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Pull together this healthy Dump-and-Bake Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with just 5 ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep! The cozy, easy dinner recipe is a perfect way to enjoy the leftover turkey or chicken that’s waiting for you in your kitchen!

Bowl of dump-and-bake turkey shepherd's pie garnished with thyme

Not only does this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie recipe take advantage of your leftover turkey, but it also uses any leftover gravy or mashed potatoes that you might have from the holidays. And if you don’t have any leftovers at all? No problem! You can purchase the 5 basic ingredients in any grocery store for a quick prep dinner any night of the week!

What is Shepherd’s Pie and where is Shepherd’s Pie from?

A Shepherd’s Pie (also known as a “Cottage Pie”) is a meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato, which originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are many variations of the recipe, but classic ingredients include ground beef or lamb, cooked in a gravy or sauce, often with onions and other vegetables such as peas, celery and carrots. The dish is topped with a layer of mashed potatoes before baking.

The term Shepherd’s Pie first appeared in 1854, and in early cookbooks was used to describe a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, in a dish lined on the sides, bottom and top with mashed potato.

Consider this dump-and-bake version an updated, easy, Americanized version of the original!

Turkey Shepherd's Pie in a green casserole dish with wooden spoon

How to Make Turkey Shepherd’s Pie:

First, let’s start with the 5 ingredients that you’ll need: leftover turkey or chicken; mashed potatoes; gravy; mixed vegetables; and thyme.

5 ingredients for turkey shepherd's pie

Can Shepherd’s Pie be made with beef?

Yes! I’ve created this recipe to take advantage of leftovers (or a store-bought rotisserie chicken), but you can use the same recipe to prepare a beef shepherd’s pie. To do so, substitute 2-3 cups of cooked, drained ground beef for the turkey called for in the recipe. That would be about 2 lbs. of raw ground beef, browned in a skillet and drained. The rest of the instructions remain the same!

Turkey Shepherd's Pie ingredients in glass mixing bowl

This is literally and dump-and-go meal! Simply stir together the turkey, vegetables, gravy, and thyme, and transfer to a baking dish.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie filling in green casserole dish before oven

I use store-bought mashed potatoes for the crust, but you can also substitute with homemade mashed potatoes (especially if you have some leftover from the holidays)!

Mashed potatoes for turkey shepherd's pie

Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the filling, starting around the edges to create a seal. This will prevent the filling from bubbling up over the top.

Spreading mashed potatoes on turkey shepherd's pie

Smooth the top with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, and your job is done! So easy, right?!

Mashed potatoes on top of turkey shepherd's pie

Bake the pie in a 400-degree F oven for about 25 minutes, or just until the the potatoes get crusty and start to brown on top. Allow the dish to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Baked turkey shepherd's pie with wooden spoon in dish

Can Turkey Shepherd’s Pie be made in advance?

Absolutely! This is a great make ahead dinner recipe! Just assemble the dish as instructed and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake (up to overnight). You can also freeze the assembled casserole before baking to enjoy at a later date. It’s a great freezer meal!

Can you cook Turkey Shepherd’s Pie from frozen?

Yes! It just takes a lot longer! You can thaw a frozen shepherd’s pie in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with baking the thawed casserole as instructed per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 1½ hrs. Increase oven to 425 degrees F, uncover and cook for about 20 more minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Bowl of turkey shepherd's pie in black and white bowl

Recipe Variations and Cook’s Tips:

  • Swap out the diced turkey and use diced, cooked chicken (such as a store-bought rotisserie chicken) or even cooked, ground beef, ground lamb, ground chicken or ground turkey (you will need about 2 lbs. of raw ground meat to equal about 3 cups of cooked meat).
  • Pick your family’s favorite vegetables! I use a frozen mixed vegetable blend that includes corn, green beans, peas, and carrots. If your family prefers just peas, or just peas and carrots, for example, use those instead!
  • If your kids love cheese, try sprinkling some grated cheese over top of the potatoes before the dish goes in the oven.
  • Lighten Up! With a fat-free turkey gravy and chopped turkey breast, this is already a very healthy dinner. To make your healthy shepherd’s pie even healthier, feel free to swap out the mashed potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower mash. You’ll need about 3 1/2 cups of cauliflower mash to replace the potatoes. For a shortcut, try using frozen mashed cauliflower that has been thawed (such as this version by Green Giant).

What goes with Turkey Shepherd’s Pie?

With meat, vegetables, and starch, this is already a complete meal! If you’d like to round out your supper with an additional option, try serving your Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with:

Overhead image of Dump and Bake Turkey Shepherd's Pie in bowl with fork

Looking for even more leftover turkey recipes? Try these favorites:

5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Turkey Shepherd's Pie

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 287 kcal
Pull together this healthy Dump-and-Bake Turkey Shepherd's Pie with just 5 ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ - 3 cups cooked, diced (or shredded) turkey (can substitute with an equal amount of chicken)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar turkey or chicken gravy (or about 1 ½ cups of homemade gravy) I used a jar of fat free turkey gravy, but any similar variety will work
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 (32 ounce) family-size package refrigerated mashed potatoes (or about 3 ½ cups of homemade mashed potatoes)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together turkey, vegetables, gravy and thyme.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the filling from bubbling up. Smooth with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and place the dish on top (this will help to catch any drips).
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow the dish to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Can Turkey Shepherd's Pie be made in advance?
Absolutely! This is a great make ahead dinner recipe! Just assemble the dish as instructed and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake (up to overnight). You can also freeze the assembled casserole before baking to enjoy at a later date. It's a great freezer meal!
Can you cook Turkey Shepherd's Pie from frozen?
Yes! It just takes a lot longer! You can thaw a frozen shepherd's pie in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with baking the thawed casserole as instructed per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 1½ hrs. Increase oven to 425 degrees F, uncover and cook for about 20 more minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Recipe Variations and Cook's Tips:
  • Swap out the diced turkey and use diced, cooked chicken (such as a store-bought rotisserie chicken) or even cooked, ground beef, ground lamb, ground chicken or ground turkey (you will need about 2 lbs. of raw ground meat to equal about 3 cups of cooked meat).
  • Pick your family's favorite vegetables! I use a frozen mixed vegetable blend that includes corn, green beans, peas, and carrots. If your family prefers just peas, or just peas and carrots, for example, use those instead!
  • If your kids love cheese, try sprinkling some grated cheese over top of the potatoes before the dish goes in the oven.
  • Lighten Up! With a fat-free turkey gravy and chopped turkey breast, this is already a very healthy dinner. To make your healthy shepherd's pie even healthier, feel free to swap out the mashed potatoes with an equal amount of cauliflower mash. You'll need about 3 1/2 cups of cauliflower mash to replace the potatoes. For a shortcut, try using frozen mashed cauliflower that has been thawed (such as this version by Green Giant).

What goes with Turkey Shepherd's Pie?

With meat, vegetables, and starch, this is already a complete meal! If you'd like to round out your supper with an additional option, try serving your Turkey Shepherd's Pie with:

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the pieCalories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 32.7gProtein: 19gFat: 9.1gSaturated Fat: 4.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 797.2mgPotassium: 243.7mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 1.2g
Keyword: leftover turkey recipes, Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes, Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. This is a fantastic way to get rid of a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers & in my younger days would have made it in a heartbeat. But now with no leftovers available & sodium restrictions (between jarred gravy & packaged mashed potatoes, ouch), I’ll have to work a bit to make this happen. One thing I often do with my regular Shepherd’s Pie is to use par-baked & sliced russets. It’s easier than making mashed potatoes & better for the waistline.

    1. Thanks for that tip, Sam! I hope that you get to try this recipe — even if you don’t have leftovers. You can substitute a store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from another meal in lieu of the turkey. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I am going to try this recipe but switch the white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Also sprinkle with a little cinnamon on top of the potatoes. I love shepherd pie. My hubby is super excited to try this