This easy casserole recipe is a mix between turkey pot pie and a classic Shepherd's pie. Made in a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet using leftover Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes! A perfect way to use up any Thanksgiving leftovers.
We’re here with another tasty Thanksgiving leftover recipe! While you can certainly heat your leftovers up as is for Thanksgiving 2.0, we always like to reimagine our holiday leftovers into something new and exciting.
Today, we're turning leftover turkey and leftover mashed potatoes (and any other veggies in your fridge!) into this easy turkey and mashed potato pie.
PS - Still need to plan your Thanksgiving menu? Check out our Thanksgiving Headquarters page - full of essential turkey day planning tips, guides, and menus.
We'll start by building a creamy filling with diced turkey, chicken or turkey stock, and plenty of veggies (à la our favorite chicken pot pie!) and top it with some fluffy mashed potatoes (just like shepherd's pie). Pop it in the oven, cook until the potatoes are golden brown, then top with fresh herbs and pat yourself on the back for being awesome.
We used a combination of carrots, corn, and peas in these photos, but this recipe is SERIOUSLY FORGIVING: it's a perfect meal for cleaning out your fridge! Use any veggies you like here (it's great with leftover green beans, creamed corn, or roasted broccoli thrown in!)
Our Basic Order of Operations
First, make the filling
- Sauté onions and garlic in a bit of melted butter, then add herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Make a roux by adding flour into the mixture to soak up the liquid and butter. Cook for about a minute, until it smells slightly nutty.
- Add turkey stock a little at a time and stir to break up any lumps of flour, then simmer to thicken up the filling - it should feel like a thick, silky soup!
- Mix in Worcestershire sauce, veggies, and leftover diced turkey.
Assemble the Pie
In a separate bowl, stir an egg into your leftover mashed potatoes. This will give the potatoes some structure and help them hold their shape instead of just melting into the filling while they bake!
Spread this potato mixture evenly over the prepared filling (we like to drop scoops of potato all over the top of the filling, then use the back of a spoon to press it into the edges of the pot so it covers the entire surface).
Bake the turkey and mashed potato pie until the filling is bubbling and the mashed potatoes are golden brown. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then top with fresh herbs and serve!
Note: If you're using a cast iron skillet instead of a Dutch oven, place the cast iron skillet on top of a large baking sheet before you slide it into the oven. This makes it easier to move and helps to catch any spills while cooking.
Riffs and Substitutions
The theme of this mashed potato pie story is “use whatever you have!” This recipe is VERY forgiving and is a great clean-out-the-fridge meal. Some of our favorite swaps and additions:
- If you don’t have leftover turkey, you can use meal prepped shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken, or cooked ground turkey in its place. You can also add or swap in extra protein like bacon, pancetta, or cooked Italian sausage!
- Mix up the vegetables. This casserole is a great blank slate for any leftovers you have. Try adding leftover creamed corn, roasted veggies, or green bean casserole from your holiday dinner. You can also add a few handfuls of fresh spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, or parsnips. Use more or less of any veggie to suit your own tastes! You can also swap the mashed potatoes for leftover cauliflower mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potato here if you like.
- Use fresh herbs. Have fresh sage, rosemary, or thyme left over from your Thanksgiving recipes? Use them in place of the dried herbs here! A general rule of thumb: Use about 3x as many fresh herbs as you would dried herbs.
- Make it cheesy. Mix in parmesan or cheddar cheese to the mashed potato topping.
Make Ahead Tips
This is a great make ahead dish to keep in the freezer for when you need some comfort food but don’t feel like cooking! You can prepare and freeze the whole thing or prepare the filling on its own and save it until you have leftover mashed potatoes to use.
- If you make this ahead of time, do not add the turkey to the filling while it cooks - make the filling as directed with only the veggies, let it cool completely, then stir the cold turkey into the cooled filling just before freezing or refrigerating.
- Let the filling cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.
- Refrigerate for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months. Defrost frozen potato pie in the refrigerator overnight.
- If baking from cold, add a few minutes to cooking time. We also recommend adding a layer of foil over the top for the first 10 minutes of baking to prevent the potatoes from burning.
- Be careful NOT to place a cold glass dish into a hot oven as it might break! Either let the dish come to room temperature before putting it in the oven, use a metal or cast iron dish, or place the cold dish in a cold oven and then heat. You will need to keep an eye on the time for any of these methods.
More Thanksgiving leftover recipes
- Turn turkey bones and drippings into Homemade Turkey Stock!
- Whisk leftover cranberry sauce into a quick cranberry mayonnaise - perfect for turkey sandwiches!
- Swimming in leftover mashed potatoes? Make Leftover Mashed Potato Gnocchi or use them as the base for some homemade Pierogi (Polish dumplings).
- Add leftover diced turkey to a quick breakfast frittata or a simple Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna!
Video: How to make leftover turkey mashed potato pie
An easy, cozy recipe to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers!
For the filling:
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock (or turkey stock/vegetable stock)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large carrots, diced (about ¾ cup)
- 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine!)
- ½ cup corn kernels (frozen or canned is fine!)
- 1 ½ cups diced leftover turkey
For the topping:
- 2 ½ cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 egg
- Fresh herbs, for topping (optional - we used parsley in these photos)
Make the filling:
- Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- On the stovetop, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add dried rosemary, dried thyme, salt, and pepper to pot and stir to combine.
- Add flour to pot and stir to combine. The flour will soak up the moisture in the pan and clump together to form a roux. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-60 seconds, then add chicken stock to skillet a little at a time and stir well to break up any lumps. The stock will thicken quickly at first, then gradually thin out.
- When you’ve added all the stock, bring the filling to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until stock has thickened, about 5-10 minutes. The filling is ready when the stock has reached the consistency of a thick soup.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce, carrots, peas, corn, and leftover diced turkey, then remove the pot from the heat and set aside while you make the topping.
Make the topping, assemble, and bake:
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir mashed potatoes together with the egg. Scoop the potato mixture over the top of the filling in your Dutch oven, then use the back of a spoon to press the potatoes down into a uniform layer until they completely cover the filling's surface.
- Transfer the turkey and potato pie to the oven and bake at 400° F for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the potatoes have turned a light golden brown.
- Let the pie cool for 10-15 minutes, top with fresh herbs (optional), and serve.
If you don't have a Dutch oven, use a cast iron skillet at least 12" in diameter, and place the skillet on a sheet pan before baking (this will make it easier to slide in and out of the oven, and will catch any spills if the filling bubbles over). For best results, the pie filling should leave at least an inch of space between the top of the filling and the top of the skillet (if the skillet is too full, the filling will bubble over in the oven).
It's easiest to mix and spread the potato mixture if the potatoes are slightly warm. At minimum, let the potatoes sit on the counter while you prepare the filling so they can come to room temperature a bit. If you're feeling ambitious, zap the mashed potatoes in the microwave or warm them up on the stovetop until they're just slightly warm - this will make it easier to stir the egg in and to spread the potato mixture over the surface of the pie. Note: If you're making this pie ahead of time, don't heat up the mashed potatoes - just use them cold and straight out of the fridge for food safety!
Additions and Substitutions. Use leftover or rotisserie chicken in place of the turkey, or use cooked ground chicken or turkey instead. Add bacon, pancetta, or Italian sausage for a fun twist. Mix up the veggies - this casserole is great with leftover Thanksgiving sides (creamed corn, green beans, roasted broccoli) but you can also throw in extra veggies from the fridge (cauliflower, parsnips, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, etc). Add a handful of parmesan or cheddar cheese to the mashed potato topping for extra flavor. Use fresh herbs instead of dried if you like (sage, rosemary, and thyme are all good here).
Make Ahead Tips. This casserole is a great meal prep option! If you make the casserole ahead of time, do not add turkey to the filling while it cooks - for food safety, let the filling cool completely, then stir the cold turkey into the cooled filling and top with cold (not reheated) mashed potatoes just before freezing or refrigerating. Assemble the cooled pie as directed, then cover with an airtight lid or piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen potato pie in the fridge overnight; to bake, place pie in a COLD oven and preheat with the dish inside. If the potatoes start to brown too much, cover with a piece of foil or an oven-safe lid until the casserole is cooked through. Do not place a cold dish - especially glass or ceramic - into a hot oven, as the temperature difference can cause the dish to break.
Keywords: comfort food, thanksgiving, leftovers, one pot