The name might not seem a fit, but this leftover turkey pie is delicious, easy, and a great way to use up some leftover turkey or chicken. The bechamel sauce makes such a difference!
Leftovers, for me, are an essential part of Christmas, and these days Thanksgiving. I’m sure part of the reason my mum made such a feast was to enjoy it for a few days. We would always have leftover stuffings and sausages for lunch then the turkey would be repurposed into various dinners.
I don’t think I can remember a year when my mum didn’t make ‘Australian pie’, a leftover turkey pie with raisins and bechamel. It’s an easy pie to make, a little unusual but so comforting and tasty.
Why ‘Australian pie’?
As a child I never questioned the name ‘Australian pie’ or ‘Aus pie’ as I always shortened it. It was just that pie my mum always made after Christmas that we all loved. But of course as an adult I wondered why on earth it was called that. I don’t even know anyone else who ever had it.
If I look up Australian pie, it gives me Australian meat pies, not any kind of leftover turkey pie. I believe it came from one of my mum’s old cookbooks but I don’t think there was any kind of explanation. So really, I have no idea but don’t let it put you off.
The weird name aside, this leftover turkey pie is also a bit unusual in the ingredients. Turkey (or chicken, as it works for both), raisins and a rich bechamel are not exactly common pairings but they really work, especially when wrapped in pastry.
It’s delicious served with some simple sides plus you can take any leftovers for lunch the next day too. I know, leftovers of leftovers, but it is great both cold and warm as the bechamel holds it all together and keeps the meat moist.
How to make this leftover turkey pie
This pie is really easy to make. You just make up a simple pastry in the food processor then line a deep plate or small pie dish. Fill it with turkey, raisins and top with bechamel before putting a pastry layer on top. Bake and enjoy.
See how easily it comes together in this short video:
A quick tip – I’d recommend cutting out the pastry for the top before the base to make sure it doesn’t have any cracks or joins. This matters much less for the bottom where you can piece it together a bit more.
Australian pie might be an unusual name for this leftover turkey pie, but it’s a delicious and easy way to repurpose some leftovers (by the way, I also shared a collection of holiday leftover recipes last year). The bechamel sauce keeps the turkey lovely and moist and holds it all together. The raisins add a delicious burst of sweetness. Simply comforting.
Try these other favorite ways to use leftover chicken or turkey:
- Vietnamese chicken salad
- Thai red curry (using leftovers)
- Pastilla (a North African savory pie)
- Thai style leftover chicken Buddha bowl
- Aji de gallina (Peruvian chicken stew)
- Plus get more lunch recipes in the archives.
'Australian pie' - leftover turkey pie with raisins and bechamel
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 240g, or all purpose/plain
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter 115g/1 stick - cold
- 1/3 cup milk 90ml - 1/3cup plus 2tsp
- 200 g cooked turkey or chicken
- 1/4 cup raisins 45g
- 1/2 tbsp butter 8g
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk 240ml, ideally warmed
- 1/2 cup cheddar 20g, finely grated, can also use Jarlesberg or similar
- 1 egg
- Put the flour and salt into the food processor. Cut the butter into small pieces, add them to the flour and pulse until it forms a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Add the milk a little at a time and pulse until it comes together - it won't form a ball but will clump. If it doesn't, add a little more milk. If you use AP/plain flour you may need slightly less milk.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, press it together and wrap in cling wrap/film. Chill for approx 30min.
- After it has chilled, preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
- Roll out the dough to about as thin as you are comfortable with (approx 0.1in/3mm). Upturn your baking dish/plate and use the edge to cut a circle for the top of the pie. Put this piece of pastry aside, piece the rest together to form roughly a circle and roll to join up then fill the base of your dish/plate and trim the edges.
- Roughly chop the turkey/chicken and spread across the base of the pie. Scatter over the raisins.
- Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the flour, stir and cook a minute until it becomes slightly nutty. Add the milk about 1/4cup at a time, removing from heat as you add the first couple times and mix in before adding more. Warm the sauce, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese and egg, mix in well and cook a minute longer then remove from the heat. Pour it over the turkey/chicken and raisins.
- Moisten the edge of the underneath pie crust with either water or milk then put the top that you set aside on top. Press down with your fingers to seal. Brush the top with milk to help it brown (optional) and cut a couple slits in the middle as vents.
- Bake for approx 30 minutes until gently brown on top. Best served warm but also good cold.
Plus more ideas to use up your leftovers from around the web:
- Country Skillet Breakfast by The Freshman Cook
- Mashed Potato Craisin Bread by Baking Sense
- Sweet Potato Casserole Waffles by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Brie Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas by Food Lust People Love
- Bubble Up Hot Brown Casserole by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cranberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Pizza by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Cranberry Pork Tenderloin by The Crumby Cupcake
- Creamed Spinach Turkey Pasta by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Healthy Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Apple Salsa by Food Done Light
- Leftover Turkey Pasta with Mushrooms by Cooking Chat
- Turkey Alfredo Stuffed Shells by Palatable Pastime
- Turkey Broccoli and Cheddar Pot Pie by Cookin’ Mimi
- Turkey Grilled Cheese with Cranberry and Brie by Life Tastes Good
- Turkey Pot Pie Casserole by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Turkey Shepard’s Pie by Monica’s Table
- Baked Mashed Potato Pancakes by Pies and Plots
- Leftover Mashed Potato Puff Casserole by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Lemony Chicken-Lentil Soup with Couscous by What Smells So Good?