Simple Supper Friday: Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


Shepherd’s pie is one of Jesse’s favorite meals, so when I told him I was contemplating making it with some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, his eyes lit up. It has been a long time since I made shepherd’s pie and quite honestly, the last time was maybe even a year ago, when I shared my winter squash variation. I adore the winter squash version, but I think I like it even better with mashed cauliflower. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with buttery, mashed cauliflower anyway.

If you don’t have any leftover turkey on hand, don’t fret. It has been over a week now since Thanksgiving, so this is probably the case for many of you. Anyway, just use leftover chicken, a store-bought rotisserie chicken or even ground meat (this is what I normally use, actually). Make it work with what you have!

Meanwhile, it’s snowing here in Portland today. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it coming down in yoga early this morning. It’s not much, but it’s still pretty and enough to commence panic in the city. Portland doesn’t know how to handle the littlest bit of snow and being from Michigan, I think it’s pretty darn funny!

Happy weekend!


  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 10 oz bag organic frozen broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup homemade bone broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk (I used this)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2.5 cups leftover turkey meat (I used a mix of white and dark)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter



  1. Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, with the lid on and tilted slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer florets for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside once done.
  2. Meanwhile, melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the broth, coconut cream or milk, oregano, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir well and then add the frozen broccoli.
  3. After a few minutes, once broccoli has softened a bit, add the leftover turkey. Stir well to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Then preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. While oven is preheating, place the cooked cauliflower in the food processor container with the butter. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides in the container as needed. Taste and add more butter, sea salt or pepper, if desired.
  6. Spread mashed cauliflower on top of the meat mixture evenly. By now, the oven is probably ready, so place the dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top has some golden brown color.
  7. Let cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!

Yields: 4 servings


14 thoughts on “Simple Supper Friday: Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Ashley Sara December 6, 2013 / 10:45 am

    I love that you’re able to transform a traditionally not-so-healthy meal into a nourishing and delightful masterpiece!

    • paleoinpdx December 6, 2013 / 11:12 am

      Me too! And, the thing is, it’s pretty darn easy to do.

  2. thekoshercavegirl December 6, 2013 / 11:27 am

    This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try your take on this awesome Paleo comfort food!

    • paleoinpdx December 6, 2013 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to report back if you try it!

  3. Paula December 7, 2013 / 4:19 am

    I’m excited to try this for 2 reasons–it looks deliciously comforting (the temp got down into the teens here in NE Indiana last night) and this is the perfect dish to try in my new oven (early Christmas present–just installed yesterday)! I’ve been surviving with the stovetop, crockpot, grill and an ancient little toaster oven for a long time. Luckily, paleo cooking is pretty easy even without a big oven, but I’ve been longing to roast a whole chicken and make these types of recipes. I have that chicken prepped for lunch so now I know what I’m doing with leftovers!!

    • paleoinpdx December 9, 2013 / 9:26 am

      Yay for a new oven! That’s exciting, especially after not having one for some time. I agree that paleo is pretty easy without the big oven. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the dish. It is indeed comforting!

    • Paula December 9, 2013 / 1:12 pm

      A little update–this is really good with leftover chicken and I love thyme!! I’d like to try it with a winter squash topping too. Great comfort food!

      • paleoinpdx December 12, 2013 / 12:51 pm

        Great, thanks for the update! Glad you liked it 😉

  4. Amy December 28, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Used paleo mayo in place of coconut milk—great!

    • paleoinpdx December 29, 2017 / 6:37 am

      Great idea! I may have to give that a try! Thanks for sharing and trying the recipe. 🙂

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