is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Amp Up Your Holiday Leftovers With This Smoked Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

Share on:

This is arguably the best pot pie you’ve ever eaten thanks to the addition of smoked turkey!

There’s always leftover turkey. Even when I make smoked turkey I make much more than I think is needed so I can make pot pies with the leftovers.

You can make a pot pie by cooking fresh chicken, turkey, beef, or pork, perhaps even boiling them to make stock for the gravy, but to me, it is absolutely the best thing to do with leftover turkey or chicken or braised beef short ribs. Leftover pulled pork is also delicious if it hasn’t been soaked in barbecue sauce. Try it with apples, beans or potatoes, and carrots. Frankly, I look forward to the pot pies after Thanksgiving almost as much as the big turkey dinner. It is perfect for my Ultimate Smoked Turkey because there is almost always leftover meat and gravy.

The birth and evolution of pot pies

Interestingly, historians think that the first pies were not fruit pies, they were round dough pockets filled with savory minced meat or cheese. Bob Cratchitt could carry it in his pocket for lunch and eat it with one hand and work with the other so Scrooge wouldn’t harangue him for loafing. The Cornish pasty was a variation, a round of dough mounded with meat, onion, potato, and turnip, folded over and crimped. The Italian calzone is similar, the Turkish and Balkan burek is made with flaky filo and filled with cheese and veggies, as is the Spanish empanada.

The American variant, the pot pie, probably got its name from the small crock pot it was cooked in. Perhaps it was even a Boston Bean pot.

Frozen pot pies emerged after WWII as the frozen food industry took off. My Dad was a pioneer in the field, a food technologist who became a sales rep for Snow Crop in the late 1940s, one of the first successful frozen food giants. Pot pies were perfect for the times as the suburbs exploded, commuting times lengthened, and quick meals were eaten in front of the newfangled television.

Pot pies were probably the first thing I ever cooked. Frozen pot pies that is. If my parents had to leave me alone at night they would make sure there was a pot pie in the freezer and I would follow the instructions on the back of the box. They were warm and comforting, and I would eat them in front of the TV and wash them down with a taste of something purloined from Dad’s liquor cabinet. No wonder they conjure such fond memories. Eventually I got caught for watering the whiskey, but that’s another story.

I don’t remember when Swanson and the others stopped making frozen pot pies with a double crust (that’s pie jargon for a crust below and a crust above), but when that happened it was a rude awakening to a young man about the way the business world worked. I think it happened somewhere about the same time the Cubs traded future Hall of Famer Lou Brock and two nobodies to the Cards for three nobodies. My age of innocence had passed.

But as I look back, maybe that was not such a bad move. The single crust, not the Brock trade, that is. The bottom crust just drinks up a lot of gravy and just gets soggy. My wife and I now prefer our pot pies with a top crust only.

Smoked Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

turkey pot pie
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
3.87 from 43 votes
There's always leftover turkey. Even when I make smoked turkey I make much more than I think is needed so I can make pot pies with the leftovers. Once you try the recipe you'll wonder why you've never made one before!
This recipe uses pie dough only on the top. If you want to have pie crust all around you will need to make more dough.

Serve with: chardonnay

Main Course
Side Dish


Servings: 4 pies


Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Crust making: 2 hours


The Filling

The Gravy

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock

The Crust

About the crust. You can make your own crust with our foolproof pie dough recipe, or buy a frozen pie crust from the store. If buying a crust, be certain not to get one that is sweet or that has been formed to a pie pan and pre baked. If you decide to make a double crust, be aware that you will need more crust, less filling, and a bit more gravy because the dough will absorb some. Another option is to put puffed pastry on the top. You can buy it pre-made.
About the salt. Remember, Morton coarse kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
About the turkey and the stock. Whenever we serve a turkey, we save the carcass. There's always a lot of meat left on it and between the ribs. We simmer it for hours in a big pot with the leftover gravy, and then freeze whatever meat we can pull off the carcass. Read the sidebar on my turkey recipe for how to make the stock.
About the veggies. We usually use frozen mixed veggies, peas, corn, carrots, and beans. The packages usually have lima beans in them, and I throw them out if my wife isn't looking. You can leave them in if you like that sort of thing.
About the mushrooms. Regular old button mushrooms work fine, but you can use others like portobellos or shiitakes.
About the apples. Try to get a really crunchy apple so it doesn't melt while cooking. Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Red Delicious are good choices.
Other add-ins. Celery and potato cubes are common in pot pies. Chop a stalk of celery and add it with the onions and mushrooms. Pre-cook a potato by grilling it or boiling it, and then chop it into small cubes. Sweet potatoes are found in the south sometimes, and turnip is an Old World tradition. I've even seen recipes that call for rice and noodles. Just be careful, they can drink up a lot of gravy. You can add milk, cream to the gravy, or even grate in some parmesan cheese. A splash of sherry or brandy can give an edge to the gravy.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. To create the pie crust for the top, follow our foolproof all purpose pie dough recipe here. Put it in the refrigerator and chill it for at least an hour.
  • Chop. Next, remove the ends and skin from the onion and coarsely chop. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. This should yield approximately ⅓ cup (26 g) of chopped mushrooms. Pull or chop the leftover turkey into bite sized pieces. Peel and core the apples and chop into marble sized pieces.
  • Cook the filling. To make the filling, begin by melting the butter over medium high heat in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and onions, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the turkey, herb mix, and water, and cook until warm. Turn to the lowest setting. Don't add the apples yet. Taste the filling, and add more salt, pepper, or herbs as you feel are needed.
  • Make the gravy. While the filling is cooking, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over a medium heat. Add the flour a little at a time and whisk it in thoroughly so there are no lumps. Keep whisking until the mixture, called a roux, turns amber, but not brown. A roux adds flavor and complexity, and thickens the gravy. Turn the heat to high and immediately begin adding the turkey stock in a steady stream, whisking all the while so the roux dissolves. Whisk another minute or 3 until the sauce gets a bit thick, perhaps the thickness of latex wall paint.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176.7°C).
  • Prep again. Divide the filling among four oven-proof bowls, one for each pie. Then divide the apple chunks among the four bowls. Then ladle the sauce evenly on top of the four bowls.
  • Make the top crust. Take the dough and cut it into four equal parts. Spread about 3 tablespoons of flour on a work surface, rub some on your rolling pin, and roll each quarter into a ⅛ inch (3.2 mm) thick disk, rolling from the center outward. Place it on top of the bowl, and cut it off about ½ inch (12.7 mm) beyond the edge. You can either let it simply hang over the edge, or roll it back until it is resting on the edge and make it look nice by crimping it or mushing the tines of a fork down on it. If you want to get fancy you can paint the dough with a thin layer of milk or egg white to help it brown. Poke about 6 small holes in the surface with a fork or an ice pick to let the steam out.
  • Cook again. Put the pies on an upper rack where the crust can benefit from the heat reflected off the top of the oven and darken. Put aluminum foil or a pan on the rack below it to catch drips. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden on the edges, and you see steam coming out from under it. The actual cooking time will vary depending on how deep your bowls are.
  • Serve. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

Related articles

Published On: 2/19/2015 Last Modified: 11/26/2021

Share on:
  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click for comments...


These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys:

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Groundbreaking Hybrid Thermometer!

Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

The FireBoard Spark is a hybrid combining instant-read capability, a cabled temperature probe, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We gave Spark a Platinum Medal for pushing the envelope of product capability while maintaining high standards of design and workmanship.

Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker