How to Build a Better Chicken Pot Pie

Order this classic dish at a restaurant, and you’re likely in for a 900-calorie meal. Opt for the frozen variety, and you won’t do much better, at around 700 calories a pop. (With both options, sodium could be double the recommended daily amount.) In other words: There are plenty of great reasons to make your own chicken pot pie!

The Filling

To make a thick, creamy pot pie filling takes chicken, veggies and a little thickening magic.

Recipe: Slimmed Down Chicken Pot Pie (pictured above)

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie; Ellie Krieger

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie; Ellie Krieger

To cut saturated fat on the chicken, remove the skin from either the dark or light meat. (Dark meat isn’t much higher in calories, so either one can do the trick.)

Recipe: Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

Opt for frozen, canned or fresh veggies. Frozen peas, carrots, pearl onions, green beans and broccoli are great to always have on hand. (If using frozen, make sure the vegetables aren’t packed with buttery sauces.) Canned veggies are also easy to keep in the pantry, but opt for lower sodium varieties.

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Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers 04:14

Melissa puts all the classic flavors of chicken pot pie into turnovers.

The Crust

Traditional pot pie uses a high-butter pastry dough to create a flaky crust.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

If you’ve trimmed down your filling, using puff pastry may be a reasonable trade-off. But be aware that puff pastry is sometimes made with trans fat or lard.

FN_Mini-Chicken-Broccoli-Pot-Pies

FN_Mini-Chicken-Broccoli-Pot-Pies

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Marshall Troy, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Frozen pie crusts are another way to make a crunchy crust, but they too, are usually high in unhealthy fats.

To keep calories in check, make individual pot pies and cover each with small amount of the pie crust.

Recipe: Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies

If you’re looking for the lowest calorie option, phyllo is the answer. It’s a super-thin pastry dough made from water, flour and a touch of oil. The end result is a lighter, flaky crust.

Recipe: The Son’s Chicken Pot Pie

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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