The traditional Shepherd’s Pie, a delicacy from Ireland, is a casserole type dish made with lamb and veggies covered with mashed potatoes and baked in the oven.  After our Thanksgiving meal this year, I decided to improvise on a version to use our leftover turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, and gravy.  It turned out much better than I expected, so I must share with you. Plus, it gives me a chance to show off our recent gift, the Le Creuset baking dish… gorgeous!

If you already used up your leftover turkey meat, ground turkey could work well too, but spice it up with more sage, maybe some sautéed mushrooms, and use some type of stock slightly thickened with a roux in place of gravy.


(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

leftover roast turkey, preferably dark meat, cut in small chunks
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 shallot, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen green peas
a few leaves of fresh sage, minced
salt and pepper
gravy from your Thanksgiving turkey
cooked sweet potatoes
veggie stock, amount variable
low-fat milk, amount variable

Cut enough leftover turkey meat to fully cover your baking dish. Give preference to dark meat, but a mixture of dark and breast works fine.  Reserve.

Sautee the shallot and diced carrots in olive oil until they start to get some color, and soften up slightly. Season with salt and pepper,  then add the turkey meat, the frozen peas, and the sage.  Mix gently until the peas defrost, add some gravy, enough to moisten the whole mixture.   Pour into a baking dish.

Prepare the potatoes by warming them slightly in a microwave, then mashing them with a little veggie stock and milk, also warmed up in a microwave.  Taste, and if necessary, adjust seasoning.   You need to add just enough liquid to be able to spread the mashed potatoes over the turkey.

Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes over the turkey & veggies, and place in a 375 F oven for 30 minutes or until all bubbly and hot.

Remove from the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.


to print the recipe, click here


Phil is always in charge of roasting our Thanksgiving turkey, which he does according to his family recipe. Our bird is stuffed with a mixture of bread, sausage, celery, green apples… absolutely delicious!   He also  makes the gravy, which ends up dark brown, thick and very flavorful. Usually, he is also in charge of coming up with leftover ideas, but this year I decided to explore this road on my own.

This was so good!  Comfort food indeed, but not overly heavy, sweet potatoes are less filling than regular ones.  I know that using ground turkey could work too, but honestly, this recipe is best if made with leftover roast turkey,  moistened with real gravy.  Phil and I enjoyed some of this “Twisted Shepherd’s Pie”  for our dinner, and the rest is in the freezer, waiting for one of my stepsons who will be visiting us soon.  I know he will love it!

plated1Dinner is served!

ONE YEAR AGO: Hail Caesar Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, December 2011

THREE YEARS AGO: Festivus Dinner Rolls

FOUR YEARS AGO: 100% Sourdough Rye


  1. I think I would much prefer your version to the traditional Irish one and I’m grateful my ancestors never presented me with it😉. I do love the warmth, comfort and heartiness of shepherd’s pie and generally make a legume version on ground chicken/turkey so this is right up my alley! Your creamy sweet potato mash also sounds perfect. I think your stepson will love it too and your tip about using leftover turkey meat softened with gravy is well taken. Perfect timing with the holidays! thanks Sally.


    • It turned out better than I expected, actually – I had never made the authentic one, but had it in England once and of course saw many versions on the FoodTV and cookbooks. I am so fond of sweet potatoes, that this variation seems better to me


  2. This looks really good, Sally. Love the chunks of roast turkey peeking out from under the sweet potato canopy. It sounds like it would make a great meal on these really cold days. It would warm the kitchen and then those seated at your dinner table. What more could you want?


  3. I love the name of this dish! So creative.🙂 I would be a big fan of the sweet potato topping on this twisted shepherd’s pie. Mike, however, try as I might, cant’t get him to enjoy sweet potatoes. He feels about them as I do about beets.😉 Great way to use leftovers though – so creative!!! And you have me a great idea for using my little twin baking dish.


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