Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

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This light chicken pot pie has a deceptively creamy base that is loaded with tender chicken and vegetables. Easy enough for a busy weeknight, you'll feel great about serving this dish to your family.

A baking dish with creamy chicken pot pie has phyllo dough on the top.

I love chicken pot pie. It is the absolute definition of comfort food. Well, maybe homemade mac and cheese would win that title, but pot pie sure comes close.

This lighter chicken pot pie is such a family favorite, I've made it countless times throughout my daughters' childhood. In fact, I even shared a kid-friendly version of it in The Totally Awesome Ultimate Kids' Cookbook so they could learn to make it themselves.

I keep it easy by using a rotisserie chicken and a bag of frozen veggies. The light and creamy sauce that makes the base is still so very warm and cozy.

Learn how to make your own meal kit so you can grab this easy dinner in minutes on a busy night!

Why This is the Best Recipe

I've been making this version of chicken pot pie for over ten years. My family has loved it because:

  1. Super Fast to Prepare: I keep the shredded rotisserie chicken and frozen veggies on hand in my freezer so I can whip this up even on a busy weeknight with almost no warning.
  2. Cozy Comfort Food: It has all the best flavors of a pot pie with a fraction of the work. The creamy sauce and tender veggies with savory chicken is always a hit.
  3. Guilt-Free Dinner: When I need to feel good about giving my family a healthy dinner, this one is a perfect go-to meal. Loaded with all kinds of veggies and lean protein, it even has plenty of dairy in the mix with the milk.
  4. Flexible and Light: It is easy to play with this recipe. I serve it crustless in a bowl with a batch of fresh baked refrigerator biscuits when I'm in a rush.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make the chicken pot pie are on the counter next to a rotisserie chicken.

My kitchen always has these items on hand so I can make this recipe in a pinch. I shred the chicken meat and always have a container of it in my freezer!

  • Rotisserie Chicken: You can shred a rotisserie chicken in seconds or keep shredded chicken ready to go in your freezer.
  • Frozen Phyllo Dough: Be sure to plan for thawing time if you use this. You can substitute a batch of refrigerator biscuits and serve them on the side if you don't have time to thaw the phyllo dough.
  • Frozen Vegetables: I used a bag of mixed vegetables that has green beans, carrots, peas, and corn. But you could substitute any frozen veggie you love.
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Milk: I used 2% but fat-free milk would work ok, too.
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper

How I Lightened the Recipe

Even though this chicken pot pie is lighter than the more decadent varieties, it is absolutely filled with flavor.

I used a few simple tricks to lighten up this pot pie compared to richer versions of the recipe:

  1. Flour Instead of Cream: A little flour is added to the olive oil as you soften the onion. This helps to thicken the sauce without the use of butter or heavy cream.
  2. Low Fat Milk: I have used both fat-free milk and reduced fat milk in this recipe with great results.
  3. Frozen Phyllo Dough Instead of Pie Crust: Pie crust is made with lots and lots of delicious butter. If you want to lighten the recipe but still have a crispy top, frozen phyllo dough is perfect! Just a few sheets of the pastry go a long way and are much lighter than a thick buttery pie crust.

Thaw the Phyllo Dough

If you've never worked with frozen phyllo dough before, be sure to check your package for the thawing directions.

My brand required thawing in the fridge overnight or on the counter for at least 3 hours.

If you don't thaw it properly, the sheets of dough are so thin they will crackle and break. So be sure to plan for enough thawing time.

Make the Chicken Filling

In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and dried thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent and soft.

The chopped onion and thyme are cooking in olive oil in a large skillet.

Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.

The flour has been stirred into the onions.

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Gradually add the milk and stir until smooth.

The milk has been poured into the skillet.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer and the flour thickens the sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the shredded chicken and frozen vegetables.

The shredded chicken and frozen vegetables are added to the skillet.

Pour the prepared filling into an 8×11-inch baking dish (a 2 qt pan).

The baking dish is filled with the chicken pot pie filling.

Top with Phyllo Dough

Carefully unroll the phyllo dough. Separate two sheets and stack them on top of the chicken filling.

Spray the top with cooking spray.

Then add another two sheets and spritz with the cooking spray.

Add a final two sheets and drizzle the top with olive oil. Use a pastry brush to spread it evenly over the top:

The sheets of phyllo dough have been placed on top of the baking dish and drizzled with olive oil.

If you use an 8 x 11 baking dish, the phyllo sheets will fit perfectly across the top without trimming.

Baking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the chicken filling is hot and bubbly.

The golden brown phyllo dough is on top of the chicken pot pie fresh from the oven.

Make Ahead Tips

This easy skillet dinner is best served fresh when you make it.

However, it makes an excellent DIY Meal Kit recipe.

To prep your own meal kit, simply:

  1. Pre-Shred the Chicken: You can keep bags of shredded chicken in your freezer for using in this recipe. No need to even thaw it!
  2. Frozen Veggies: The only fresh veggie here is the onion, but you could chop and freeze that, too.

With those two things ready to go, the rest of the dinner only takes a few minutes to stir together.

Variations

There are plenty of ways to play around with this family-favorite recipe.

You can change how you actually serve it or you can change some of the ingredients for a new flavor.

Some of my favorite variations include:

Use Different Vegetables: I always use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables but you could use leftover cooked veggies you have in the fridge. Asparagus, peppers, broccoli, green beans, even potatoes would all be yummy here.

Spicy Chicken Pot Pie: You could add a dash of cayenne pepper or a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce to kick things up a bit.

Turkey Pot Pie: Rotisserie chicken is my favorite dinner short cut but if you've got leftover turkey, that would work great with this creamy base.

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie: Skip the phyllo dough altogether and just serve the chicken filling hot from the skillet with a side of your favorite bread or biscuits.

A container of chicken pot pie filling is served next to biscuits.

Phyllo Dough Substitutions

If you're interested in a heartier version of this classic comfort food, you may want to use the filling from this recipe to make a buttery crusted pot pie with my favorite all-butter pie crust dough.

You could also swap the chicken and use cooked ham or skip the phyllo dough and make homemade biscuits for layering on as the top crust.

Serving Suggestions

The square of chicken pot pie is on a white plate. The vegetables are spilling out from the filling so you can see the ingredients included.

This comforting and cozy dinner comes together so quickly, it's been one of our favorite go-to dinners for years and years.

I often keep things simple and just serve it by itself with some fresh fruit on the side. You could also pair it with a light salad.

Here are a few delicious ideas that would pair well:

More Pot Pie Recipes

If you love pot pie, you'll love these other easy recipes, too:

📖 Recipe

A baking dish with creamy chicken pot pie has phyllo dough on the top.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

5 from 41 votes
This light chicken pot pie has a deceptively creamy base just loaded with tender shredded chicken and vegetables. Easy enough for the busiest of weeknights, this is comfort food you'll feel great about serving the family.
TOTAL TIME 40 minutes
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 25 minutes
YIELD 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 rotisserie chicken meat shredded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of frozen mixed vegetables carrots, peas, green beans
  • 6 phyllo sheets thawed
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until onions are translucent and soft. Add flour, cook 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  • Remove from heat; stir in chicken and thawed frozen vegetables. Pour filling into an 8×11-inch baking dish (a 2 qt pan).
  • Working quickly, place 2 sheets of phyllo dough across the top of the filling. Spray an even coat of cooking spray. Add another 2 sheets of dough, spray. Place the final 2 sheets of dough and brush evenly with just a bit of real olive oil for better taste and browning, or go easy and use more spray.
  • Bake until golden and bubbling, 20 – 25 minutes.
COURSEDinner
CUISINEAmerican

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The photo collage shows a close up of the chicken pot pie with phyllo dough topping.

EDITOR'S NOTE:
I recently updated this post with all new photos and more step-by-step instructions. It is still the same reader-favorite recipe.

Maybe you're looking for one of the original photos, recognize this?:

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie | Peanut Blossom

13 Comments

  1. Hi there! Can I make ahead, fully assemble it with phyllo dough on top and freeze it? If yes, what do I bake at frozen and for how long? I got this recipe from your "30 Clever Meal Train Ideas" and I would like to drop it off frozen for friends.
    Thank you!

  2. Pingback: 6 Easy Pantry Recipes for Quick Dinners - Peanut Blossom
  3. Pingback: Watch your kids inhale the ham leftovers when you make this delicious pot pie

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