The best way to use turkey leftovers is in a delicious and easy pot pie with a puff pastry crust. Enjoy this comforting classic with carrots, celery, onion and peas.
The leftovers are one of the best parts about roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We always end up with tons of turkey, which is perfect for leftover turkey and rice soup, or a delicious pot pie–if you’ve got ham, you can also do a ham pot pie.
Why this recipe works
The key to making a classic pot pie without cream of chicken soup is to make a roux using equal parts butter and flour–this creates the creamy filling! When you’re stirring everything together, you might be thinking “this is way too thick” but that’s what you’re going for.
As the pot pie cooks, the filling will loosen, so you want it to feel too thick before you put it into the oven.
Ingredients you’ll need
- This recipe starts with a classic mirepoix, a combination of onion, carrot and celery.
- Leftover cubed turkey, I like to use a combination of dark and light meat, but you can really use whatever you have leftover.
- Frozen puff pastry is my favourite trick for making pot pie easier to make. I just lay a sheet on top before baking in the oven.
- Butter and flour are used to make the thickener, which is a roux.
- The liquids in the filling are milk and chicken broth. I like to use a combination of these two so that it’s not too rich, but is just creamy enough.
- Frozen peas add a little sweetness and a pop of colour.
- Dried thyme is my herb of choice in a pot pie; you could also use poultry seasoning.
- I always brush mine with an egg which helps the pastry brown in the oven.
- Don’t take your puff pastry out of the fridge too early. If it’s too warm when you unroll it, you may end up tearing the pastry, and it will be a lot harder to handle.
- When you’re placing the puff pastry on top of the filling, the heat from the filling will start to warm up the pastry really quickly, so you’ll basically need to place the puff pastry as perfectly as you can since it won’t be easy to reposition it.
- Keep cleanup to a minimum and use an oven-proof skillet or cast iron skillet to cook the filling and bake in the oven.
Step by step instructions
Start by making the filling. You can do this in an oven-proof skillet, or transfer the filling to a pie plate like in my step-by-step photos.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Heat one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, carrot and celery, cook for 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent and carrots have started to soften. Add peas and ¼ tsp of salt. Cook for another minute.
- Add vegetables and leftover, cubed or chopped turkey to a pie plate and wipe pan clean.
- Return pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining butter and melt. Add flour in one addition, whisking constantly, cook roux until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add broth in two additions, whisking constantly. Add milk and continue whisking.
- Cook liquid for 6-7 minutes, whisking constantly until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add dried thyme and remaining ¼ tsp of salt. Cook for another minute.
- Pour liquid mixture over vegetables and stir to coat–it will seem like you need more liquid, but this will result in a creamy and delicious pie!
- Cover with puff pastry. Mark an X in the centre of the pie. Brush with egg, bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes. Cover with foil halfway through to avoid burning.
You’ll love this turkey pot pie casserole–it can also be made with leftover roast chicken.