Unless you’re a domestic goddess of the highest order, able to predict down to the last bite exactly how much your guests will eat, by the time Thanksgiving weekend rolls around there is a fridge-full of leftovers from the big day. I love a cold turkey sandwich smeared with a little cranberry sauce, but eventually a more concentrated effort is needed. That’s where Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie comes in.
It serves the dual purpose of echoing the flavors of Thursday’s delicious dishes and providing an avenue for using up extras in a way that doesn’t feel like an after thought. Since this dish is a medley of ingredients you really don’t need a lot of any one item, just use what ever you might have on hand.
While I went super traditional starting with a mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery followed by potatoes and peas (because that’s what I had in the apartment already); this recipe would easily accommodate mushrooms, green beans, diced parsnips, or roasted squash. I used frozen puff pastry for the topping because I’m assuming that after all that cooking neither of us have the energy for rolling out dough. I mean, look how crazy it looks as is - can you imagine if I tried to make my own? Disaster. Another thought: top the pot pie with your extra mashed potatoes and turned it into a shepherd’s pie!
This was the first idea that came to mind for me, but I’d love to know other ways you transform Thanksgiving leftovers into a new dinner?
Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie (serves 4-6)
5 tablespoons softened butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (2 medium) yellow onions, diced
2 cups (2 large) carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup (1 large stalk) celery, diced
4 cups (3 medium) white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 1/2 cups roasted turkey, diced
1 cup frozen peas
4 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, divided
1 dried bay leaf
2 tablespoons all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon water
Thaw the puff pastry over night in the refrigerator.
Prep onions, carrots, and celery dicing each vegetable to 1/4 inch size. In a large French oven, melt together 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté diced onions, carrots and celery until onions are translucent and carrots and celery begin to soften.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes to 1/2 inch size. Add the potatoes, chicken broth, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to the pot and increase the heat to medium. Add 1 teaspoon minced thyme and the bay leaf. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
Clean the roasted turkey of any stray skin or fat (I used a combination of light and dark meat for flavor) and dice to 1/2 inch size. Add the diced turkey and frozen peas to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the turkey comes up to temperature.
Remove the bay leaf and discard.
On a small plate, mash 3 tablespoons softened butter and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour with a fork until all the flour is incorporated. Add the butter and flour mixture to the pot and stir until it dissolves and the broth begins to thicken.
Unwrap the puff pastry and place on a surface dusted with flour. Roll out as needed to fit your ramekins or oven-proof baking dish and cut to allow an extra 1 inch border.
In a small bowl whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash. Set the ramekins or baking dish on a baking sheet.
Ladle the hot pot pie filling into ramekins or baking dish and brush the edge of the dish(es) with egg wash. Gently lay the puff pastry over the baking dish and filling. Fold the excess pastry under and press against the edge of the dish to seal. Crimp the edge with your thumb or fork to create a decorative edge.
Brush the top of the puff pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with reserved minced thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper. Depending on the size of the baking dish, use a sharp knife to cut between 2–4 small slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for 25–30 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the puff pastry is golden. Cool for 5 minutes before serving – the filling will be very hot!
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes, assuming you have something to use as a rolling pin. I used a 5 quart French oven (surprised?), a medium cutting board, a medium bowl for the diced vegetables, a baking sheet, and large ramekins. I also used a chef’s knife, vegetable peeler, measuring cups and spoons, a rolling pin, a small plate, fork, and a wooden spatula.
I knew I had a solid plan of attack for these Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pies from my experience with Chicken Pot Pie, but even then I was surprised by how well they turned out. Mike says he’s had pot pies that were underwhelming and bland. Not the case here! The turkey and vegetables are tender and give the filling a deep, satisfying flavor. This dish is tailor made for a cold winter day when spending some quality time in the kitchen near a hot oven sounds like the perfect way to while away an afternoon.