Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
Meet Healthy Chicken Pot Pie. With its creamy filling, extra veggies, chunks of juicy chicken, and surprisingly light calorie count, it is a champion wholesome comfort food. This easy chicken pot pie recipe has earned the esteem of judges ranging from picky toddlers, to discerning adults, to the greatest classic chicken pot pie judge of them all: my husband Ben.
When Ben and I were first married, his mom gifted me his two favorite recipes: the family heirloom chocolate chip cookies and her chicken pot pie with pie crust. After a series of failed attempts, I abandoned the cookies. I maintain that an ingredient was missing from the recipe. Or perhaps cookies are an untouchable food, one where mom (and nostalgia) always know best…at least until my cookbook comes out. It has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER. Not that I am biased or anything.
My chicken pot pie, however? ROARING SUCCESS.
This healthy chicken pot pie recipe goes far beyond a silly, lovingly intentioned mother-versus-daughter-in-law “who cooked it best” debate.
It represents what I strive to achieve with so many of my recipes: a lighter, better-for-you version of a favorite comfort food that is every bit as delicious and satisfying as the original.
Unlike other chicken pot pie recipes, which range from over-the-top decadent (think chicken pot pie à la Pioneer Woman) to those that use “cream of” soups (like the original Campbell’s chicken pot pie), this recipe uses no butter or heavy cream but still achieves that delightfully creamy and decadent flavor.
I am often asked what recipes on my site are the most popular, which healthy recipes I make for dinner when I don’t know what to cook, and which recipes are Ben’s favorites. The answer to all of these is today’s recipe for chicken pot pie.
I know I’m occasionally prone to exaggeration (what? moi?), but I feel my superlative claim of this healthy pot pie’s “best ever status” has merit. This super easy chicken pot pie recipe made its original debut at a friend’s house, when I brought it over for an impromptu dinner party. Ben didn’t say much while we were eating it, but when we pulled back into our driveway, he put the car in park, looked deep into my eyes, and said the words every woman wants to hear.
“That was the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever had.”
How to Make the Very Best Healthy Chicken Pot Pie From Scratch
I wish I could pass you a bite of this chicken pot pie right through the screen. It’s rich, creamy, super satisfying, and (wait for it)…completely dairy free and clocks in at about 380 calories for an entire FOURTH of the pie dish.
Yes, that is correct. You get to eat an entire fourth of this easy chicken pot pie with pie crust for fewer calories than are in the average Subway sandwich. When is the last time you got to eat a quarter of a pot pie and feel fantastic about it afterwards? Definitely not after an old fashioned chicken pot pie recipe. No, this is not your typical easy chicken pot pie recipe with cream of chicken soup.
My tips and tricks to creating a healthy chicken pot pie filling that is creamy and decadent without the use of butter or heavy cream comes from a few key ingredients.
- Shredded Chicken. Hi healthy protein! You can speed the recipe up by using shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken, or check out my quick and easy methods for How to Cook Shredded Chicken on the stovetop, Instant Pot Chicken, and Crock Pot Shredded Chicken. For a pot pie without chicken, try my Vegetarian Pot Pie instead.
- Lots o’ Veggies. Carrots, celery, peas, and pearl onions are classic pot pie vegetables. For the peas and onions, use frozen (no need to be a hero and put yourself through the prep of peeling dozens of tiny onions). If you want to speed up the recipe even more, you can swap the carrots and other vegetables for a bag of mixed frozen veggies, though I still recommend keeping the fresh celery. Despite the fact that it’s irritating to purchase an entire bundle of celery when you only need a few stalks, celery has a way of making pot pie taste like, well, pot pie.
- Mushrooms. Due to a general lack of mushroom enthusiasm that one encounters when one posts recipes online, I realize mushrooms are a controversial ingredient, but THEY ARE SO GOOD IN HEALTHY CHICKEN POT PIE. They give the filling a rich, savory depth. Now when I eat pot pie, if it doesn’t contain mushrooms, I miss them. However, if you have mushroom skeptics in your household, you can leave them out.
- Flour. A little all-purpose flour helps thicken the pot pie filling.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk. One of my main secrets to perfect healthy chicken pot pie! It’s only 30 calories per cup but is super creamy, so it makes an ideal base for cream sauces and fillings like that in chicken pot pie. If you need the pie to be dairy free (and thus have been looking for a milk substitute for chicken pot pie), almond milk is an ideal choice.
- Fresh Thyme. Absolutely worth it for this recipe. You can swap dried, but it simply will not be as wonderful, and wonderful is what I am hungry for when I crave chicken pot pie.
- Pie Crust. While I can’t envision a healthy chicken pot pie no crust scenario (unless we’re talking about my easy and healthy Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie recipe with biscuits, of course!), I found that chicken pot pie with top crust only was a significant calorie savings, and I preferred the pot pie this way! Every bite of this healthy chicken pot pie has plenty of crust to feel comforting, and unlike the bottom of every chicken pot pie crust I’ve tried, it stayed gloriously golden and flaky. Even when blind baked before the filling goes in, I’ve found that by the time the pie is ready, the bottom crust has turned soggy at best. At worst, its doughy taste can overpower the more nuanced chicken and vegetables. Sticking to one crust eliminates both problems entirely, and it saves you a little wiggle room in your jeans.
- Sauté the mushrooms in a Dutch oven until browned. Add the carrots, celery, and spices.
- Scatter flour over the vegetables, and let cook for a few minutes. Add the milk little by little, stirring to incorporate. Boil the mixture until thickened, then add the chicken, peas, onions, and thyme. Transfer the mixture to a pie dish.
- Place the pie dough on top of the dish and crimp. Brush the dough with the egg wash, and cut slits into the top.
- Bake the chicken pot pie at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes, until golden. Let the pot pie sit for a few minutes, then DIG IN!
Bake This Recipe as Individual Healthy Chicken Pot Pies
- Grab a few larger ramekins (whatever size you’d like), ensuring they are oven safe.
- Roll out your pie dough into a single sheet. Flip a ramekin over and use it as a stencil to cut the pie dough into rounds large enough to cover, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang on all sides. You will likely need more than one pie crust, as there will be more scraps.
- Spoon the filling into individual ramekins.
- Add the pie dough rounds on top, using the egg wash to seal as directed. Brush additional egg wash on top, then vent.
- Bake as directed, checking several minutes early to make sure your crusts do not overcook.
If you want to make chicken pot pie casserole style instead, check out my Chicken and Biscuits recipe.
Make Ahead + Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. The filling can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months (let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating). Add it to the crust just before baking.
- To Store. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The crust may be a little less crisp after it has been in the refrigerator, but it will still taste delicious.
- To Reheat. Reheat leftover chicken pot pie in a pie dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. You can also rewarm this recipe in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Chicken Pot Pie
- Salad. A light, versatile salad like this Anytime Arugula Salad or Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons would be delicious.
- Vegetables. Add even more veggies to your meal by pairing this chicken pot pie with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts or Sautéed Carrots.
Recommended Tools to Make Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
- Ceramic Pie Dish. Ideal for today’s easy chicken pot pie.
- Dutch Oven. This one is outstanding and a lifetime piece; it’s the one you can see me using in the recipe video. This is another excellent, more economical option.
- Cutting Board. This one won’t slip out from under you while you’re chopping.
I hope this healthy chicken pot pie brings you as much comfort and satisfaction as it did us and the many friends and readers who have tried it. Enjoy every flaky, creamy bite!
As always, if you make this chicken pot pie recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it turned out for you. THANK YOU!
Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms
- 1 cup diced carrots - about 3 medium
- 1/2 cup diced celery - about 1 large stalk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breasts* - about 8 ounces or 2 small breasts
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 prepared pie crust - dairy free if needed (I used my favorite whole wheat pie crust)
- 1 egg - lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water to create an egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with baking spray. Set aside.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or similar deep, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 8 minutes, until mushrooms are beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms have browned more deeply and the carrots begin to soften, about 3 additional minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables and cook 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the almondmilk, adding a few splashes at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a low boil, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to let bubble until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, onions, and thyme. Spoon the chicken mixture into the prepared pie dish.
- Roll the pie dough into a circle large enough to cover your dish. Brush the edges of the pie dish with the egg wash, then lay the dough over the top so that it overhangs the sides. Trim the overhang to a 1/2 inch larger than edge of the dish. Gently press the dough onto the sides of the dish so that it sticks, then brush all over with the remaining egg wash. With a sharp knife, cut 3 slits in the top.
- Bake until hot and bubbly on the inside and the crust is deeply golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest a few minutes. Serve hot.
- *To cook the chicken in the Instant Pot, see this post for Instant Pot Chicken. To cook it in the slow cooker, see this post for Crock Pot Shredded Chicken.
- The filling can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months (let thaw overnight in the refrigerator). Add the crust just before baking.
- This recipe tastes best the day it is made because the crust is the most crisp, but you can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven.
- To make the recipe vegetarian, substitute an additional 2 cups of chopped vegetables for the chicken. The pot pie will still be delicious and hearty.
- To make gluten free, use your favorite gluten free pie crust.
- To bake as individual pot pies, see suggested directions in blog post above.
- The calorie count was updated on 3/5/19 from 335 calories to 380 calories to reflect new nutritional data. That said, it is meant to be an estimate and provided as a courtesy, so if you'd like more precise measurements, I recommend calculating it on your own using your online calorie calculator of choice.
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