3 Frozen Chicken Pot Pies That Are (Almost) Better than Homemade
Chicken pot pie is a labor of love. Making the perfectly flaky pie crust, chopping and cooking every morsel of vegetables and chicken, and creating a rich, creamy sauce from scratch can take the better part of a day. If someone makes one for you, give them a big hug and plenty of praise because they’ve spent hours thinking of you, and that’s pretty sweet. Fortunately, the freezer section of your grocery store holds several options that can drastically reduce the time spent making a pot pie, so you can go straight to the eating part.
To find which ones were worthy of a spot at your dinner table, I tested eight different frozen chicken pot pies from six different brands. For each test, I followed the package instructions for baking in the oven, knowing that the microwave will sog out even the best crust. I wanted to experience these pot pies at their finest, and 20 to 40 minutes in a hot oven gave me the best results I could hope for. Then I let the pies rest for about 5 minutes to avoid scorching my mouth on the molten lava filling.
And while I didn’t find any pot pies that were better than homemade, I did find three that deserve a spot in your freezer — and a place in your dinner rotation.
1. Blake’s Frozen All Natural Chicken Pot Pie
With big, tender chunks of chicken and an abundance of peas and potatoes, this pot pie got high marks for its ingredient quality. For me, a pot pie is more than a little bit about the crust, so at first I was surprised to find that this one lacks a bottom crust. Fortunately, though, its top crust makes up the difference. One Target reviewer recommended inverting the pot pie into a bowl for optimum crust-to-filling distribution, going on to say, “Unless you plan to make a big batch of homemade pot pies with all-natural organic ingredients from your local market, this really can’t be beat, and is worth every penny.”
Buy: Blake’s Frozen All Natural Chicken Pot Pie, $3.99 for 8 ounces at Target
2. Kiwi Kuisine Curry Chicken Pie
This was, by far, my favorite pot pie of the ones I sampled, and would have claimed the top spot if it were more readily available nationwide. Meat pies are all the rage in New Zealand, where Kiwi Kuisine founder and former pro rugby player Bert “Ram” Todd hails from. These petite pies goes way beyond the traditional velouté filling I’m used to with vibrant flavors like curry, green chile, and stout.
The flax and whole-wheat pastry crust is sturdy yet flaky, and the chicken filling is bursting with curry flavor. These might be a bit hard to track down if you’re not in the Mid-Atlantic, where you can find them in most Whole Foods stores. If you want to give them a try, you can order packs of 12 (in various flavors) through the mail.
Buy: Kiwi Kuisine Curry Chicken Pie, $6.99 for 8.1 ounces at Whole Foods
3. Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie with Crust Made with Cauliflower
First, let’s get this out of the way: Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie with Crust Made with Cauliflower is not, as you might assume, gluten-free. There’s wheat in the crust! But the addition of the cauliflower gives the crust a unique flavor and appealing texture that holds up well after baking, and that’s something I can get behind.
One online reviewer said, “I have loved these Marie original pot pies since I was a little girl. I was very excited to try one made with cauliflower in the crust! It was just as good, if not better, than the original! I would definitely recommend trying this!” I couldn’t agree more.
Buy: Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie with Crust Made with Cauliflower $3.69 for 14 ounces at Target
This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: 3 Frozen Chicken Pot Pies That Are (Almost) Better than Homemade