21 November 2014

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

Thanksgiving is always feast!  The turkey, the potatoes, the rolls, the veggies, the gravy - the GRAVY!  Personally, I could eat Thanksgiving leftovers for a week and not get tired of the mashed potatoes and gravy, but if you need some creative ideas, read on.
I think Kyle's favorite was the open-faced turkey and gravy sandwich.  I'm a big fan of soup, which is a great use for the leftover turkey (especially if it got dry) and possibly even some steamed/roasted veggies.  But if you want a dish that really combines everything, Shepherd's Pie is the way to go.

This version is a poor excuse for the traditional shepherd's pie (traditional ingredients include beef/lamb, carrots, peas and onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary), but a great excuse for using Thanksgiving leftovers.  
It starts with the veggies.  Some leftover French green beans supplemented with a bag of frozen mixed veggies will do the trick - also note that I have doubled the recipe listed below (making a 9x13 pan rather than a 9x9 pan).
Top with leftover shredded turkey.  Add in the spices.  I made a citrus-sage turkey so I used fresh sage, but also the traditional thyme and rosemary.
Add in the gravy and a little more salt and pepper.
Mix everything together then try to smooth down the top of it in preparation for the mashed potatoes.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the dish, sealing all the delicious flavors in.
Bake until the tops of the mashed potatoes start browning.  I took mine out a little early because the gravy was bubbling up over the top.  I couldn't wait to get a helping of this shepherd's pie!
Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie
  • 2 c. veggies: green bean casserole, steamed mixed veggies, roasted fall veggies, etc.  I'm not sure how squash would work out, but don't be afraid to give it a try.
  • 2 c. shredded leftover turkey
  • 1 c. gravy
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 c. mashed potatoes (can use mashed sweet potatoes but NOT candied sweet potatoes)
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
2.  Put the everything but the mashed potatoes in a 9x9 pan.  Stir everything together.  Use a spatula to push everything down and smooth the top to prep for mashed potatoes.
3.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the turkey/veggie mixture.
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the potatoes start browning.

*There are lots of substitutions you can make here.  If you don't have enough veggies left over, supplement with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.  If you didn't roast a turkey, use whatever meat you have around.  No leftover gravy?  No problem.  Add a little chicken broth instead (1/4 to 1/2 cup) or maybe a can of cream of mushroom soup.  If you have LOTS of leftovers, double the recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  I roasted a citrus-sage turkey so I added a little fresh sage to my Shepherd's Pie.
Have a great Thanksgiving!  It will be a quiet holiday for me this year, but we might make some last-minute plans just to get out of the house.  Thanksgiving dinner is probably going to be bar food - or better yet, tacos.  We'll see!  I still got my turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, so I don't mind a bit.


  1. Replies
    1. That feels kind. Luckily I'm not trying to please *you* while writing recipes.