, crusty bread or leftover Thanksgiving rolls

Pantry Items/Leftovers
3 cups mashed potatoes
2 cups dressing
1 cup gravy
Black pepper
Chicken or Turkey broth
Cranberry relish
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ground allspice
Sea salt
Unsalted butter
White wine vinegar

9X13 baking dish
Aluminum foil
Bread knife
Chef’s knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Medium saucepan
Mixing bowls
Nonstick fry pan
Paring knife
Vegetable peeler
Wooden spoons

Wine: A California Sauvignon Blanc or whatever you have left from Thanksgiving
Dessert: Leftover pumpkin pie with ice cream, what else?!
If you don’t have enough gravy leftover, you may substitute turkey or chicken broth. You will use less than the amount of gravy, because it is thinner. And if, for some odd reason, there aren’t enough leftover mashed potatoes you’ll need to make some more. They’re easy! If your Thanksgiving menu included green beans, creamed onions, roast chestnuts or any other side dishes that are still around, we suggest serving them with this menu too.

Game Plan

When you get off the couch

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Remove the turkey from the fridge
  • Remove the pie from the fridge
  • Get out Pantry Items
  • Get out Tools
  • Assemble the ingredients


  • Peel and slice the onion.
  • Trim and peel the carrots. Cut them intsticks.
  • Trim the celery sticks, remove the strings, and cut them into 4-inch lengths.
  • Rinse and cut the broccoli or cauliflower and cut it into florets.
  • Trim, peel, and cut the cucumber into 1/4 -inch thick, diagonal slices.
  • Cut the turkey into cubes – you’ll need about 4 cups
  • Put the cranberry relish into a bowl.
  • Put the mashed potatoes into the medium saucepan, and add about 3 tbsps. water. Set the pan over low heat.
  • Remove 1 tbsp. thyme leaves from the stalks.
  • Wrap the bread or rolls in aluminum foil.

Start Cooking

  • Heat 2 tbsps. butter in the nonstick fry pan over medium heat.
  • When it is frothing, add the onions, stir, and cook until they are soft, which will take about 8 minutes.
  • Add the turkey and stir, then add the thyme and 1/4 tsp. allspice.
  • Add the dressing, stir, then pour in 1 cup gravy. Stir.
  • Add about 1/4 cup cranberry relish, and stir. If the mixture is very dry, add enough turkey or chicken broth to the mixture to moisten it to your liking, stir, and taste for seasoning.
  • Tip the mixture into the baking dish. Top it with the mashed potatoes. Dot the top with 2 tbsp. butter cut into small pieces, and bake in the center of the oven until it’s hot throughout, 20-25 minutes.
  • While the shepherd’s pie is baking, arrange the crudites on a platter, put the remaining cranberry relish in a serving bowl, and set the table.
  • You’ll have some extra time, so why not gather everyone into the kitchen for a pre-dinner drink and a nibble on the crudites?
  • About 10 minutes before the shepherd’s pie is finished, put the bread or rolls in the oven to heat.
  • When everything is ready, remove the shepherd’s pie from the oven and take it to the table (remember a hot pad for the table) along with the bread or rolls, a plate of butter, and any crudites that are left. Don’t forget the wine!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/desheboard/ / CC BY 2.0


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