• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Classic comfort food, try this savory Chicken Pot Pie. With homemade cream soup, chunks of chicken, plenty of colorful veggies and topped with a golden flaky crust, there’s lots to love about this meal!

Chicken Pot Pie—admittedly this is not a low-cal diet food. But who wants to eat that stuff anyway? Food should taste good, and food should be nourishing. This recipe meets both of those requirements with a few simple modifications.

First, the pie crust. This makes the meal. Makes the meal delicious, that is! This is also the heavy hitter portion of the meal. Some suggestions to keep things reasonable—do a top-only crust. You’ll get a heartier, more satisfying meal this way. Also, roll it nice and thin. You’ll get plenty of flavor without overdoing it.

The recipe I used comes from my childhood, but I can’t help myself, so it is slightly modified. I halfed the original yield, and left out a few ingredients to simplify. I made it with butter instead of shortening (I intentionally choose not to purchase shortening) The one unusual pie crust ingredient I left was a little white vinegar. It’s supposed to help keep the crust tender and flaky. May or may not be true, but like I said, this was a recipe from my childhood, and it always turns out delicious, so I kept it in!

A few more secrets for pie crust: Be sure to cut the butter into a nice coarse crumble. Work it well before you add the liquid. Once you add the liquid you want to handle it as little as possible to keep it tender.

Next when rolling it out, keep it mess free by sandwiching between 2 layers of plastic wrap. This keeps your counter and your rolling pin clean, eliminates the need to dust with flour, and also makes it so easy to transfer to your baking surface.

Most pie crust recipes tell you to refrigerate for anywhere from 30 min to overnight before rolling out. I say make the pie crust first and throw it in the fridge while you make the filling—about 20 minutes. And that’s plenty!

Now to the filling of the chicken pot pie. With the heavy crust, you want to keep this part light. I made this with a homemade cream of chicken soup base that was surprisingly quick and simple to make. It came together in about 5 minutes—just a little longer than it would take to fetch two cans of cream of chicken soup, pop them open and scrape out the contents with a spatula. And the flavor was great!! This recipe is a keeper for many future cooking endeavors.

Keep this recipe simple by using chicken (or turkey) that you’ve cooked ahead of time. This is a great recipe for using up the Thanksgiving leftovers in your freezer. Or you can throw a whole chicken or several chicken breasts in the crock pot and have precooked-shredded chicken in your freezer—this comes in handy for so many things.

With this being a savory, slightly heavier meal, I paired it with a light and sweet apple and cranberry salad. Seriously simple with chopped Romaine, diced cucumbers, diced apples, a sprinkle of Craisins and a drizzle of strawberry vinaigrette. It was really delicious—everyone loved it.

For the kids—I made them little mini pies, which they thought was awesome. This meal was pretty well received too. They really liked the homemade cream of chicken and the chicken and veggies. The only surprising thing was my little toddler didn’t like the pie crust. Although he did love the cinnamon pie crust cookie!

A final tip for a pot pie meal—leftovers are usually underwhelming because the crust gets a bit soggy. So I recommend making personal pies for the first night, and then rolling out the rest of the pie crust and baking it on a sheet pan. Next day you heat up your pot pie filling in the microwave, then cut out a square of pie crust and place it on top. You get a perfectly flaky crust for as many days as you need.

The Meal:

  • 1 ½ cups chicken pot pie filling

  • 2 ½ oz pie crust

  • 1 ½ cups chopped romaine

  • ½ apple

  • 1/3 cup cucumber

  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries

  • 1 Tbsp strawberry vinaigrette

Recipes Used in this meal:

Pie Crust

Serving size: 2 ½ oz

Servings per Recipe: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup flour

  • 2 tsp brown sugar

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 tsp vinegar

  • 1/3 cup water

Directions

  1. Measure flour into a large metal bowl. Add brown sugar and salt and stir to combine.Cut butter into smaller cubes. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is coarse crumbles.

  2. Add the vinegar and water all at once. Stir to combine, then knead gently with your hands until the dough forms a nice ball. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.

  3. Divide the dough into portions needed ( 2 ½ oz per personal pie). Sandwich the desired portion in between 2 layers of plastic wrap and roll to desired shape. Place on top of pie, and pinch edges onto the dish to secure.

  4. Bake according to recipe directions. If baking pie crust only, bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Yield: about 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp dried parsley flakes

  • ¼ tsp paprika

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ cup flour

Directions

  1. Place the broth and seasonings in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently

  2. In a separate container, combine milk and flour. Whisk briskly until smooth, then pour into the broth. Continue to whisk and return to a boil. Boil 2-3 minutes until thickened. Use immediately or store in a jar in the fridge.

Chicken Pot Pie Filling

Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Servings per Recipe: 5

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of cream of chicken soup

  • 3 cups water (divided)

  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • 1 lb chicken (cooked/shredded)

  • 1 lb frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, green beans)

Directions

  1. Place cream of chicken soup and 2 cups water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

  2. In a separate container, combine 1 cup water and 3 Tbsp cornstarch. Whisk until smooth, then add to the soup mix. Return to a boil and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add seasonings, chicken, and frozen vegetables. Allow to simmer 6-8 minutes. Portion into oven safe serving dishes and top with pie crust. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown on the edges. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Chicken Pot Pie:

Nutrition Facts Label for Pot Pie Filling (no crust):

Nutrition Facts Label for Pie Crust:

Nutrition Facts Label for Cran Apple Green Salad (includes 1 Tbsp dressing):

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC