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  • Mary Kay

Leftovers Make a Delish Turkey Pot PIE!

Turkey leftovers this holiday season? Gobble it up as an easy way to make savory pie!

I don't normally eat much turkey, but I love this mixture of the veggies and meat from Thanksgiving Day. Sometimes I even bake a small turkey breast or chicken just so I can leftovers for a pot pie. Of course, you can sub chicken for turkey or even beef. This is one of the easiest and tastiest ways you can use up that leftover turkey other than in a plain old turkey sandwich.

Everything you put into this Turkey Pot Pie has already been cooked, the turkey, vegetables and rice. So, just pull the items out of your fridge and assemble it. It's easy! You don't even need to make the pie crust for this even though you can if you like. Plus, you don't need to season it because the sage salt, pepper and other herbs are probably already in the delectable food you made for the big day. Take the easy way out and purchase one from the refrigerator section in your favorite grocery store. Maybe you even have one left over from your pie making marathon, pre-Thanksgiving.

One thing you should know is how much more nutritious this homemade pot pie is than the frozen ones you can buy in the store. Have you ever looked at the amount of sodium contained in those things? My husband buys them once in awhile and I am astounded at how much salt they contain - there's enough for a three day allotment. It's astronomical! With this easy homemade pot pie I can make a couple of these for a small fraction of what's in a store bought pie.

So, what do you like in your pot pies? I have listed a few items below in the ingredients section, but the sky is the limit. I use corn, green beans, onion, celery, and a few other veggies, depending on what was leftover from our big dinner. I like a variety of veggies along with the fowl, for better flavor. I have even added chunks of scalloped potatoes, a couple tablespoons of scalloped corn and green bean casserole with fried onion rings. Layer it with the turkey or mix it all together, under the crust and you have a yummy dish! Plus, you're not wasting any leftovers.

Mix in a little cornstarch or flour in a little water to make give some body to your filling. I prefer cornstarch in this case because the flour can give a "floury" taste, which I do not care for. Cornstarch does not leave any off flavor.

This recipe calls for just one crust, on top. No crust is needed on the bottom. That's why you should butter the inside of the baking container. In fact, I tried this with a crust on the bottom once, and because I don't bake it as hot or as long as a pot pie with raw vegetables, the crust on the bottom did not get baked through.

Because I needed a ceramic or metal pan with higher sides, I used my oversized heavy duty oven safe soup mugs that str about 4-5" in diameter and 3-4" high. You could use something else, just make sure it's oven safe and is high enough to contain everything you put in it, along with the liquid you need to add, with a crust on top.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.

Pan prep:

1 Small high sided pan or ceramic bowl about 4-5" in diameter. and 4-5" in height. Butter it a little on the sides and bottom. My favorite containers are oversized heavy ceramic soup mugs, but a square container works, too.

Left over Turkey Pot Pie Ingredients:

- Leftover Turkey, rough chopped to fill about 1/3 of the container.

- Leftover vegetables, to fill about 1/3 of the container.

- 1/2 C Chicken broth or juices from the turkey you baked for the holiday. I use plain water, no need to buy broth.

- 1 T Cornstarch

- 1 Pat Butter (optional)

- Salt and pepper to taste.

- Pie crust - large enough to overlap your baking container by an inch all round.

Select your ingredients:

- Raid your fridge and pull out enough veggies and turkey to fill your baking container. Let it mound a little above the edge. You could mix it or layer it in your baking container or in a separate bowl, whatever you're comfortable with. I like onions, celery and carrots in my pot pie, so if there are none cooked in any of my leftover dinner dishes, I'll sauté a few to add to this pie.

- Whisk the broth and cornstarch in a small bowl.

- Dice your turkey and place with the veggies in the baking container.

- Pour the broth mixture over the veggies and turkey.

- Place the pat of butter on top of the mixture.

- Cut the crust so it's about an inch larger around than the baking container.

- Put the crust on top, crimping the sides with your fingers and pressing it along the edge of the container.

- Slash 3-5 1" fancy or plain little cuts in the crust to allow steam to escape. Otherwise you may have steam and liquid trying to escape around the edges of the crust.

- If your pot pie is super full, it may be a good idea to place an oven safe pan or a piece of foil under it while it bakes.

- Bake for about 25 minutes at 375F degrees until the crust is golden brown. I set the timer for 20 minutes and check it to see how the crust is browning. Since everything inside the pie has already been cooked, you only need to worry about getting the crust done. Bake it long enough to get the crust golden brown.

- Take the pot pie out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving. My pot pie goes great with a homemade bun (see my recipe - Great Grandma's Buns are the Best!

- Serve it with a side of Cranberry Salad (You'll find this later on my blog. My husband makes this easy and delicious salad.)

- This is the ultimate comfort food with veggies - Enjoy!

Other delicious options for Pot Pie:

- Make this any time of the year with precooked chicken or beef! I make this at other times than during the holiday season when I might have leftover turkey on hand. I pick up a package of cooked/grilled chunk chicken in the refrigerator section at the grocery store and use it with sautéed vegetables and put it together the same way as above, along with a small store bought pie crust. Or, I'll use leftover beef roast. Bake it the same as the one featured above. It's easy and delicious!

- Try it with ham and pineapple! Maybe your holiday get together features a baked ham. Use that in place of fowl along with your choice of vegetables and a crust on top. With everything already baked or sauteed, it takes about the same to bake. Serve it with a side of sauteed or broiled pineapple rings. Brush one side of the rings with butter and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet or line a pan with foil. Broil in the oven until the brown sugar and butter bubbles and caramelizes. (Once you turn the broiler on, stay and watch it so nothing flames.)

- How about chili? If you like to make chili, this is another way to transport your chili into another type of comfort food on a cold winter day. Make sure your chili is on the thick side or add some cornstarch to thicken it. Bake it based on the time needed to bake a pie crust. You could even top it with a corn bread crust. Get creative!

- Chicken noodle soup? Thicken up some leftover chicken noodle soup with the cornstarch and broth or water mixture. Top it with a pie crust and bake long enough to give your kitchen a wonderful aroma and golden brown crust.

- How about a veggie version? Sauté your favorite vegetables, add the broth or water with cornstarch mixture to thicken it. Bake it according to getting a golden brown pie crust.

- Macaroni and Cheese? I have not tried this one yet, but why not boil up some noodles, mix them with your favorite cheeses and some sauteed vegetables for another try at a comfort food. I'm sure it has to be very tasty. Pop a crust on top and bake away.

- Lobster Mac and Cheese? Make your version of this delicious cheese dish and turn it into a tasty Lobster and Mac Pot Pie. No need to add the cornstarch and broth mixture since the LM&C is probably thick enough. Top it with a pie crust and bake it until golden brown.

- Or, heaven forbid, use one of those store bought mixes to make your macaroni and cheese mixture. I'm not a fan of them, but millions of people are, so they can't be all wrong. Make your mixture according to the directions on the box and pour it into a buttered baking container. It's already thickened, so you won't need the cornstarch and broth mixture. Maybe sprinkle some fried bacon on it. Top it with a crust and bake till golden brown. I'm sure it will be very tasty to you.

I'm sure you all have great ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers. Enjoy them as you Bake your own Memories.

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