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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Thankful Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Thankful Shepherd's Pie

Thankful Shepherd's Pie

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min

Serves up to six people

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Many people across the nation go all out for Thanksgiving. In most cases, people buy more food than what they will need in one meal. This creates days worth of leftovers. For most households, this is an on-going tradition to have Thanksgiving leftovers. It definitely helps as the Thanksgiving meal has barely digested before people are off to jump start their Christmas shopping and busy with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. But how can you utilize Thanksgiving leftovers to create brand-new and delicious dishes?

One dish that incorporates Thanksgiving leftovers is Thankful Shepherd's Pie. After all, it should be a reminder to be thankful for the abundance of food, even days after Thanksgiving. Thankful Shepherd's Pie is quick and easy to make and has become a favorite post-holiday dish in our household.


  • 1 pie crust (store bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
  • salt, to taste
  • black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup turkey gravy
  • 1 cup milk, whole
  • 2-4 cups turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • Fresh thyme, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, to taste
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded


  1. If you buy a pie sheet or make your own pie crust, set the dough in the pie pan and crimp the sides. Otherwise, you can use a pie crust already formed. Next, take a fork and poke holes in the bottom of the pie crust. This will allow the pie crust to bake flat. Bake the empty pie crust in a 450°F oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a deep skillet. Add the onions, garlic, red peppers, and green peppers. Next, add a dash of salt and black pepper to taste. Sauté until onions are clear.
  3. Once onions are clear, add a cup of turkey gravy to the skillet. Now add a cup of whole milk. Stir the creamy mixture until well blended.
  4. Take the chopped leftover turkey and add it to the creamy mixture in the skillet. Use 2-4 cups of the chopped turkey to your preference. Some like a little turkey, others like a lot. It’s up to you.
  5. Now for the vegetables. Add frozen carrots, peas, and corn. Mix well.
  6. Chop up fresh thyme, cilantro, and parsley. The amount of each herb is up to you. Thyme can be overpowering sometimes, so I suggest maybe 1-2 teaspoon of thyme. I tend to use a handful of parsley and a handful of cilantro. A handful to me is just what fits in the palm of my hand. Now, add them to the mixture and stir it in evenly adding salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Now it is time to add the mixture to the pie filling you pulled from the oven. Then use about 2 cups of mashed potatoes on top of the pie mixture and spread evenly across the top. If you are using left over mash potatoes, let the mashed potatoes come to room temperature before trying to spread it across the top of the pie mixture. It is just easier to spread evenly this way.
  8. Grate the cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. You can choose to use finely shredded cheese if you like. Also, you do not have to use Parmesan cheese. You can use American cheese, Swiss cheese, Provolone cheese, or any cheese you prefer.
  9. Place the pie in the oven at 450°F for about 30 minutes or until the cheese and potatoes are a golden brown. Allow the shepherd's pie to sit for couple of minutes to set before serving.


Don't be afraid to modify this recipe and make it your own.

  • Consider using different vegetables in the shepherd's pie.
  • Instead of using milk, consider using heavy whipping creamy to give it a luxurious creamy texture.
  • Why not spice things up? Consider adding finely chopped jalapenos.
  • Adding mushrooms could be a delightful touch to bring a renewal of flavor to the leftovers.
  • Use whatever herbs you have on hand or prefer. Some suggested herbs include sage, ginger, ground coriander, and anything else that dances across your pallet.
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© 2015 Linda Sarhan


Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on April 11, 2017:


Let me say this in a serious tone . . .

Delicious, tasty, fun to eat, amazingly prepared and written.

Did I say a serious tone?

I mean it.

Keep up the fine work and I am honored to follow you.

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