When I was getting ingredients at Trader Joe’s to make this recipe, the TJ’s cashier and I struck up conversation about how good a chicken pot pie sounded and how his mom used to make it for him as a kid. I explained that my plan was to lighten it up and make it dairy free with the almond milk & vegan butter I had in my cart. He smiled as he packed my groceries away so that they fit effortlessly into paper sacks. Immediately I looked down, and thanked him for doing that. He said, “You’re doing the healthy cooking for your family, it’s the least I can do for you. Most families don’t get that kind of food.”
Right there and then, I knew we both appreciated each other, even if it was only for a few minutes. It made my day better and got me thinking about how quickly we forget to recognize and appreciate one another, and most importantly ourselves.
Healthy chicken pot pie for the soul
Later that evening, I got to work on my healthy chicken pot pie. There was something special about doing what I loved. Something I could not take for granted. I knew needed to appreciate it more.
I acknowledged to myself that cooking was something I needed to slow down and take in with all my senses. Often I’m rushing to get a recipe done because of the daylight or because of a deadline; the only thing rushing does is take the creativity out of the craft.
Like painting is to an artist, cooking seems to lights my soul on fire. And so I took a step back, a deep breath, and determined myself to make this the best healthy chicken pot pie you’d ever have. I would take it slow, I would appreciate my craft and I would perfect the recipe.
Ingredients in lightened up chicken pot pie
This healthy chicken pot pie comes together with protein packed chicken, carrots, buttery gold potatoes, onions and peas, fresh herbs and seasonings.
The sauce is made a little bit lighter with almond milk and chicken broth instead of heavy cream, which makes me happy.
To make dairy free chicken pot pie: if you’d like you can use vegan butter to make the crust dairy free.
Bottom line: This chicken pot pie is simply glorious. (Tony even ate 3/4 of it in one night. Seriously, the man can eat!)
As this chicken pot pie baked and bubbled in the oven, I set the table and remembered how important it is to do what sets your soul on fire. Because when you’re doing what you love, you have joy in your life and comfort in your heart. But above all, don’t forget to be kind and humble along the way.
I hope this lightened up healthy chicken pot pie brings you the utmost joy and comfort. You deserve every bite of it.
More healthy comfort food to try:
If you make this healthy chicken pot pie, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. We’d also love if you would leave a comment below and rate the recipe. We appreciate you! xo.
Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie
Delicious lightened up chicken pot pie made with a homemade flaky crust, an amazing dairy free sauce made with dairy free milk and chicken broth instead of butter & cream. This healthy chicken pot pie is one of my husband's favorite comfort food meals.
- For the crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup COLD vegan buttery stick (or regular unsalted butter if you are not dairy free)
- 1 egg yolk (not the full egg, just the yolk)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (or regular butter), divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 cup unsweetened Almond Breeze AlmondMilk (must use Almond Breeze)
- 1 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 3/4 cups diced gold potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 egg, for egg wash
For the chicken pot pie crust: Place flour and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Dice butter and place into flour mixture. (It is important for the butter to be COLD so sometimes I dice it up then place in a bowl and stick in the freezer for a few minutes.) Use a pastry knife and cut butter into flour until it is edamame or pea sized. Using a large fork, add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of milk to the mixture and combine. Continue adding almond milk, a tablespoon at a time until dough comes together and is somewhat soft. You may not need to add all the milk; you want the dough to be smooth but neither overly wet nor dry. I find 3 tablespoons to be good most of the time.
If you want to make the dough in the food processor (easiest method), here is how: Add the flour and salt with the regular blade attached, then add the diced cold butter. Pulse just a few times to lightly mix the ingredients until there are pea-sized balls. Add the egg yolk and 2-3 tablespoons milk and process again until the dough is crumbly. Do not let it turn into a big dough ball or you will have overmixed the dough. Pour into a floured surface and gather into a disk, wrap in plastic and place in fridge until you are ready to roll out. Dough can also be made ahead of time and placed in fridge or 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
In a large pot, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl or large plate and set aside.
Next add almond milk and chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add in diced potatoes and carrots and boil for 3-4 minutes. (This helps to release the potato starch!). Drain the mixture over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid (very important). Set aside the carrots and potatoes for later.
Next add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter (or vegan butter) in the same pot you've been using. Add in onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Vigorously whisk in 1/3 cup flour and 1/2 cup chicken broth at the same time until smooth and no lumps remain. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, potatoes, carrots, chicken, frozen peas, thyme, salt and pepper.
Simmer over medium low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat a deep skillet or large deep dish pie pan with nonstick cooking spray (you can also use a 2 quart sized skillet). Add pot pie mixture.
Roll out the pie dough out on a very well floured surface so that it's large enough to cover the pie pan. Place on top of mixture, pressing the edges and sealing. Cut a few slits in top of crust or poke holes with a fork to let steam escape. Whisk 1 egg together and brush the top of the crust with some of the egg wash.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Top crust with sea salt and extra fresh thyme. Enjoy!
Recipe by: Monique Volz | Photography by: Sarah Fennel
Recipe originally published on January 30th, 2017 and republished on February 11, 2020 with a new crust.