A Simpler Chicken Pot Pie

posted by Andrea | 03/27/2014

simpler chicken pot pie

Over three years ago, I posted a recipe for Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie — and it’s been a big traffic generator ever since.

I can’t say I’m surprised as it’s honestly one of our FAVORITE recipes, and although it’s definitely more of a cold weather comfort food, I make it year round since we just love it so much.

There’s something about having all your meat, veggies, and potatoes wrapped up in a flaky pastry crust that always sounds delicious — which is nice since this recipe is one of those that tastes amazing as leftovers.

However, while this recipe does get a lot of traffic, I’ve also gotten a bunch of emails, comments, and questions about this recipe, if there are any ways to simplify it, how I would freeze it, etc. And just last month, my sister told me she was making ANOTHER Pot Pie recipe because mine sounded too complicated for her… not cool!

So I’ve been pondering a few ideas to simplify this recipe (even though it honestly isn’t that bad in my opinion) and I’ve come up with basically the same recipe — just a few less steps, a few less ingredients, and hopefully a little less intimidating!

Recipe for ONE Chicken Pot Pie:

{Print this recipe}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 T. oil or butter
  • 1 small onion; diced
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced (or 1 t. garlic powder)
  • 3 c. broth or water
  • 2 carrots; peeled & diced
  • 1 large potato; peeled & diced
  • 2 T. butter
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 c. additional veggies (frozen corn, peas, broccoli, canned mushrooms, etc)
  • 1-2 c. cooked chicken; shredded
  • 1 t. basil, thyme, and poultry seasoning (this is just what I use, it’s not a huge deal if you don’t have these exact spices in the house)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15-oz. pkg. pie crust (2 crusts total)

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a medium stock pot, sauté onions and garlic in oil or butter.
  • Add broth/water, potatoes, and carrots. Simmer until veggies are tender (about 10 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, melt 2T. butter in a bowl in the microwave.
  • Add flour and milk to melted butter and whisk until well combined.
  • Add milk mixture to veggies AND broth and stir until thickened.
  • Add chicken, herbs, additional frozen or canned veggies, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir until heated through.
  • Pour contents into a 9” pie plate lined with one pie crust. Cover with top crusts and cut several slits for steam.
  • Bake in a preheated oven (350 F) for 45-55 minutes.

So that’s it — just boil the veggies, thicken the broth into a gravy, dump everything into a pie crust, and bake.

This is honestly the simplest recipe I can come up with that does NOT use cream of chicken soup — and although I’m not against using cream of chicken soup, it definitely doesn’t taste nearly as delicious as when you make the “gravy” sauce from scratch.

Plus, aside from a knife, a stock pot, a bowl, and a spoon, there are almost no dishes to wash after making this meal — so I promise it’s really NOT as overwhelming as you might think.

And if Nora likes it, I’m pretty sure your kids will too!

A Few More Question:

I’ve gotten a lot of similar questions over the years, so here are some of those answers:

Can I freeze this? 

Yes, BUT I would only freeze the filling — not the entire pie. I will often make a double or triple batch of the filling, cook one pie for dinner, and then put the rest of the filling in a freezer container for later. When I want to make a pot pie again, I simply defrost the filling, dump it into a prepared pie crust, and bake. If you freeze the entire pie, it will take FOREVER to bake and the crust will most likely be soggy. Plus, it will take up more room in your freezer.

Can I make it ahead? 

Again, yes… BUT I would just make the filling ahead of time and store it in a food storage container in the fridge (it should keep for a few days). Then, when it’s time to bake the pie, pour the ready-made filling into the crust and bake.

Does it taste good as leftovers?

Oh my word… yes! This is one of our favorite leftover dishes — perfect for lunch the next day or another dinner later in the week.

Can I mix and match veggies? 

Yes, of course! You can use whatever veggies you have on hand — the main thing is that you have at least 3 cups of veggies to adequately fill the crust.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re using fresh veggies, you’ll want to add those first so they can simmer and cook through. If you’re using frozen or canned veggies, you can add them at the end so they don’t get too mushy. Also, make sure the veggies are chopped quite small otherwise it could be a bit awkward to eat!

And you could easily make this a vegetarian dish by adding 5 or more cups of veggies and omitting the chicken.

What types of meat can I use?

I’ve honestly never made this with anything other than shredded chicken or turkey, but I know people who have made it with ground turkey, ground beef, shredded pork, and even chopped ham.

I almost always have 2-cup bags of cooked and chopped turkey and chicken in the freezer so that’s why I usually just stick to the traditional — but feel free to experiment if you have different meats on hand. The biggest thing is just to make sure the meat is FULLY COOKED before you add it to the pie.

 Ok, I think that’s about it for the main questions I get.

And honestly, this is a really simple recipe — especially if you use frozen veggies and have your meat cooked ahead of time. Plus, the fact that you can freeze the filling for later makes it possible to double or triple the “fruits of your labor”

simpler chicken pot pie

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16 comments

  1. jenna

    03/27/2014

    This looks great as-is! The only other possible shortcut I could think of would be to omit the carrots/potatoes and buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables (which would likely have the diced carrots anyway). Also having pre-cooked chicken and pre-chopped/frozen onions would help. Thanks for a great recipe!

    [Reply]

  2. Linda B

    03/27/2014

    My dh would like this; I’m going to give it a try.
    So good to see Nora eating it; I’m amazed!

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  3. Jennifer M.

    03/27/2014

    I tried a recipe like this…..from a preview magazine of allrecipes.com. It is practically the same recipe. Except for their’s didn’t have potatoes, but I wanted them. I didn’t have pie crust. But I doubled the recipe put it in a 9×13 pan and topped it with buttermilk biscuits. Yum. Hardly any leftovers!

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  4. Dana

    03/27/2014

    My parents use pheasant instead of chicken. My dad is an avid hunter, but pheasant can be a tricky meat to prepare. It works great in pot pies!

    [Reply]

  5. Laura

    03/27/2014

    I used this recipe last week for using up the leftovers of a baked whole chicken. It was fabulous! I think I did simplify the saute/veggie softening steps to the new way though, because that’s how I cook. I also did the variation with biscuits on top instead of pie crust because biscuits are easier to make and my husband likes it better. I also used frozen hash browns because I wasn’t in the mood for potato prep.

    I froze the leftover filling (I guess I doubled the recipe; I never measure much, and hash browns made it easy) and we had it again the other day, but I melted cheese on top of the biscuits when it was almost done. Yum-my!

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  6. Sue

    03/27/2014

    I have an even eaiser one for working moms.. I make my filling ( chicken stew) in the crock pot in the morning.. turn in on.. all day it cooks..when I get home. I just thicken the “gravy” with cornstarch and water.. then I put it in a pie plate… I use bisquick mix for the topping.. throw it in the oven for 20-30 mins to cook the biscut top.. and dinner is served..

    with in 30 mins of me getting home.. and left overs are great..

    Sue in NJ

    [Reply]

    Jessica @ The Frugal Townie Reply:

    That is such a great idea!

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  7. beth

    03/27/2014

    i also make beef and broccoli potpie–and i add onion and carrots-mmmmmmm-good!

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  8. Jill

    03/28/2014

    I put the filling directly into the pie plate, and top it with one crust. Half the crust calories and fat, no risk of a soggy crust on bottom, and I already have the second crust from the package for the next pie, since I always double and freeze the filling!

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  9. Jennifer

    03/29/2014

    Try substituting gnocchi for potatoes–yum!

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  10. Jessica @ The Frugal Townie

    03/31/2014

    Pinned it! Looks great! Love that the filling can be frozen, and that there are no super-processed ingredients.

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  11. Holly

    04/06/2014

    I always tend to go to your site for new recipes, I’ve never had one fail.
    I made this last night, as I had an already frozen pack of chicken that was too big for one meal for us. My husband loved it. My daughter tried it, but she’s in a super picky phase with veges currently. I now have enough for another meal in the freezer for a simple meal after a day at work.
    Thank you :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow thanks Holly! So glad the recipe turned out for you! Thanks for sharing :)

    [Reply]

  12. Homemade Chicken Pot Pie - Thrifty T's Treasures

    04/25/2014

    […] Recipe adapted from AndreaDekker.com […]

  13. Amy

    06/11/2014

    I made this tonight with chicken, fresh broccoli, fresh carrots, and frozen peas. Mine wasn’t near as pretty as yours, but it was sooo good! Thanks Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yum — sounds delicious! and mine was just “pretty” for the pictures!

    [Reply]

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