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Leftover Turkey? Try This Perfect Turkey Pot Pie

Christy learned the art and science of cooking from her Southern kin. Her cooking secrets aren't secrets because she shares them freely.

Mmm ... turkey pot pie!

Mmm ... turkey pot pie!

The big Thanksgiving meal has been eaten. The football games have been watched. Your in-laws have gone home—finally.

Best of all, there’s leftover turkey. What will you do with it?

Leftover turkey doesn’t last long around my house. No, ma’am! After the Thursday-night round of turkey sandwiches, my family is ready for our favorite post-Thanksgiving tradition.

“Are you making turkey pot pie?” asks my adult son, who lives nearby.

“Why do you ask?” I eye my turkey, wondering where to hide it.

“Because if you are, I'm coming over!”

Not those awful frozen turkey hockey pucks, either. Homemade pot pie is easy to make. So easy, in fact, that you should cook a turkey just for the leftovers.

Yes, I’m one of those people: I cook ham just so I can use the bone for soup. I cook whole chickens for the leftovers. And I love turkey because I can make a pot pie.

Here’s how to do it.

The tl;dr

Too long, didn’t read? No problem.

  1. Mix 2 cups of cubed turkey and a can of mixed vegetables in gravy.
  2. Pour it into a pie shell and bake for 30 minutes.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 double-crust pie shell
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 cups turkey, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can mixed vegetables

Instructions

  1. Arrange the bottom pie crust in a 9" or 10" deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour to make a smooth roux.
  3. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly to mix the roux thoroughly into the broth. Add the milk and all the seasonings. Boil for 1 minute, or until sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Add turkey and mixed vegetables. Stir.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Cover with the second pie crust. Cut four or five small slices in the top.
  6. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Remove and cover the edges of the pie shell with aluminum foil or with a pie shield. Bake at 350°F for another 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Notes and Substitutions

If you saved any turkey drippings, use them instead of chicken broth. Add chicken broth to the drippings if you don’t have two cups.

If you didn’t manage to save enough turkey, fill it out with chicken.

Throw in some diced potatoes, if you like.

This is a very forgiving recipe. Use the vegetables you like, and don’t use the ones you hate. The same goes for the seasonings—if the broth is salty enough to your taste, skip the salt. If you don’t like the other seasonings or don’t have them, don’t worry about it! Season it to your liking. The rest of the world is wrong.

Turkey, white rice, and vegetable soup.

Turkey, white rice, and vegetable soup.

Thanksgiving Memories From Childhood

The day after Thanksgiving, our house was filled with the salty aroma of turkey soup. My mom hoarded turkey carcasses the way I hoard ham bones. She trimmed most of the meat off the bones, then dropped the whole carcass in a stockpot.

It simmered for at least an hour—which seemed like all day to a kid. Then she pulled any remaining meat off the carcass, strained the broth, added the meat, along with rice, potatoes, celery, and carrots, and simmered the soup till lunchtime. That pleasant smell permeated the entire house.

That’s what we had for lunch on Friday. And supper. And on Saturday . . . and Monday . . . and . . . you get the picture.

It was how a poor preacher’s wife fed four kids. She knew how to stretch the grocery money, and she left us with a pleasant post-Thanksgiving memory.

Now that I have my own family, do you think I make that turkey carcass soup?

Oh, heck no! After eating it for several days every November, I’m sick of it!

Thankfully (ha—“thankfully”—see what I did there?), my kids still ask for my turkey pot pie. Even the one who moved out.

© 2020 Christy Marie Kent

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