Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole with Mashed Potato Topping! It’s similar to a turkey pot pie (but with stuffing crust) crossed with shepherd’s pie.
Whatever you call it, it’s the perfect way to give your holiday leftovers a delicious second life.
What is Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole and Why Does it Taste So Good?
Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole is your new go-to for using up holiday extras. Imagine a pie, but the crust is stuffing, the filling is turkey and gravy, and the top is all mashed potatoes.
The stuffing crust gets crispy and holds everything together. It’s the ultimate base for the juicy turkey and gravy filling.
Veggies add color and a fresh bite, balancing out all the richness. The mashed potatoes on top are creamy and buttery. It’s all the best parts of Thanksgiving in one epic dish.
(If you’re still in the planning stages of Thanksgiving dinner, don’t miss my no-stress guide to planning and prepping a turkey dinner – much of it can be made ahead of time!).
Gather Your Ingredients
Get everything you need for this leftover feast—each ingredient plays a crucial role:
- Leftover Stuffing: Forms the delicious crust that holds the casserole together. I love this herbed Apple Stuffing for Turkey.
- Egg (optional): Helps bind the stuffing crust for extra sturdiness.
- Leftover Turkey: The main protein, adding substance and heartiness to the casserole. (If you’re starting from the ground up, here’s my easy way to cook a turkey)
- Leftover Gravy: Adds moisture and flavor, making the turkey even more delicious. Here’s my favorite Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy.
- Leftover Vegetables: Anything goes, from glazed carrots (pictured) to my fav crispy roasted brussels sprouts with bacon. Incorporates essential nutrients and color, giving a balanced taste and texture.
- Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Makes the creamy, fluffy topping that everyone loves.
- Butter: Adds a final touch of richness and flavor to the mashed potato topping.
Variations and Substitutions
Switch things up or make do with what you have using these ideas:
- Cranberry Sauce Layer: Add a thin layer of cranberry sauce for a tart contrast.
- Sweet Potato Topping: Use leftover sweet potatoes for a different flavor.
- Cheese Addition: Sprinkle some shredded cheese between layers or on top for extra gooeyness.
- Different Vegetables: Feel free to use any thawed frozen vegetables you have, like corn, mixed veggies or peas, if you don’t have enough leftover.
How to make Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole: Easy Step-by-Step Directions
Transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a scrumptious casserole with these simple steps:
For the Stuffing Crust
- Moisten Stuffing: This step keeps the crust from becoming too dry and helps it bind together, especially if you’re using egg.
- Form Stuffing Crust: Press moistened stuffing into a pie dish to create the base layer; it holds the rest of the ingredients.
- Pre-Bake Crust: Firms up the stuffing, making it sturdy enough to hold the filling.
For the Assembly and Baking
- Combine Turkey and Gravy: Mix these together for the filling, ensuring each bite is juicy and flavorful.
- Add Filling to Crust: Lay this mixture in the crust, pressing it down to pack the flavors.
- Layer Vegetables: Adds color and nutrients; works as a separator between the meat and potatoes.
- Prep Mashed Potato Topping: Spooning it on forms the final layer; dot with butter for extra flavor.
- Final Bake: Brings all the components together and heats it to a food-safe temperature. Use foil if needed to prevent over-browning.
Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole Make Ahead and Storage
Keep your casserole fresh and delicious for later with these storage tips:
- Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole a day in advance; store it in the fridge before the final bake.
- Refrigerate: Once baked, cool it down and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Freeze the unbaked or fully baked casserole for up to a month; thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating: Warm it in the oven at 350°F until heated through to 165°F; you can also use a microwave for quicker reheating.
Other Turkey Dinner Leftovers Recipes to Try:
Turkey Poutine – cheesy, french fry goodness, smothered in gravy.
Leftover Turkey Stew with Mashed Potato Dumplings. ‘Nuff said.
Classic Turkey Pot Pie with Crust – it’s an easy recipe and a classic for a reason.
Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole
For the Stuffing Crust:
- 2 cups leftover stuffing
- 1 egg optional, helps to bind the crust
For the Filling:
- 2 cups leftover turkey shredded or diced
- 1 cup leftover gravy
- 2 cups leftover vegetables cooked carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, etc.
For the Mashed Potato Topping:
- 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 4 tsp butter
- Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Prepare Crust: If your stuffing is dry, moisten it with a bit of broth or water. Optionally, mix in one beaten egg to help bind it together. Press the stuffing into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish to form a crust.
- Pre-Bake Crust: Place the pie dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes to firm up the crust.
- Assemble Filling: In a large bowl, combine the shredded turkey and gravy.
- Add Turkey Mixture and Vegetables: Spoon the turkey mixture into the pre-baked stuffing crust. Press down slightly to make sure the filling is evenly distributed. Add the vegetables in a layer on top.
- Prepare Mashed Potato Topping: Spoon the potatoes on top of the turkey and vegetable filling in the pie dish. Dot with the butter.
- Bake: Place the pie back in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through to 165ºF. If the mashed potatoes are browning too much, tent the casserole with foil.
Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD