This muffin tin chicken pot pie recipe makes the perfect fun sized snack or appetizer. These individual pies have a from scratch filling with chicken breast and veggies and several options for pie crust.
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
I’ve seen many recipes on the web for muffin pan chicken pot pies. Many of them use canned cream of chicken soup and add some chicken and veggies to it.
I am not a fan of canned soup (it’s way too salty), so I make the filling from scratch. It’s not as difficult as you think and the flavor makes it well worth the extra time.
Other than the flavor, the most important thing for a pot pie filling is to make sure it is the right thickness. If it’s too runny, it will make the crust soggy. The solution is to add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with cold water) to the already flour-thickened filling. The slurry will stabilize it and thicken it even more, making just right to put in a pie crust.
There are several options for pie crusts. Some are easier and quicker than others – it’s just a matter of personal preference. Since the chicken pot pie filling is made from scratch, I like the idea of using something store-bought.
Pie crust from scratch – If you have a pie crust that you absolutely love and don’t mind the extra time, go for it.
Ready-made pie crust – Frozen ready-made pie crusts are a good option. They need to be completely defrosted and at room temperature before using. I find that most of them are a little bit thick for a mini pie, so I roll them out thinner and then cut out the size needed for the muffin tin. You’ll need 3 pie crusts if you want a full top crust and 2 if you are cutting out shapes for the top.
Ready-made biscuits – I also tested these pies with Pillsbury Grands ready-made biscuits. This is definitely the quickest and easiest of all the options because the biscuits are already formed into small rounds.
Simply open the can, split one of the biscuits in half and roll it (or press and stretch with your hands) into a 5 inch circle. The dough is super pliable so it’s easy to handle and press into the muffin tin.
Top crust or not? For a mini pie, I think a top crust may be too much for some people. You end up with a lot of crust for a small amount of filling. But a top crust makes this an adorable hand pie or portable snack. So if you use a full top crust, make it on the thinner side. You could also use a basket weave with strips of dough if you are super patient (unlike me, lol!).
I personally love a top crust but the other option is to use cut out shapes (photo below) instead. Use small cookie cutters in whichever shape you like. This is a quicker easier option that uses less pie dough.
How to Make Pot Pie Filling
Start by cooking some boneless skinless chicken breast in a pot. The flavor that it leaves in the pot will be used to make the filling.
Cook celery and onion in the same pot with some butter. Then stir in flour, which will thicken the filling. Add low-sodium chicken broth and cook until it thickens
Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until it thickens further. Add frozen peas and carrots. seasoning and the chicken and you’re ready to go.
For the filling, simply replace the flour with a gluten-free flour blend like King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. Gluten-free flour doesn’t have quite the thickening power of wheat flour, so you’ll use more (see the recipe card below).
Pie crust – I tested a ready-made gluten-free pie crust and a store-bought gluten-free puff pastry. The puff pastry was somewhat rubbery and I didn’t like the texture of it once baked.
I tested Wholly Gluten-Free ready-made pie crusts and they were my favorite of all of the options, including the non gluten-free options. The dough is pliable and easy to roll out and it bakes up golden brown, delicate and and flaky. It can be found at many natural foods markets including Sprouts Farmer Market.
Muffin Tin Chicken Pot Pies
- 2-3 ready-made pie crusts (gluten-free crusts ok)* OR
- 1 package Pillsbury Grands Biscuits OR
- homemade pie crust (double or triple recipe)*
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
- 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips or use tenders
- olive oil for cooking the chicken
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp minced yellow or brown onion
- 2 Tbsp minced celery
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp flour if using gluten-free flour, use 2 Tbsp
- 1¼ c low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ c frozen peas and carrots
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 pinches finely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp corn starch mixed with 1 tsp water
- If using ready-made frozen pie crust, remove them from the freezer and the packaging and let defrost on the counter. They need at least an hour.If using homemade pie crust, make it first.If using Pillsbury's Grands biscuits make the filling first.
- Lightly coat a 2 quart pot with olive oil. Place on the stovetop over high heat for 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low-medium and add the chicken.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Cooking time will vary based on size. Take the pieces out as they are done and place on a plate to cool.
- The brown bits and liquid left in the pot will stay there to flavor the filling. Add the butter and melt over low medium heat
- Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the celery is softened.
- Add the flour and stir well until it is incorporated.
- Turn the heat to high and immediately add the chicken broth. Stir constantly with a whisk for one minute.
- Continue stirring every 20 seconds or so until the liquid starts bubbling and thickens – it does not need to be at a full boil.
- Add the peas and carrots (ok if still frozen), salt and pepper and stir well.
- Give the cornstarch mixture a stir first. Then, while stirring with a whisk, pour it in. Stir until the sauce thickens further. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Cut the cooked chicken into small cubes about 1/4 inch.
- Stir the chicken into the sauce.
- This is your chance to adjust the flavor of the filling if needed. Taste. If the flavor is a little blah, add a couple of pinches of salt and another pinch of pepper. Stir and taste again. Add more, a little bit at a time until you like the flavor.
- Transfer the filling to a large plate or pan to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
Assemble the Pies with Grands Biscuits
- If you have an old, scuffed, or scratched muffin tin, I recommend greasing with a little soft butter.
- Split one biscuit in half.
- Roll on a lightly floured surface into a 5-6 inch circle. You can also use your hand to press and stretch it into a larger circle.
- Press the dough circle into the muffin pan. Continue until all 12 are done.
- Divide the filling evenly among the crusts using about two tablespoons of filling per pie.
- Split one of the remaining biscuits in half and roll into a 6 inch circle. Cut out small shapes using cookie cutters and place on top of the pie.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
Assemble the Pies with Pie crust
- Flour your work surface and work with about 1/4 of the pie dough at a time. I recommend placing a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough to prevent the the rolling pin from sticking.Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. If using ready made pie crusts, I recommend rolling the dough thinner than it is. Most store-bought pie crusts are too thick for a mini pie like this.
- Use a cutter, a glass or bowl with at least a 4¼ inch opening.
- Gently transfer the dough rounds to the pan and press in.
- If it tears simply patch it with a scrap of dough.
- Pull any scraps together, add more dough and continue until all 12 muffin tin wells have crust.
- Use the remaining dough to cut out small shapes using cookie cutters to top the pie, OR
- To make a full top crust, cut out circles the size of the top of the muffin pan wells.
- Divide the filling evenly among the crusts, using about two tablespoons filling per pie.
- Top with shapes or press the full crust gently to the bottom crust.
- Score gently with a fork to seal.
- Use a knife with a sharp point to cut several slits in the top crust. This will allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing. The pie crust will be delicate when straight out of the oven, so it needs to rest before removing.