2 ratings

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

Get creative with your leftovers
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

When you're wondering what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, why not make a pie with them? The savory dish will be a welcome treat in the days following Thanksgiving. This recipe has three options for a crust: regular crust, stuffing crust or crustless. 

This recipe is by Bill Daley and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
1 h, 25 m
40 m
(prepare time)
45 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


If you choose not to make or buy a crust, you can make a crustless one: Use a casserole or baking dish, and move on to the filling and topping.


For the bottom crust (optional)

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, frozen
  • 1 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For the stuffing crust (also optional)

  • 3 Cups cooked stuffing
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

For the filling

  • 4 cups chopped cooked turkey (you can also use chicken)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked vegetables

For the white sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups leftover turkey stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the topping

  • 4 cups of cooked mashed potatoes


For the bottom crust (optional)

Make a dough.

My go-to recipe comes from Ashley English's "A Year of Pies," adapted for a food processor.

This recipe makes one 9-inch pie crust. (Make a double batch if using a top crust.)

Cut butter into cubes.

Place butter, flour and salt in the chilled work bowl of a food processor with a chilled metal blade.

Pulse to cut the butter into the flour; the mixture should look like coarse meal.

Pulse in the ice water.

Place the loose, crumbly dough on a cutting board or counter.

Using the heel of your palm, work the flour-butter mixture together, pushing it into a smooth ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin.

Begin stretching and thinning the dough with a rolling pin, slowly rotating the dough every couple of passes to help it spread evenly.

When desired size and thickness is reached, fold the dough loosely into fourths; position it in a 9-inch tart or pie pan.

Unfold the dough and press gently into pan.

Trim off excess dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch margin.

Fold over or push the extra dough down to build the sides of the tart crust.

Refrigerate, covered.

For the stuffing crust (also optional)

Take 3 cups of cooked stuffing (I had good results using a boxed stuffing), and mix with 3 tablespoons melted butter.

Pulse in a food processor to achieve a crumblike consistency.

Spoon the stuffing into your pie plate or tart pan, and spread to cover the bottom and sides, pressing firmly.

Refrigerate, covered.

For the filling

This recipe is very improvisational because it depends on what you have leftover and how much.

Aim for about 4 cups chopped cooked turkey (you can also use chicken) and 3 cups chopped cooked vegetables. (I used carrots, parsnips, onions and sliced mushrooms.)

Mix together in a bowl; set aside.

For the white sauce

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-heat.

Cook 5 tablespoons flour in the butter until it turns golden-brown, stirring to prevent burning, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in 2 cups leftover turkey stock, if you have it (no-salt chicken broth from the store, if you don't) and 1 cup whole milk.

Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Your sauce should have a medium-thick consistency.

Remove from heat.

Assemble the pie.

Toss the turkey and vegetables with the white sauce.

(If you have leftover gravy, definitely use it here.)

Pour filling into your pie crust or pan.

Refrigerate, covered.

For the topping

Spread 4 cups of cooked mashed potato evenly over the pie.

(Consider piping it on if you want a more finished look).

Dot with butter.

If you prefer a crust topping, repeat the crust recipe from step one. 

Arrange top crust atop the filling.

Press gently to seal around the rim; cut slash marks into the top to allow steam to escape.

If you like, brush on a simple egg wash (1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 tablespoon water), so the crust takes on a golden hue while baking.

Bake the pie in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until heated through.