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Ina Garten Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. I can assure you this Ina Garten chicken pot pie is a zillion times better than the Swanson version some of us admit to loving back in the day.

I love chicken pot pie – the aroma as you burst through the pastry, the rich velvety sauce mixed with vegetables, the plump pieces of chicken and the flaky crust. Groan.

individual chicken pot pie crust cut open 2

I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie which got stellar reviews (for good reason). The Barefoot Contessa, a TV personality on the Food Network and cookbook author, is one of my favorite chefs. The recipe below is fairly close to the original recipe along with variations and shortcuts you can use if you like.

Is making homemade chicken pot pie worth it?

The downside

  • Making chicken pot pie from scratch is a labor of love. It requires multiple steps and takes a couple of hours from start to finish.  
  • And, it is definitely not low calorie.

The upside

  • On the plus (plus, plus) side, you can take several great shortcuts that cut the time in half with really good results. I do this all the time. See shortcuts below.
  • You can also make the individual chicken pot pies ahead or even freeze them.
  • And they are very adaptable to your taste including making a vegetarian version. 

Considering all that  – and the sheer scrumptious-ness of this dish – this Ina Garten chicken pot pie recipe is definitely worth the effort for a special occasion. I have to admit I don’t usually do recipes with so many steps, but once in a while they’re worth it.

Shortcuts (great ones)

  1. Instead of roasting the chicken, use left over chicken or buy 1-2 rotisserie chickens (2 if you only want to use breast meat). I do the latter all the time and it’s perfect. The Costco chickens work very well because they are tender and moist.
  2. Instead of making the pastry crust, buy puff pastry dough sheets, unfold and cut to size as needed. This crust is delicious – buttery and flaky. In fact, you can make this skillet chicken pot pie with puff pastry in 30 minutes. You can also buy ready-made refrigerated pastry dough.  If you can’t find this in the store, you can use the ready made refrigerated pie shells.  Just roll out flat and cut to size.
  3. Reduce the preparation time by using just chicken and frozen peas or chicken and one other vegetable. Less chopping.

Steps to make Ina Garten’s chicken pot pie

dough chilled in fridge
Make the pastry dough and chill it.
vegetables and chicken in sauce
Make the sauce, then add vegetables, seasoning and chicken.
Fill bowls with filling
Fill individual bowls with chicken and vegetable mixture.
individual chicken pot pie with dough pie crust on top
Top with pastry crust. Personalize it if you like!
individual chicken pot pie on table
Bake until crust is golden brown and flaky.
individual chicken pot pie crust cut open p

Tailor To Your Taste – Variations

  • Make vegetarian pot pies, using vegetable or mushroom broth and vegetable bouillon cubes. Omit the chicken. Or use plant-based or vegan chicken.
  • Alter the vegetables and herbs. Try butternut squash, mushrooms, pearl onions, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, etc. And add a few fresh tarragon leaves if you like just before baking.
  • To reduce the calories, cut the butter in half and use a bit less crust on each individual pot pie. You can also replace the half and half cream with milk.
  • Change the serving option: Instead of individual bowls (onion soup bowls or any oven-proof bowls), use a 3 quart casserole dish.

What to serve with chicken pot pie

To be honest, this chicken pot pie has lots of veggies, a rich sauce and a delicious buttery crust so you don’t need a lot of side dishes.

I like to serve it with a citrus salad or winter salad and and, for an extra touch, a fresh cranberry orange relish. The sweet tart flavors contrast beautifully with the pot pie and cut the richness a bit.

If you’re planning to freeze the unbaked pot pies and eliminate the potatoes, you can serve mashed potatoes on the side.

For dessert, I like to go a bit lighter since the pot pies pack a lot of calories. Two good options are chunky applesauce and no-bake berry crumble. If you have to have something chocolatey 🙂 how about our 8-minute microwave brownie.

Make Ahead

  • To make chicken pot pie a day ahead: Cover the unbaked pot pies with aluminum foil and refrigerate. The next day, remove the foil, brush with egg wash then bake at 375F/190C for an hour.
  • To freeze: Wrap the individual chicken pot pies in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap. Bake, from frozen, after brushing with egg wash, at 375F/190C for an hour.  Note about potatoes: If you plan to freeze the pot pies, do not use boiling potatoes. Either eliminate potatoes completely or use red or ‘new’ potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
  • How to reheat chicken pot pie once cooked: Heat oven to 300F/149C. Place pot pies in oven and heat for 15 minutes. If crust is getting too brown, cover the edges with aluminum foil and continue baking another 10-20 minutes until heated through.

FAQ

Where does chicken pot pie come from?

Chicken pot pie is believed to have originated in Ancient Greece. It was called Artocreas and made of vegetables and protein in an open pastry shell.

When was the first frozen pot pie invented?

The Swanson company created the first frozen pot pie with chicken in 1951.

Is there a difference between a chicken pot pie and a chicken pie?

Chicken pies are surrounded by crust and usually contain only chicken, no vegetables. Chicken pot pie typically has only one top crust and a slightly looser sauce.

Love comfort foods?

Then check out these recipes

Or check out the full list of 22 best comfort foods

individual chicken pot pie crust cut open 2
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Ina Garten Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. I can assure you this Ina Garten chicken pot pie is a zillion times better than the Swanson version some of us admit to loving back in the day.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Chicken and Sauce

  • 2 chicken breasts, whole (or 4 split) skin on, bone in Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups good chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 1 large sweet onion)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cream (I use half and half – 10% cream) or use heavy cream (35%) for extra richness

Vegetables

  • 2 cups carrots, cut in large dice 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups celery, cut in large dice 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice, Note 2 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups frozen peas optional
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For pastry crust, Note 3

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or 1/2 cup/110g + 1 tablespoon butter or margarine)
  • 1/4 pound (one stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 350F/177C for chicken (unless using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken). Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • COOK CHICKEN: Place chicken on prepared sheet pan, skin side up. Rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, roast for 35-40 minutes until done (165F/74C). When chicken is cool enough to handle, take skin off, remove meat from bones and dice into chunks (e.g. 1.5 inches/3.8cm). You will have 3-4 cups. Note 1 for shortcut.
  • COOK VEGETABLES: Blanch (boil) vegetables (except parsley) in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, blanch in microwave for 1-2 minutes, covered, with a tablespoon of water.
  • MAKE PASTRY CRUST: Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade. Add butter and shortening. Use your fingers to make sure each piece is covered in flour (watch your fingers! better yet, use a spoon). Pulse processor 10 times. Add butter and shortening. With motor running, start adding 1/2 cup ice water and process just until dough is moistened and comes together (you may need a bit more ice water). Place dough on floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and then let it rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • MAKE SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, heat stock with bouillon cubes until cubes are dissolved. In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions over medium heat until translucent, 10 minutes. Mix in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot stock, whisking to combine well. Cook 3-4 minutes until sauce is thickened. Add 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste), 1/2 teaspoon pepper. and cream. Add cubed chicken, blanched vegetables, parsley and peas to the sauce. Stir.
  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C to bake pot pies.
  • ASSEMBLE: Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough in 4 pieces and roll each piece in an 8 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Spray some oil on your fingers and brush them along the outside edges of each bowl (and down the side about 1 inch/2.5cm). This will make clean up much easier. For each pot pie, place the dough on the filled bowl, mold or crimp over the sides and trim to 1/2 inch overhang. (At this point, you can put the individual pies in the fridge covered. Note 5.)
  • BAKE: Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits on the top. Decorate with bits of extra dough if you like. Place pot pies on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour until golden brown.

Notes

  1. Chicken shortcut: Use left over or store bought chicken. You will need 2 chickens if using only white meat. Or or one plump one if using dark and white meat. Cut meat into 1 inch chunks. 
  2. Note about potatoes if planning to freeze: If you plan to freeze the pot pies, do not use boiling potatoes. Either eliminate potatoes completely or use Yukon gold, red or ‘new’ potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
  3. Pastry crust shortcut: Instead of making your own pastry, you can use a store bought sheet of puff pastry, unroll it, cut to shape, then lay over the bowls with pot pie mixture, cut slits in top and bake. 
  4. Variations:
    • For a lower calorie version, use half the butter, less pastry crust and 2% milk instead of cream. 
    • For a vegetarian pot pie, use vegetable or mushroom broth and vegetable bouillon cubes. Omit the chicken. Or use plant-based or vegan chicken.
    • Add tarragon leaves for a different flavor if you like. 
    • Use other vegetables like parsnips or mushrooms.
  5. Make Ahead:
    • To make chicken pot pie a day ahead: Cover the unbaked pot pies with aluminum foil and refrigerate. The next day, remove the foil, brush with egg wash then bake at 375F/190C for an hour.
    • To freeze: Wrap the individual chicken pot pies in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap. Bake, from frozen, after brushing with egg wash, at 375F/190C for an hour.  Note about potatoes: If you plan to freeze the pot pies, do not use boiling potatoes. Either eliminate potatoes completely or use red or ‘new’ potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
    • How to reheat chicken pot pie once cooked: Set oven temperature to 300F/149C. Place pot pies in oven and heat for 15 minutes. If crust is getting too brown, cover the edges with aluminum foil and continue baking another 10-20 minutes until heated through.
 
Nutritional information is estimated and includes all the pastry crust (you may trim some away, thereby lowering calories and fat). 

Nutrition

Calories: 1081kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1391mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9337IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 6mg
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This recipe, originally published in 2016, has been updated with new information and edits.

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2 Comments

    1. Yes, the vegetable pot pie would have no chicken and would substitute vegetable stock/broth for chicken stock.