Preemptively, we are devising plans for dealing with what I like to call the Thanksgiving leftover problem. Lol. I feel like the same thing happens EVERY year, where you have the best intentions of using all the leftovers but still end up throwing out a bunch after a week or so. This Mini Turkey Pot Pie idea came to me in bed the other night because I was trying to think of a leftover solution that would appeal to my kids. Kids always love food that's tailored to their size; it feels more special to them. Hence, Mini Turkey Pot Pies!
But after a quick search online, I discovered that I am clearly not the only one who's ever thought of this. Duh. From Betty Crocker to Pillsbury, everyone seems to have taken a stab at mini turkey or chicken pot pies. The concept is not rocket science. BUT we did have to figure out how to make it happen in 28 minutes or less!
Now, these pies aren't necessarily pretty. They look messy and are messy to eat. And technically, I believe they're not even pot pies (because they have no pie tops). BUT they're super doooooooper delicious, adorably kid-sized, and you really only need two to fill you up!
Use Your Leftovers
Okay, so this recipe assumes you have the following leftovers available: turkey, mashed potatoes (& maybe dough). The rest of the ingredients are easy and cheap to buy. You may have some in your pantry already. The idea is to use up food rather than create more food to use up. It may seem as though a couple mini pies won't be enough food, but trust me, it is. At our four person dinner (2 kids, 2 adults), we only got through 8 of the pies. They are very rich and dense. Plus, you can serve a salad or extra mashed potatoes on the side.
Don't Be Scared
The dough step in this recipe may appear daunting or time consuming at first glance, but this is seriously, truly the easiest thing to make. My kids got super involved. And I made sure to let them play with the scraps of dough we weren't using. When you're cutting out your circles, make sure you combine your scraps and re-roll them, so you can get maximum use of your dough. We worked with the dough directly on our clean countertop. If you find that the dough starts sticking to the countertop or the rolling pin too much, just dust some flour in the spots that are sticking.
No Pie Tops Here!
The time constraint of 28 mins means that we are limited on oven time and can only create open-faced pies. No pie tops. We tried, and it wasn't enough time. I realize that the name "pot pie" is a bit of misnomer here, but whatever! In fact, because these are so small, the dough shell takes up a lot of the pie's real estate. So, I honestly think that a pie top would make the pie too dough-heavy, and the delicious filling wouldn't get to shine!
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Separate everything! You know you can always break meals down into their parts. If the concept of a pie is not so enticing to your kiddo, separate the filling, mashed potatoes and crust. Then they can eat it how they like.
🍅More veggies on the side! If your kids won't eat the filling, but you still really want them to eat some veggies, pop some extra frozen veggies in the microwave to serve on the side.
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Mini Turkey Pot Pies
- cooking spray
- 2 packages Pillsbury Pie Crusts (or use leftover dough from Thanksgiving)
- 1 10 1/2 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 5 oz water (just fill half the empty soup can with water)
- 3-4 oz frozen veggie mix
- 1 1/4 cups roasted turkey meat (chopped)
- 1 t salt
- 1/8 t black pepper (ground)
- 3/4 - 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Roll out dough and cut out 12 circles with radius of around 4 1/2 - 5". Put each dough circle in a muffin tin well. Push the dough into the well, gently pushing it against the sides. Make sure the dough comes above the top, and spread that dough along the top of the tin. [See photo above recipe]. Spray the dough with cooking spray. Place muffin tin in oven and bake for 10 mins.
- While dough is baking, heat a medium pan on medium. Add chicken soup, water, frozen veggies, turkey, salt & pepper to the pan. Stir until combined. Stir occasionally until dough is done baking.
- Microwave your mashed potatoes for a minute or two. In each dough well, place 1 T of mashed potatoes, a hefty spoonful of the pan mix, and a sprinkle of cheese.