Friday, November 20, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Easy "Leftover Turkey" Pot Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust and "No Brainer" White Sacue

This baby’s super easy to make. And, let’s be real, after your Thanksgiving day cook-athon, it's a relief to make a simple, one-dish dinner. The leftover pie keeps well in the fridge, too, and tastes just as good reheated for lunch the day after you make it.

Servings: 6 slices (fills one 9-inch pie pan)

Ingredients: For "No Brainer" White Sauce
1 cup cold milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Wondra Flour (see product picture at end of recipe)

For Pie Filling
2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked turkey cut up into bite size pieces (Thanksgiving leftovers will do nicely)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (do not thaw!)

For Crust1 package Pillsbury pie crusts (room temperature)
2 cups mild cheddar cheese shredded

Step 1: Make an easy white sauceWondra flour is the key here. If you've never used it, Wondra is a super-fine flour that dissolves quickly into liquids, allowing you to make smooth sauces and gravies. (I pasted a picture of the product below.) Here's how to make the easy white sauce: In a saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat, add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the salt and pepper. While continuing to stir, sprinkle the Wondra flour over the warm milk mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil and stir for a full minute. (Yields 1 cup of white sauce.)

Step 2: Add frozen veggies and cooked turkey
Once your white sauce is finished, turn off the heat. Dump the frozen* mixed vegetables into the saucepan with the white sauce and stir to coat. Add the turkey and stir again, until the veggies and turkey are well mixed in with the white sauce. Set aside. *NOTE: You are not cooking or thawing the frozen veggies. The vegetables will thaw during the baking process, which will give them the perfect texture by the time the pie is fully baked.

Step 3: Cheese-ify your pie dough
This is a "quick and easy" recipe, which is why I'm using pre-made pie crusts. One package of "Pillsbury Pie Crusts" is all you'll need since it contains 2 unbaked pie shells, enough for 1 turkey pot pie. The pre-made crusts come rolled up inside the box. Allow both dough rolls to come to room temperature (about 15 minutes out of fridge or 15 seconds in the microwave). Gently unroll the crusts on a flat surface, and sprinkle each crust with 1 cup of the shredded cheddar. Lightly press the cheese into the softened dough. If the dough is too hard, it's still too cold from coming out of the fridge. Let it sit for another few minutes until soft. (If you aren't a big fan of cheddar cheese, try Swiss, gruyere, or another fave. Fusing it with the dough may seem odd, but it's a better way to use the cheese than just dumping it into the filling where it can overpower your other flavors. This way, the cheese crosses your taste buds during your chewing of the flaky, buttery crust. It's a much more interesting eating experience!)

Step 4: Fill your pieTo prevent sticking, spray a 9-inch pie pan with Pam or another cooking spray. Line the pan with one of the pre-made pie crusts (cheese side up). Fill with your veggie-turkey-white-sauce mixture. Cover with the second pie shell (cheese side down; i.e. facing the filling). Now seal the edges and make a few thin slits with a knife on the top of the shell to let steam escape. To prevent the edges of your pie from browning too much or burning, loosely curl strips of aluminum foil around the crust edges.

Step 5: Bake
Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minute (until crust is golden). In the last 15 minutes of baking, be sure to remove the aluminum foil strips from around the crust edges so your edges will brown!

CLEO NOTE: If you've never used Wondra Flour, look for its blue cardboard canister in the same grocery store aisle that shelves all-purpose flour. It's a handy little helper for thickening gravies and making quick sauces. You can make an easy cheese sauce for vegetables by adding 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese to the white sauce recipe above.

For more of my recipes or to find out more about the books
in my Coffeehouse Mystery series, click this link to my virtual home at

Eat with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."

A Coffeehouse Mystery
Now a National Bestseller!

Text and photos coypright (c) 2009 by Alice Alfonsi
who writes as Cleo Coyle in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini
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  1. That is super easy and a great way to use up the leftover turkey. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  2. Great, great recipe, Cleo! I'm not having Thanksgiving, but this is a keeper for my other leftover events. Love it! I can already tell how great this is going to be. Thanks!


  3. Good morning, Mason and Julie!

    Believe it or not, I have come to love this pie even more than the Thanksgiving Day turkey! My husband looks forward to it every year, too. (And it really is just as great warmed up on the second day!)

    Cheers and
    Happy Thanksgiving (a little early)
    Free Coffee Drawing LIVE Monday!
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. I love pot pies and this one looks pretty easy. How clever to use frozen veggies!

    ~ Krista

  5. Krista - LOL on the frozen veggies. I'm usually big on cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. But with this quick and easy recipe, the frozen veggies really are the key to making the pie work. Keeping them frozen means they thaw and warm up right inside the pie so they're the perfect texture by the time the pie is done -- not too mushy just slightly "al dente" -- Perfect! (And a real time-saver on days when I have no time to chop, dice, and saute.)

    Cheers and have a great weekend!

  6. Now why didn't I think of this? How clever! This is a keeper for sure.

  7. I love wondra, and the cheddar crust sounds divine. I wonder tho, couldn't you use leftover gravy and veggies instead of making another white sauce? I can see where you'd have to careful with the veggies so they don't get too soggy, but that could be a possiblity?

  8. The frozen veggies make this recipe even MORE perfect! And I love the idea for what to do with turkey leftovers. Genius!


  9. Pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods. I love the cheese in the crust.

  10. Wondra... my mother swore by that stuff! Great family recipe and the cheese, well that just kicks it up a notch.

  11. I always make a pot pie with my turkey leftovers, but your idea for the cheddar crust is genius- I can't wait to try this!

  12. Molly - Thank you!

    Tina - Tutu is in the house! Hey there! Yes, Wondra is a wonder - on the leftover veggie thing, you nailed the problem. Mushy twice cooked veggies are not appealing. That's why the frozen work, giving you the great "al dente," fresh flavor. We've also tried this with leftover gravy and it just does not have the same wonderful flavor as the fresh white sauce. So there you have it! Thanks again for dropping by, Tutu!

    and Mother Rimmy - Thankyou!


  13. redKathy - So nice to see you here! LOL! Must agree with your mom: Wondra is a great product. Professoinal chefs agree, too.

    Debra - Doesn't cheese make everything better? (Well, almost everything!) Thank you so much for your nice comment.

    Cheah - Dig in, baby! Thanks for dropping by.

    Free Coffee Drawing LIVE! Every Monday at 7PM (Eastern) Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  14. excellent recipe and great way of using those yummy leftovers from thanksgiving