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Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

Daniel Hautzinger
Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie. Photo: Courtesy PBS Food
Photo: Courtesy PBS Food

You survived preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal and everyone ate a ton, but now you're saddled with heaps of leftovers. Want an inventive and easy way to repurpose your turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes into an entirely new dish? Try this Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie, courtesy of Aube Giroux at PBS Food.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

If your leftover mashed potatoes seem a little dry, you can mix in a little bit of milk and butter in a bowl to revive them and make them fluffy again. 

Your mashed potatoes will likely come right up to the brim of the skillet, and when the gravy bubbles, it may spill out of the sides. Place a baking sheet on the rack below the skillet to catch any gravy drippings. 

If you don't have a skillet, you can prepare the turkey and vegetables in a pan then transfer them to a 9x9 baking dish and add the potatoes to bake.


3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion (about 1½ cup chopped)
2 large carrots (about 2 cups chopped)
2 cups corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1½ cup green peas (frozen is fine)
3 cups cubed cooked turkey meat
1½ cup gravy
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 to 6 cups mashed potatoes 
1 cup (4 oz) grated sharp cheddar (optional)
Dash of paprika or red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Pour the olive oil in a large 10- to 11-inch cast iron skillet and sauté the onions on medium heat for a few minutes, until they start to soften. Add the chopped carrots and cook for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are soft but still slightly crunchy. Add the peas and corn, chopped turkey, gravy, and a little salt and pepper to taste (if your gravy is already salty, be careful not to over-salt). Mix gently, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie. Photo: Courtesy PBS FoodPhoto: Courtesy PBS Food

2. Place dollops of mashed potatoes all over the surface of the vegetable and turkey mixture. Gently spread them to cover up any gaps. Add the grated cheddar, if using, and sprinkle a little paprika or red pepper flakes on top.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie. Photo: Courtesy PBS FoodPhoto: Courtesy PBS Food

3. Place the skillet in a 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes until the gravy is bubbling up the sides. Before removing skillet from the oven, you can switch to the broil setting for a few minutes so that you get a nice golden top. Allow your shepherd's pie to cool and set for around 15 minutes before serving.