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Freeze-Dried or Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

by | Feb 26, 2022 | Cook, Freeze Drying, Freezing, Main Dish, Preserve, Recipes

Chicken pot pie is one of the best comfort meals I know. But preparing chicken pot pie from scratch is time-consuming enough that I don’t make it very often. Come learn how to make freeze-dried or frozen chicken pot pie (in individual servings) so you can enjoy this incredible meal anytime you want!

Three jars of freeze-dried chicken pot pie.

Freezing vs Freeze-Drying Chicken Pot Pie

Today I’m showing you how to both freeze and freeze-dry chicken pot pie so you can enjoy this amazing meal anytime you want. But let me share the pros and cons of each method.

Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

The advantage of freezing meals is that we all probably already have a freezer and don’t need to purchase one first. However, the downside to freezing meals is that you have to plan ahead and remember to defrost them before you can cook them.

You also lose some of the nutritional value when freezing and reheating food and frozen food takes up quite a bit of space in our freezers that we like to prioritize for things such as meat and dairy.

Freeze-Dried Chicken Pot Pie

It is important to note that freeze drying and dehydrating are not the same. I break down the differences and compare five different foods using each method in freeze dried vs. dehydrated foods.

The benefit of freeze-drying meals is that you can store them on the shelf for up to 20 years, losing very little nutritional value at all. You also only need boiling water to prepare the meals, which makes them fantastic for grab-and-go lunches, quick and easy weeknight dinners, or even packable meals to take camping.

The downside to freeze-dried meals is the initial investment. Freeze-dryers are not cheap, but after having our Harvest Right freeze dryer for over a year now we’ve seen the cost pay off in dividends in time, effort, flavor, and ease of use.

Ingredients for homemade chicken pot pie on a counter top.

Ingredients

I’m making a double batch of chicken pot pies which would generally fill about four shallow pie crusts. Instead, I’ll be turning them into some frozen and freeze-dried meals that will be ready to grab and go!

For the Filling

  • Chicken – use cubed chicken that’s all cut roughly the same size to speed up the cooking process.
  • Celery – diced small, roughly the same size as the carrots and onions.
  • Carrots – diced small, roughly the same size as the celery and onions.
  • Onion – diced small, roughly the same size as the celery and carrots.
  • Peas – can use fresh or frozen peas.
  • Evaporated milk – can use half & half, heavy cream or even milk.
  • Bone broth – having jars of homemade bone broth on my pantry shelf is such a great way to save time and money on recipes like this.
  • Flour – for thickening the sauce.
  • Butter – we love using our homemade butter – learn how to easily (and quickly) make butter three ways.
  • Salt and pepper to taste – salt and pepper is such a personal touch, generally I like to salt things as I go, but when it comes to chicken pot pie, I like to season at the end. Once I have my filling complete and thickened, I’ll add my salt and pepper, tasting as I go, until I get it just right!

For the Pie Crust

  • Flour – can use a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat, or all of the flour of your choice.
  • Cold butter – it’s important the butter be very cold and cubed.
  • Sugar – can omit if desired, but I think sugar makes the crust even more delicious (it definitely doesn’t make it taste like a dessert dough though!).
  • Salt – we love our Redmond Real Salt and like buying it in bulk.
A woman in the kitchen with chicken pot pie ingredients on the counter in front of her.

How to Make Chicken Pot Pie

1. Prepare pie dough (see directions below) and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes while you make the pot pie filling.

2. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat (see why cast iron is my favorite!).

3. Add the chicken. Once the chicken is nearly finished cooking through, add the diced veggies and continue to cook.

Diced chicken cooking in a large cast iron skillet.

4. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the remaining butter until melted.

5. Sprinkle flour over the surface of your chicken and veggie mixture and stir until evenly distributed and the raw flour taste has cooked out (about 3-5 minutes).

6. Once the flour has turned a nice golden brown, add the broth and cream and continue stirring.

7. Add frozen peas, salt and pepper (to taste) and continue stirring while the liquid thickens.

8. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Peas being added to a skillet filled with chicken pot pie filling.

To bake regular chicken pot pies, divide the mixture between four shallow pie pans, roll out the dough into four pie crusts and cover each pie pan with the crust. Make three small slits in the pie crust to allow for venting and bake at 375° F until the pie crust has cooked through (about 25 minutes).

Hands rolling out pie dough with a rolling pin.

How to Make Pie Crust

  1. Add flour, cold butter, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles crumbles the size of a pea.
  2. Turn food processor on and drizzle in ice-cold water until the dough mixture just starts to hold together and looks wet all the way to the bottom (the amount of water will vary based on your flour and room conditions). I used just under a cup of cold water.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and give it a quick knead until a solid ball of dough is formed.
  4. Divide dough into four equal portions and chill for 20 minutes.
  5. When ready to bake, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick and, using the ring of a mason jar (or biscuit cutter), cut out small circles of pie crust.
  6. Place them onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat mat and bake at 375° F for about 5 minutes (or until barely golden brown).
Small discs of pie crust being placed onto a cookie sheet.

Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

  1. To freeze chicken pot pie into individual servings, fill up six wide-mouth pint-sized mason jars with chicken pot pie filling (leaving about two inches of head-space to allow for expansion), add a two-part canning lid, and place into the freezer until frozen.
  2. Once the mini pie crusts have baked and cooled, freeze them in a large ziptop freezer bag or freezer-proof container. Once the chicken pot pie filling is completely frozen, open each jar and top with a frozen baked pie crust right in the jar.
  3. To reheat in the oven: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, remove the lid then place the jar into a preheated 350° F oven and bake until completely heated through and starting to brown on the top (about 25 minutes).
  4. To reheat in the microwave: Defrost overnight, remove the lid and heat in the microwave on high for a few minutes until heated through.
Jars of freeze-dried chicken pot pie being sealed.

Freeze-Dried Chicken Pot Pie

  1. To freeze-dry chicken pot pie into individual servings, fill the dehydrator trays with chicken pot pie filling.
  2. Bake the mini pie crusts and place onto a separate freeze-dryer tray.
  3. Freeze dry filling and pie crusts completely.
  4. Once completely freeze-dried, crumble the pot pie filling and fill up approximately 12 pint-sized wide-mouth mason jars (I only filled six jars since I also froze six jars).
  5. Crumble one pie crust into each jar, add an oxygen absorber to each jar, then add a two-part canning lid.
  6. To eat: Boil approximately 1 cup water and slowly add to the jar. Add the lid and shake gently. Allow it to absorb the water for a few minutes, then enjoy!

* Rehydrating freeze-dried foods takes a bit of finesse. If you add too much water you’ll end up with soup, too little and it will be dry. I like to follow the rule of thumb to add about half the amount of water by volume to whatever you’re rehydrating.

My Favorite Time-Saving Tool in the Kitchen

You may have noticed just how easily (and evenly) my veggies were diced. I love my Breville Food Processor and the Dicer Kit attachment for chopping vegetables.

It’s not the cheapest kitchen tool, but I’ve been using it for about a year in the kitchen now and it’s saved me HOURS of prep time, especially during preservation season!

Other Convenient Meals/Recipes You May Enjoy

Three jars of freeze-dried chicken pot pie.

Freeze-Dried or Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

Make easy and delicious convenience meals by making this freeze-dried or frozen chicken pot pie recipe.
4.87 from 23 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • Freeze-Drier or freezer
  • Breville Dicer Kit optional
  • Pint-Sized Mason Jars
  • Large Skillet
  • Large Baking Sheet

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups flour can use a combination of flours
  • 1 cup cold butter cubed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water ice cold

For the Filling

  • 8 cups chicken chopped
  • 2 cups celery diced
  • 2 cups carrots diced
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 2 cups peas fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups evaporated milk half & half or heavy cream will work
  • 4 cups bone broth chicken or beef
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Crust

  • Add flour, cold butter, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles crumbles the size of a pea.
  • Turn food processor on and drizzle in ice-cold water until the dough mixture just starts to hold together and looks wet all the way to the bottom (the amount of water will vary based on your flour and room conditions). I used just under a cup of cold water.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and give it a quick knead until a solid ball of dough is formed.
  • Divide dough into four equal portions and chill for 20 minutes.
  • When ready to bake, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch and, using the ring of a mason jar (or biscuit cutter), cut out small circles of pie crust.
  • Place them onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat mat and bake at 375° F for about 5 minutes (or until barely golden brown).

For the Filling

  • Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken. Once the chicken is nearly finished cooking through, add the diced veggies and continue to cook.
  • Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the remaining butter until melted.
  • Sprinkle flour over the surface of your chicken and veggie mixture and stir until evenly distributed and the raw flour taste has cooked out (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Once the flour has turned a nice golden brown, add the broth and cream and continue stirring.
  • Add frozen peas, salt and pepper (to taste) and continue stirring while the liquid thickens.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

To Bake Regular Pies

  • Divide the filling between four shallow pie pans.
  • Roll out pie dough into four pie crusts and cover each pie pan with the crust.
  • Make three small slits in the pie crust to allow for venting and bake at 375° F until the pie crust has cooked through (about 25 minutes).

To Freeze

  • Fill up six wide-mouth pint-sized mason jars with chicken pot pie filling (leaving about two inches of head-space to allow for expansion), add a two-part canning lid, and place into the freezer until frozen.
  • Once the mini pie crusts have baked and cooled, freeze them in a large ziptop freezer bag or freezer-proof container. Once the chicken pot pie filling is completely frozen, open each jar and top with a frozen baked pie crust right in the jar.
  • To reheat in the oven: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, remove the lid then place the jar into a preheated 350° F oven and bake until completely heated through and starting to brown on the top (about 25 minutes).
  • To reheat in the microwave: Defrost overnight, remove the lid and heat in the microwave on high for a few minutes until heated through.

To Freeze-Dry

  • Fill the dehydrator trays with chicken pot pie filling.
  • Bake the mini pie crusts and place onto a separate freeze-dryer tray.
  • Freeze dry filling and pie crusts completely.
  • Once completely freeze-dried, crumble the pot pie filling and fill up approximately 12 pint-sized wide-mouth mason jars (I only filled six jars since I also froze six jars).
  • Crumble one pie crust into each jar, add an oxygen absorber to each jar, then add a two-part canning lid.
  • To eat: Boil approximately 1 cup water and slowly add to the jar. Add the lid and shake gently. Allow it to absorb the water for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe can be adapted for from-scratch chicken pot pies, frozen individual servings, or freeze-dried individual servings. 
  • Frozen chicken pot pie can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. 
  • Freeze-dried chicken pot pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 20 years!
  • Be sure to follow the rehydrating step for freeze-dried food carefully so you don’t end up with chicken pot pie soup!

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2383IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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