Make Your Own Delicious Chicken Pot Pie in Advance and Freeze It!
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Bypass the store-bought version and try your hand at making your own scrumptious, homemade chicken pot pie with all-natural ingredients. It’s perfect for comfort food cravings and surprisingly easy to prepare. This recipe yields two pies, so you can enjoy one now and freeze one for later!
Why We Can’t Get Enough of This Recipe
When I was younger, I had a guilty pleasure: frozen pot pies. You know the kind, right? The frozen meals in small red boxes found in the frozen food section? I was hooked.
But adulthood brought some hard truth, and I soon realized they were loaded with way too many calories and extra sat fats! Plus, there were preservatives I didn’t really want to be ingesting.
So, I started searching for a healthier version of chicken pot pie and found one in the 30 Day Gourmet Big Book of Freezer Cooking cookbook. I already knew it would be a hit since I adored everything I’d ever made from that book! I also wrote a review of the cookbook, which you can read by clicking here.
With a few alterations, I made the recipe mine, and it has been a favorite in our home ever since.
What makes this Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe particularly exceptional is that it freezes well! I’ve made it multiple times in various combinations.
When I made this dish at a freezer meal exchange group many moons ago, it was a massive hit! Every member loved it and requested the recipe. I’ve since made it for friends who’ve given birth, become ill or injured, or lost a loved one.
And for those days when we want a delicious comfort meal with minimal effort, I love having an extra pot pie in the freezer!
Perfectly Crafted with Fresh, All-Natural Ingredients and Simple Tips:
I adore this recipe because it requires no more than ten fresh ingredients, making it a breeze to prepare. Plus, it yields enough filling for two pies, which is fantastic, considering how easy it is to pull one from the freezer and bake it at your leisure.
Oh my! My appetite is whetted just by thinking about it. I simply must whip up another batch of this delightful dish in the near future! Lucky for you, all of the necessary ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store. I do have a few helpful hints to share, although you may already have them on hand.
Carrots, onions, and celery are staples in this recipe. I personally prefer to use my handy-dandy handheld food chopper (affiliate link) to chop them up quickly. Occasionally, I'll substitute frozen chopped onions for fresh ones because I usually have them on hand. You can find them in the frozen vegetable aisle of the store, and they're great for adding to soups, chili, and other recipes.
All-purpose flour is great for coating the sautéed vegetables, providing an easy way to quickly thicken the mixture by distributing the flour evenly before adding the liquid.
When milk is called for in the recipe, canned evaporated milk is the original ingredient, but I've found substituting fresh milk works just as well. Since we typically have skim milk on hand, that's what I usually use. However, other types of milk like 2% or even whole milk will work well too. Some people have even employed almond milk with excellent results and oat milk is a possibility as well. I can't speak to soy milk because, in my estimation, it sometimes has a stronger flavor than the other varieties. If you give it a go, I'm curious to know how it turns out!
I usually use premade chicken broth you can buy in a box; the Kirkland brand from Costco is lower in sodium and a great value. You can also use your homemade chicken broth or substitute vegetable broth.
I tend to purchase store brand bags of frozen peas to save some money, while cooked chicken comes in many forms for this recipe. I love to cook up a big batch of chicken and freeze it to use in a variety of recipes, such as our Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup or Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. My mood and the amount of time I have to spare will determine how I batch cook the chicken. I use my Instant Pot or grill up lots of chicken breasts all at once. Check out this post for tips on how I prepare grilled chicken and divide it up for recipes. If you're in a pinch, you can also use a rotisserie chicken that you've taken the meat from or even canned chicken (we like the Kirkland brand).
When it comes to pie crusts, for my homemade chicken pot pie recipe, I opt for homemade or refrigerated pie crusts since they're the easiest to work with. We prefer a top and bottom crust, but some people use only a top crust. While frozen pie crusts are an option, they usually only come as a bottom crust. Luckily, some grocery stores offer a frozen "dough puck," which is essentially a mound of pie crust in a little bag available in the frozen section, serving as a happy medium between fresh and pre-formed frozen. Just thaw the dough, roll it out, and place it in the pie pan. Enjoy the delectable outcome!"
What's The Reason Behind the Absence of Potatoes in this Pot Pie Recipe?
Judging by the highly favorable ratings and comments this recipe has garnered over the years, it's apparent that it's a well-liked and scrumptious recipe. On occasion, some people put forth their own modifications which often involves the inclusion of potatoes.
However, the original recipe never called for potatoes and hence, I consciously chose to exclude them from my adapted version. In my opinion, it all boils down to personal preference. If you feel like incorporating some diced potatoes, feel free to do so. My recommendation would be to use one to two cups of frozen potatoes such as diced hash brown potatoes that can easily be found in the frozen food aisle of a grocery store.
It's worth noting that freezing potatoes can be a little finicky. The best approach is to use parboiled potatoes, which are partially cooked. Given that the other vegetables in the chicken pot pie recipe are also sautéed, adding frozen potatoes just before filling the pie crust would work best.
How to Cook This Pot Pie
Once you realize how simple it is to create your own homemade and freezable chicken pot pie, you'll want to keep making it again and again. Sometimes I double the recipe to have it at the ready when I require an effortless weeknight meal. The mouth-watering filling of this pot pie can be made in less than half an hour!
Begin by melting the butter and sautéing the carrots, celery, and onions in a large saucepan. Let them cook until they turn tender- a process that is expected to last for around 5-7 minutes.
Then, sprinkle the flour on top of the sautéed vegetables to ensure that it's spread evenly across the mixture. This makes it easier to thicken the mixture. Gradually add milk to the vegetable and flour mix and stir quickly to avoid lumps.
Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Take it off the heat and add the frozen peas and pre-cooked chicken. Stir them nicely to guarantee an even spread of the mixture.
At this point, you can choose to divide or freeze the mixture, or even both. Alternatively, go ahead and fill the pot pies by utilizing premade crusts. This chicken pot pie recipe is versatile enough to be made in a variety of ways that can be prepared ahead of time.
To save time, you can make the chicken before preparing the recipe. I like to grill a huge quantity of chicken and chop or shred it to use in multiple recipes, including this one. Batch cooking chicken is a great idea, and over the years, I've used various cooking methods such as baking, boiling, or Instant Pot.
After cooking the first three ingredients in butter over medium heat until tender (around 5-10 minutes), add the flour, stirring constantly until smooth. Next, add the chicken broth and milk and continue to stir until it thickens and starts to bubble (usually around 10-15 minutes). Once it's thickened, add in the chicken, peas, salt, and pepper, being sure to cool before pouring into the pie crusts. It's important to let it thicken a bit more before freezing. Once cooled, pour the filling into a labeled freezer-safe container or bag. The filling freezes separately or can be fully prepared in the crust, depending on your preference.
For assembling the pie, start by rolling out the crusts and placing the bottom crusts in the pie plates, setting aside the top crusts until ready to cover. Pour the filling mixture into the bottom crusts and cover with the top crusts. Fold the edges under and crimp, then poke slits in the top (you can make a nice pattern here too!).
This recipe is perfect for those who like to meal prep ahead of time. You can make and store the filling in an airtight container (affiliate link) in the refrigerator for up to two days until you are ready to prep the pies. If you have extra filling, you can freeze it for up to six months. Simply use any airtight container or the 2-cup Souper Cubes (affiliate link) to freeze. Be sure to date and label the container.
To bake the fresh pot pie, bake it uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If you're baking from frozen, thaw the filling in the refrigerator. Once thawed, assemble as described above and bake accordingly. To bake a whole (assembled), frozen pot pie, bake it uncovered for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
This recipe makes two pot pies, with 16 servings total. Enjoy this classic comfort food anytime and customize it to your preferences!
One serving of this dish contains 281 calories, with 28 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat. Saturated fat is at 6 grams, while cholesterol is at 16 milligrams. Sodium is at 424 milligrams, and potassium, at 183 milligrams. It has 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of sugar. This recipe also provides significant amounts of vitamins A and C, with 1591 international units and 7 milligrams, respectively. Calcium and iron are at 41 milligrams and 2 milligrams, respectively.
Make sure to give a shoutout to @MealPlanMom or tag #MealPlanningMagic when trying out this recipe! Originally published in 2012, this recipe has been updated in September 2021 with new photos, content, and video.
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