Turn leftover turkey into an entirely new meal with this turkey pot pie recipe. Vegetables and cooked turkey come together in a creamy herbed gravy, and it’s all topped with a buttery golden pie crust. This base recipe can be customized to your liking with ingredients you have on hand, and you can use pre-cut, leftover, or frozen vegetables to save time. Maximum comfort food for minimal effort!
Every fall season, I try to find a few recipes to use up leftover cooked turkey or chicken. (You know, after we’ve had our fill of turkey sandwiches!!) Pot pie usually comes to mind first because it’s always a satisfying, crowd-pleasing choice.
Why You’ll Love This Turkey Pot Pie
- Satisfying all-in-one meal
- Easy flavorful gravy, made from basic pantry ingredients
- A great way to use up leftover cooked turkey (or chicken)—use light or dark meat or a combination
- Use the suggested vegetables, or swap them for your favorites
- Use frozen, pre-cut, or leftover vegetables to save time
- Top with flaky buttery pie crust, or use store-bought pie dough
Start With Pie Crust
Before the filling, have your pie crust prepared and ready to go. I love using this homemade pie crust, a dough made from both butter AND shortening to yield the flakiest, most tender crust. This turkey pot pie recipe uses just 1 disc of pie dough, so if you made my homemade pie crust recipe for your pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or French silk pie, you’ll have 1 leftover for today’s pot pie!
You can make the dough up to 5 days in advance.
Here are some other crust options:
- Store-bought: Use 1 sheet/disc of store-bought pie crust.
- All-butter crust: For a homemade crust without shortening, try my all butter pie crust.
- Double crust: If you’d like to make a double crust turkey pot pie, follow the assembly and cooking directions from my double crust chicken pot pie. But, truly, I don’t think you’ll miss the bottom crust in today’s version.
- Biscuits: Swap the pie crust for the easy biscuit topping used in this biscuit vegetable pot pie recipe.
Can I use puff pastry? You can use thawed store-bought puff pastry instead of a top pie crust. However, keep in mind that the underside of the dough (that touches the filling) usually ends up tasting soggy. For that reason, it’s an option I usually skip when making pot pie. Biscuits are a great alternative to pie crust, see my biscuit vegetable pot pie!
Ingredients in Turkey Pot Pie Filling (& Substitutions)
Today’s filling is similar to my flavor-forward and extra hearty vegetable pot pie. You need:
- Butter: Like many of our baked goods, the filling starts with butter. Butter adds flavor and, along with flour, helps the gravy-like filling properly thicken.
- Vegetable Base: Chopped onion, celery, and carrots are a common flavorful base to many sauces and soups, including creamy chicken noodle soup. In today’s recipe, I also add mushrooms. Feel free to use more of one and less of another, to suit your tastes, and if you wish to skip the mushrooms, substitute with more vegetable add-ins as noted below.
- Garlic: I usually use 3 cloves of garlic, but you can use 4 for extra flavor.
- Flour: Flour thickens the gravy filling.
- 4 Main Seasonings: Flavor the filling with salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. If you don’t have rosemary, use more thyme; or a little sage is also tasty.
- Turkey or Chicken Stock/Broth: Use broth and whole milk as the liquids in today’s filling. If you have turkey broth or stock, go ahead and use that. Or use chicken.
- Whole Milk: I usually use whole milk in pot pie fillings. If you need a nondairy milk suggestion, I recommend plain unsweetened oat milk or almond milk.
- Vegetable Add-ins: Here’s where you can have a lot of fun by adding the vegetables you love most or have on hand. I usually use frozen peas. Instead of peas, you can use fresh or frozen chopped broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, leeks, bell peppers, green beans, butternut squash, and/or fresh/frozen/canned corn. No need to thaw or cook these vegetables before using, but if they’re already cooked, that’s fine too. Just add them in!
- Cooked Turkey…
Use Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey
Use cooked turkey, which is especially convenient after a Thanksgiving meal. After the leftover-Thanksgiving-sandwich-eaters have had their fill of the larger slices, go ahead and use 3 cups of chopped/shredded turkey in the filling. You can use light or dark meat, or a combination of both.
(By the way, if the idea of getting back in the kitchen to cook another dinner is less than appealing after a holiday meal, let me reassure you: this all-in-one meal is simple to prepare.)
Can I use cooked chicken instead? Yes, feel free to substitute.
These Step-by-Step Photos Will Help
After the base veggies and butter cook together, add flour, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. (Major flavor building is happening during these crucial steps!) Below, left: The base of the pot pie filling. Below, right: After adding the flour & herbs.
After the flour soaks up the moisture from the cooked vegetables, add the broth and whole milk. Let everything simmer and thicken on the stove, until the sauce has a thick gravy-like consistency.
Then you’ll add the cooked turkey and your vegetable add-in. (Peas, in this case.)
Your filling is done! ↓ Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then pour it into a 9-inch pie dish:
Assemble Pie Dough & Bake
Roll out your pie dough and lay over the filling. Tuck the overhanging dough under and meld it into itself, to make a thick crust edge around the pot pie. Flute edges with your fingers or crimp with a fork. Cut slits in the top for steam vents, and then brush on an egg wash before baking.
To make your egg wash, mix 1 egg with 1 Tablespoon of milk (convenient because you just used milk in the filling!). The egg wash gives the crust its golden, glistening sheen.
FAQ: Can I Add Potatoes?
Yes. I recommend adding 1 cup peeled and chopped potato (or sweet potato) when you add the broth. To make room for this addition, remove the mushrooms or 1 cup of vegetable add-ins at the end.
FAQ: How to Thicken the Turkey Pot Pie Filling
This is a nice, hearty, and satisfying turkey pot pie filling because we take the time to let the gravy simmer on the stove. The flour soaks up the vegetables’ moisture, and when paired with the milk, helps create that smooth and creamy base. Avoid half-and-half and heavy cream because both are too heavy… and you’ll be eating a brick under that pie crust!
FAQ: How Can I Make Smaller Turkey Pot Pies?
If you have smaller pie dishes or oven-safe 8-ounce ramekins, you can spoon the filling into each and top with smaller pie crust circles. Cut the pie dough into circles about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your ramekins/smaller pie dishes. The bake time will be shorter than the full-size version, and that time really depends on the exact size of your mini turkey pot pies. When the crust is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling through the steam vents, they’re done.
This hearty turkey pot pie uses 1 pie crust as the topping and plenty of delicious vegetables and cooked turkey in the creamy gravy filling. See the recipe Notes for vegetable substitutions and other ingredient suggestions.
- At least 2 hours ahead, make the pie dough: Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions and video tutorial in my pie crust recipe. Make pie dough in advance because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out (step 3). The recipe makes 2 crusts, and you only need 1 for this pie, so save the other for another pie.
- Make the filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened and released some liquid. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary until flour has absorbed all the liquid. Stir in the broth and milk. Simmer for 7–8 minutes or until thickened into a gravy consistency. Stir in the frozen peas and turkey, and then remove from heat. Taste and add more salt & pepper, thyme, or rosemary to taste, if desired. Cool for 10 minutes at room temperature. (Or up to 1 day. Cover and store in the refrigerator if making 1 day ahead.) After it has cooled for at least 10 minutes, transfer the filling to a 9-inch pie dish.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into an 11- or 12-inch circle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully lay dough over top of the filling. Trim dough edges so there is only about an inch of overhang. Fold the overhanging dough under, melding it into itself to form a thick edge crust. Crimp the edges with a fork or flute the edges with your fingers.
- Cut slits in the top to make steam vents. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the top of the crust is golden brown. After 20 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. (See this post on the best tools for baking pies for instructions on how to make a pie crust shield out of foil.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat as desired.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Filling can be prepared 1 day in advance. Cover and chill in the refrigerator as noted in step 2. After chilling, set out on the counter for at least 30 minutes before continuing with step 3. You can also prepare and freeze the filling for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before covering with crust and baking. The pie crust dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Baked and cooled pot pie can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw and then reheat, covered with foil, in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Rolling Pin | Pie Dish or Glass Pie Dish | Pastry Brush | Pie Crust Shield
- Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the second half for another pie. You can also use store-bought pie dough.
- Can I use puff pastry? You can use thawed store-bought puff pastry instead of a top pie crust. However, keep in mind that the underside of the dough (that touches the filling) usually ends up tasting soggy. For that reason, it’s an option I usually skip when making pot pie. Biscuits are a great alternative to pie crust, though. You can use the biscuit topping from this biscuit vegetable pot pie.
- Mushrooms: Feel free to skip the mushrooms if desired. Add another 1 cup of vegetable add-in, see recipe Note below.
- Milk: Use whole milk and avoid lower-fat milks because the gravy/filling will not thicken as much. Plain unsweetened almond milk or oat milk work if a dairy-free alternative is needed. Do not use half-and-half or heavy cream because both are too thick.
- Vegetable Add-ins: Feel free to skip the peas and replace with fresh or frozen chopped broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, leeks, bell peppers, green beans, butternut squash, and/or fresh/frozen/canned corn. No need to thaw or cook these vegetables before using, but if they’re already cooked, that’s fine too. Just add them in! If also skipping the mushrooms, use 2 cups of vegetable add-ins.
- Smaller Individual Pot Pies: If you have smaller pie dishes or 8 oven-safe 8-ounce ramekins, you can spoon the filling into each and top with smaller pie crust circles. Cut the pie dough into circles about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your ramekins/smaller pie dishes. The bake time will be shorter than the full-size version, and that time really depends on the exact size of your mini turkey pot pies. When the crust is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling through the steam vents, they’re done. You may need more than 1 disc of pie dough since the filling:crust ratio changes when using smaller dishes.
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