Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie

Aside from macaroni & cheese, my favorite comfort food has to be chicken pot pie! I especially love it when it’s topped with homemade buttermilk biscuits- it’s THE BEST! But lately we’ve been trying to lighten things up a bit, so this time around I decided to make this classic dish into something slightly more healthy yet still cozy and flavorful. I think I nailed it!

Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie

One of my new favorite “tricks” is using pureed cauliflower instead of cream or milk to help lighten things up. I used this method in the jalapeño popper soup I made last week and my husband loved it! This recipe was no different, he could hardly tell that he was eating pureed veggies and not loads of dairy- I call that a success!

Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie

To start, in Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. I prefer using olive oil just because of health reasons, but if you want to use butter instead, feel free to do that too! Add the carrots and celery and and cook until tender, then add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until tender and transparent. Sprinkle the flour over top and whisk constantly until the flour turns lightly golden in color, do not let it burn! Slowly pour in the chicken stock, cauliflower puree, milk and spices, whisk to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the thawed veggies (I like to use a combination of peas, green beans and corn) and the chicken, simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until the base becomes nice and thick. If you are in a time crunch you can always cut up a rotisserie chicken versus grilling your own, but I prefer to season two chicken breasts with herbes de provence and cook until golden brown. Either way it’ll taste great!

Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie

While the mixture is simmering for those last 10 minutes, you’ll want to whip up the buttermilk biscuit topping. Again, I tried to lighten things up a bit so I mixed together some all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, thyme and salt. Whisk gently to combine. Adding the right amount of whole wheat flour is key, you don’t want to use too much or you’ll wind up with dense biscuits (also we couldn’t notice a big difference in taste, which is nice). Add the cold cubed butter and reduced-fat cream cheese. Why cream cheese? Not only is it lower in fat but it adds an extra richness to the biscuits. Anyway, with a pastry blender, work until pea-size clumps form. Pour in the low-fat buttermilk and mix until the dough becomes moist and no loose pockets of flour remain. Arrange the dough over the top of the filling by forming palm size balls and placing them ¼ inch apart. Brush the tops of the biscuits with additional buttermilk and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits turn golden brown.

Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie

Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes. While it sits the base with thicken up and will cool down a bit, which is exactly what you want! I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try, I know our family really loved it! It’s a great way to sneak in more veggies an cut down on the fat without compromising flavor. I can’t tell you how huge that is in our house! I’m so happy with how this dish turned out, I can’t wait to make it again!

Lightened-Up Chicken Pot Pie
 
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I'm on a mission to lighten-up some of those favorite comfort food classics! This version of chicken pot pie is just as creamy and hearty as the original!
Author:
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. low-fat milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 head cauliflower, steamed and pureed
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 c. frozen veggies, thawed (peas, green beans, corn etc)
  • 1 lb. grilled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • For the biscuit topping:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. regular or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. low-fat buttermilk*
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, cold
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender and transparent. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over top and whisk constantly until the flour turns lightly golden in color. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, cauliflower puree, milk and spices, whisk to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the thawed veggies and chicken, simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until thick.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the biscuit topping, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, thyme and salt. Whisk gently to combine. Add the cold cubed butter and cream cheese. With a pastry blender, work until pea-size clumps form. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until the dough becomes moist and no loose pockets of flour remain. Arrange the dough over the top of the filling by forming palm size balls and placing them ¼ inch apart. Brush the tops of the biscuits with additional buttermilk (totally optional).
  4. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Notes
*You can make your own low-fat buttermilk by combining ¾ c. low-fat milk with 2 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar and allowing it to sit for 5 minutes or until curdled.
- I like to use Ziploc steam bags to "steam" my cauliflower in. I just chop up the head of cauliflower, put it in the bag, steam it and then puree it in my mini food processor. It's quick and easy!


Recipe source: Life Made Simple