Turkey Pot Pie…from leftovers

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Thanksgiving came and went – I made a small batch of cute petite pot pies from leftover gravy and turkey meat; then froze the rest for another batch in the near future. Can’t get enough of this comfort food this time of year. I bought a 20 pound bird this year (and had no guests), so I also made Turkey Soup, which I love. I really got a lot out of that bird!

Whether you have turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, save some leftovers and make rustic, homemade, turkey pot pie. I make a simple, flaky, buttery pastry shell and roll it out fairly thick – then cover a ramekin of sauteed veggies, turkey and gravy filling. A small heatproof bowl can work, too.



You can make it in two steps – first the pastry, which can be refrigerated from 1 hour to overnight. I use more butter than I usually do (in dessert pie)…for an extra buttery and flaky pastry. I added some finely grated Pecorino-Romano to enhance the flavor – Parmesan will work, too.


I recommend dividing the dough in half and make two disks, which will make it easier to work with when cutting out the circles for the ramekins (or bowls)…unless of course, you make one large (round or square) pie.


The sauce can be made with leftover gravy, or chicken or turkey broth or stock (thickened with flour). Saute the veggies and and add the turkey.


Combine the sauce and veggies. Adjust the liquid to veggie ratio according to the consistency of the sauce – it’s not an exact science, but should be thick and juicy…but not runny. Cover and set aside while you roll out the pastry crust.


The pastry should be rolled nice and thick, about 1/4-inch. You can use a form that suits the size of your ramekin or bowl – just be sure to leave some overhang (for tucking the edge in and fluting). FYI – if you want to use a standard pie dish or a 8-inch square baking pan or a ceramic baking dish. Be sure to roll out your pastry to fit the top and edges.


Fill the ramekins, leaving 3/4-inch of headroom; brush the inside and around the rim with egg wash. Fit the dough cut-out on top of the filling and up the sides. Crimp the top edge. Be sure to cut 3 slits in the top, to allow steam to escape. Brush the dough with egg wash.


Bake until light golden brown. Be sure to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting!



Turkey Pot Pie

If you don’t have ramekins or small bowls, you can bake this recipe in a 9-inch pie dish or an 8 by 8-inch baking dish or pan.

Makes 4 servings


2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon salt

1  tablespoon freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (or Parmesan) – Optional

2  sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

4-5  tablespoons ice water


¼  cup vegetable oil

¾  cup onion, small dice

¾  cup carrot, small dice

¼  teaspoon kosher salt

¼  teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2/3  cup peeled red potato, small dice

1 1/2  cups leftover turkey pieces (1/2-inch cubes, torn, or shredded)

1 1/4 cups leftover turkey gravy or 1 cup low sodium chicken or turkey broth and ¼ cup all purpose flour

¾  cup frozen peas, thawed

Egg wash; 1  egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, divided


To make the pastry: Place the flour, salt and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter all at once and pulse until the size of peas. With the motor running, drizzle in the water through the feed tube, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is sandy but sticks together when pinched with your fingers (turn the motor off to check). Working quickly, dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the wrap, form the dough into a mound and flatten into a disk. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and wrap air tight. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until slightly caramelized. Heat the leftover gravy in a small saucepan; if too thin, add about 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk over medium heat to thicken. Alternatively (in place of gravy), bring the broth to a simmer; whisk in the flour until smooth and cook until thickened. Add more broth (1 tablespoon at a time) as needed to even the consistency. Pour the sauce over the veggie/turkey mixture. Add the turkey and peas and stir to combine. The filling should be thick and juicy, but not runny. Cover and set the filling aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge. On a floured work surface (stone surfaces work best), roll the dough from the center out to a 1/3-inch thickness, simultaneously turning so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Cut out four 4-inch circles, ¾-inch larger than the ramekin or bowl. Ladle the filling into the bowls, leaving 3/4-1-inch of headroom. Brush the inside edges and top of the ramekins with water or egg wash. Place a circle of dough on top of each bowl, press to cover the filling and fit against the inside rim, and (if desired) over the edge of the rim. Using your fingers, flute the edge; if the dough overlaps the rim trim or fold it over the edge (the more rustic the better). Brush the dough with the egg wash. Cut three to four 1-inch slits into the top of each pie (to allow steam to escape). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.



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