To make the best classic chicken pot pie:
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Melt some butter in a large skillet, then add in chicken, vegetables, and seasonings. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add in the flour, stir it in until there’s no dry flour remaining. Stir in the cream until it’s smooth, then the chicken broth. Cook for between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in your peas and the parsley. Let it cool for 15-30 minutes before filling the pie.
- Fit one of your pie crusts into a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon the coolest filling into the pie crust. Then, top with your second pie crust. Then score the top of the pie crust to make sure the steam has a way to escape.
- Bake for 30 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Then cool for 15-30 minutes before you slice it up and serve it.
- What is Chicken Pot Pie?
- The Best Crust to Use for Chicken Pot Pie
- The Best Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
- Chicken Pot Pie Nutritional Facts
- Pro Tips for Making Chicken Pot Pie
- How to Store Chicken Pot Pie
- Tools You Will Need to Make Chicken Pot Pie
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Chicken Pot Pie?
Chicken pot pie is an enduring classic of home cooking. For some of us, when we think of comfort food, it is the very first dish that comes to mind.
There’s just something extremely satisfying and wholesome about the way the different flavors come together, not to mention the textural contrast – the creamy filling and the crunchy pie crust interact beautifully and create an incredible dining experience for anyone lucky enough to have a fresh slice of chicken pot pie served to them.
It took a while for me to even attempt to make this dish – something about it just seemed oddly out of reach, like it couldn’t possibly be something I could reasonably pull off. But trust me, making the best classic chicken pot pie recipe is something any home cook (with the right tools and ingredients) can do. This homemade chicken pot pie with flaky pie crust and creamy chicken pot pie filling is a fantastic show-off dish. The very definition of classic comfort food.
In this article we’ll talk about everything you need to know to make the very best classic chicken potpie you can make.
2. The Best Crust to Use for Chicken Pot Pie
Whenever you’re making chicken pot pie – or really, any kind of pie that has a crust – the question of what crust to go with will loom large over the entire operation. In fact, it can sometimes turn contentious! If you look online, you’ll see instances where the question becomes an all-out flame war. People choose the weirdest things to get mad about.
The heart of the matter is usually whether you should use a homemade pie crust or if going with a store bought pie crust (or even puff pastry). You might think it all comes down to personal taste or even factors like time and convenience, but some overzealous pie aficionados are very stridently anti-store bought crust.
In my opinion, what it comes down to is this: if you have the time and inclination to make your own pie crust, it’s the best option. Making things from scratch will always give your dishes a different feel. But if you’re wanting to maximize your time and your effort, going with a pre-made chicken pot pie crust will absolutely work. The filling is going to be the main thing people focus on.
With that in mind, here’s a quick recipe for a homemade pie crust that combines butter and shortening, for the most tender and buttery crust you can find.
Ingredients for homemade pie crust:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cubed and chilled)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- ½ cup ice water
Mix your flour and salt in a large bowl. At this point you can also add the butter and shortening.
Using a pastry cutter, a sharp knife, or two forks, cut the butter and shortening into the mixture until the texture resembles a coarse meal.
Measure ½ cup of water in a cup and add ice. Stir it around until the ice has melted somewhat. Then drizzle the cold water into your mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and stir it with a rubber spatula or a wooden spool after every tablespoon you add. When the dough begins to form large clumps, stop adding water. Make sure you don’t add in more water than you need!
Move your pie dough to a floured work surface. At this point it should come together easily without feeling too sticky. Fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats, then form it into a ball. Then cut the dough ball in half and flatten each of the halves into 1-inch thick “discs”.
Wrap each one of these discs tightly in plastic wrap, then put it in your fridge. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, and up to 4 days.
After you’ve refrigerated it, roll out the pie dough discs with your rolling pin, starting from the center and working your way out in all directions. At this point you might notice little specks of butter and fat in the dough. Those are normal!
- From there, you can start making the rest of the pie. For instructions on that, see the recipe below!
3. The Best Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
If you’ve read the article up to this point, you’re probably salivating while thinking of chicken pot pie. And I don’t blame you. It’s the kind of perfectly delicious dish we all just kind of take for granted, but when you think about it it’s one of the most wonderful collections of flavors and textural contrasts that anyone can conjure up in the kitchen.
Now, when making a classic chicken pot pie you have a couple different ways you can go. You can try for an easy chicken pot pie using only refrigerated pie dough and all frozen vegetables, as well as all dried herbs. And yeah, it’ll be easy, but at the same time you'll find yourself wanting some bright fresh flavors. With just a tiny bit of extra effort, you can make something that much better.
And if you have the time to make your own homemade pie crust, that’s even better – we’re even including a recipe for that above! But not absolutely necessary for the best chicken pot pie recipe.
Let’s talk about ingredients.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into small, bite-sized pieces)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 unbaked pie crusts, 1 top and one bottom. If you’re using pre-made refrigerated pie crust, that would be 1 box.
So how long will it take you to make this classic chicken pot pie?
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes.
Cool time: 15 minutes.
Total time: 50-55 minutes.
First, make sure there’s an oven rack on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Add your butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, you can add your chicken, carrots, onion, celery, salt, garlic powder, thyme leaves, and pepper. Cooking time for these ingredients is about 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through.
Add in the flour. Make sure to stir well, you want to make sure there is no dry flour remaining. Slowly, stir in the cream until it’s smooth, then the chicken broth. Cook until it’s bubbling and thick, also stirring often. This will take between 3 and 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in your peas and the parsley. Let it cool for 15-30 minutes before filling the pie. This is an important step; pouring hot filling into the unbaked pie crust will make the crust soggy, which really takes away from the delicious textural contrast we love about chicken pot pie. Also: you could make the filling up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Fit one of your pie crusts into a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon the coolest filling into the pie crust. Then, top with your second pie crust. Make sure that the edges of the pie crust are sealed well. Then, cut 3-4 slits in the top crust (scoring it) to make sure the steam has a way to escape and your pie doesn’t end up exploding.
- Put your filled pie plate on a baking sheet (I line mine with some aluminum foil just in case the filling does bubble over). Bake it for 30 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Then cool for 15-30 minutes before you slice it up and serve it.
4. Chicken Pot Pie Nutritional Facts
Here are the nutritional facts for the classic chicken pot pie recipe we shared above.
The recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving contains:
- Calories: 419kcal
- Carbohydrates: 30g
- Protein: 16g
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Cholesterol: 71mg
- Sodium: 755mg
- Potassium: 400mg
- Fiber: 2g
- Sugar: 1g
- Vitamin A: 3265IU
- Vitamin C: 9.7mg
- Calcium: 39mg
- Iron: 1.9mg
5. Pro Tips for Making Chicken Pot Pie
Here are a few pro tips to make the best of your chicken pot pie:
Protect the edges of your pastry from overbrowning by making a foil collar, placing strips of foil to cover the crust during the very last 15-20 minutes of baking.
The pastry or pie crust is the only complicated part of making a pot pie. You can save time by using a premade store-bought pie crust. If you choose to make your own pie crust, use the recipe we outlined above!
- You could also make your chicken filling ahead of time. To do so, simply prepare it as outlined in the recipe above, then spoon it into an airtight container and cover it. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
6. How to Store Chicken Pot Pie
As much as we love chicken pot pie, sometimes we overshoot it and make more than we’re ready to consume in one sitting. You might find yourself wanting to save some for later.
The precise answer to how long chicken pie lasts will vary depending on storage conditions. Bacteria can grow rapidly at temperatures between 40F and 140F, so don’t leave it out at room temperature. If it remains sitting out for more than two hours at room temp, it is recommended that you discard it.
It’s best to keep freshly baked chicken pot pie refrigerated to extend its life as much as possible if you’re going to consume it later. Freshly baked chicken pot pie will last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge. The best way to store it is to cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to protect it as much as possible.
You might also wish to freeze chicken pot pie for later. You can freeze your chicken pot pie by wrapping it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Another option is to place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, your frozen chicken pot pie will keep its best quality for 4 to 6 months, but in terms of safety, you can keep it in there for as long as you need.
If your chicken pot pie has any off smell or appearance, or if you notice any mold on its surface, it’s best to be safe and discard it. Might be a little painful to do (trust me, I get it), but food safety should be your absolute #1 concern. You can always make another one!
7. Tools You’ll Need to Make Chicken Pot Pie
Below is our list of must-have items that will aid you in making the best chicken pot pie.
A chef knife is your all-purpose kitchen powerhouse, a tool that is designed to fit a wide number of cooking tasks; thus, it is one of the most important tools any cook can have in their kitchen. Whether you’re a professional, a home cook, or someone at the very start of their culinary journey, this 8” chef knife from Dalstrong’s widely acclaimed Shogun series is the tool you need to face just about any challenge that can pop up in your kitchen.
- Meticulously constructed, with a knife blade made of an AUS-10V Japanese super steel core and 67-layer Damascus cladding, sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method.
- Features a hammered Tsuchime blade finish, which not only adds style and refinement to the blade but also helps reduce drag and stick on food.
- This knife has a tremendous edge retention, with a Rockwell score of 62+.
- Features a durable, comfortable, and attractive ABS handle.
- This gorgeous knife features the Shogun series Tsunami Rose blade pattern, and not every home cook will be a fan of the look. If you prefer a more traditional looking knife, check out chef knives from other series.
- This particular model features an orange handle, though there are other handle options available in the Dalstrong store.
You need a good, dependable cutting surface to cut your chicken, and one of the best options around is this absolutely gorgeous teak cutting board. Made of sustainably sourced tropical teak wood and featuring satin-finished steel handles for easy transportation, this is an amazing all-purpose slicing, chopping, and serving board.
- Naturally resistant to water, bacteria, and staining.
- Its tight-wood grain ensures a durable, long-lasting hygienic cutting surface.
- It will get more and more beautiful with age, thanks to the properties of teak wood.
- Thicker than other cutting boards, resistant to warping.
- The size of this cutting board is perfect for most home cooks. However, if you are in need of a bigger cutting board, check out the Lionswood colossal.
- This does have a traditional cutting board shape; if you’re looking for a cutting board that will snug perfectly into a corner, try the Corner Cutting Board - Teak Wood.
This awesome 3 quart stock pot brings together form and function, with a 5-ply copper forged foundation later that offers incredible conductivity for quick and even cooking, as well as an absolutely gorgeous mirror-polished exterior. An incredible piece of cookware of unrivaled quality, and a welcome addition to any cook’s kitchen arsenal.
- 5-ply copper forged foundation with additional layers of aluminum and 18/10 stainless steel, for maximum head conductivity and retention.
- Its premium conductivity heats 5x better than iron and 20x better than stainless steel.
- Features extremely strong 2.5mm thickness that is resistant to warping under prolonged heat.
- Great construction, with evenly distributed weight thanks to its engraved side handle.
- Some folks may not like the distinctive all-black look.
- If you’re looking for something a little bigger, try the 12 quart stock pot.
Whether you’re making a chicken pot pie of frying up some scallops, a 12” frying pan is a fantastic tool for any cook.
- Looks amazing, with a mirror polished exterior
- Awesome responsiveness to even the smallest changes in temperatures, providing you more control of the cooking process and ensuring your dishes turn out exactly how you want them.
- True heavy gauge cookware, with additional layers of smudge-free aluminum and 18/10 stainless steel for maximum heat conductivity and retention.
- Comes with a stainless steel lid that will last a lifetime, with a vented hole for pressure release.
- Some home cooks might find a 12” frying pan to be a little excessive. There are some smaller options available, such as this 10” frying pan.
- This premium product is one of the best you can find. Though it is considerably more affordable than other similar products, it’s still an investment!
Here’s a slightly smaller option for home cooks who want a top-quality product to cook everything from chicken to omelets; sauteing, deep frying, boiling, however you need to cook your food, this awesome piece of kitchen craftsmanship has got you covered.
- Made of a best-in-class 5-ply copper forged foundation with additional thick gauge layers of 18/10 stainless steel and premium aluminum. Great heat retention and conductivity.
- Eye-catching design that conveys a sense of luxury.
- PFOA and PTFE free.
- Oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees.
- If you’re looking for a similar product with a nonstick surface, check out the 10" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-Stick | Oberon Series.
- Some folks might prefer the all-black, hammered look of a 10” frying pan like the 10" Frying Pan & Skillet | Hammered Finish Black | Avalon Series.
8. Frequently Asked Questions
What is the sauce made of in chicken pot pie?
Each chicken pot pie recipe will vary slightly, but usually the base for the gravy sauce in most traditional chicken pot pie recipes is butter and flour. To this, chicken stock and cream (or sometimes broth and milk) are usually added to form the creamy gravy sauce texture we all love.
What's the difference between chicken pie and chicken pot pie?
Depends who you ask! In the South, some people will make a distinction between chicken pie and chicken pot pie. Chicken pies are the savory versions of fruit pies and are made with a homemade crust. They usually feature no (or very few) vegetables (while chicken pot pie usually includes many vegetables). These are also sometimes known as “chicken and pastry.”
How do you keep the bottom crust of chicken pot pie from getting soggy?
If your chicken pot pie has a bottom crust, it might run the risk of getting soggy from all the cream and stock. To prevent this, you could sprinkle dried breadcrumbs or crushed snowflakes on the bottom crust before you fill it up and place in the oven. This will absorb some of the moisture and preserve that ever-important textural contrast you need for a truly great chicken pot pie.