This easy leftover turkey pot pie with puffy pastry crust is the best thing you can make with your Thanksgiving leftovers! It's a one-skillet meal with a rich and flavorful homemade filling with tender vegetables and meaty chunks of turkey meat in a rich, creamy sauce, nestled under a buttery, flaky puff pastry crust. The best part is that it's super easy to make! Just 20 minutes of prep work and 30 minutes in the oven is all it takes for this lazy, yet heartwarming comfort food dinner.
After spending a lot of time making an elaborate Thanksgiving meal, the last thing you want to do is slave for hours making another big meal.
But when you get sick of turkey sandwiches, this recipe for leftover turkey pot pie is the solution. It elevates holiday leftovers with little effort, for an easy 1-skillet meal that's rich, comforting and will have everyone asking for seconds.
It's a classic pot pie recipe with juicy turkey meat, hearty vegetables and a rich, velvety sauce tucked beneath a golden, flaky pie crust. This easy pot pie is one of my favorite recipes to make the weekend after Thanksgiving because it uses up lots of extra turkey and is made entirely in one skillet.
What makes my pot pie unique is that I add a touch of sherry to the filing. You can leave it out, but it's a secret ingredient that adds savory depth and a luxurious flavor. Frozen puff pastry makes it incredibly easy to achieve an ultra flaky, buttery crust. It's SO good!
Why this recipe works
- Forgiving and customizable, change up the ingredients to use what you have.
- Only 20 minutes of prep and 30 minutes to bake.
- Transforms leftovers into a completely new meal.
- Rich depth of flavor from white wine, sherry and cream.
- Store-bought puff pastry and a simple filling make it easy as pie to throw together.
- Leftover Turkey - You can use white meat, dark meat, or a combination of both.
- Vegetables - I use carrots, celery, onion, garlic and frozen peas, but feel free to swap out or add any extra veggies you want. Use up additional Thanksgiving leftovers like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn or green beans.
- Butter - It doesn't matter if you use salted or unsalted since you're seasoning to taste. Feel free to substitute olive oil or another oil of your choice.
- Chicken or Turkey Stock - You can easily make your own homemade turkey stock from a leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass, but store bought turkey or chicken stock works great as well. You can also use vegetable stock or a little bit of bouillon in a pinch.
- White Wine - This adds a slightly acidic, fruity background note to the filling. Use a dry white wine that is un-oaked, such Pinot Grigio, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, or chardonnay. You can omit the wine if desired. Instead, substitute with more turkey/chicken broth and a few splashes of white wine vinegar to balance the richness with some acidity.
- Sherry - Sherry is my secret ingredient that adds a subtle nutty and sweet background flavor that makes this turkey pot pie filling taste incredible. You can leave it out and substitute more turkey broth or the same amount of apple cider, like I use in my classic chicken pot pie recipe.
- Heavy Cream - You can substitute half and half in a pinch, but heavy cream is best to achieve a rich and velvety filling.
- Thyme - Use fresh thyme leaves if you can, but dried can be used too. Just halve the amount of dried thyme in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon. You can also substitute rosemary, parsley, sage, poultry seasoning, or leave the herbs out altogether.
- Frozen Puff Pastry - This is the easiest way to achieve a light and flaky golden crust. Look for it in the frozen dessert section of the grocery store near the other pie crusts. If you have a batch of homemade pie crust leftover from the holiday, feel free to use that instead as long as it's not sweetened in any way. You can also use a store-bought pie crust if puff pastry is unavailable.
*Full ingredient list with quantities is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Cast Iron Skillet - You'll need a cast iron skillet or other deep oven safe skillet that's anywhere from 9-12 inches large. You can also make the filling in a large pan, then transfer it to a pie plate, place the crust on top of the filling and bake.
- Sheet Pan - This will get placed underneath the pot pie when baking to catch any drips.
- Aluminum Foil or Parchment Paper - I like to line my sheet pan with either foil or parchment to make for easier clean-up.
Step by step instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saucé the onions, carrots and celery until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an another minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. This will create a roux.
Tip: Cook the roux until it turns slightly golden in color, about 2-3 minutes, to develop more flavor.
- Stir in the white wine, sherry and chicken stock and continue stirring until the mixture thickens. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Add the heavy cream, thyme, peas, the shredded leftover turkey, then season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. The mixture will be quite thick, but it will loosen up as it bakes.
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface so it's just large enough to fit the skillet with a slight overhang. Place the rolled-out puff pastry on top of the pot pie filling in the skillet, tucking in the excess around the edges to form a crust.
Tip: To achieve a beautiful golden-brown top crust, brush all over with the beaten egg before baking. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt, fresh herbs or black pepper on top for added flavor and crunch. (Optional!)
- Cut a few slits in the top to let steam escape, then bake for about 30 minutes or until the top of the crust is puffed and golden, and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Tips for success
- If omitting the wine and/or sherry, substitute with an equal amount of either stock plus a few splashes of white wine vinegar to balance the richness, or with apple cider, which adds a really nice flavor.
- Thaw puff pastry in the refrigerator, and keep it cold until right before using. This makes it easier to work with and ensures it bakes up light and flaky.
- The egg wash is optional but will make the crust golden brown and crisp on top.
- Lightly dust the crust with flaky sea salt, herbs or other seasonings before baking for added flavor and texture.
- Always vent the crust with small cuts to let steam escape, which prevents it from overflowing on the sides.
- Let the pot pie rest at least 5 minutes before serving to let the filling set up.
This leftover turkey pot pie is a complete meal on its own with protein, vegetables and starch all in one dish, but you can also pair it with a side salad or vegetable, like this Brussels sprout salad with bacon, apples and sharp cheddar, baked cauliflower gratin, or roasted butternut squash with goat cheese and hazelnuts.
You could also make this homemade turkey pot pie in individual servings, like these individual turkey pot pies with butternut squash and bacon. They're great for making and then refrigerating or and freezing as individual portions to enjoy later.
Just spoon the filling into ramekins or mugs, cool completely then cut out the pastry to fit on top. Wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
Serve this savory pie with leftover gravy or cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving dinner. If you have a lot of leftovers, this is the perfect way to serve them all as one delicious dinner for the entire family.
Pair this delicious pot pie with a glass of the white wine you used to make the creamy sauce!
Yes! You can use regular pie dough, biscuit dough, cornbread or even leftover stuffing or mashed potatoes instead. Use what you have! Just make sure it's not a sweet crust.
Yes, you can assemble the filling in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. When ready, preheat the oven and add the crust to the top and bake.
Absolutely. Use a gluten free flour blend for the roux and a gluten free pie crust for the top.
Cooked turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Eat, repurpose or freeze it no later than the Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day.
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