This chicken Pot Pie—one of my favorite comfort food recipes—is a lightened-up version thanks to a puff pastry crust, loads of fresh veggies, and a creamy yet lower-fat and lower-calorie sauce that brings all the flavors together.
This recipe is brought to you by Almond Breeze
Chicken pot pie, with its homemade buttery crust and thick creamy sauce, rings in the comfort food season each and every Fall and then continues well into the cozy vibes of winter. Who’s with me in calling this pure comfort in a bowl?
But when winter gives way to spring and we start easing into our summery daze, those cravings for traditional chicken pot pie get a literal gut-check when faced with the fact it’s time to transition from hiding underneath winter’s cocooning cardigan sweaters to strutting our stuff in summer shorts and sassy swimsuits.
But that’s what I love about this lighter chicken pot pie recipe: It cures my still-holding-strong comfort food cravings (because do they ever really disappear?) with a healthier adaptation of ingredients, making it a favorite home-cooked dinner no matter what season it shows off in.
How to Make a Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
I, for one, am all about the joys of a classic chicken pot pie, resplendent with a homemade butter crust and a butter and cream sauce that leaves you begging for seconds. I mean, it’s the dinner I ask for every year on my birthday because if there’s one day to treat yo’self, yo’ birthday is it!
My husband was the first one to take this puff pastry crust shortcut in place of a regular double-crust pie, which in itself is surprising because he is always of the “more butter, more cream” mentality. But like so many of us cooks in the kitchen, he’s figuring out that making small ingredient tweaks and healthier choices can really make a difference in both saving time and in saving our waistlines without sacrificing taste.
These healthier choices start with the chicken pot pie filling that’s loaded chock full of fresh veggies that step outside the traditional ingredient mix—asparagus, mushrooms, leeks—with a bit of garlic and fresh thyme sautéed in just a bit of canola oil while carrots, baby red potatoes, and peas give a nod to the classic pot pie flavors.
How to Make a Healthier “Cream” Sauce
Once the veggies have cooked to become tender and the chicken is added, I pretty much follow my same method for traditional pot pie by making a roux by sprinkling the ingredients in the skillet with all-purpose flour and then stirring and cooking for a minute or two so to lose that floured taste.
But where I deviate from my traditional recipe is skipping extra dollops of butter and using Almond Breeze almondmilk Original with chicken broth in lieu of cream. With this method, I’m saving fat and calories—only 2.5 grams of fat and 60 calories per cup of almondmilk of which this recipe calls for just half that amount. Plus, almond milk is both shelf stable and refrigerator ready so it’s easy to have on hand.
The result is a creamy sauce that delivers all the pot pie flavor.
How to Prepare Your Chicken
I cooked my skinless chicken breast in the Instant Pot (3 boneless chicken breasts with 1 cup of water, 1/2 yellow onion, 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 5 or so peppercorns on high pressure for 10 minutes and a 10 minute natural release) then chopped the chicken into bite size chunks. You could always bake your chicken breasts if you prefer or use a rotisserie chicken instead.
This recipe makes enough filling for 4 individual tall baking dishes or ramekins (1 1/2 to 2 cups each), or two 9-inch pies or 1 heaping 10-inch pie. You can also prepare it in a casserole baking dish too. These are the bowls I use and they’re under $3 each.
The packages of puff pastry I use come with two sheets of pastry. I used just one to make these four individual pies by rolling the pastry out just a bit thinner than it comes out of the package, then cutting it into quarters to top the filling and just barely hang over the sides of the bowls, leaving just a bit of filling to peek out of the edges.
A quick whisk of egg and water is brushed onto the puff pastry before they go off into the oven to become golden brown and all puffed-up—just like your ego will be when everyone declares how much they love these lightened-up pot pies.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1½ cups thinly sliced leeks, white parts only
- 1½ cup sliced brown mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1½ cups chopped asparagus
- 1 cup baby red potatoes, quartered
- ½ cup sliced carrots, about 2 carrots
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups diced chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Almond Breeze almondmilk Original
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes then add the asparagus, red potatoes, carrots, and thyme leaves. Season with the rest of the salt and the black pepper and continue to cook for 7-10 minutes until the potatoes and asparagus become tender. Add the chicken and the peas and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour, then stir to combine well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and almond milk and bring to a boil, and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Unwrap the puff pastry and use a rolling pin to lengthen the dough. Cut the puff pastry into 4 squares.
- Fill each baking dish or ramekin with 1½ cups of the chicken pot pie filling, then top with a puff pastry square. Repeat with the remaining ramekins. Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brush the puff pastry with the egg. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the puff pastry is golden. Serve hot.
More Lightened-Up Recipes With Almond Milk You’ll Want to Make, Too
- Chicken Satay with Lighter Almond Dipping Sauce
- Thai Coconut Noodle Salad
- Braised Pork Roast in Almond Milk
- Lighter Penne alla Vodka Recipe
- Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
- One-Pot Skinny Pasta Primavera
- Dreamy Creamy Mango Pops
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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