Make-ahead Christmas Casserole



We may be familiar with shepherd's pie made from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner leftovers.  But this is a bit of a different spin on the classic favorite...a casserole that includes stuffing, turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and is prepared in advance to makes it easy to serve a turkey dinner to the masses.  I got the recipe from a friend who has prepared this dish to serve a crowd of over 100 at a community Christmas dinner for several years.  I served it for a family Christmas dinner for 40 people that I hosted at another location last year, doing four times the recipe shown below.  It is easy to transport and reheat and with all the prep done in advance, it frees up time and kitchen space on the day of the event. We served this casserole buffet-style, along with cranberry sauce, several cooked veggies, a green salad and dinner rolls. It was enjoyed by all and I will be making it again.

  • 2 boxes stuffing mix (or homemade stuffing from 5 cups bread cubes)
  • 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning 
  • 5 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup roasted turkey drippings
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (or 5 1/2 cups mashed potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, divided
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese (herb and garlic flavour)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Mix stuffing mix as per box directions, but with an additional 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning added to liquids. Spread in greased 9x13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, chicken soup, drippings and 1/4 cup sour cream.  Spoon over stuffing mixture.
  3. Boil potatoes in a Dutch oven or large pot until tender. Drain potatoes. Mash in a large bowl, beating in the cream cheese, pepper, salt and remaining sour cream. (Add 1/4 cup milk if the mixture seems too thick.) Spread over turkey mixture. 
  4. Sprinkle with cheese. 
  5.  Bake uncovered at 350°F for about 45 minutes (or until thermometer inserted in center reaches 160°).  
Serves: 8-10

 *Turkey can be cooked and carved well in advance. Be sure to save drippings for the sauce.



4 comments:

  1. This would be such a great potluck idea for small group!

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  2. Judy this looks so delicious and I love that you can multiply it for more people. I hope I have lots of left over turkey to make this recipe.

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  3. What a brilliant idea for a buffet, large or small. I know my family would love this, I will tuck away a container of turkey and drippings in the freezer and make this sometime in January, supplementing the turkey with a bit of cooked chicken if I'm short.

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  4. This reminds me of my SIL idea. As she was once cleaning up the Christmas dinner, she was assembling a "shepherds pie" type casserole with the leftovers. She layers the turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravy and mashed potatoes and then puts it in the freezer immediately for "turkey shepherds pie" on another day. I am not sure if she sprinkled the cheese on top before she baked hers, but I sure would do that!

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