Kalyn's Kitchen

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping is a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers, or make it with chicken if you prefer. And if you check the nutritional information, this is surprisingly low in carbs!

PIN Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping!

Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping finished dish with one serving in bowl

Yes, I realize a lot of you are still looking for Thanksgiving Recipes, but in the weird world of food blogging I’ve already tested a few recipes for leftover turkey and fallen in love with this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping. The days we sampled this recipe my nephew and cooking assistant Jake kept saying “This is really good” every time he took a bite.

The recipe uses turkey gravy, but if you don’t have any leftover gravy from Thanksgiving, you really should buy some gravy (like we did!) and give this recipe a try. We looked for the lowest-carb turkey gravy we could find, and this is much lower in carbs than the usual Shepherd’s Pie Recipes you’ll find, even with the purchased gravy!

Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping process shots collage

How to Make Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Cut up the cauliflower and cook with the garlic cloves for 12-15 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain cauliflower very well.
  2. We used a hand beater to whip the cauliflower and garlic like you would potatoes, adding a little milk, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. While cauliflower cooks, saute the onion in a little olive oil, then add the poultry seasoning.
  4. I used one cup each of finely diced carrots and frozen peas. Cook the carrots in the microwave for about 3 minutes to barely soften them.
  5. You’ll need about 3 cups diced leftover turkey.  We cut our turkey into chunks about 1 inch square.
  6. I wanted to use turkey gravy to hold the filling together and flavor it, so I looked for the lowest carb gravy I could find and this one that I found at Costco has 3 carbs in 1/4 cup or 21 carbs in the 1 3/4 cups I used in the recipe.  It’s hard to make a diet-friendly recipe that has gravy, but this is definitely not too bad for a dish that makes 8 servings.
  7. Add the turkey, partially cooked carrots, peas, and gravy to the pan and simmer a few minutes so the gravy thickens a little more.
  8. Spray an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish with non-stick spray and spread the turkey mixture in the bottom.
  9. Then spread the mashed garlic-parmesan cauliflower mixture over that.
  10. Top with grated cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the casserole is bubbly. Serve hot.

More Ideas for Leftover Turkey:

Turkey Recipes Index from Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Leftover Turkey Casserole with Brown Rice and Mushrooms from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Gluten-Free Turkey Pot Pie from Gluten-Free Easily
Low-Carb Turkey Casserole from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping finished dish with one serving in bowl

Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

This Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping is a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers, or make it with chicken if you don't have any turkey.


Filling Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup raw carrots, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups diced leftover turkey, cut into pieces about 1 inch square
  • 1 3/4 cups turkey gravy (use the gravy with the lowest amount of carbs you can find)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese blend

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 2 T milk
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Chop cauliflower into small pieces and simmer with the garlic cloves until it’s soft enough to mash easily.
  4. Drain cauliflower very well; then use an immersion blender, food processor, or hand beater to combine the cauliflower with the milk and Parmesan.
  5. Season the mashed cauliflower with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  6. While the cauliflower cooks, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the onion 3-4 minutes, then add the Poultry Seasoning (affiliate link) and saute about 1 minute more.
  7. Put the chopped carrots in a glass measuring cup, cover with cling-wrap, and microwave about 3 minutes, or just until barely starting to soften.
  8. Add the partially cooked carrots, diced turkey, peas, and turkey gravy to the pan and simmer on low for 10 minutes, or until the gravy is slightly thickened.
  9. Spray an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish with non-stick spray.  (You need a dish with fairly high sides. You can use a slightly bigger dish and have a thinner finished product if needed.)
  10. Spread the turkey-vegetable mixture in the bottom of the dish.
  11. Top with the cauliflower, using a rubber scraper to spread it out so it covers the filling.
  12. Top with the grated cheese.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and the top is lightly browned.
  14. Serve hot.


This freezes well; to reheat, cook in microwave for a few minutes or heat in an oven or toaster oven in a small ovenproof dish covered with foil.

Recipe created by Kalyn and Jake.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
I used mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes and looked for the lowest-carb variety of turkey gravy I could find to make this a lower-carb dish for the original South Beach Diet or other carb-conscious eating plans. And even though the gravy does contain some flour and the dish has carrots and peas, this is surprisingly low in carbs. You could skip the peas and carrots and use lower-carb veggies like red peppers and broccoli if you wanted to reduce the carbs even more.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Casserole Recipes to find more tasty ideas like this one! Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping

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    28 Comments on “Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping”

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes - Simply Stacie | Top 10

  2. Do you think that I could ROAST the cauliflower before mashing? This brings out so much more flavor!

  3. I substituted the turkey gravy out with mushroom gravy that I made with mushrooms, Better than Bouillon Mushroom Base, and a touch of cornstarch. It has very few carbs and could be a good substitute for South Beach. I also added some worcestershire to the turkey and additional mushrooms in the filling to finish out the umami profile. This is recipe is going to go into high rotation! Thanks.

  4. I adore shepherd's pie, but I've never tried cauliflower topping. This will be excellent. I have included your recipe in my March Real Food Meal Plan. Thanks for sharing!