Chicken Shepherd’s Pie is the best way to put leftover chicken or turkey into a family-approved comfort meal! This scrumptious casserole dinner is loaded with fresh veggies in a creamy white gravy topped with mashed potatoes and baked to perfection.
This shepherd’s pie recipe has all the comfort of a pot pie, minus the flour crust. Instead, it's topped with a creamy layer of mashed potatoes which makes it completely irresistible. Make this entree with rotisserie style chicken, holiday leftover turkey, or Instant Pot shredded chicken.
Chicken Shepherd's pie ingredients
Ingredient amounts indicated in printable recipe card below.
- butter - or preferred cooking oil
- onions, carrots, and celery - aromatics and texture builders
- garlic cloves - can sub with garlic powder (but fresh is recommended)
- all-purpose flour - or preferred flour
- chicken broth - or vegetable broth
- half and half - or preferred dairy or nondairy liquid
- thyme, salt, and pepper
- peas - fresh or frozen
- chicken - use leftover baked chicken, air fryer chicken, or roast turkey
- mashed potatoes
- cheddar cheese - or use your favorite shredded cheese
- fresh parsley - optional garnish
How to make this recipe
Step 1. Saute the veggies. I used onion, celery, and carrots, otherwise known as the holy trinity in the culinary world.
Step 2. Make gravy right in the pot with veggies. In this recipe, we're making a simple roux with the veggies, fat, and flour, followed by whisking in cream to make a white sauce.
Step 3. Add peas, chicken or leftover turkey, and seasonings, then transfer everything to a baking dish.
Step 4. Spread the potatoes on top. The most efficient way to do this is transfer warm potatoes to the top of the pie in small amounts. I use a portion scoop to transfer, then gently spread them over the surface, and garnish with shredded cheese and chopped parsley.
Step 5. Bake 30 minutes until sauce is bubbling. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve warm.
The best mashed potatoes for chicken shepherd's pie
I make this easy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe with Russet potatoes. They have a high starch content, so they're fluffy and smooth when mashed. You can use any mashed potatoes for this recipe.
What’s the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?
Traditionally, this is a hearty Scottish dinner that earned its name because it had minced lamb and shepherds look after the sheep. If the dish was made with beef instead of lamb, it was called cottage pie. This is because potatoes were inexpensive, and the peasants who made it lived in cottages. However, the two names are often used interchangeably.
Can you freeze this entree?
This is a great choice for a meal prep dinner! You can definitely make it, bake it, and freeze it. To do this after it has cooked, allow it to cool completely. Portion into servings, place into freezer-safe containers, and freeze up to two months, or longer if vacuum sealed. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or stove.
Entrees that use cooked shredded chicken
Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 2 stalks Celery, diced
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour, sub gluten-free flour, if desired
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1/4 cup Half and Half, or milk
- 1 tsp Fresh Thyme, or ½ tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Peas
- 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, shredded
- 4.5 cups Mashed Potatoes
- 1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Fresh Parsley, for garnish
- 3.5 quart sauce pot
- stirring utensil
- 9" x 7" baking dish
- portion scoop (or spoon)
- silicone spatula
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Heat BUTTER in a 3-quart skillet or sauce pot over medium-high.
- Add ONION, CARROT, CELERY, and GARLIC; sauté a few minutes until tender, stirring as needed.
- Add FLOUR and continue stirring until vegetables absorb the flour.
- Add CHICKEN BROTH and HALF and HALF in small amounts, whisking rapidly until a creamy sauce develops.
- Remove from heat. Stir in PEAS, SHREDDED CHICKEN, THYME, SALT, and PEPPER and transfer to a 9" x 7" baking dish, spreading evenly.
- Use a portion scoop or serving spoon to distribute MASHED POTATOES across the surface.
- Gently spread the potatoes evenly over the surface and sprinkle CHEDDAR CHEESE and PARSLEY.
- Bake 30 minutes (uncovered) until sauce is bubbling. Carefully remove from oven and allow to set up for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.