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Wild Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Brad Fenson

ground turkey shepherd's pie

Once you start grinding some of your turkey meat, you’ll find there’s never enough of it. The best problem an avid turkey hunter could face is not having enough meat in the freezer to keep family and friends happy. Step up, take one for the team, and get back into the turkey woods to tag some lean protein.

Shepherd’s Pie is often described as comfort food, with a creamy gravy, mashed potatoes, and generous portions of ground meat. Perhaps this recipe would be better named “Gobble Up This Pie.” 

If you have friends in turkey camp that don’t save the thighs, it opens the door to increase the volume of ground turkey you have to work with until next season. Thigh and breast meat grind well and offer a moist, flavorful product to work with and cook. The nice part about using ground turkey in Shepherd’s Pie is you can taste the wonderful flavor of the bird and never have to worry about it being tough or drying out. It is sure to be a hit with the whole family and is a great dish to make in advance to take to hunting camp.


Mashed potatoes:

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter, divided in half
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Meat mixture:

  • ¼ lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 ½ lbs ground wild turkey 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into even-sized cubes and boil in salted water until fork tender. Drain the water and leave the lid off the pot so the steam can escape, and the potatoes dry up a bit. Add the milk, ¼ cup of the butter, and sour cream and mash. Stir in the egg, season with salt and pepper, and continue mashing until relatively smooth. Cook the meat mixture while the potatoes are boiling.
  2. Fry the bacon in a Camp Chef cast iron frying pan or a non-stick skillet until browned. Remove some of the bacon fat, leaving a couple of tablespoons in the pan. Brown the turkey and fry until mostly cooked. Add the thyme, paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the turkey and sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the peas and corn, then sprinkle the flour over everything and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Pour in the stock, add the sour cream and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the mixture in a 9”x 13” casserole dish or other comparable pan and top with mashed potatoes. Level out the potatoes and dollop the remaining ¼ cup of butter evenly over the top.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 20-30 minutes until the gravy begins to bubble on the sides. If the potatoes aren’t browned, just place under the broiler for a few minutes.
Research To Hunt Turkeys All Season Long
I like to hunt public lands because public lands give me the opportunity to stretch my legs and cover a lot of ground. I don’t have the ability or the finances to buy enough land to keep me occupied throughout turkey season. But with the national forests, state forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and other public lands that I can hunt, I can cover an awful lot of ground during opening season in

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