Here's the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving turkey leftovers that will feed the family for the next week.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family!

Now you have just this week left to finish off all of that leftover turkey! I don't know about you, but I can hardly bring myself to open the refrigerator door, never mind think about eating a leftover turkey sandwich.

Every time I look at those Thanksgiving leftovers, all I can hear is Bubba's monologue from Forrest Gump (with "turkey" replacing "shrimp," of course): Dey's uh, turkey kabobs, turkey creole, turkey gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple turkey, lemon turkey, coconut turkey, pepper turkey, turkey soup, turkey stew ... "

What I'm getting at here is, I already cooked that dang turkey once. The last thing I want to do is cook it again ... and again ... and again. Still, something must be done with all the bonus bird ...

That's why I love the idea of a Turkey Pot Pie. You can basically use up ALL your leftover turkey making one (or several), and they freeze fabulously, so you don't even have to eat it today! Or tomorrow!

Thanksgiving leftovers recipe: Turkey pot pie

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients - For the filling:

  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onions, chopped (1 onion)
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup medium diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup medium diced celery
  • 1 cup sweet potato, small diced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped

Ingredients - For the pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper


In a small saucepan, heat the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock to the sauce.

Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the turkey, carrots, celery, onions, and thyme. Mix well and set aside.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour.

Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together.

Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle.

Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits on the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

* Originally published in 2011. Last updated in Nov 2023.