This easy skillet chicken pot pie is the perfect way to use leftover chicken (or leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!) With a quick homemade dough recipe for pot pie crust.
This recipe and photos were recently updated!
This post contains affiliate links: if you buy something I’ll earn a small commission at no cost to you.
’tis the season for CHICKEN. POT. PIE.
Although actually, we might as well call this recipe “stuff in a skillet with crust on top” or “basic homemade pot pie you can put pretty much anything into,” because chicken is definitely not a requirement here.
I personally tend to reach for this recipe every Thanksgiving weekend, because 1) it’s delicious and 2) there’s only so much leftover turkey a girl can eat, y’know? This pot pie is my FAVORITE way to use up any leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and I love that I can tuck a few pies away in the freezer for later in the winter.
This chicken pot pie (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey pot pie!) will be an instant favorite for four reasons:
- It’s SO. FORGIVING. Seriously.
- Pot pie is the ultimate tip-top champion of make-ahead food.
- ONE SKILLET!
- HOMEMADE POT PIE CRUST, you guys. (I promise it’s super easy and not-at-all scary!)
Here – let’s walk through it step-by-step.
How to make chicken pot pie crust:
Give cold butter, flour, and salt a few quick pulses with a food processor (it should look a bit like sand!) then add cold water a bit at a time until the dough forms slightly bigger pieces.
The dough won’t come together all the way in the food processor – so don’t worry if it still looks a bit crumbly! The dough is ready when you give it a pinch and it holds together:
From there, tip your still-crumbly dough out onto a floured surface and use your hands to gently pat it together.
And BAM! You have homemade pot pie dough (although you can for sure use store-bought pie dough if you have some handy).
You can make the crust ahead of time and keep it wrapped up in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it for a few months down the road. The filling and the assembled pot pie also freeze well! (Pot pies are basically nature’s perfect make-ahead food, yes?)
This Chicken Pot Pie (or turkey pot pie! or veggie pot pie! The world is your pot pie oyster!) also lends itself well to looking, umm, RUSTIC – which is basically code for “we totally don’t have to even attempt to make anything look fancy here.”
Just drape the rolled pot pie dough over the skillet, flip the edges back in towards the center, and cut a few slits in the middle to let steam escape.
For full make-ahead directions, read through the recipe notes at the bottom of this post!
You can prep a few different components ahead of time depending on how much time you have to cook (like I said: the ultimate tip-top champion of make-ahead food).
This chicken pot pie is also ultra-customizable, so don’t be afraid to make tweaks based on what’s in your fridge or pantry (there’s that “super-forgiving-recipe” thing again!) I love adding things like fresh rosemary, corn, pancetta, broccoli, or cauliflower.
An easy chicken pot pie made in a cast iron skillet. Great for using leftover chicken (or leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!)
FOR THE POT PIE CRUST:
- 5 Tbsp. COLD unsalted butter, and cut into cubes
- 1.25 cups flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup COLD water (you may not need it all)
FOR THE POT PIE FILLING:
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large potato, diced (about 1 cup)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1.5 cups chicken stock (or turkey stock/vegetable stock!)
- 2 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1.5 cups diced cooked chicken (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey!)
- 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine!)
- 1/2 cup half and half (substitute milk or cream if you like)
1. MAKE THE POT PIE CRUST:
- Add cold butter, flour, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until the butter has been lightly chopped into small pieces (you should still be able to easily see some butter chunks, and the flour mixture should look almost like sand).
- Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each addition until the dough begins to form larger chunks. The dough won’t pull together the way a yeast or bread dough does – it will still look quite coarse. You’ll know the crust dough is ready when you pinch a bit of dough together with your fingers and it holds together without being sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (it should still look a bit crumbly – that’s ok!). Working quickly, use your hands to bring the dough together (try to “pat” the dough into shape rather than kneading it) until it forms a relatively smooth ball or disc (see the photos above for what it should look like!).
- Place your dough in an airtight container (I like to use my Stasher Bag, though you could also wrap it with plastic wrap) and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until you’re ready to use it.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Make your pot pie crust in advance if you like! Prepared pot pie crust will last 3-4 days in the fridge and several months in the freezer. You can also definitely use a store-bought pie crust here if you like.
2. MAKE THE POT PIE FILLING:
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet (at least 10 inches in diameter) over medium-high heat.
- When butter is melted and hot, add onion and garlic to skillet. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add potato to skillet and stir to combine. Cook another 3-5 minutes until potato has begun to soften.
- Add salt, pepper, and thyme to skillet and stir to combine. You should see a bit of butter and liquid in the pan, but if the pan looks too dry here, add another pat of butter or a dash of olive oil.
- Add flour to skillet and stir to combine. The flour will soak up the moisture in the pan and clump together to form a roux. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute until flour is cooked through and smells slightly nutty.
- Add chicken stock to skillet a little at a time, stirring in between each addition to break up any lumps. The stock will thicken quickly at first, then gradually thin out.
- When you’ve added all the stock, bring the filling to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until stock has thickened, about 5-10 minutes. The filling is ready when the stock has reached the consistency of a thick soup.
- Add carrots, cooked chicken or turkey, peas, and half and half to filling and stir to combine. Return the mixture to a simmer (this is the point where I like to roll out my pot pie crust!) then remove from the heat. If you’re baking the pot pie now, proceed to the next step immediately.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP: If you’re making the pot pie in advance and planning to refrigerate or freeze it for later, let the filling cool completely before moving on to the next step. You can also freeze the filling on its own and make the crust/assemble the pot pie at a later date when you’re ready to bake!
3. ASSEMBLE THE POT PIE:
- Remove pot pie crust from fridge and lightly flour a cutting board. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the crust to a circle about 1/8″ thick. Your rolled crust should be slightly larger in diameter than your cast iron skillet.
- Transfer your crust to the top of your cast iron skillet. Work quickly here as the hot filling will start to soften the pot pie crust, and be careful not to touch the hot skillet (don’t burn yourself!)
- Trim or fold over any pieces of crust that hang over the edges of the pot pie. I like to fold the edges in towards the center and lightly pinch the dough to form a rustic crust (see photos in the post above!)
- Cut slits in the center of the crust to let steam escape as the pot pie bakes.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP:If you’re refrigerating or freezing the pot pie, do so now. Cover the cooled pot pie tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 4 months.
4. BAKE THE POT PIE:
- Place your cast iron skillet on a large baking sheet (this makes it easier to move and will catch any drips or spills as the pot pie cooks). Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown.
- Let pot pie cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut and serve.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP: To bake a cold or frozen pot pie, you can choose one of two methods: One, put the cold or frozen pot pie directly into a COLD oven, then heat the oven with the pot pie inside
This recipe (and accompanying photos) were recently updated to make things easier to follow!
The theme of this pot pie story is “use whatever you have!” – this recipe is VERY forgiving and is a great clean-out-the-fridge meal. Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey or shredded chicken, or add extra protein like bacon, pancetta, sausage, or anything you have on hand. This is also great with leftover fresh rosemary, thyme, or sage, and any extra produce you’ve got. I like to add corn, spinach or kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips – you name it, I’ve probably put it in this pot pie.
I like to use red or white potatoes here because they hold their shape well once cooked, but use whatever you have!
Use at least a 9-10″ skillet for best results (Lodge has some great, affordable ones here). The pot pie should fill the skillet almost all the way up – once you add the last few ingredients, you’ll want to stir slowly and carefully to avoid spilling anything. I find a 9- or 10-inch skillet is usually the perfect size to make a substantially-sized pot pie without overfilling the pan. If you don’t have a big enough skillet, you can always make the filling in a regular pot and transfer it to a separate baking dish to make your pot pie! This recipe also works well using a dutch oven in place of a skillet.