Whether you make this Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with stuffing crust for your Thanksgiving meal or use leftovers to make it the day after, you’re going to love this recipe. All the Thanksgiving flavors in bite after delicious bite!
This year, we took an early Thanksgiving meal down to Pinehurst. My mom made some of the food, and I made some of the food, and we all ate in Uncle Ray’s room at the nursing home. One of the many wonderful staff people there brought in a card table from the activities room so we wouldn’t have to serve from the bed, and we all enjoyed a rather festive and tasty time.
Norman Rockwell never painted a Thanksgiving scene like that. And none of us balancing a plate on our knees as we perched on the foam mattress or one of the walkers or wheelchairs would’ve believed that image if someone had mentioned it to us just three years ago. Time does Things to people and to families. It flows through us and around us and changes us. It smooths out rough edges through erosion. Erosion which seems to happen more quickly the older one gets. It leaves us breathless. It makes us more accepting. It requires that we cherish every moment. Because time doesn’t stop, even as we, one by one, fall out of its stream.
Our family meals—the Holiday ones anyway—were always rather formal affairs. There was plenty of laughter and conversation and gravy boats dropped in centerpieces, but there was also candlelight and fine china and polished silver and white tablecloths. There were forgotten bags of giblets left in 26-pound turkeys and stories where everyone broke something one year, but there was also prayer and ritual and nice clothes. There was always room for one more at the table, but nobody ever ate until the hostess was seated.
So, since we had enjoyed A Very Happy Nursing Home Thanksgiving on Saturday, the name of the game for our meal on Thursday was “relaxed.” I didn’t want a bajillion serving bowls. I didn’t want to have to count out serving spoons. What I wanted was comfort. And having just made the pot pie a couple of weeks ago, I figured that Something Similar would definitely fit the bill for Thanksgiving. Enter: Thanksgiving shepherd’s pie!
Here’s what I like to eat at Thanksgiving: beige stuff. Potatoes. Stuffing. Gravy. Turkey. In that order. But, to keep dinner from looking too monochromatic and institutional, I also tossed in some sweet peas, diced sweet potatoes and a big old handful of Craisins.
The beige parts played the part of the bottom crust (stuffing), top crust (mashed potatoes), and the rest of the filling (turkey chunks and gravy). Although we used chicken. But you can use turkey.
This dish is a wonderful way to use up your leftovers, so don’t feel like you must Strictly Adhere to this recipe. But do make the stuffing crust. It was Rather Awesome.
Make Turkey Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie with Stuffing Crust
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I used a blender to make the crust. Use the food processor. It'll be much easier. Trust me. My stuffing, if you're interested, contained cubed stale Italian bread, onion/celery/carrot (cut up itty bitty in the food processor and sauteed in a boatload of butter), mild pork sausage, dried cranberries, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, stock and an egg. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For the Crust
For the Potatoes
For the Filling
For the Crust
For the Mashed Potatoes
For the Filling
To Assemble and Bake
I used a blender to make the crust. Use the food processor. It'll be much easier. Trust me.
My stuffing, if you're interested, contained cubed stale Italian bread, onion/celery/carrot (cut up itty bitty in the food processor and sauteed in a boatload of butter), mild pork sausage, dried cranberries, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, stock and an egg.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you do decide to make turkey shepherd’s pie, either with your leftovers or for a low-key Thanksgiving main meal, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments!
How have your holiday traditions changed over the years?
Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day.