One of my favorite things about fall is casseroles! And soup, of course, but right now I want to talk about this one we call Cheesy Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie.
I looooove a good shepherd’s pie, and have shared my extended family’s traditional shepherd’s pie, which also has cheese in it – because we do love our cheese! – and our super quick and easy upside down shepherd’s pie.
But this one is different.
It’s a true original. Departing from traditional shepherd’s pie recipes in a big way, and it’s become a huge favorite for Gabe and I.
Over the last few years, we’ve come to love the flavor of broccoli and cheese, and I find myself adding it to many versions of soup and casseroles.
And that sparked an idea – I bet it would be good in shepherd’s pie too!
It’s such a great way to get green vegetables in you kids without them really knowing what’s going on, since, if you cook it well, the broccoli texture just sort of disappears into the gravy of the casserole.
And of course, I would be remiss not to mention that this is a GREAT way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers this fall in a healthy way, using up leftover turkey, mashed potatoes (or you could sub leftover stuffing for the potatoes!), and gravy (just replace the milk/cornstarch and some of the cooking liquid with your gravy).
You know I’m all about prepping ahead and having a plan for Thanksgiving this year with frozen pumpkin pie filling, and our frozen gluten-free pie crusts, and it’s no different with planning how to use the leftovers!
This recipe makes a big, deep, 9×13 casserole dish full, so it’s great for a large family, a church potluck (whenever we start doing that sort of thing again!), or for making once and serving twice.
It takes a little time to whip up the components from scratch on days you’re not using up Thanksgiving leftovers, but it’s worth it for the delicious, vegetable-packed, cheesey flavor you get.
This cheesy broccoli shepherd’s pie is a great family meal to put a little variety and extra nutrition on the table!
A couple notes:
- Though the recipe calls for chopped chicken or turkey, I often use browned ground turkey or pork sausage (since we have been raising hogs, we have a lot of good, lean pork sausage on hand), and it’s delicious! So yeah. Use the meat you have. Don’t let the recipe dictate.
- We mainly use cheddar cheese, but I also love the flavors of Monterey jack, or Colby. If you want to add some spice, pepper jack would also be a good option!
- Corn is optional in my opinion. My kids love it, and it adds some nice color, but I would prefer to sub more broccoli in its place. Remember, this is a casserole, not a cake, so don’t be afraid to customize!
- Another customization for my kids – half an onion instead of a whole. I hope your kids don’t object to flavor like mine. 😉
Cheesy Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- 3 lbs potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 2–3 cups frozen broccoli florest
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 2 cups cooked, chopped turkey or chicken, or 1 lb or browned ground turkey
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 cups mik (divided)
- 1/4 cup (half stick) or butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cube potatoes. Cover with water, and simmer until tender
- While potatoes are cooking, chop onions and carrots
- Combine with corn, and broccoli in a second large pan, and cover with turkey stock
- Simmer until broccoli and carrots are tender
- When broccoli is done, add turkey or chicken
- Stir in cheese
- Combine 1 cup of milk with corn starch, and then add to broccoli mixture, stirring until thickened
- Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste!
- When potatoes are done, mash with salt and pepper
- Tip: Don’t add butter and milk until potatoes are fairly well mashed. This helps get the lumps out.
- Add butter and milk, and mash well
- Pour broccoli/turkey mixture into a greased 9×13 casserole
- Top with mashed potatoes
- Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes until the gravy under the potatoes in bubbling up.
- Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
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