Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Thanksgiving leftovers reinvented into a flavorful shepherd’s pie. Moist leftover turkey combined with vegetables and gravy are topped off with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese. A must make dinner! Everyone will be asking for seconds!

Easy and flavorful leftover Thanksgiving turkey shepherd's pie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Last week during my errands, I took a trip to my favorite local apple farm to pick up some apples. I had full intentions of going anyway, but it was especially necessary after seeing what apples my local grocery store had available… pitiful. When I go to the farm, I like to stock up. I don’t get a tiny bag, I usually get a half bushel which is easily 20-25lb of apples. They were having a Thanksgiving deal that was too good to resist. So… I left with a full bushel of apples. I’ve never had this many apples in the house at once. It’s kind of nuts. I see pie, crisp and applesauce in my very near future. That is of course, if the kids don’t eat them all first!

Also, we went on a gingerbread house hunt. I’m all for making my own, but it’s time consuming. Maybe another year. But for now, a boxed kit works for us. Unfortunately most aren’t peanut free, so finding a safe one can be hard. Last year I found the Tootsie gingerbread house kit which just so happens to be peanut free – big win there! I’ve only seen it in a few stores so far this year, but if you’re looking, just know it’s out there!

Easy and flavorful leftover Thanksgiving turkey shepherd's pie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Julie convinced me to watch The Royals. The first season is free through Amazon Prime and I’d been looking for a fun new show to try. It was a quick show to not only get sucked into but to fly through. A short ten episodes for the first season. The good thing is the second is currently airing! If you like drama or English shows… though to be fair, this isn’t your typical English show. It’s a modern day English drama with mystery and romance all intertwined. Fun all around.

I’m now in prep mode, trying to nail down my schedule for what’s going on this week… appointments, days off from school (we’ll get back to that), recipe testing and of course pie making for Thanksgiving! So much to do in such a short time. My obsession with lists is going to come in very hand this week. Also, seriously someone explain to me why on earth kids these days have the day before a holiday completely off? Growing up we always had a half day, which to me still seems totally reasonable. It’s enough time to still get any traveling in and then you’re not wasting a whole day in the school calendar. Is it just our school district or are all doing this now?

Easy and flavorful leftover Thanksgiving turkey shepherd's pie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Clearly I’m a HUGE fan of reinventing Thanksgiving leftovers. Because the same thing can get boring real fast.

Remember… if you want even more ridiculously tasty leftover ideas to check out the archives!

Going for something new and fun, I decided to put a spin on a classic shepherd’s pie, using Thanksgiving leftovers! Of course, if you don’t have leftovers, feel free to start from scratch. It’ll be completely worth it!

This super flavorful leftover Thanksgiving turkey shepherd’s pie is an absolute must make! Even the kids were asking for more!

Moist leftover turkey combined with vegetables and gravy are topped off with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese! A fantastic dinner for the entire family…and everyone will be asking for seconds!

Be sure to add this turkey shepherd’s pie to your dinner plans!

Easy and flavorful leftover Thanksgiving turkey shepherd's pie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Moist turkey, combined with vegetables and topped off with creamy mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving leftovers reinvented into a flavorful shepherd's pie.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Leftovers, Thanksgiving
Servings: 4 plus


  • 2 Tb unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C onion chopped
  • 1/3 C celery chopped
  • 1/3 C carrots chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 C leftover turkey meat
  • 1/4 C peas or green beans
  • 1/4 C corn
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 C gravy
  • 2 C mashed potatoes*
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery and carrots, cooking until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic, cooking for an additional minute. Add turkey, corn and peas (or green beans), along with seasonings and gravy, cooking until heated through. Transfer to a 1 quart baking dish, pressing into an even layer. 
  • Heat mashed potatoes until luke warm and easy to stir. Add half of the shredded cheese to the potatoes, stir to combine. Spread mashed potatoes over the turkey filling. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes. If desired, broil or use a kitchen torch to char cheese slightly. 
  • Serve warm. 


Recipe serves roughly 4-6.
*Roughly 3/4lb potatoes should be used for mashed potatoes, if no leftovers are available. Cook, mash and season as desired, then continue with recipe.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

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77 Responses to “Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. #
    Sarah — November 23, 2015 at 7:01 am

    This looks delicious, and is such a good way to get all the extra turkey used up!

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Sarah!

  2. #
    David @ CookingChat — November 23, 2015 at 7:12 am

    oh, I love Shepherd’s Pie…great idea to make one w the turkey leftovers!

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Thanks David!

  3. #
    Ramona W — November 23, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Now that is a brilliant use of leftovers! I could eat some right now. :)

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Ramona!

  4. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — November 23, 2015 at 7:52 am

    BEAUTIFUL my friend! Nothing better than new ideas on what and how to use your Thanksgiving leftovers in the best way possible! You hit this one right on! :) Now scoop me up some please :)

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Taylor!

  5. #
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass — November 23, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Gorgeous meal Rachel!!! I love this take on Shepherd’s Pie. And so many apples… I’m jealous. :) (Of course I could always go to the farm too.) FYI, my kids are in school on Wednesday.

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Allie!

  6. #
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary — November 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    This is a fabulous way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! I love shepherd’s pie, but when it can be made quick and easy with Turkey Day leftovers I feel like it tastes even more delicious! This makes me seriously hungry for Friday! Cheers and thanks for sharing the YUM!

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Cheyanne! :)

  7. #
    Janele — November 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Hello Rachel,
    How would you replace the gravy if you had too?

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:45 am

      If you don’t have any leftover, use a new batch of homemade (I have a dripless gravy recipe that would be a good substitute) or a new jar of store bought.

  8. #
    Malinda @ Countryside Cravings — November 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This looks amazing! I love shepherd’s pie and this twist looks really good! I am also a list person and if I don’t make one I just can’t seem to stay focused and somewhat organized through the day. Our school does a half a day but I think most schools have a full day off.

    • #
      Rachel — November 24, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks so much Malinda. And yes… I’m so right there with you. Lists are necessary.

  9. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — November 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Fun twist on shepherds pie! Definitely a nice use of leftovers. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • #
      Rachel — November 27, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Thanks Pamela!

  10. #
    Martin @ The Why Chef — November 27, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Quality! Love how this is totally different from the typical leftover meals that usually come to mind!

    Is the gravy just for serving? We usually have beef gravy on the go (the wife insists!), so should I plan for turkey gravy to make this work?

    • #
      Rachel — November 27, 2015 at 7:37 am

      The gravy is used as the sauce for the turkey and vegetables. As for the beef gravy, I’d say it depends on how strong the flavor is. Turkey gravy or my dripless gravy recipe would be your best bet, but if the beef flavor is mild it might still work. Enjoy!

  11. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — November 30, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    My boyfriend was sad that I had a sweet potato instead of mashed potatoes this year. I now have the same feelings after seeing this as we have tons of turkey leftover and might need to make a fresh batch haha,

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2015 at 7:31 am

      I think you definitely do! :)

  12. #
    Nick — December 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Rachel, I’m curious as to when the gravy is added? Do you add it to the skillet with the rest of the seasonings? or do you just mix it together with the turkey mixture once you transfer that to a baking dish?

    • #
      Rachel — December 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      It should be added in with the seasonings. Sorry for the accidental omission and confusion! I’ve updated the recipe.

  13. #
    Nick — December 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Ah thats okay! Thank you so much for the ridiculously fast response haha :)

  14. #
    Angie — November 30, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Made it! Was awesome. I added a layer of stuffing on the bottom. My kids loved it. I loved it.

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2016 at 7:01 am

      So glad to hear everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing, Angie! :)

  15. #
    Ann — December 18, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Does this freeze well? Recipe looks great!

    • #
      Rachel — December 18, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you were to freeze without the mashed potatoes on top.

  16. #
    Marlene — December 28, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    made this tonight – my husband and I both loved it! I did add stuffing to the top however – but even without the stuffing, I don’t think it would have fit into a 1 quart dish… I used 2 qt and the gravy bubbled out into the oven still. Delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — December 29, 2016 at 7:29 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Marlene! :)

  17. #
    Max — October 21, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I made this, with a small substitution. I mixed the mashed potatoes with some leftover smashed sweet potatoes and it was amazing! Thanks for the idea!

    • #
      Rachel — October 21, 2017 at 7:40 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Max! :)

  18. #
    Mary Bloomer — November 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Hello! Looks like a great recipe. Wondering if it could be made ahead and frozen for a later date? I’m wanting to give myself a break this thanksgiving and make the Thanksgiving meal simple, but still have the usual comfort foods. This looks like it might work! Thank you!

    • #
      Rachel — November 3, 2017 at 7:03 am

      I haven’t personally tried it, but it’s definitely worth giving a try! I’d recommend holding off on adding the cheese until just prior to cooking. Good luck! :)

  19. #
    Mary Bloomer — November 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Thank you! As it is right now, I will be making it the day before, but I’m definitely going to try to make and freeze it another time. Happy Thanksgiving!


    • #
      Rachel — November 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving! :)

  20. #
    Beth — November 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I just popped my shepherd’s pie in the oven for dinner tonight. I made it with all dairy free ingredients and added bits of bacon on top with the cheese. It was easy and looks delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — November 28, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Love your addition of bacon! :)

  21. #
    Zaurie — November 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Any clue as to how many servings this is? Also typo in #3-‘util’ instead of until-they jump out at me sorry lol

    • #
      Rachel — November 29, 2017 at 7:12 am

      This should feed 4-6 well.

  22. #
    Tara Mitchell — November 30, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    My husband HATES shepherd’s pie. I was looking for a quick recipe to use up our leftover turkey that I could adapt to be gluten free for me, and I asked him to make this one tonight while I was at dance with my kiddo. We ate it. He LOVED it, and said we could make THIS shepherd’s pie any time!

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2017 at 6:58 am

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it, Tara! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  23. #
    Katie — December 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I made this last week. Turned out great!

    • #
      Rachel — December 5, 2017 at 7:14 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Katie!

  24. #
    Katymom — December 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Made it for dinner tonight and the only thing I would change is more mashed potatoes! The seasoning and other proportions were perfect. I sautéed in my #8 cast iron skillet, spread the potatoes over it and baked it. Only one pan to wash. Wonderful!

    • #
      Rachel — December 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

      More potatoes is never a bad thing. ;) So glad you enjoyed it!

  25. #
    Merry Ellen Hudson — November 21, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I made this casserole with a few adjustments to accommodate what I had in the fridge. I didn’t have leftover mashed potatoes but had about a cup of stuffing. I mixed a handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese with the stuffing and spread that on top of the casserole before baking. I also added about 1/2 cup of sour cream along with both frozen peas and green beans and canned corn. I served the casserole with a side of cranberries and rolls. Will definitely make again… delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — November 23, 2018 at 8:32 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  26. #
    Jodie — November 25, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    This recipe was absolutely delicious! I would make it again in a heartbeat! Thank you for such a delicious recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — November 26, 2018 at 9:00 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jodie! Thanks for sharing. :)

  27. #
    Gail Jarvis — November 26, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Just made this tonight using our Thanksgiving leftovers. It was delicious! Will certainly make again! Thanks.

    • #
      Rachel — November 28, 2018 at 7:18 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Gail! Thanks for sharing. :)

  28. #
    Jill H — February 20, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I made this tonight for my family out of our leftover turkey (I had to use instant potatoes because they ate all the potatoes the night before).. Everyone LOVED it – my 7 year old, who I’m pretty sure has never in his life happy eaten a pea, ate this meal – peas and all – and had a smile on his face! Thank you!!

    • #
      Rachel — February 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Love hearing this! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it, especially your 7 year old! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  29. #
    Bonnie — November 30, 2019 at 6:17 am

    This looks yummy! How much gravy is used? It’s not in the ingredients, but is in the instructions. Thanks!

    • #
      Rachel — November 30, 2019 at 7:19 am

      Hi Bonnie, I’m not sure why it wasn’t displaying but it is now! Weird technical glitch perhaps… The recipe calls for 1 cup of gravy. Enjoy!! :)

  30. #
    Karen Palgut — December 1, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    This recipe was excellent!! I used peas and topped with chopped scallions! Soooo good!
    I will definitely make this throughout the year.

    • #
      Rachel — December 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, Karen! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  31. #
    CHARLOTTE sorrell — March 25, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Cooked a turkey breast , had loads of leftover, wanted something a bit different. Tried your recipe with a couple of tweaks and time savers; it was sooo good…I used the Bob evans bacon and sour cream refrig’rated potatoes thus eliminated the cooking of potatoes for topping..I also cooked 3 strip of bacon and used grease to cook the veggies in giving it a bacony flavor, then crumbled bacon atop when out of oven…AAA++ recipe!!

    • #
      Rachel — March 26, 2020 at 10:43 am

      So glad you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for sharing, Charlotte. :)

  32. #
    Melanie — November 28, 2020 at 12:55 am

    This was amazing! I used what we had leftover-wise. I’m going to print and save it for future Thanksgiving leftovers.

    • #
      Rachel — November 30, 2020 at 6:24 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Melanie!

  33. #
    Nikki — November 29, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Really good! Adding this to my Thanksgiving recipes
    Will add more salt next time
    Thanks !!!

    • #
      Rachel — November 30, 2020 at 6:23 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Nikki!

  34. #
    Sherilyn — November 30, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    This turned out great with all our Thanksgiving leftovers. I used the veggies I had and it was delicious.

    • #
      Rachel — December 1, 2020 at 6:15 am

      So glad you enjoyed it, Sherilyn!

  35. #
    Brenda Jalaie — December 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Trying this with my boys who only had Turkey and mashed potatoes on the first night of “leftovers.”
    After being at work and NOT thinking about dinner at all, I decided to be resourceful and modify this recipe to prevent a market trip. We didn’t have all the ingredients, so I replaced gravy with a (I know…) can of mushroom soup and 3/4 chicken stock. We also didn’t have the corn/green beans, so I added frozen broccoli. I was thinking half the bag (5oz) but decided “what the heck” and three in the whole 10oz bag frozen! That cooked as the frying pan mixed all these delicious smells together. We like cheese, so I did a bit more on top.
    We loved it! Flavorful, and warm on this chilly night. We discussed how we could even thin it out more (more stock) and make it a stew! Thanks for the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — December 2, 2020 at 6:16 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed it, Brenda! Definitely use what you have and tweak to your liking! :)

  36. #
    RV — December 3, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    This was not only a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers but delicious as well!
    My husband is not a big casserole guy, but absolutely loved this! I used peas and corn but I’m sure green beans would work just as well.

    • #
      Rachel — December 5, 2020 at 8:24 am

      So glad you both enjoyed it!

  37. #
    Kayla — June 25, 2022 at 12:49 am

    Made this tonight and it was SO good! We gobbled up the whole thing and wanted more. Thank you for this fantastic recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — June 26, 2022 at 8:31 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed it!

  38. #
    Eliza — December 1, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Made this as written and it was SOO delish. Enjoyed by the entire family.

    • #
      Rachel — December 2, 2022 at 8:18 am

      Love hearing this! So glad everyone enjoyed it!

  39. #
    CJ — February 9, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    This was delicious! Served it with home made cranberry sauce as well.

    • #
      Rachel — February 10, 2023 at 5:53 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

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