It’s the day after your Thanksgiving feast and you have a fridge full of leftovers. Cheese-laden casseroles are an easy go-to but not so easy on the calorie count or the waistline, which might not be what you’re after thanks to last night’s second slice of your Aunt’s pumpkin pie. So instead of reaching for cheese and cream and the like, try this recipe for a Turkey Shepherd’s Pie to lighten up some of those leftovers.

Shepherd’s pie is usually made with ground beef, poured into a pie plate and topped with copious amounts of potatoes. To lighten the dish a bit, switch out that serving dish from a pie plate to a deeper soufflé mold, so you can go easy on the potato crust carbs. Mix in some other leftover vegetables in the pie as well—peas and green beans taste great in this hardy dish.

What You Need:

  • One 1 1/2-quart ramekin (soufflé dish)
  • 1 cup gravy (leftover from the night before!)
  • ¼ - ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups cubed turkey meat
  • 2 cups leftover sautéed mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups leftover carrots
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups mashed potatoes

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven for 325 degrees.
  2. In a sauté pan, add the gravy and ¼ cup chicken stock, whisking to combine. Add the cubed turkey, mushrooms, carrots and stuffing and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce seems too thick, stir in another ¼ cup chicken stock.)
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Warm your leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave.
  5. Pour the turkey and vegetables into the soufflé dish. Top the meat with a thin layer of mashed potatoes to cover the entire surface (this is the “crust” of Shepherd’s pie).
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for thirty minutes.

Once it's done, set aside to cool for a few minutes and then dig in! 

More ideas for lightening up your Thanksgiving leftovers:

  • Skip the mayo or butter on your turkey sandwich and use a little leftover cranberry sauce instead.
  • Double your vegetable amounts for Thanksgiving dinner so that you have plenty of leftover vegetables. You’ll then have plenty on hand to lighten up any leftover dishes you make, such as turkey soup or to toss in with pasta.
  • While you’re at it, roast those veggies! Many vegetables, especially the ones that make an appearance at the t-day table, taste really delicious when roasted. The added depth of flavor that roasting brings to Brussels sprouts, carrots and other root vegetables makes them stronger leftover contenders than vegetables that are simply boiled.

The great thing about cooking with leftovers is you’ve done so much of the prep work and cooking already! So treat your family to this easy and satisfying Shepherd’s Pie and then treat yourself to some well deserved downtime!