Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
True comfort food takes a lot of fantastic forms and a classic chicken pot pie made with a creamy sauce, vegetables and lots of chicken buried under a crispy crust is just what you need to feel better all over.
There are lots of times when you’d like to have a hearty meal and maybe (just maybe) you’ve been getting your chicken pot pie fix from Aunt Marie.
Oh you know her–she’s got a pretty cold shoulder and her last name is Calendar’s. Frozen pot pie. Made by a machine with additives and oddness you didn’t put there.
Sure. Go for it if you have to, but when you’ve got time for something better this classic chicken pot pie is nothing to be scared of. A simple simmer of chicken and vegetables, some milk and a creamy sauce all baked up under a pie crust (or you can use biscuits if that’s more your jam) and served warm.
Eat that Marie.
Tips for the best chicken pot pie
- Chop your vegetables about the same size. This helps everything cook in about the same time. Remember: the vegetables will cook in the oven so only cook them to barely fork tender when simmering them so they aren’t over cooked later.
- Taste your sauce for seasoning and adjust it before baking if needed.
- For a richer cream sauce, use whole milk or even half and half.
- Add herbs or any root vegetables you have on hand.
- Boost the chicken flavor of your sauce by adding a bit of chicken bouillon to the reserved cooking water–just remember it can be salty so don’t overdo it! I like Better than Bouillon chicken base.
- And of course, always use a good quality chicken. My favorite is Katie’s Best.
Step by Step Pictures
How to make homemade chicken pot pie ahead
This is one of my favorite recipes to make ahead. Once your filling is made and cooled to room temperature, place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate up to three days before baking.
Leave the crust off until the time you bake to prevent it from getting too soft.
To bake, you can let it sit on the counter 30 minutes before baking or just put it in the oven cold (cold oven and cold pot pie so you don’t crack your pie plate) and bake until bubbling.
Optional ways you can top things off
I’ve always been a pie crust person. In this case, I’ve made a homemade crust using all butter instead of shortening. It bakes up so flaky and delicious, but you also have the option to make biscuits or use a drop biscuit (we call those cat head biscuits) on top.
Remember that your pot pie is already cooked, so you just need to cook the dough through and get things a little brown on top.
What to serve with pot pie
Pot pie is really a meal all in one so you don’t have to have tons of sides.
I serve mine with a pan of crispy cornbread and a batch of cranberry sauce for a little acid. I really feel like the cranberry sauce is essential.
Classic Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2/3 cup celery cut in to 1/2" thick pieces
- 1 cup russet potato peeled and cut into 1/2" thick cubes
- 1/2 cup yellow or white onion chopped in to 1/2" thick pieces
- 3/4 cup carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick pieces
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water from cooking chicken
- 1 chicken bullion cube I like Better than Bouillon base
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper or more to taste (depends on bouillon)
- 1 cup milk half and half works too
- 1 premade pie crust or yours from scratch
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add the chicken to the water and simmer 8 to 10 minutes for a chicken breast that was thawed and 10 to 12 for a breast that was frozen, then add:
- carrots, celery, potatoes, and onion to the boiling water with the chicken and cook until just barely tender; an additional 10 minutes or so.
- Remove the chicken and and vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
- Collect one cup of cooking liquid from the pot and pour out the rest.
- Add the bullion cube or chicken base (if using it)to the reserved water from the pot and stir until it's mostly dissolved. Add one cup of milk to the water and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Clean the cooked chicken removing any tough parts, bone or skin (if you had it) and dice the chicken into 1/2 inch chunks. Place the chicken and vegetables into a deep dish pie plate or pie plate that can hold the filling with about 1/2" of space at the top. Set aside
- In the same pot you used before, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir one minute over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly and golden.
- Add the milk and water mixture and turn the heat up to medium high. Add salt and pepper.
- Stir frequently until the mixture starts to bubble and coats the back of a spoon--about 6-8 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.
- Cover with the crust and crimp the edges.
- Cut a couple of small holes in the top to vent the pie as it cooks.
- Bake on a cookie sheet to catch any sauce that boils over.
- Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden
Can you use frozen peas in place of the onions? I just love all of your recipes that I have tried so far.
You can Patty. Of course you’ll lose a little bit of flavor by leaving the onion out but it won’t hurt too much. 🙂 –Rachel
How much Better Than Bouillon do you use?
Hi Barbara, I don’t use Better than Bouillon anymore (I only use homemade chicken stock) but about a half teaspoon would do the trick I think. –Rachel
You said you used a crust made from all butter, but when I looked it uses vegetable oil. Would you post your crust recipe made from butter? Thanks.
Jean try that link again now. I must have put in the old pie crust version originally! –Rachel
This recipe sounds great. Step by step information on how to do this.
Thank you Rachel, I certainly will make this. Gigi.
Could you use bottom AND top crusts?
Eh…I don’t see any reason to. This sauce is in fact a sauce and two crusts would just mean it runs out of them when you cut it. Plus that bottom one would never get cooked it would just be goo underneath. –Rachel
Where do you buy a premade pie crust? I have only bought a frozen pie crust which would be hard to put on top of the chicken pot pie. Do you let the pie crust thaw and then place it on top and cut away the excess? I really don’t want to make my own! Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
Let’s see Polly…are you in the US? Refrigerated rolled crusts are really common here and they are found with the canned biscuits in a box. If you are outside the US a frozen one would be tricky because you’d have to get it out of its pan. Refrigerated ones need a couple of minutes on the counter to warm up then you just unroll them on top. And a homemade crust isn’t too terrible to do if it came down to it. 🙂 –Rachel
Such a hearty easy main dish.