Homemade Chicken Pot Pie–Make Ahead And Freezable!

Last week I kicked off the Make It Ahead Monday series with Chicken & Cabbage Potstickers recipe. What a great response there was on Facebook, Twitter and here! Freezable Chicken Pot Pie | mealplanningmagic.com | @mealplanmom This week’s installment is actually one that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. Did you know that this Wednesday is Pi Day? You know, mathematically 3.14 so 3/14? Celebrated by foodies as Pie Day I thought it would be fun to feature a pie post in honor of it! For real, click on that link and you’ll see it’s been named a real “holiday” (who knew? I didn’t!) When I was younger I used to LOVE a frozen pot pie. You know, the kind that comes in a little red box in the frozen food section? Loved them. But as I got older I realized they were full of calories and fat! Yikes! And some preservatives I didn’t really want either. So a couple of years ago I went searching for a recipe that I could make at home. I found this one in the 30 Day Gourmet Big Book of Freezer Cooking cookbook and I knew it would be a winner since everything I’d ever made from that book we always loved. You can read my review of the book by clicking here. Awhile back I made this for my freezer meal exchange group and they raved about it. Just about everyone wanted a copy of the recipe because their families loved it too! It came in handy too for some friends of ours whose daughter was in the hospital and needed some support during that time (she’s fine now thankfully!) I love that it uses all fresh ingredients too! It was a cinch to put together and totally worth it because it’s great to be able to pull it out of the freezer and bake it up. Wow! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it—I need to make this again soon!

This recipe was updated on March 1, 2015 to clarify baking instructions and also put it into a mobile and printer-friendly format. The rest of this post remains the same!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie--Make Ahead and Freezable!
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
A healthier, homemade version of the classic comfort food, chicken pot pie. This recipe includes instructions for making and baking right away or making ahead and freezing and baking later. NOTE: This recipe makes 2 whole pies. Make one to enjoy now and freeze another for later!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half or evaporated milk (I personally use skim or 1% milk and it’s still good!)
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 4 unbaked pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)
Instructions
TO MAKE FILLING
  1. Saute the first 3 ingredients in butter in a big skillet over medium heat until tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and half & half/evap. milk; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
  2. Stir in chicken, peas, salt, and pepper. Cool before pouring into pie crusts. VERY important!
FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. At this point you may freeze the filling in a labeled freezer safe container/bag. To prepare from frozen, read instructions below.
  2. Or you may also assemble the whole pie and freeze whole.
  3. To do that, prepare crusts. Roll them out and place the bottom crusts in the pie plates and set aside the top crusts until ready to cover. Pour filling mixture into bottom crusts and cover with top crusts. Fold edges under and crimp. Poke slits in the top (you can make a nice pattern here too!)
  4. Cover with foil, label and freeze. See below for preparation instructions
TO PREPARE POT PIE FROM FRESH
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare crusts. Roll them out and place the bottom crusts in the pie plates and set aside the top crusts until ready to cover. Pour filling mixture into bottom crusts and cover with top crusts. Fold edges under and crimp. Poke slits in the top (you can make a nice pattern here too!)
  3. Bake assembled pie uncovered, for 30-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
TO PREPARE POT PIE FROM FROZEN
  1. Thaw filling in refrigerator. You might need to stir or mush the filling together to combine well and reincorporate. Assemble as described above and bake accordingly. OR you may bake the whole pie from frozen.
  2. To do so, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 16 (from two pies--if you're just making one pie it will just serve 8).
  4. Freezes very well separately or fully prepared in the crust. Try them both and see which way you prefer!

Chopped carrots ready to go.

Chopped fresh celery ready to go!

Chopped fresh cooked chicken ready to go.

Saute all the vegetables together until tender.

Simmer all the ingredients with the evaporated milk.

Everything all mixed together after the filling had thickened a bit.

Pies topped and ready to be frozen.

Pies lidded, labeled and ready to be frozen until freezer meal exchange group!

Comments

  1. Diana says

    Made this today. Doubled the recipe, used pre-made and left off the top crust. I instead added a crumble topping. This way I got 4 pies out of the mixture instead of 2. =)
    Here’s the crumble instructions. It says to bake it separately but I just put it on top and then baked them 30 minutes.
    Crumble Topping

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
    6 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
    For the topping: Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle the butter pieces in and incorporate with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the parmesan, then add the cream and stir until just combined. Place on a lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes until becoming fragrant and browning. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over the top and bake like instructed above.

  2. says

    This looks absolutely delicious and with the busy Weeks ahead I would love to have meals prepared ahead of time. I was wondering how long it would keep on the freezer already completely prepared in the crust (prior to baking of course). Thanks for this recipe! Can’t wait to make it.

    • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

      Valerie, thanks for your comment! You know, I was just thinking I need to make a few of these myself to store in my freezer too for the upcoming school year. Normally, you can freeze most things for up to 3 months and retain the same quality. For some things longer (and I have done longer before for lots of things) but you risk the quality deteriorating….nothing will spoil on you though. Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by!

    • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

      Glenda, I bought them at Dollar Tree. They are 3/$1 and include lids! They are definitely freezer safe! You can also buy the tins at any grocery or discount store (like Target or Walmart). This is one of my family’s all-time favorites. I love that it the cream sauce is made from scratch–really quite easy to put together.

  3. Brandi says

    Hi this may be a dumb question but I am making these for freezer meals. Once input the crust on am I baking these uncovered for 30 minutes and ten once they cool put the lid on and freeze them then when ready to eat that them and then bake for the 30 ? Thank you

    • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

      Hi Brandi,

      No, you do not need to bake them ahead of time. You can just freeze after you assemble and then thaw and bake from there. Hope this helps!

      • alyssa says

        UH OH… I made one to eat and one to freeze for a family in need of meals. I baked both, and froze the one for the family. Am I able to thaw and heat it up, or will it be a disaster??? Thank you, Alyssa

        • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

          Hi Alyssa,

          You should be ok. I’d suggest you thaw it fully in the refrigerator first though and keep it covered with foil when you reheat in the oven so that the crust does not get too brown. You will basically just be heating it through so probably 20-30 minutes. LMK how it turns out!

          • autumn bartels says

            thanks I was going ask the same question! With Thanksgiving here my husband LOVES my pies and wanted me to make a freeze a ton but I’d never done that before and wasn’t sure if I was to cook the pie at all or not.

  4. Bethany says

    I’m a little confused, the recipe says bake 375 for 30 min hen cover with foil and bake another 30, but the foil pans in your picture say bake 350 for 30 min only?? which is correct? looks yummy!

    • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

      Ah, I need to update that. The difference is that on the foil pans it also says “thaw” then cook for 30 minutes. The instructions in the recipe as written otherwise means if you are baking from frozen. Hope this helps!

        • Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

          No, you should remove the lid and then cover with a separate piece of foil. The like is foil lined cardboard. Hope this helps!

  5. Nica says

    Found this recipe on Pinterest. I cut the recipe in half. Came out good, my family enjoyed it very much. My crust was a little too dark after 30 minutes, so next time I would keep a closer eye on it in the first 30 minutes before covering it.

  6. DoreneNelson says

    This is sooo good. I used frozen corn instead of peas because the husband won’t eat peas. I also added a few pinches of thyme to the sauce. Was planning on freezing the second half in a ziploc but the pie crust I got was a deep dish and it used about 3/4th to fill it. Next thing I knew the hubby had biscuits in the oven and put the remaining 1/4th over the biscuits. That was also very good. I love the sauce. Think I might make up another batch and just put them in ziplocs. Of course I will do this when the hubby is not at home. Thanks for the great recipe.

  7. Laura Bussie says

    So if I’m baking it right after I assemble it, how long would you recommend I cook it? Covered or uncovered?

  8. AprilFresh says

    I’m also confused of how long I’m suppose to be cooking these.  If I cook them as soon as I make them, am I cooking them for 30 minutes uncovered and then another 30 minutes covered?

  9. JulieYatesNeff says

    So just to clarify… you cook 30 minutes @ 350 if it’s thawed from being previously frozen and 30 @ 375 +30 covered if it’s still frozen? What about if you cook it right after you make it? Same as the thawed instructions?

    • says

      I would say it depends on what kind of appetites you all have! I normally slice ours into 8 pieces and we will have one to one and half slices but my son is younger so he will have a smaller piece. We do also like it for leftovers (and for taking to lunch) so I think you’d be safe with two pies. But if you serve it with a salad as a side, one piece each might be enough. Hope that helps! :-)

  10. MoniqueDLG says

    I just made the filling for this and will be freezing into two bags. When ready to use I’ll make homemade pie crusts and pop in the oven. I followed the recipe exactly and my only addition was a few sprinkles of poultry seasoning to the veggies and butter, then another sprinkle with the salt and pepper. It thickened up nicely and can’t wait to try it out. Oh and my kitchen smells delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  11. gillym82 says

    OK, I’m still confused even after reading the comments LOL. I will be making these and placing in the freezer. Once I take out of the freezer how do I cook them? Should I thaw prior to cooking or can I cook from frozen? Thank you.

  12. Laura Bussie says

    I just made these last week and the who family LOVED them. I was confused on the baking time, but reading the comments I thought I figured it out, and it seemed tow ork for me. I did NOT thaw, and cooked it straight from frozen…30 minutes uncovered, then another 30 minutes covered. I did end up throwing it back in for a little while longer uncovered again because I didn’t feel like the center of the crust was cooked enough. Next time I’m going to try covering only the edges with foil for the second 30 minutes, and leave the center uncovered. My understanding is that if the pot pie is thawed, then you would only cook for 30 minutes.

    • says

      I’m so glad you all liked it! I need to update the post with all the tweaks that not only I’ve made but others have made too. Haven had trouble getting a decent photo before it all gets eaten at my house!

  13. kuglette says

    Hi Brenda! I love this recipe so much and have made it several times. However, every time I make it I have to go to a different recipe from another website to find cooking directions. Even after reading all of the comments, I’m still confused and I think a bunch of readers are too. :-) Can you update the recipe to include directions for cooking the pot pies fresh *and* frozen, please? I think that would help a ton. Thanks again for creating this amazing recipe! I have taken it to a ton of friends and they all rave about it!

    • says

      Hi there! I’m glad you love this recipe–it is for sure a family favorite here! I updated the recipe to help clarify baking instructions and assembly instructions for freezing and baking later. Take a look and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much!

  14. bjshrack says

    I don’t know if I’m missing it or if I’m supposed to assuming anything, but is this for one pie?

  15. Tracy Baxter says

    Thanks for updating the recipe. I love these and am making them again today for like the hundredth time. I like to keep a couple in my freezer and make them for friends. I am giving some to another family next weekend who has a member going into the hospital. They will love them, everyone does.

  16. Jeannine says

    Thanks for recipe. Just a question – they don’t look too full – do they rise at all or are they the thickness of say, a quiche.

    • says

      Hi Jeannine! They do “rise” slightly from the bubbly filling but not too much. I use a regular 9-inch pie dish vs. a deep dish so that may make a difference. I will need to make that note in the recipe. Enjoy!

  17. Alexandra says

    I don’t think I will ever eat a premise frozen pot pie from the freezer section again! This recipe is delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!

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