Chicken pot pie is wildly popular for several reasons: it’s relatively easy to make, it is a one-dish wonder, and is supremely satisfying. But it’s not the healthiest thing you could have. Change all that with a few simple steps to create a nutritious pie with reduced fat, calories and sodium, perfect to cheer up everyone in the middle of winter.
- Good ingredients can make or break any dish, so choose well. Use only white meat when it comes to the chicken. If you find it convenient, shred grilled chicken and add it to the recipe. Avoid the skin, since it contains and absorbs large amounts of undesirable fat.
- Although you can add the traditional veg such as beans, carrot, peas and potato, feel free to up the fiber quotient with root vegetables like celery root, sweet potato, parsnip and turnips, or even try adding winter squash and other greens for a nutritional boost.
- Instead of sautéing the vegetables in butter, cook them in low-sodium stock in a covered pot till they soften. This will cut calories, reduce cooking time and seal in the nutrients.
- Swap the heavy cream with low-fat milk so that while you still get your fix of calcium, you don’t pile on the pounds.
- Traditional recipes use a white sauce with roux made of butter and flour. Choose to go lighter with a simple slurry of low fat milk, and either some whole wheat flour or a health starch like arrowroot. Add this to the vegetables cooking in stock and let it thicken till it resembles a sauce.
- Most of the joy of eating chicken pot pie is derived from the flaky crust. You could continue to make your pie with a buttery crust, since you’ve reduced the calories in the other components. But if you wish to make it even lighter, use phyllo pastry, brushed with a bit of olive oil before baking.