Turkey Layer Casserole

We all need quick and easy fall-back recipes that we can put together without too much effort, using things we have on hand and don’t have to think too hard about. These meals also tend to be cheap precisely because we don’t have to acquire special ingredients.

Although this particular combination is most likely to appear in the winter, it is perfectly amenable to a cool spring or summer day, because it takes advantage of (seasonal) leftovers that were previously frozen and it can use frozen leeks. (I haven’t tried freezing leftover creamed leeks; we tend to eat them very quickly!) I haven’t indicated any herbs and spices because there’s already a strong flavour in the ginger leeks, and the meat would have had seasoning when it was first cooked. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding a few of your own favourites before baking, or having salt and pepper on the table.Picture of casserole cut to show layers

Serves 4


A few scraps Sliced ham (lunchmeat) or cooked bacon pieces
Up to a pint Frozen turkey dark meat in stock, defrosted
2 cups leftover boiled potatoes
2 cups Creamy ginger leeks (leftover is fine)
1 cup Shredded cheese (any kind that melts attractively)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
  2. Toss cut up ham/bacon into bottom of a 2-quart casserole.Picture of bits of ham in bottom of casserole dish
  3. Cut turkey meat into bite-sized chunks and place on top of ham. Save and refrigerate the stock the turkey had been frozen in for gravy or soup to be made in the next day or so. Some stock will cling to the meat; don’t worry. A little bit of stock in the bottom layer will minimize sticking and help keep the meat from drying out. But if there’s too much liquid, the layers won’t hold together.Picture of chopped turkey meat layer
  4. Prepare leeks if you don’t have leftovers; spread in a layer over the turkey.Picture of creamed leeks added to casserole
  5. Mash potatoes and spread layer over the leeks. (Notice I keep the potato skins!)Picture of mashed potatoes added to casserole
  6. Top with shredded cheese. Use whatever you’ve got, whether it’s a regular standby or bits and bobs of leftovers from a cheese-board. The stronger the cheese, the more impact its flavour will have.
  7. Bake for one half hour or a bit longer, until heated through (everything is already cooked) and top is a bit crunchy.  If it’s not brown enough for you, give it a few minutes under the grill. (You can also  reheat any leftovers in the oven or under the grill.)
  8. Serve simply and enjoy!

I'm an American living in the UK, combining rural Mid-west ideas about food with a suburban coastal British reality. It's fun!

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Posted in Kitchen Economy, Leftovers, Recipes

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Sharing a lifetime of experience of kitchen challenges. Respecting food and making the most of what's available. Read more on my About page.
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March 2015
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