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! 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!
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie--Make Ahead and Freezable!
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour sifted
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup 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
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 unbaked pie crusts homemade or store-bought
TO MAKE FILLINGSaute 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 milk; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in chicken, peas, salt, and pepper. Cool before pouring into pie crusts. VERY important!
FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:At this point you may freeze the filling in a labeled freezer safe container/bag. To prepare from frozen, read instructions below.
Or you may also assemble the whole pie and freeze whole.
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!)
Cover with foil, label and freeze. See below for preparation instructions
TO PREPARE POT PIE FROM FRESH
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
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!)
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 FROZENThaw 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.
To do so, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
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).
Freezes very well separately or fully prepared in the crust. Try them both and see which way you prefer!
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