Do you always wonder what in the world you are going to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers? If you are anything like me, you always go for the biggest bird in the store! But then you end up having turkey sandwiches for days!
But with this amazingly easy – and almost homemade – turkey pot pie recipe you won’t be wondering what to do with all those leftovers!
A little side story…
Our first Thanksgiving after our son was born we ordered one of those ready-made dinners from Safeway that cost a ridiculous amount of money and made us realize that 80% of the meal consisted of fairly easy to make items – if you aren’t too concerned about making every single item from scratch – the sides are really fairly basic.
The stuffing is straight out of the box. My version of green bean casserole consists of three items that come right out of the can/box. Keep it simple and there is no need to stress out during this already hectic time of year.
One surprising side effect that came out of our experimenting with making holiday dinners at home all by ourselves was I learned to loooooove how much leftover meat there is from such a huge turkey. There are so many different yummy dinners that can come from that bird you slaved all day over (btw – skip the slaving away in the kitchen and go for the turkey bags!!). Anyway, back to the leftovers; one year as I was Googling different recipes to make with leftover turkey, I came across a recipe called “Dad’s Leftover Turkey Pot Pie.”
Let me just tell you, when it comes to “Almost homemade” this recipe fits the bills perfectly. Anyone eating this delicious dinner will think you spent all day in the kitchen when in reality it was mere minutes. Again though, you need to relieve yourself of the idea that everything just has to be homemade from scratch – forget about it! Grab those frozen pie crusts while you are grocery shopping for all the fixings for dinner and call it good. No one will know or care that you did not spend hours rolling out the dough yourself and making a full-on mess in the meantime.
Everything about this meal is toss and serve, which is my favorite part! The only thing I changed is that the recipe originally called for a bag of frozen veg-all…or whatever that stuff is called that has quite a few different vegetables in it. I cannot stand that stuff, especially the lima beans…yuck! So I buy a bag of frozen peas and carrots and an extra can of green beans when I am shopping for the big holiday dinner.
Start with your frozen vegetables, whatever it is you choose to buy, and boil them in water in a fairly decent sized pot as this is what we will be using to mix everything together as we go along. Drain the can of green beans and boil those with your frozen veggies, cook according to their package directions.
While the veggies are boiling, this is the best time to cut up the leftover turkey. The recipe calls for 4 cups of cubed turkey pieces, I can’t say that my pieces are in any way “cubed” and I can promise you that I am fairly liberal with my “cups” of turkey but regardless this is what the recipe calls for. Cut up your turkey and set aside.
Drain the vegetables when they are done and set aside. In that same pot, we were cooking the veggies in, warm up the cream of mushroom soup (from the can or make your own). When measuring my ingredients I like to keep it simple so I just use my can from the soup to measure the milk and don’t fill it up all the way, this is about how much you need (ish!). Warm up soup over medium heat and stir pretty regularly and then add in the chicken broth.
The broth is an ingredient that is used in quite a few things when I am cooking on the holiday, so I will usually buy the big box of broth when I am doing my big grocery shopping trip. But if I am feeling up to it when the bird comes out of the oven I will save some broth for the next day….but during the holidays this is a step that is easily skipped and nobody notices…except for your feet which will thank you if you just skip it and use the boxed stuff!
Slowly warm up the soup and broth until it reaches a simmer and then turn off the heat. Simply add back in the other ingredients, the cooked veggies and cut up turkey, and mix it all up together. Voila! “Nearly” homemade pot pie filling using frozen and/or canned veggies, ready-made soup, and broth, and our leftover turkey meat – it doesn’t get any easier than that!
This amount of pot pie filling will make two pies; I will sometimes make both or sometimes just make one pie and freeze the rest of the filling. This can be a wonderful dinner a few weeks down the road when people are no longer sick of turkey and you are racing to do a million things and get the kids to soccer practice. Meal Planning made easy: take out your frozen pie filling and let it defrost a few days, pick up more frozen pie crusts and dinner practically serves itself.
My favorite hack
Here is my hack on the frozen pie crusts: they come in a package of two, one will be the bottom and the other will be flipped over to make the top. It is a lot easier to flip the top out of the little aluminum holder it is in if it is semi-defrosted. So take out just one of the pie crusts before you start prepping the pie filling and let it sit on the counter while you cook. Then once the filling is all done take out the other crust still frozen and use this as the bottom crust.
I have read online that some people cut off the edges of the crust you will be using as your top half in order for it to sit nicely on top. But I obviously do not take my cooking that seriously! And who complains about too much crust anyways?!?! It takes a little bit of finesse to get the crust out of the aluminum holder and flipped over onto the pie. I have messed this up many times….but honestly, it is pot pie! This meal is quintessential feel-good, down-home cooking….no one is going to complain if it isn’t perfect. They will be too busy devouring it!
Cut a few slits in the top crust once it is on there and pop it in the oven. Waiting for it to cook is the worst part of the whole recipe! It is supposed to cook for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees and then cool for 10 more minutes. Honestly, explaining to a hungry herd that they have to wait 45 minutes when the house smells this good…brutal!
Once it is cooled, cut it up and serve! Enjoy!
Before kids, a home-cooked meal in my home looked something like those pasta skillet sensations type dinners. Grocery shopping included only the basics of coffee, creamer, and more coffee!
So, if you like almost homemade meals as much as I do, then you will want to check out this easy turkey pot pie recipe today! Whether it’s the day after Thanksgiving or a random Tuesday evening, this dinner is sure to please the hungriest of crowds.
Yields 2 pies
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- One bag frozen peas and carrots
- One can green beans
- One can cream of mushroom soup
- 10 ounces milk
- 14 ounces broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 cups leftover turkey, cubed
- 4 unbaked pie crusts
- Boil vegetables according to package instructions
- Drain and set aside
- Cut up 4 cups of leftover turkey into cubes and set aside
- Warm cream of mushroom soup over medium heat
- Slowly add milk, stirring frequently
- Add chicken broth, stirring
- Add in the turkey and vegetables and mix together
- Remove from heat
- Divide in half and either make two pies or freeze half and save for later
- Turn over second crust to make the top half of the pie
- Bake in preheated oven at 425 for 30-35 minutes
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving
- Serve and Enjoy!