Shepherd’s pie with leftover roasted turkey or baked chicken is a scrumptious meal the whole family loves! This easy casserole dinner is 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. This makes it gluten-free and equally scrumptious. Make it with storebought rotisserie chicken, holiday roast turkey, or Instant Pot shredded chicken.
Turkey or Chicken Shepherd's Pie Ingredients
- all-purpose flour
- chicken broth
- half and half
- thyme, salt, and pepper
- frozen peas
- shredded chicken
- mashed potatoes
- cheddar cheese
- fresh parsley
How to make shepherd’s pie with turkey or chicken
- Saute the veggies. I used onion, celery, and carrots. Parsnips and turnips taste great too.
- Make gravy right in the pot with veggies. Every white sauce (or gravy) starts with fat and flour. In this recipe, the fat is the oil used to sauté the veggies. Sprinkle flour over veggies until it gets absorbed. In small amounts, add half and half (or milk, or heavy cream) and whisk vigorously until it thickens into a creamy, gravy-like sauce.
- Add peas, chicken (or turkey), and seasonings and transfer everything to a baking dish.
- Spread the potatoes on top. The easiest way to do this without making a mess of the filling is to use warm potatoes and transfer them to the top of the pie using a portion scoop. This way you'll drop the mashed potatoes in the right place and you can then spread them gently with a spatula. Sprinkle cheese and parsley over potatoes.
- Bake 30 minutes until sauce is bubbling. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve warm.
The prep work takes for this pie takes about 20 minutes and then you let it cook in the oven until the top of the pie is golden brown.
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. Yukon gold is another high starch potato option. You can use any mashed potatoes for this recipe.
What’s the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?
Traditionally, this hearty Scottish dinner earned its name because it contained minced lamb and shepherds look after the sheep. Pie referred to any dish that contained meat and potatoes.
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.
Grab these easy chicken recipes
Why we love turkey or chicken shepherd's pie
- Turkey or chicken breast is a healthier choice than beef and budget-friendlier than lamb.
- It's the perfect way to use up leftover turkey roast after the big holiday feast.
- It's a great way to put my baked chicken thighs, or rotisserie chicken, or meal prepped shredded chicken to good use.
Grab these easy chicken recipes
Can you freeze turkey shepherd's pie?
This is a great choice for a meal prep dinner! You can definitely make it, bake it, and freeze it. To do this, once it's fully cooked, allow the pie to cool completely. Portion into servings, place into freezer-safe containers, and freeze up to two months.
When you are ready to eat it, you can thaw a piece in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or baking in the oven. Depending on how you choose to reheat, it can take a few minutes (in the microwave) or up to 20 minutes in the oven.
- 3.5-quart saucepot or skillet
- stirring utensil
- wire whisk
- 10" x 7" baking dish + baking sheet to go under the baking dish
- 2 oz portion scoop or spoon (to scoop potatoes over the filling)
- silicone spatula (to spread the filling and mashed potatoes)
Need more leftover turkey recipes?
We've rounded up 40 leftover turkey recipes from a handful of food blogger friends. These recipes are easy, beautiful, and will literally make your turkey disappear! Grab ALL of my HOLIDAY RECIPES while you're at it.
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Turn these leftovers into chicken shepherd's pie
Turkey or 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 Shredded Chicken
- 4.5 cups Mashed Potatoes
- 1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- Fresh Parsley for garnish
- 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 (OR TURKEY), THYME, SALT, and PEPPER and transfer to a 9" x 7" baking dish, spreading evenly.
- Use a portion scoop 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.