I’ve always liked the concept of Shepherds Pie, it’s a great way to use leftover pot roast – but what about using poultry as the main protein? A grocery store near my home often features fresh half turkey breasts on the bone and I love them. Because of their smaller size, it’s a great way to have turkey more often than just during the holidays, it’s easy to cook and you still get great turkey leftovers to boot. The only difference is that now I don’t have all of the other holiday side dishes to serve with the leftover turkey, and I wanted to try something a little different than just a turkey pot pie.
I’m beginning to wonder what I would do without Pinterest. What great way to find recipes from sites I would probably never find otherwise. My blog now also links to my taste.com and there you can find a compilation of tons of recipes from a variety of different food blogs. I’ve just started connecting with that site and if you want to find my recipes (and there are only a few of them featured right now but there will be more to come) just type in “jan geden” in the search engine and my recipes will pop up.
But this time I found a recipe on Pinterest that I adapted and to my surprise it turned out great. I am now becoming a little more sure of myself in the kitchen with a better understanding of what will and will not work, especially in high altitude. And although this was adapted from a recipe called turkey potato casserole from all recipes.com, it is my version of it with several changes I made based on what I had in my refrigerator at the time. So, here are my lessons learned and recipe rating.
RATING: A+ – I wish I could give it a few more pluses but the only drawback was the casserole did not get as hot as I would have liked it even with the time I added on to the original recipe. Next time I will bake it longer and at a slightly higher temperature. Otherwise it was very flavorful and definitely a great way to use leftovers in a casserole.
Lesson Learned 1: COOKING TIME – and once again as I’ve stated several times before, things take longer to cook in high altitude. The original recipe called for the casserole to bake for 30-40 minutes at 350. 350 to me automatically means at least 365-375. I baked it for 50 minutes at 365 and it was warm, but this recipe needs to be served piping hot. Next time I will do 375 for an hour and I bet it will be perfect.
Lesson Learned 2: ADAPTABILITY – I love this recipe because it is easily adaptable. The original recipe called for adding only onion and frozen green beans. When I read the reviews, someone suggested that they used peas instead of the beans. I liked that idea better. I also had some mushrooms (don’t I always) and a lot of carrots in my refrigerator. I chopped the onions and carrots, sliced the mushrooms and sautéed them until the carrots were softened and added them to the mixture along with some frozen peas. The next time I might even add a little chopped celery. The vegetable medley really added to the flavor of the dish in my opinion.
Lesson Learned 3: PRE-MADE MASHED POTATOES – what a time saver they were. The pre- made mashed potatoes that you can get now in the grocery stores are really very good. I think I got a tub of Country Crock garlic mashed potatoes, but any brand will do. All I did was microwave them for about 3 minutes, stir them and spread them on top of the casserole. It worked out perfectly.
Lesson Learned 4: CHEESE – the recipe called for cheddar cheese to be mixed with the cream of mushroom soup and the mashed potatoes. I decided to get a three cheese blend and I only mixed it with the soup and not the mashed potatoes. That way you save a little on the calorie side and the cheese blend, in my opinion, melted better than just using cheddar cheese alone.
Lesson Learned 5: LEFTOVERS – this also makes great leftovers and warms up very nicely after a few minutes in the microwave.
On average I’ve found that although casseroles have the appeal of a one pot meal, they generally take some work to put them together. And although this version involves some chopping and sautéing, the finished product is well worth the time and effort. I plan on making this one often it was that good. Enjoy!
Shepherds Pie Turkey Style…
2 cups diced cooked turkey meat
1 onion chopped
1 large clove of garlic chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots diced small
4 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
6 ounces shredded three cheese blend
3 TBS butter
1 tub (28 oz) pre-made mashed potatoes (or you can use leftover fresh mashed potatoes)
Preheat oven to 375. Dice turkey and put in the bottom of a 8×8 casserole dish. In a large pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions and carrots for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms. Continue to sauté until onions are translucent and carrots have started to soften. During the last minute of cooking add the garlic until the garlic becomes fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Microwave the mashed potatoes for approximately 3 minutes. While potatoes are in the microwave, mix the cheese and the soup together in a small bowl. After 3 minutes, take the potatoes out of the microwave and stir to soften.
Put the vegetable mixture over the turkey and spread the soup and cheese mixture on top of it. Spoon the softened mashed potatoes over the soup mixture and spread out evenly to cover the entire casserole.
Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.