Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Pot Pies with Leeks, Cremini Mushrooms, and Thyme

Recipe video by Vic Chin

Make sure you have plenty of leftover turkey for these deliciously creamy turkey and veggie pot pies—a great way to stuff yourself!

Whether stuffed with veggies, tender chicken or turkey, or rich braised beef, pot pie is about as warm and comforting as it gets, and this recipe delivers. This version is pretty classic, using shredded (or chopped) turkey leftover from your big Thanksgiving feast, carrot, mushrooms, peas, and herbs, all bathed in a savory, creamy sauce and topped with buttery pastry. The great thing about pot pie, though, is that you can pretty much put whatever you like, or have on hand, into it. Use this recipe as a starting point to create your favorite version.

Here are some easy variations depending on what you like, and what you have in the fridge that needs using up:

Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock or mushroom stock in place of the turkey stock. Omit the turkey meat and add 3 cups mixed chopped or cubed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and butternut squash. Be sure to cook the vegetables—blanched, roasted, or sautéed—just until crisp-tender before adding to the mix.

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Chicken Pot Pie: Just swap out 3 cups cooked, shredded or chopped chicken meat for the turkey, and use chicken stock.

Beef Pot Pie: Use 1 yellow onion, finely chopped, in place of the leek. Saute the onion until transparent before adding the carrot. Swap out the turkey stock for beef or chicken stock. Finally, use 3 cups shredded braised beef (such as brisket, pot roast, or chuck) instead of the turkey.

I topped these with purchased puff pastry to keep things easy, but I truly love pot pie topped with homemade pie dough. If you use puff pastry, choose a good-quality, all-butter version. You can also top the pies with leftover mashed potatoes for a yummy shepherd’s pie variation!

Turkey Pot Pies with Leeks, Cremini Mushrooms, and Thyme
Turkey Pot Pies with Leeks, Cremini Mushrooms, and Thyme (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Turkey Pot Pies with Leeks, Cremini Mushrooms, and Thyme

Makes 4 to 6 pot pies

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup (packed) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas
  • 3 cups shredded or chopped leftover roast turkey
  • 1lb frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon warm water


Instructions:

  1. In a large, wide frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the leek, carrot, and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Scrape into a bowl.
  2. Add the leek, carrot, and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.
    Add the leek, carrot, and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes.
    Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. Melt the remaining 6 tbsp of butter in the pan. Whisk in the flour and let simmer until bubbly. Slowly whisk in the stock until smooth, then whisk in the milk. Add the reserved carrots, leek, mushroom mixture; turkey, and peas, then stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Divide the mixture between the ramekins.

Add the reserved carrots mixture, turkey, and peas.
Add the reserved carrots, leek, mushroom mixture; turkey, and peas. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Stir to combine.
Stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Divide the mixture between the ramekins.
Divide the mixture between the ramekins. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Have ready 4–6 deep ramekins or baking dishes, each with about 1 1/2 cups capacity.
  • Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. If necessary, roll out the dough to 1/8 in. thick. Cut 4 pieces to fit over the top of the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Position a piece of pastry over each ramekin and press into place. Brush the egg mixture lightly over the pastry. Bake until bubbly and the pastry is brown and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve right away.
  • Roll out the dough to make an even surface for the pie tops.
    Roll out the dough to make an even surface for the pie tops. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Cut 4 pieces to fit over the top of the ramekins.
    Cut 4 pieces to fit over the top of the ramekins. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Position a piece of pastry over each ramekin and press into place.
    Position a piece of pastry over each ramekin and press into place. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Brush the egg mixture lightly over the pastry.
    Brush the egg mixture lightly over the pastry. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Turkey Pot Pies with Leeks, Cremini Mushrooms, and Thyme
    Bake until bubbly and the pastry is brown and cooked through, about 35 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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