Evolution of a Chicken Pot Pie: Learning to Adapt Your Favorite Recipes

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February 5, 2013 by Lauren Grider

I love chicken pot pie. It is warm, rich and hearty. For me, chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. And let me tell you, I can make one heck of a chicken pot pie. The problem is, the way I used to make it is… a poor choice. Over time, I have adjusted the recipe to my changing Points Plus allotment. I cannot go without chicken pot pie, so I have to find a way to fit it into my eating plan.

I’m sure you have some favorites like I do. And you can’t just stop eating these delicious meals. In some cases, you just have to bite the bullet and eat “the real thing” every once in a while. I do. But for everyday life, making very small, gradual changes to your favorite recipes can yield some fantastic results. Please know that you do not have to make drastic changes, just take baby steps.

I am going to walk you through my chicken pot pie journey, starting with the original recipe, which I still make sometimes when I just have to have it, and ending with the current version, which has cut the Points Plus value by more than half! Keep in mind that this is a compilation of 2 years’ work to adapt a favorite recipe, and it is still a work in progress.

The Original Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:
16 oz chicken tenderloins, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of chicken condensed soup
4 tbsp sour cream
15 oz can mixed vegetables with potatoes, drained
2 refrigerated roll-out pie crusts
salt and pepper to taste

Mix shredded chicken, soup, sour cream, vegetables, and salt and pepper. Roll out one pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Add chicken mixture. Top with the remaining pie crust. Pinch edges to seal and cut 4 slits in top to vent. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then serve. Yields 6 servings, 11 Points Plus per serving.

Well, we have some problems. We don’t have enough veggies in there. We have way too many Points Plus values invested in pie crust. Just those two pie crusts contribute 46 Points Plus to our recipe!

So, I knew something had to change, and what I changed first was the amount of pie crusts.

One-Crust Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients are the same as above, except we only need 1 pie crust. Make according to instructions above, starting with rolling out a pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Add the filling and cook as above. The only difference is we won’t put a crust on top. Now, this makes a huge difference! It comes out looking a bit like a quiche, but it tastes every bit like a good ol’ chicken pot pie. And we have a much better Points Plus value! This recipe yields 6 servings, 7 Points Plus per serving.

Now this is pretty fantastic, and I still make it. However, I have some special dietary requirements, and I have to really cut down on my carbohydrate intake. So, this is not the best choice for me anymore. Also, around this time I was discovering plain Chobani yogurt as a sour cream substitute, so I started experimenting with adding it to recipes. It gives a great creamy taste and adds protein to the dishes. Without the pie crusts, it is more like a casserole, and the chicken ratio was all off, so I decreased the amount.

Ritz Topping Chicken Pot Pie w/ Chobani

Ingredients:
12 oz chicken tenderloins, cooked and shredded
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
4 tbsp Chobani 0% plain yogurt
15 oz can mixed vegetables with potatoes, drained
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken, soup, yogurt, vegetables and salt and pepper. Place in casserole dish and top with crumbled Ritz crackers. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Yields 6 servings, 5 Points Plus per serving.

Now this is also pretty great. The Ritz crackers give it a carby crunch, but without the significant Points Plus investment of the pie crust. We have added some protein with the Chobani. We have adjusted the chicken to veggie ratio. However, it’s still not quite right for me most of the time. The Ritz crackers are not the best thing for me to eat. So, what could I top it with that would be a satisfying, lower carbohydrate option? Cheese! I also changed from canned to frozen vegetables because I am making an effort to eat less processed foods. Finally, the chicken to veggie ratio is still just not right. We need more veggies and less chicken. And I have discovered the crock pot chicken, so I use that now instead of the chicken tenderloins.

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:
8 oz shredded chicken
Publix Casual and Light frozen vegetable medley, 1/2 bag
2 tbsp Chobani yogurt
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste (or I use the House Seasoning)
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Mix chicken, frozen vegetables, Chobani, soup, and house seasoning. Place in casserole dish and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Yields 6 servings, 4 Points Plus per serving.

This remains a work in progress. My next goal is to eliminate the condensed soup, but I haven’t yet found a good substitute. I found some recipes for homemade cream of chicken soup, so I may give it a whirl when I have a day to set aside.

The point is, don’t feel like you have to give up your favorite foods to eat better. Just be flexible and think outside of the box!

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