What to do with Those Thanksgiving Leftovers: Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Sometimes the best part of the meal isn’t the meal itself, but rather the leftovers. You can go the delicious turkey sandwich route, or you can do something a little different.

One set of comfort food gets turned into another with Chad Martin’s (from Circa 1918) autumnal take on a classic Shepherd’s Pie. This time leftover turkey takes the place of traditional lamb, and sweet potatoes from the day before get reused as a rich, velvety smooth topping rather than regular whipped potatoes.

The Leftovers: Sweet potatoes, turkey, turkey broth, peas, carrots

The Encore Eat: Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

circa 1918 shepherd's pie thanksgiving leftovers


3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1-1 1/2 inches)
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped rosemary
1 pound of chopped or shredded turkey
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups turkey broth made from the leftover turkey bones
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 10-ounce bag of frozen peas

circa 1918 shepherd's pie shepherd's pie circa 1918


Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a cast iron dish or a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place cut sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20–25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add carrots, celery, parsnips and onions and cook for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped turkey and cook until lightly browned and heated through. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, flour and turkey broth and cook for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add frozen peas and stir.

Meanwhile, drain the water from the potatoes and add to a large bowl. Add in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the sweet potatoes and place into a food processor and puree. Add some of the hot potato mixture into the eggs, to temper the eggs so the hot mixture doesn’t scramble them, then season with salt and pepper.

Place meat mixture in the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Evenly spread sweet potatoes over the meat and vegetable mixture. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 35–45 minutes or until pie is bubbling and top is lightly golden.

Yields 8 servings 

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