This is hands-down my favorite thing to make with leftover turkey, and it comes with a story. The year I got married also happened to be the year I got my first cooking job. Over the next 10 years I worked most holidays, and on Thanksgiving mornings, we would pop open a split bottle of Champagne and have turkey pot pie — which I had prepared the night before — for breakfast before I headed off for work and my husband headed out to visit family. It was the perfect way to celebrate. To this day, it’s one of my favorite memories of those years.
To keep things simple, I make this in my Dutch oven. The recipe for pie dough makes twice as much as you will need, so you can freeze half for a single-crust pie or pie dough cookies later. You could also use store-bought pie dough or add other leftover veggies like sweet potatoes or green beans.
Turkey Pot Pie
Makes: 6-8 servings;
total time: around 2 hours
For the pie dough:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup ice water, depending on need
1¾ sticks of unsalted butter, cold
2¼ cup all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
For the turkey stew:
2 slices of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green apple, diced
2 fire-roasted chiles, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2-4 teaspoons red chile powder (depending on heat preference and heat of chile powder)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes OR,
1/4 cup all-purpose, whole-wheat, corn or rice flour
6 cups turkey, chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups shredded cooked turkey meat
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For the egg wash:
2 tablespoons milk
Make the pie dough: Cut butter into small cubes and put in the freezer. In a cup, mix the ice water and vinegar and set aside (to keep the water cold, sometimes I throw in an ice cube if my kitchen is warm). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. At this point, the butter should be super-cold but not frozen. Remove butter from the freezer and add to your flour mixture. Using your fingers (or a food processor) squeeze the butter pieces into the flour until the butter is incorporated into the flour and resembles small peas. Add ½ cup of the vinegar and water mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula. At this point the dough will probably be crumbly. Continue adding and mixing in a tiny bit of vinegar-water at a time just until the dough comes together. Cut into two pieces, shape into round discs, wrap each piece in plastic wrap or parchment paper and cool one disc in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Freeze the other disc you won’t need now.
Make the stew: In a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe Dutch oven or pot over low heat, add the bacon. Let the bacon render slowly while you’re preparing the other vegetables. Once the bacon is fully cooked and crispy, reserve bacon into a small bowl with a slotted spoon for later. We want to leave as much bacon fat in the pot to help cook the vegetables.
Add the butter and turn the heat to medium high. Add the mushrooms and stir every few minutes until they are caramelized. Add the carrots, celery, onion, apple, fire-roasted chiles and garlic. I usually cut up one vegetable at a time and throw it into the pot as I go. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the chile powder, rosemary, thyme and mashed potatoes (or) flour. If you use flour here, let the mixture cook a few minutes more. Add the broth and bring stew to a simmer.
While the stew is coming to a simmer, prepare the pie dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large round, big enough to easily sit inside your pot. If your pot has a lid, use the lid as a guide and trim around it with a knife to make a circle. Cut a few slits in the middle and place the pie dough round on a floured plate and keep in the freezer until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the stew cook around 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Very carefully blend around a quarter of the soup and stir it back into the pot. Stir in the turkey meat. Add the frozen peas in a layer on top. Now add the shredded cheese in another layer. Gently place your pie dough round on top.
Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and milk together. Brush egg wash over the top of the pie and crack pepper and sea salt on top. Bake pot pie for 1 hour or until the top of the pie is a deep golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before scooping into bowls.
Marianne Sundquist is a chef, food business consultant and shares recipes for home cooks on Instagram @chefmariannesundquist. She co-founded Stokli in 2020, an online general store with a mission to champion local growers and makers of dry goods. Visit stokli.com and email her at email@example.com.