Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Lightened up and Dairy Free

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Lightened up and Dairy Free

This healthy chicken pot pie recipe is packed with lean chicken and veggies in a creamy lightened up dairy free sauce made with chicken broth and coconut milk.  Made in one pan, its easy comfort food that you can feel good about serving to your family and pretty enough to serve to guests!  

We are full swing into comfort food season around here. The cooler weather just makes you want to wrap yourself in a blanket and snuggle into the couch with a plate of some warm hearty dish like this healthy chicken pot pie. Or that’s what it does to me anyways. Here are the things we LOVE about this recipe: 

  • quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner (probably not the first time you make it, but after a few tries, you can make this quick!)
  • its made in one pan so less dishes to clean! 
  • its a great dinner option for guests because its pretty, easy and delicious! 
  • can be made with an easy rustic crust or you can fancy up your crust if you like
  • its loaded with veggies and can be customized to suit even picky eaters in your family
  • healthy comfort food is always a win in our books

The Secret to Making Healthy Chicken Pot Pie

We are always looking for ways to make our favorite comfort food recipes healthier.  So we can eat more of them!  These are the changes we have made to a classic chicken pot pie recipe to make it just a little bit better for you: 

  • we went with a single crust on top rather than the classic double crust (which also makes it way easier)
  • we loaded it with veggies
  • the sauce is made with coconut cream and chicken broth which makes it lighter and dairy free but still really creamy

Simple changes that make a big difference! 

It has been about 13 years since I stopped drinking milk. I found out I have an intolerance to it.  Not to lactose, but intolerant just the same.  So I gave it up to see if I would notice a difference in my health. 

The biggest thing I noticed was how it affected my skin.  I struggled with breakouts since I was in high school and it took less than 6 months of not drinking milk for me to notice that my skin was getting so much better.  And now, I never even think about it.  Man do I ever wish I had known sooner! 

I may have given up milk and yogurt and other milk products for the most part, but I can NOT give up cheese. I wont.  Ever.  I love it too much.

looking into a chicken pot pie with a slice missing

Chicken Pot Pie Crust

First lets talk about the crust.  Our crust is a pretty basic pastry crust that’s super easy to pull together.  We’ve added a few little extras to add to the flavor but here are the basic ingredients: 

  • flour
  • butter
  • salt
  • egg (optional)
  • vinegar
  • water

Then there are the flavor extras I was just talking about.  All of these are optional depending on what you have or what you want your chicken pot pie to taste like: 

  • fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano – we used these in ours
  • cheese – any kind of hard cheese works well.  I especially like cheddar or gruyere
  • seasoning like a cajun or something with spice would give this pastry crust a little kick of flavor

You can also choose to top  your chicken pot pie with something else entirely if you like.  Here are a few other options: 

  • puff pastry
  • biscuits
  • dumplings
  • store bought pie crust
  • you could also use a whole wheat flour or a gluten free flour if you chose

Filling Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Pot Pie

There are endless options for filling your chicken pot pie.  The more veggies the better, in my opinion.  We are trying to make a healthy chicken pot pie right?  Here, I’ll mention what we used in our recipe and then give some options that you might want to try.  Here is what we used: 

  • onions and garlic
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • peas
  • chicken
  • chicken broth
  • full fat canned coconut milk
  • cornstarch to thicken (you can also use arrowroot powder) 

Tip: You can use either full fat coconut milk/cream that comes in a can for this recipe or you can use coconut milk too, but the canned stuff will make your chicken pot pie quite a bit creamier.   Here are some other awesome options: 

  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • kale
  • beans
  • curry
  • cajun spice

I so wish I could have added mushrooms to this chicken pot pie that I made, but my husband can’t eat them so I sacrifice my own happiness and leave them out.    I often make a side of sauteed mushrooms for myself and add them to my dinner after we dish up, but its kinda hard to do that here.  Maybe next time I’ll make individual chicken pot pies for each of us!  I miss the mushrooms! 

Tip for Making Easy Chicken Pot Pie:

I always make a bunch of my perfect baked chicken breast at once, usually on the weekend, and keep it in the fridge for the week.  Then when I make salads for my lunch or dinner for my family I just have to chop it up and throw it in.  Its very handy and allows  you to make dishes like this (and many others) much quicker as one step is already done for you.

process shots of a chicken pot pie crust

How to Make the Crust for Chicken Pot Pie: 

Don’t be intimidated by making a pastry crust for your chicken pot pie.  It’s so quick and easy to pull it together.   This is one part of the meal that you can and should make ahead of time.  As a heads up, it will need 30 mins to an hour to rest in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the recipe.   You can make this pastry dough up to a few days ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge till your ready to use it. 

You can use a mixer for this or just use a pastry cutter and do it by hand.  It’s easy either way so I often just prefer to use a pastry cutter.  But its up to you. 

Here’s how it’s done: 

  • In a small bowl, add an egg and break it up with a fork.  Add the vinegar and the cold water.  Set it in the fridge or freezer for a moment.  It needs to be kept cold.  You can also add a couple ice cubes to keep it cold, but reduce the water amount slightly. 
  • In a bigger bowl or your mixer, add the flour, salt, baking powder and chopped fresh herbs. 
  • Cut the cold butter into small chunks which makes it easier to break apart and incorporate into the flour. 
  • Then add the butter to the flour mixture.  If using a pastry cutter, break up the butter and keep cutting and mixing until the butter and flour resemble small peas.  If using a mixer, pulse in your mixer till it resembles small peas. 
  • Next make a well and add the liquid.  Using a fork or your fingers, mix the liquid with the flour and butter gently slowly and mix till just combined.  If using a mixer, just pulse quickly until the dough comes together.  It its fine if it looks like a shaggy dough.  As it rests, the moisture will distribute itself.  
  • Pour out on to a surface and mold into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. 1 hour is better. 

process shots showing a chicken pot pie being made

How to Make the Dairy Free Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Filling: 

If you want to make and bake this recipe in the same pan, you will need a stove proof and oven proof pan.  A cast iron skillet or a ceramic braiser works great!   Another option is to cook the filling on the stove and then transfer into an oven proof casserole dish or pie dish and bake in that.  Its up to you, but we love making and baking in the same pan.  Here’s how its done:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a cast iron skillet or ceramic braiser or other stove and oven proof pan, add the oil and heat to med-high.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and chili flakes then stir for a few mins till the onions get translucent.  Add the garlic and stir again. 
  • Add the raw chicken pieces, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them and cook for a few mins.  They won’t take long to cook. 
  • Add the chicken broth and coconut milk/cream.  Stir to combine.  Scoop out a few tablespoons of the liquid into a small bowl.  Add the cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk with a fork until you have a smooth mixture.  This is called a slurry.  Add your slurry back into the pan and cook till the liquid comes to a simmer and starts to thicken.
  • Remove from the heat and add the peas and broccoli.  Don’t add your broccoli before otherwise it will just get really soggy while it bakes. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  You can adjust your spice here too if need be.  Add a little more chili flakes if you want a little kick. 

Put the Crust and the Filling Together: 

  • Remove the pastry dough from the fridge, flour a clean surface, and roll it out into the shape of your pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just roughly the same size with a bit extra to drape over.
  • Fold one side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other side on top.  This makes it easy to pick up and transfer. 
  • Cover the chicken pot pie filling with the pastry dough and let the pastry cover the whole dish and come over the sides of the dish.   Cut a few vents in the crust.
  • Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry with the egg with a pastry brush.  This will give you a beautiful browned crust.  Place on a baking try to catch any drips and put it in the oven for 25 to 30 mins or till the crust is golden brown.
  • Let the chicken pot pie rest for at least 15 mins or else  you will have chicken soup under your crust!  

Tip: if the edges of your pastry are browning a lot quicker than the top, just cover it loosely with foil.  This will prevent it from burning. 

top down view of a chicken pot pie with a piece taken out

 

Side Note about Meat for this Chicken Pot Pie:

Debbie and I are firm believers in quality ingredients.  Choosing quality meat is especially important for the health of our families and for the health of our planet.  We always choose grass fed or free range meat and local whenever possible.  We’re so thankful for companies like Butcher Box who sell quality grass fed and pasture raised meats and who truly care about the welfare of the animals.  As an animal lover and a carnivore, that makes a BIG difference to me.  What’s even better is that Butcher Box also has a fabulous price point and your order gets delivered directly to your door! If you click the link below, you will get 10$ off your first order and free bacon!

(we earn a small commission when you purchase through our link and we so appreciate your support) 

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Other Healthy Comfort Food Recipes you Might Like: 

  • Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
  • Sausage, Spinach and Wine Fettuccine Pasta
  • Salmon Pasta Chowder

If you’ve tried this dairy free, healthy chicken pot pie recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you! 

To save this recipe for later on Pinterest:  

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Healthy Chicken Pot Pie – Lightened up and Dairy Free

This healthy chicken pot pie recipe is packed with lean chicken and veggies in a creamy lightened up dairy free sauce made with chicken broth and coconut milk. 

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 tbsp coconut or avocado
  • 1 large onion (, chopped)
  • 3 large carrots (, peeled and chopped)
  • 3-4 stalks celery (, diced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (, chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic (, minced)
  • 2 large chicken breast (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder or 1/4 cup flour)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth (low-sodium )
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups broccoli (cut into small florets)
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 baking powder
  • 1/2 cup grass fed butter (, cold and diced (or vegetable shortening))
  • 1 egg (, beaten)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg ((reserved for the egg wash))

MAKE THE PASTRY

  1. In a small bowl, add an egg and break it up with a fork.  Add the vinegar and the cold water.  Set it in the fridge or freezer for a moment.  It needs to be kept cold.  You can also add a couple ice cubes to keep it cold, but reduce the water amount slightly.  

  2. In a bigger bowl or your mixer, add the flour, salt, baking powder and chopped fresh herbs.  Cut the cold butter into small chunks which makes it easier to break apart and incorporate into the flour.

  3. Then add the butter to the flour mixture. If using a pastry cutter, break up the butter and keep cutting and mixing until the butter and flour resemble small peas. If using a mixer, pulse in your mixer till it resembles small peas.

  4. Make a well and add the liquid. Using a fork or your fingers, mix the liquid with the flour and butter gently slowly and mix till just combined. If using a mixer, just pulse quickly until the dough comes together. It its fine if it looks like a shaggy dough. As it rests, the moisture will distribute itself.

  5. Pour out on to a surface and mold into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. 1 hour is better.

MAKE THE FILLING

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

    In a large cast iron skillet or ceramic braiser or other stove and oven proof pan, add the oil and heat to med-high.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and chili flakes then stir for a few mins till the onions get translucent.  Add the garlic and stir again. 

  2. Add the raw chicken pieces, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them and cook for a few mins.  They won’t take long to cook.  

  3. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk/cream. Stir to combine. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the liquid into a small bowl. Add the cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk with a fork until you have a smooth mixture. This is called a slurry. Add your slurry back into the pan and cook till the liquid comes to a simmer and starts to thicken.

  4. Remove from the heat and add the peas and broccoli. Don’t add your broccoli before otherwise it will just get really soggy while it bakes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust your spice here too if need be. Add a little more chili flakes if you want a little kick.

MAKE THE POT PIE

  1. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge, flour a clean surface, and roll it out into the shape of your pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just roughly the same size with a bit extra to drape over.

  2. Fold one side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other side on top. This makes it easy to pick up and transfer.  Cover the chicken pot pie filling with the pastry dough and let the pastry cover the whole dish and come over the sides of the dish. Cut a few vents in the crust.

  3. Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry with the egg. This will give you a beautiful browned crust. Place on a baking try to catch any drips and put it in the oven for 25 mins or till the crust is golden brown.

  4. Let the chicken pot pie rest for at least 15 mins or else you will have chicken soup under your crust! 

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