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A revamped and healthier version of classic comfort food this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers, this shepherd’s pie is Whole30 compliant, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

a plate of turkey shepherd's pie on a green cloth with a fork and rosemary

This Turkey Shepherd’s Pie can be made with leftover turkey or ground turkey. Even better, throw some leftover mashed potatoes on top and your dinner is already half-made.

Recipes to Make this Shepherd’s Pie Easier

onions being cooked in a cast iron skillet

A gravy being cooked in a cast iron skillet for simple turkey shepherd's pie

veggies and turkey for simple shepherd's pie topped with mashed potatoes in a cast iron skillet

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you consume dairy, sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the mashed potatoes (I’d recommend a delicious extra sharp cheddar!)
  • Feel free to use whatever veggies you prefer. Add some mushrooms (gross) or whatever else you have on hand.
  • If you have leftover gravy feel free to sub it in for the seasonings called for in this recipe. Keep the thyme though!
  • Cooked chicken would work great for this recipe as well. Shred a whole chicken (related: Dry Brined Chicken) or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

Two plates of simple turkey shepherd's pie on a white board

More Recipes Like This


One serving of Turkey Shepherd’s Pie has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

5 from 2 ratings

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
a plate of simple shepherd's pie on a green cloth with a fork and rosemary
A healthier version of a classic comfort food - Simple Shepherds Pie With Turkey is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!


  • 2 tbsp butter {or ghee for Whole30}
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch {or arrowroot powder for Whole30}
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock {or turkey stock}
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (powdered)
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups turkey {cooked}
  • 3 cloves garlic {minced}
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 cup carrots {peeled and diced}
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the butter (or ghee/olive oil) and onions. Cook down for five minutes.
  • Add the cornstarch {or arrowroot powder} and stir to combine with the onions. Cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the chicken broth and stir.
  • Add the tomato paste, garlic, nutritional yeast, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a soft boil.
  • Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • Add the peas and carrots and then the turkey. Stir to combine.
  • Top with mashed potatoes.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.


Using frozen veggies makes this dish even easier to throw together for a weeknight or simple dinner.
If you have leftover gravy feel free to sub it in for the seasonings called for in this recipe. But keep the thyme!
Cooked chicken would work great for this recipe as well. 


Serving: 1cupCalories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 11gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 192mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2840IUVitamin C: 18.8mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!


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Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. Had this last night with gravy instead of the tomato based sauce. It was really yummy. Plus it saved my mom’s over cooked turkey breast from bring dry and useless5 stars

  2. This is one of those cultural/ language differences again! shepherds pie is made with lamb, cottage pie with beef. I’ve never seen it with a pastry crust, that would make it a lamb/beef/chicken pie. But never a mince pie because they are sweet nowadays and a Christmas thing! Writing it out makes it sound way more complicated than i thought it was! I’ve never seen a potato topped pie with poultry in it (stand by for someone from another part of the UK who’ll tell that it’s quite common where they’re from!) but cottage/shepherds pie was Monday night meal because it used the meat leftover from the Sunday roast, so I don’t know why…. 
    Ok now I’m going to leave pedants corner and ask if you buy a bigger turkey than you need for thanksgiving so you can have this for leftovers?

    1. I don’t think turkey shepherd’s pie is an actual thing anywhere. But I made it one because it uses up a lot of leftover turkey. So it’s a thing NOW. Ha!

      The research I did showed there are distinct differences between English, Scottish, and Irish shepherd’s/cottage pie. So it appears to be very regional.

      We do a ham and turkey for Thanksgiving (I do the turkey and my MIL brings a ham) because Troy’s grandma can’t eat turkey. People tend to take a little of both. But Thanksgiving at least in this house is all about the side dishes. I don’t really care much about the bird! So we usually end up with a decent(ish) amount of leftover turkey.

      1. There’s not really a definitive anything anywhere! I’m all for turkey shepherds pie being a thing now! Obvs no Thanksgiving here and Christmas dinner is usually turkey time but last year at my brother’s was the first time I had turkey for Christmas, I usually do beef but basically it’s just a roast dinner and I’m all about the roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding…

    2. My half-British children would tell you the reason they love cottage pie more than shepherds pie is that, at least in the BBC recipe I use, you add cheese to the mashed potato topping.  What’s better than cheesy mashed potatoes?  Not much.

      I love both shepherds pie AND cottage pie but do not love how long it takes to make either, so I will have to give this version a try.

      1. I know that you can make mashed potatoes without cheese but I’m not sure that it’s something I’ve ever eaten, so I’m absolutely with your children!

  3. “DAD JOKES!” Every boyfriend (I have two daughters) worth keeping knows to at least smile at them.

    When I tell my guy, “you need a haircut,” he always says, “I’m gonna get them ALL cut.” Every.single.time. Whattayagonnado?

    I liked that you didn’t assume anyone had left over mashed potatoes, since, after doing all the Thanksgiving cleanup, I heat the leftover mashed potatoes up with an extra bit of cream and put my feet up and EAT THEM ALL. It’s one of the best parts of my Thanksgiving rituals.

    1. Troy is the king of dad jokes! Glad to hear your daughter’s boyfriends know how to react appropriately.

      An old boss of mine said the haircut thing too. Every time! And I’m sure you’ve heard the “working hard or hardly working” a billion times?

      I love post-holiday rituals and I love that yours involves mashed taters! Mine is I reclean the house (bathrooms, vac/mop floors, and pick up) and then eat a piece of pie! Which um, is definitely my second or third piece of pie of the day. Any leftover mashed potatoes also get used to make potato pancakes the next day.

  4. I just cooked up a whole chicken last night! Sadly I did not plan well enough to use your perfect roasted chicken recipe, but it was still yummy.

    But now I know what to make tonight!! Well, after I stop and get some broth.

    Side note: I ordered two turkeys from a farmer friend and I can not wait to make broth from the bones. Turkey bone broth is my absolute favorite!

    Thanks for the dinner inspiration!

      1. True. But it is just two of them so I’m not sure how much effort she is willing to put in a few times a year just for broth.

        And around here at least you can typically only find turkey in early Nov-Jan. It’s so weird!