Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
This rich and delicious Chicken Shepherd’s Pie is layered with sautéed leeks, lean shredded chicken or left-over turkey, and sweet corn all in a creamy white gravy that is topped with velvety smooth mashed potatoes. With only 30 minutes of hands-on time, this one-pan dish is a relatively effortless recipe to whip-up when a comfort food mood strikes!
I originally shared this recipe for Chicken and Leek Sheherd’s Pie on February 17, 2015. I have updated the photos and text to share it with you today.
Why We Love This Recipe For Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
When cool weather sneaks upon us, I always look forward to making homemade Shepherd’s Pie. To me, it’s the perfect all-in-one dish that warms you from the inside out!
Shepherd’s Pie is a savory meat pie that is mixed with sweet vegetables, luscious gravy and topped with smooth mashed potatoes. In the UK, from where the dish hails, it is typically made with lamb. Here it is often made with ground beef. Try my version of Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Here or my Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie topped with squash. The whole casserole is then browned in the oven to form a crust-like topping that is perfectly crisp on the top and creamy underneath.
This Chicken Shepherd’s Pie is an adaptation of Aimee Wimbush-Bourque’s “Chicken Leek Shepherd’s Pie” recipe from her book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars. While the original recipe calls solely for chicken, this dish is wonderful with left-over chicken, left-over Thanksgiving turkey, or even a rotisserie chicken from the local grocery store.
And while we know many of you may be intimidated to make a shepherd’s pie – we’re here to tell you not to worry! This recipe is simple, straightforward, uncomplicated, and just what you’ll need on a chilly evening to hit the spot.
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
Cooked Chicken or Turkey
This recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked left-over chicken, left-over turkey, or rotisserie chicken. You can chop it or shred it depending on which you prefer.
Leftover mashed potatoes are needed to top this meat pie. While I find that the flavor of my Simple Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes complements richness of this dish quite well, feel free to use your favorite mashed potato recipe to top this casserole. Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes would also be lovely.
You can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream to make the gravy extra creamy. If you are looking to lighten up the calories use half the amount of cream, and thin it with chicken broth to make up the difference.
Use only the white and light green parts of the leek. I also find that their mild onion-like, slightly sweet flavor complements the savory undertones of the dish really well.
Sweet corn is a low fat, high fiber vegetable that adds a natural sweetness to this savory dish. While I prefer to use thawed frozen corn, feel free to use canned – just be sure to drain any excess liquid and rinse it prior to adding to skillet.
Chicken Stock or Broth
For the rest of the sauce you’ll want chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth. While using chicken stock will produce a richer flavor gravy, low-sodium chicken broth is a great option to use if you are running low on time and can’t make your stock.
Salt content in butters varies from brand-to-brand and in a recipe, salt either enhances or masks flavors. To control the salt in this dish, be sure to use unsalted butter. However, if you are unable to locate unsalted, just reduce the amount of additional salt by a 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup of butter.
To thicken the sauce, we used all-purpose flour. For gluten-free alternatives, we suggest using a cornstarch slurry instead of trying to use gluten-free flours.
Fresh parsley has a mild bitter and peppery taste which enhances the savory elements of this dish. Here it is finely chopped and sprinkled on top to garnish and to give the dish a pop of color. If you are unable to locate fresh, feel free to leave off.
Salt and Pepper
Note that we recommend table salt for this recipe. You may use kosher salt instead, but you will want to double the amount.
Black pepper has a distinct earthiness to its flavor that pairs extremely well with the savory flavors of the meat, the sweetness of the corn, and the creaminess of the mashed potatoes.
Step By Step Instructions To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Sautee Leek
In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or stove-to-oven casserole, heat butter over medium high heat. Add leek and cook until softened and starting to brown.
Step 2: Make Gravy
Sprinkle flour over cooked leek and stir to coat. Whisk in broth and then gradually stir in cream. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until sauce is thickened.
Step 3: Assemble Shepherd’s Pie
Stir in chicken, corn, parsley, salt and pepper to leek mixture and remove from heat. Top with mashed potatoes.
Step 4: Bake Pie
Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and potatoes are browned. Serve immediately and enjoy!
FAQ And Expert Tips For This Chicken Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Leftover shepherd’s pie can be stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Of course – Shepherd’s Pie is a wonderful make ahead meal! To make ahead, prepare through step 3. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, continue with the last two remaining steps on the recipe card, keeping in mind that the dish may need any extra 10 to 15 minutes to warm all the way through in step 5.
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional savory British dish that is made with ground or “minced” or diced lamb, whereas Cottage Pie has a minced beef filling. Both pies include a mixture of sweet vegetables, gravy, and are topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and baked off until golden brown.
Cumberland Pie on the other hand is a variation of the above. While the base of a Cumberland Pie is the same as a Shepherd’s or Cottage, it is finished off a little different. Prior to baking the mashed potatoes are topped with breadcrumbs for an added crunchy texture.
More Recipes To Try This Season
If you are looking for additional ways to use your leftover chicken or turkey this Chicken and Biscuit Casserole is a hearty and filling casserole chock-full of flavorful fresh veggies and herbs. It is an easy-to-whip up dish that the whole family will love!
These Simple Brussels Sprouts are so easy to make and tossed in a simple garlic butter and olive oil sauce. They pair well with the flavors of this healthy chicken shepherd’s pie.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is a 20-minute side dish full of finely sliced raw Brussels sprouts that are made into a healthy and festive slaw. It pairs well with the flavors in this casserole, and it is also the perfect dish to serve along with any holiday, fall, or wintertime meal.
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This homemade Chicken Shepherd’s Pie is perfect for cold weather, hearty, and packed with wholesome ingredients like left-over chicken, rotisserie chicken, or left-over turkey in a creamy leek sauce that is topped with sweet corn and creamy mashed potatoes for a healthy twist on traditional classic.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 ½ cup chopped leek, white and pale green part only
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 cups cooked, shredded cooked chicken, turkey, or rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or stove-to-oven casserole over medium high heat. Add leek and cook, stirring often until softened and starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the leeks and stir to coat. Stir in stock (or broth) followed by cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring often until the sauce is thick, about 5 minutes. Stir chicken, corn, parsley, salt and pepper into the leek mixture, and remove from the heat.
- Layer the corn on top of the chicken. Top with the mashed potatoes.
- Bake until the potatoes are starting to brown and heated through and the sauce is bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.
To Make Ahead: Can be prepared through step 3 up to 2 days in advance. Store covered with aluminum foil in the refrigerator.
- Serving Size: 1/6th casserole
- Calories: 300
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 1 g
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 25 g