~ Our Easy Chicken Pot Pie Hand Pies are a perfect solution for busy, on-the-go nights! Bursting with flavorful veggies and tender chicken, all wrapped in a thyme-accented crust … they’ve got all the comforting, homestyle goodness of traditional chicken pot pies, but are more nutritious and totally portable. Plus, they freeze great, too, so you can stock the freezer with your own healthy, homemade “Hot Pockets”! ~
This Recipe Is: • Freezable • Make Ahead •
* (Our little disclaimer …) We partnered with Flatout for this sponsored post, as part of their #FlatoutIsMyCanvas campaign, but all opinions are entirely our own. Thanks for supporting brands that support Two Healthy Kitchens and our mission of healthy eating! *
Cue the music …
Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things …
It’s been years and years since I saw The Sound of Music, and you’re probably wondering how I jumped from hand pies to Julie Andrews. But it makes sense! (No really … stick with me …)
I got thinking about favorite things. Specifically, a few of your favorite things. Recipes and strategies that you – our readers – seem to love most.
And I realized that this easy Chicken Pot Pie recipe has a whooooole lotta your favorite things, all wrapped up in one easy, grab-and-go, comfort food package.
I mean, we’ve got:
1. Chicken Pot Pie. Enough said, really. If there was a Comfort Food Hall of Fame (and maybe there is somewhere, for all I know), then chicken pot pie would no doubt have been the very first inductee. And probably received a Lifetime Achievement Award. People.Love.It.
2. Portability. Lifetime Achievement Award or not … one thing that pot pies aren’t? Portable! Rushing to get your kids to their evening soccer practice? You’re probably not handing them a chicken pot pie as you dash to the minivan. But, for sure, our THK readers love, love, love portable food. Because that’s just the way life is these days, and grab-and-go recipes are often the only things that stand between your nutritious ideals and that oh-so-easy McDonald’s drive thru. (And pssssst … these not-so-messy hand pies won’t trash your stylin’ mom ride in the process! Portability. Yay!)
3. Nutrition. That’s why you’re here, right? Because at THK we’re not just about delicious … we’re also about nutritious. And with all the flaky, buttery pie crust and rich, creamy filling in a typical chicken pot pie, it’s definitely not exactly a nutritious situation. Our version fixes all that! Our chicken pot pie recipe is loaded with nutrients – so while your kiddos nosh on these as you drive across town to soccer practice, they’re also fueling their active little bodies with nutrition to power them all the way through the wind sprints coach is gonna make them run at the end of practice.
4. Flatouts. You guys can’t seem to get enough! It makes sense, sure, since we just established that you care a lot about nutrition. Flatouts have so much goin’ on with all that fiber and protein and other great nutrients. I get it! But even I have been delightedly surprised at how much you, dear readers, adore our creative ideas about how to use them!
Case in point: out of our top 10 most popular recipes last year, 4 of them involved Flatouts. No kidding! Four! And one of them, the Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps was absolutely the runaway hit of the year, quickly vaulting into position as one of our all-time most popular recipes ever.
So, you guys have clearly started writing your own “Favorite Things” song for me … one that involves comfort food, easy grab-and-go meals, and nutritious Flatouts.
Okey dokey! I hear ya!
For today’s recipe, I’ve wrapped the ultimate comfort food into a crispy (but so much healthier!) crust. It’s a perfectly portable little meal your kiddos are sure to love just as much as you do.
These handy little meals-to-go have all the comforting goodness of a hearty chicken pot pie, with lots of yummy (kid-friendly) veggies and tender chunks of white-meat chicken. There’s a rich, creamy (but much lower-fat!) sauce, too. But don’t worry, carpool maven – there isn’t so much sauce that it’s likely to go dripping all over the place. Remember … these babies are designed for portability!
And, there’s that so-much-healthier pot pie crust, seasoned with thyme and a sprinkling of kosher salt. What’s great about the smattering of herby goodness on the outside of the crust is that, even when you get to the crispy crimped edges where there isn’t much filling, you still get a flavorful bite of lightly browned crust. In fact, with the coarse salt sprinkled on it, my kids even said it reminded them of a pretzel (a very good thing if you’re a kid!).
Ok! Ready to get cookin’? (Hint: it’s easy and won’t take long!) Here are some tips to help you out …
The Right Chicken for These Pot Pies
You know I say this all the time, right?!? Need a quick, easy way to cook the chicken for these pot pies? Let someone else do it for you! Like … the nice folks at your local grocery. Grab a rotisserie chicken! (And then use the leftover tidbits of meat to make your dog some delicious homemade dog treats or frozen dog treat snacks. Everybody’s winning here today!)
Of course, any cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast will work just fine, as long as it hasn’t been marinated or seasoned with strong flavors. So, you could also plan ahead and make a little extra chicken for a meal earlier in the week, saving a couple of chicken breasts to use for this recipe.
This make-your-life-easy recipe just got even easier!
You can definitely make these ahead and freeze them, almost like healthy, homemade Hot Pockets. Keep ’em on hand for emergency nights when your entire (perfectly orchestrated) schedule gets botched and you suddenly find yourself deciding between these little beauties or sadly rolling through the drive through for Nuggets.
You can also make the filling ahead, earlier in the day or the day before, and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the recipe and serve these up, fresh and piping hot out of the oven.
How to Assemble Your Easy Chicken Pot Pie
I got this idea for turning flatbread into hand pies from a recipe I saw on Flatout’s website, a really cool technique for making Blueberry Hand Pies. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical about whether the technique would work. But I just had to find out! By golly … it worked like a charm. Huh!
As I’ve made my Chicken Pot Pie Hand Pies again and again, I modified the technique for crimping the edges, and I think it looks prettier and works even better to seal all the pot pie goodness inside a double-layer of crimped edges.
I feel like the recipe card (at the bottom of our post) is soooooo long with trying to explain in words how to place the filling in the right area of the Flatout and then fold and crimp and seal the pot pies. Pictures make it much easier! See …
Step #1 – Working to make one pot pie at a time, you lightly spray a Flatout with cooking spray and sprinkle it evenly with a savory mix of kosher salt and dried thyme:
Step #2 – Next, you flip the flatbread over, so the herbed side is facing down. You place some of your scrumptious chicken pot pie filling (without shoveling it straight into your mouth, no matter how much you want to!) on one half of the Flatout, leaving a wide border:
Step #3 – You slightly dampen the edges of the flatbread with water, and then fold the empty half of the Flatout over top of the filling, being sure to leave a wide border. You use a fork to gently press the edges together to seal them. And you’re already practically done!
Step #4 – All you have left to do is to fold the extra bottom border onto the top where you just crimped them together, and then use that handy fork technique to crimp them again:
Then bake and go!
It’s just that simple – and you and your crew are off to soccer practice (or wherever your busy life leads you)!
So, here’s the question I’ll leave you with today. What do you think it would take to get Julie Andrews to sing us a new “Favorite Things” that included mention of hand pies? Hmmmmmm … 😉
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon flour (we use white whole wheat flour)
- 3/4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 cups chopped, cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrot, pea, green bean and corn blend)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
- 4 Flatout flatbreads (we like MultiGrain with Flax for this recipe)
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add onions, cooking until they begin to soften (about 2 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add broth and milk, whisking continuously as you do so (to avoid lumps), until the mixture is smoothly combined. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cook until slightly thickened (about 1-2 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken, mixed vegetables, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Decrease heat to medium and cook until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the crusts.
- Working with one Flatout at a time, spray each flatbread lightly with cooking spray on just one side. Place the flatbread, sprayed-side up, on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/8 teaspoon salt evenly over cooking spray. Use your fingers to gently rub seasonings across flatbread to be sure they're evenly distributed. Flip flatbread over so the sprayed and seasoned side is down.
- Spoon one-fourth of the prepared pot pie filling (about a heaping 1/2 cup of filling) onto one half of the Flatout, leaving a large border (as shown in photos in the post). Very slightly dampen the edges of the flatbread with a tiny bit of water, then fold the empty half of the flatbread over top of the filling, leaving about a 1" border where the bottom of the flatbread is not covered by the top half. Using a fork, press down gently but firmly all around the edge of the top half, to seal the edges. Then, fold the 1" border over onto the sealed top, and seal the hand pie a second time by again pressing a fork gently but firmly all around the edges.
- Repeat this process with remaining 3 Flatout flatbreads and remaining pot pie filling, to make 4 hand pies total. Rearrange pot pies on parchment-lined baking sheet if needed, so they aren't crowded together, and bake for 20-22 minutes, until lightly golden-brown on the bottom and just lightly crispy outside but piping hot inside.
- Serve immediately (careful – filling will be very hot), or refer to notes below for freezable, make-ahead directions.
Chicken: Nearly any boneless, skinless chicken breasts will work in this recipe, as long as they’re not overly flavorful from spices or marinades. We usually grab a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which is a quick and easy option, but you can also simply plan on cooking a couple of extra chicken breasts whenever you’re making chicken, so you have extra cooked chicken for this recipe without any extra work.
Make-Ahead Steps: You can make the filling entirely ahead and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two, until you're ready to prepare the crusts and finish making these chicken pot pies.
Freezing: These hand pies freeze great after baking. To freeze, allow the pot pies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, and then carefully move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely (to help prevent them from getting soggy on the bottom from sitting too long on the baking sheet). Once cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in freezer-safe storage bags. When ready to serve, remove individual hand pies from the freezer and unwrap, then bake (from frozen) at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until piping hot. Alternately, you can microwave each frozen hand pie for about 5 minutes at 50% power, but the crust will not be as crispy if you use this method of reheating.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1 hand pie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1091mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 27g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.