How to Make Delicious Turkey Pot Pie.

Scrumptious turkey pot pie (and I NEVER use the word scrumptious) filled with peas, carrots, turkey and just the right amount of gravy.  These pot pies are the epitome of comfort food and the best way to use up leftover turkey.

This is – for real – a delicious turkey pot pie recipe.  I know because I have very acute memories from my childhood to compare it to.  Ah, the sound of the little cardboard box opening, the frost covered mini aluminum pan landing on the counter with a thud.  Always, ALWAYS served with a bottle of ketchup and canned peas.  Some nights if we were very lucky and the pot pies had been sitting in the freezer for long enough we could actually taste the metallic aluminum with every bite.

Easy Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

These kind of meals were not uncommon in my neighbourhood at the time.  Every kid who ran outside after dinner to play a quick game of hide and seek either had fish sticks, frozen pot pies or canned mushroom soup on their breath.   Mothers worked, frozen stuff was always on sale and kids would eat it because it was a non threatening shade of beige and all pretty much tasted the same; like salt.

Years later, when I had moved out on my own, I picked up a frozen chicken pot pie I realized they were actually gross. The great pot pie recipe development began.

I found a recipe online that acted as a good base and over the years I’ve changed it over and over again until it’s now ready to present to the world.

This is an easy recipe. Don’t worry about it. You can do it.  But when I say easy, I mean it isn’t difficult to make, but you ARE going to make it, from scratch. 

The best part is you can use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to make it, which is exactly what these you’re looking at are made out of.  After Thanksgiving I stripped the remaining meat off of my turkey and the turkey I pilfered from my friend.  (Every year I pilfer at least one Thanksgiving turkey carcass from a friend or neighbour.) Those two turkeys gave me over 20 jars of delicious turkey broth (here’s my recipe) and several of these delicious dinners.

You can make your own pie dough or just use a frozen crust.  You can make it BIG or you can make small individual ones. I used disposable aluminum pie tins from the Dollar store but I just saw that Amazon has reusable 5″ pie plates that would be perfect for meat pies.

PASTRY TIP:  For a perfectly balanced crust use 60% butter and 40% lard.   100% lard and your crust will be so flaky it’ll fall apart.  100% butter and it’ll be too dense.  I find 60/40 is the perfect ratio.

I often use this recipe from Ashley English of Small Measure but I use the 60/40 butter and lard ratio instead of 100% butter.  It’s from her cookbook A Year of Pies.

You can make it with more sauce or drier with less sauce.  It, like all recipes, should be adapted to your own tastes.

It’s filled with chunks of turkey (you can use chicken if that’s what you have), peas, carrots and seasoning.  Nothing weird.  Nothing you won’t have on hand.  Well … except the celery seed.  You might not have that and it is CRUCIAL.  The celery seed is what gives it that indescribable but delicious flavour.

It took a while to figure out the ratio of liquids I liked.  I like the pot pie to be creamy and gravy filled but I don’t want it to be so filled with gravy that it oozes all over the plate when you cut into it.  If you’re an oozer I’ve got you covered in the recipe, with an adaptation for you.

If you’re short on time (say maybe it’s a weeknight) you can make a quick version of this recipe by taking these shortcuts:

  • Use a precooked chicken. (if you don’t have leftover turkey)
  • Use frozen pie crusts.
  • Use frozen peas and carrots. (you can get a mixed bag and use that!)
  • Use 2.5 cups of canned chicken/turkey gravy.


This delicious dinner can be made in advance and frozen, ready to pop into the oven on a blustery winter night. Freeze after assembly, then cook from frozen for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Winter entree
Cuisine: English
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 372kcal
Author: Karen


  • 1 pound cooked turkey cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup carrots diced small
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup butter*
  • 1/3 cup flour*
  • 1/3 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 cups chicken broth*
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 2 unbaked pie crusts
  • *If you like a pot pie with a lot of gravy oozing out of it then double these ingredients.


  • Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C)
  • Combine carrots, peas and celery in a pot with the chicken broth.
  • Bring it to the boil then simmer it with the lid on until veg are tender.
  • Remove vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl.
  • (DO NOT DRAIN AWAY YOUR BROTH … you’ll need it later)
  • Cook onions in butter in a saucepan until translucent.
  • Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed.
  • Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and the milk.
  • Simmer until thick and gravy like.
  • (NOTE: if you have gravy leftover from Thanksgiving dinner you can simply use that as your gravy base and omit the broth and milk. You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of gravy.
  • Add the vegetables and chicken to your saucepan of gravy and mix.
  • Pour mixture into pie shells, cover with top crusts and seal.
  • Cut slits into top of crust so steam can get out.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden.


An Even Easier Way.
  • Use a precooked chicken. (if you don’t have Thanksgiving leftovers)
  • Use frozen pie crusts.
  • Use frozen peas and carrots. (you can get a mixed bag and use that!)
  • Use 2.5 cups of canned chicken/turkey gravy.
To Cook from Frozen
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 50 minutes (or until bubbling).


Serving: 0.5pie | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 671mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3128IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

The really great part about these delicious pot pies is the fact that you can make it in advance and then pop them in the freezer.  Just like mom used to make.

Can these be made in advance?

You bet! You can make these in advance and then freeze them unbaked until you’re ready to eat them.

Can you freeze pot pie filling?

Again, yes!  If you’ve made extra filling you can freeze that for up to a year for best quality.

What to serve with turkey pot pie?

It’s really a whole meal in itself, but if you like to have a side (I do!) then serve it with a salad. Roasted carrots or peas would also work really well with it and if you want to go BIG a classic side dish for pot pie is french fries.

I don’t like peas. Can I make this pot pie without peas?

You can do whatever you want with this pot pie! Add mushrooms (I mean, supergross, but you might like it), take away peas, use no top crust … do whatever you want.  This is how I make it and how I like it best.  Use this as a guide.  But if you don’t put peas in it people will think you’re a weirdo. You know, normal people who like peas.

How do you keep these pot pies from being soggy?

Because the pot pies have a good amount of gravy but aren’t *too* saucy, the crust stays crisp. If you aren’t going to cook them right away make sure you freeze the pot pies. If you just refrigerate them, they’ll soak the pastry and could be soggy when you cook them.

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How to Make Delicious Turkey Pot Pie.


  1. Ashley says:

    That sounds so delicious! My husband is a vegetarian and I’m always at a loss on what to do with all of the turkey leftovers we’re sent home with. I’m absolutely going to be making some of these pies and freezing them for a later day.

  2. Sarah says:

    Karen, thanks for the awesome recipe!! I absolutely love your squash soup and garnish and added roasted pumpkin as I had it on hand and it was incredible! Every week we have your soup! The garnish is wonderful too. We’ll have to add this pot pie to the mix. Thanks for the recipe and I look forward to your next post!!

  3. Michelle says:

    Mmmmm nice recipe Karen!.👍I love leftover turkey pot pie more than just plain turkey. if I have leftover stuffing, I make the turkey and vegetable filling and put it in a Pyrex with the stuffing spread on top instead of crust. It gets crispy and is delicious

  4. teresa says:

    please, can I come to your house?

    It really was heartbreaking – that first frozen pot pie as an adult…

  5. NanaMadeline says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I used to make the broth from the carcass, after stripping off all the meat and would make the turkey pies. I have also made Tea biscuit dough, rolled it out and used the turkey filling to make Turkey Pinwheels. They are great with gravy and cranberry. And of course, canned peas. All of these were in the Five Roses Cookbook I bought in 1968 as a bride in my new kitchen. I have lost 2 over the years as I moved. (Offerings to the Moving Gods, no doubt). My 3rd one is nice, but they are getting harder to find.

  6. Jackie says:

    Looks & sounds great, Karen. I make one large chicken pot pie in a frozen pie crust (9″-deep dish), sometimes using up leftovers from a rotisserie chicken. I make the gravy part from a dry gravy mix & make extra gravy to add to your plate when you get your piece of the pie. I add a frozen pie crust on the top & brush it with water & sprinkle celery seed on top.

    I have made these using leftover beef roast, too. We love them. My husband & I can’t eat a whole pie & usually give the other 1/2 to our neighbors for their dinner. We share soups & chili with them also.

  7. Celeste says:

    My favorite part is setting the oven to 426 degrees!

  8. Kristina says:

    Do you think this would maybe manage to fill a couple of regular pie tins? I’m making these to transport to our cabin in the sierras, and little pies seem like they’d be more fussy. I’m making our turkey on the BBQ up there. Tried it last weekend, and it worked out well. The upside of the project is that I get to make the “leftover” meal for later in the weekend before we get there. Bonus! I was thinking about enchiladas (so California), but I think I’ve changed my mind as this looks so cozy.

    • Karen says:

      They’re delicious Kristina. I promise. I think the filling would make 2 *scant* regular sized pies. So the lid crust wouldn’t be puffed up and overflowing like in these pies. If you’re worried just add another half to all the ingredients. (instead of 1 lb of turkey add 1.5 lbs, instead of 1 cup of carrots add 1.5 cups and so on) ~ karen!

  9. Mary W says:

    Thank you for the lard tip. I used to make the best pies with wonderful crust. Now I just scrape the good pie insides and leave the crust. Never realized over the years how recipes had changed. It is even hard to find lard at the store. I needed a recipe so you have made my day! Maybe now it will be like the ‘good old days’ at least in pie. I think I used to used to use Crisco, which I can find.

  10. This looks super yummy!

    Psst… just to let you know there are a couple times ‘chicken’ comes up in the post/recipe instead of ‘turkey’. =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joules! That’s intentional. :) So when people are searching on Google in years to come for either a chicken pot pie or a turkey pot pie my post will pop up. ~ karen!

  11. donna says:

    beautiful photos Karen ; )

    • Karen says:

      haha! Thanks Donna. :) But let’s just ignore the one of the uncooked pie that I had to take at night, with my iPhone. ~ karen!

  12. Ev Wilcox says:

    Sounds yummy. I will add potatoes and corn to mine, and try the lard trick for all my crusts.
    I much prefer a bottom crust on pot pies, which is why when I DO buy one, it is a Marie Callender. My adult children have been trying to get me to make pot pie, but mine goes in a 4 qt cake pan, and I really really do not like making crust! Maybe the lard version will be easier.
    Anyway, hope your Thanksgiving went well, and hope mine does too!

    • Karen says:

      Just buy a frozen crust Ev! They’re fine. There are a few tricks to pastry. NOT overworking it, handling it very little, using very cold ingredients … And you just get a feel for when it’s the right consistency in terms of how much cold water you need to add to it. But again, just buy a frozen one if it makes your life easier! ~ karen

      • Celeste says:

        Not frozen crusts! Buy the refrigerated pie crust and just unroll them. Much better than frozen. IMHO.

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Refrigerated crust? Didn’t know there was such a thing. Wonder if we have them here in Ontario? Are they a brand name product or ?

      • Celeste says:

        Pillsbury makes one. My local grocery also makes their own but I don’t think it’s as good. If it not bit enough you could try rolling it out a little thinner.

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Thanks Celeste! I’ll have to check that out. Often we (in Canada) don’t have access to the full range of American products but this is worth looking for. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving! :-)

      • Ev Wilcox says:

        I do! I do! But my pie plates are mostly 12″ and NO ONE sells a crust for a 12″ pie. Boo Hoo…
        And for the really big potpie I am doomed to either piece or make my own…sob….

  13. Eileen says:

    yummy! Hmmm. Would this work with pork roast? Parents have never liked turkey but made it anyway. This year we convinced them that we are fine with having something else that they actually like. Thus: pork roast with all the turkey trimmings. Because T’giving without stuffing and cranberry would just be…wrong.

  14. KimS says:

    I just found a clear plastic folder that I created last year with The Thanksgiving menu and the recipes for every single dish I make! How smart I was last year! I’m adding some leftover turkey recipes (your pot pie) and maybe the grocery list! Now if —next year, IF I can remember I’ve done it … I’ll be so HAPPY!

  15. terri dates says:

    I know this will be sacrilege to you frozen pea and carrot lovers, but I substitute lightly sauteed, sliced mushrooms for the frozen veggies to make an elegant pot pie. Another favorite is using cooked green chiles (like Hatch) instead of peas and carrots. Adds a mild southwestern flair and is still yummy.

  16. Noreen McKechnie says:

    I have a chicken in the fridge as I type. Ready for roasting tomorrow and chicken pie on Friday night. In our house you have to have canned peas with hot chicken or roast beef sandwiches, nothing else works. Most presents bought,one tree goes up tomorrow and Thursday night is the big gingerbread house building party.

  17. Paula says:

    I love homemade pies! We live in a small town with one corner store and it carries local things like asparagus from a someone’s garden in the spring, etc. They also carry some homemade chicken pies with big pieces of white meat chicken, not cheap but so worth it. I will give this recipe a try, thanks.

  18. Tina jeffrey says:

    Do you have a problem with using vodka in your pie crust recipes? I find it makes a good crust BETTER!

    • Kathy says:

      I agree.. The Vodka is cut in half with ice water. It doesn’t react with the gluten in the flour the same way water does, so it makes the dough easier to manipulate. Less handling makes a better pie crust. (Un) fortunately the vodka results inno change to the flavour.

    • Nicole says:

      Wow, I’ve never thought to do this. I’m going to give it a try!

      • `Tina says:

        I keep my vodka in the freezer anyway so added to the water for the crust, it keeps the butter/lard from overheating. It makes a MUCH flakier crust (and the alcohol cooks off so there’s no alcohol or flavor change).

  19. brenda says:

    I want to eat my computer now – that looks so good

  20. MaggieB says:

    Morning, just read this and now my tummy is rumbling for chicken pot pie. Unfortunately, it’s going to get homemade muesli, coconut yoghurt and green tea. It’s not happy!

  21. Tracie Berry says:

    Yes, I loved that, but black and gold wouldn’t go with my theme. However, the young picture is a great idea and would be good with other colours too I think. Thanks! I did some of your dioramas a couple years ago with great success, but I am sooooo curious!!!

    • Karen says:

      Yes, just use whatever colour you want. Party City has tons of plain wrapping paper in every shade imaginable and it’s cheap. ~ karen!

  22. Tracie Berry says:

    So delicious looking, interesting about the lard to butter ratio. Is that for all pastry? I’m still trying to recover from not realizing until November 11, that the Christmas pledge was actually the calendar for November, and that I was already 11 days late…I am recovering, just not as quickly as I would like. I fully intend on completing this month in whatever time I have left, just so you know. I would rather scramble now, than add it all to my list of things to do in December. I am probably spending more time than necessary on Pinterest, but research counts. Right? I just wish I could see your wrapping for this year…You know, before Christmas is over…:) I can’t help it if I’m not as inventive as you, but that’s why I’m here, lol.

  23. Terri says:

    How many will this recipe make? Thanks for sharing. I’m old but I still love Marie’s frozen ones. Haha

    • Karen says:

      Hi Terri! I’ll amend the recipe. It makes enough for 4 very large individual pot pies. (as in you only need to eat half of one) ~ karen!

  24. Stephanie says:

    Canned peas with the correct meal rock. I only have them perhaps twice a year but nothing else works with meatloaf, mash and gravy.

  25. Marilyn says:

    When I host Christmas dinner this is what we have fuss or muss , just add salad and cranberry sauce and maybe a pickle tray. Everyone loves it and it’s so easy !!

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