We just had a baby, so I’m looking for healthy meals (AKA high protein, moderate carb, moderate fat, unprocessed, with veggies) that I can make & freeze ahead for later. I pick a night to make the recipe for dinner, then double it and freeze the extra dish. My lean turkey chili has been a freezer-winner and I’m trying meatballs this week. So far, the unchallenged winner from my new repertoire is this healthier chicken pot pie.
I spiffed up my healthier chicken pot pie from a traditional pot pie in the following ways:
- Used way more meat – both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. *Note* It’s a popular misconception that chicken thighs are bad for you because they’re fattier – as long as you trim excess fat and take the skin off, chicken thighs only have a few more grams of fat per serving than breasts. They also have more of certain key nutrients that breast meat does not have.
- Used half the crust – I only use crust on top, which lowers the overall calories and fat in this traditionally heavy meal. Yes, the picture shows a two crust version… deception!
- No cream or butter in the filling – I use pureed, boiled potatoes to add creaminess. You can play with adding 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk, as well, but my “nutrition brain” feels that the coconut-free version fits into my family’s nutrition style more.
- Used whole grain flour and coconut oil in the crust, not white flour and butter.
Recipe for Healthier Chicken Pot Pie
Here’s my healthier chicken pot pie recipe, along with suggestions for different methods of freezing it! I’ve even included directions for a paleo option! Like it? Pin it for later! Looking for more recipes? Check here!
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Chicken Breasts, cut or chopped into small pieces (I use meat shears).
- 6 Chicken Thighs, cut or chopped into small pieces (I use meat shears).
- ½ of a red onion, very finely chopped
- 4 Large carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes (Or ~1 cup frozen chopped carrots)
- 4 Stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cup to 1 cup of frozen green peas, depending on preference
- 1 large potato, peeled and boiled (to make paleo, you can use ½ head cauliflower, steamed)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3.5 Cups Whole Wheat Flour or Gluten Free Flour Blend (I suggest a 3:4 ratio of tapioca flour to almond meal or rice flour)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon himalayan Sea Salt
- ½ Cup Coconut Oil
- ½ cup very cold water, plus extra tablespoons to make the dough consistency just right.
- Add olive oil to a cast iron dutch oven, or similarly large pan, on medium heat.
- Add onions and saute until translucent.
- Add carrots and celery. Cook until they just begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
- Add the chicken, salt and pepper and let it brown. In the meantime, put the boiled potato in a food processor and process until very very smooth.
- Add the potato puree, frozen peas, thyme and rosemary.
- If there's excess water in the pan then reduce heat and simmer the water off.
- Divide the filling into two casserole dishes, baking dishes or pie pans. I used a 9" glass pyrex pie pan and a square baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add the coconut oil and cut it into the mixture. Alternatively, you can use a food processor.
- Whisk the eggs and add it to the mixture, stirring thoroughly.
- Add the ½ cup of very cold water. The mixture will most likely be dry, still. Add more cold water by the tablespoon, until the dough comes together - not too moist and not too dry.
- Divide the dough into two balls and roll out onto a floured surface.
- Fit the dough over the top of the filling in the casserole dishes, fitting it to the edges of the dish and sealing if you'd like. Poke a few holes in the crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 55 minutes to 1 hr 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles.
- ** TO FREEZE: You have choices.
- Freeze filling and raw dough separately. Freeze the dough rolled out between sheets of parchment paper. Add the dough just before cooking.
- Freeze pot pie filling with raw dough on top, uncooked. Let the filling cool before you put the dough over it.
- Freeze pot pie assembled and partially cooked... bake it for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven, let it cool and then freeze it.
- It will take less time to reheat the pot pie if you cook it first and then freeze it. However, freezing the crust uncooked is more likely to yield a crust that is crisp and not soggy.
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