With its quick and easy creamy filling (no cream!) and simple squares of golden brown puff pastry on top, this creamy chicken and leek pie is an easier, lighter version of a classic chicken pot pie. A comfort food classic without any guilt, this is sure to become a family favorite.
Why you’ll love it
- Quick and easy to make. This easy creamy chicken and leek pie is perfect for those midweek nights when you feel like something hearty, comforting, and tasty. It cuts a few corners compared to most chicken pie recipes, but I think you’ll still find it filling and flavorful.
- On the lighter side. The filling is made with low-fat ingredients (no cream!) and there are small squares of puff pastry dotted on the top of the pie rather than an all-encasing crust on the bottom, up the sides and on the top. You could call it a skinny patchwork pie!
- Made mostly with pantry ingredients. Grab some chicken and leeks and you possibly already have all the other ingredients you need. This recipe is made even easier since it only uses basic ingredients such as ready-rolled puff pastry, mixed dried herbs, frozen vegetables and milk.
This makes a great simple weekend dinner as well! If you need more ideas, check out this list of 100 lazy Sunday dinner ideas.
Chicken: While I usually use chopped chicken breasts in this recipe, feel free to use skinless boneless chicken thigh instead. Of course, it is also possible to use leftover roast chicken in this recipe if you prefer (if you have an air fryer, here’s a great recipe for air fried rotisserie chicken).
Leeks: I usually discard the tough green leaves and the root end of the leeks, then cut the pale green parts into fairly thin rounds. Remember to then rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt or grit caught inside the layers.
You can use frozen chopped leeks if you like.
If leeks happen to be not in season, or they just aren’t available in your local grocery store, onion, scallions/spring onions, celery or even chopped fresh fennel bulb could make good alternatives.
Chicken broth (stock): This will add extra flavor to your leek and chicken pie. Since there are only a few ingredients in this recipe, I’d go for a good quality broth.
Milk: While some recipes for creamy chicken and leek pie use heavy cream, I chose to keep this lighter by using milk as the base for the creamy sauce. Make it even lighter by using fat-free milk or 2% milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed).
Corn starch (corn flour): This is essential for thickening the sauce.
Frozen peas and broccoli: No need to defrost first, which is another reason this pie is so easy to make. Add even more frozen veggies if you like, such as carrots or green beans.
Cream cheese: Adding a little low fat cream cheese to the creamy filling adds a little extra richness and flavor. Get the kind with added herbs, garlic or other flavors if you like!
Mixed dried herbs: I tend to use an Italian seasoning blend, but use whatever you have or like. Basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, dill or a mixture of any/all of these are good choices too.
Salt and pepper: I usually sprinkle a ‘good amount’ of both of these over the chicken and leek filling before pouring it into the pan. Taste as you go!
Store-bought puff pastry (ready-rolled): Either fresh or frozen is fine. Obviously just remember to defrost the pastry in plenty of time if frozen – overnight in the fridge works well.
How to make an easy chicken and leek pie
Firstly, pan-fry the bite-sized chicken pieces with the chopped leeks until the chicken has turned white all over (about 5 minutes). A large skillet/frying pan or a cast iron pan is good for this.
Then pour in the broth/stock and milk. Let the mixture simmer for around 10 minutes.
Then mix the corn starch/corn flour with a little water, milk or broth and add it to the pan (this is what will thicken the sauce).
After you’ve let the sauce thicken for a couple of minutes, stir in the peas, broccoli, cream cheese, herbs, and salt and pepper.
Then simply pour the mixture into a large pie dish or baking dish. Look at all that green goodness! If you have time, let the chicken mixture cool before continuing with the recipe.
Now for the fun part. Cut the puff pastry into equal squares and ‘dot’ them all over the top of the pie. I get around 12 squares out of my pastry sheets but of course it depends what brand you are using.
Brush over a little extra milk with a pastry brush. Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Helen’s top tips
- Don’t overlap the pastry squares too much. If you do, you may find the pastry underneath doesn’t get properly cooked through. A little overlapping is Ok, however!
- Ideally, let the pie filling cool before topping with the pastry. When you add it on top of a hot filling, the pastry can start to get soggy and melt into a mess. You can simply pour the filling into your baking dish and spread it out to help it to cool quickly. You can always pop it into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to help it along!
How to serve
Since your chicken leek pot pie already contains extra vegetables, you could serve it simply as it is without anything else on the side.
If you’d like to make it into a heartier meal, however, or serve more people, here are a few simple and healthy side dish ideas:
- Mashed potatoes! This potato and cauliflower mash is the best – healthy, incredibly delicious, and perfect for making ahead.
- A side of grains such as brown rice or quinoa. Try this Mediterranean rice with chickpeas for something a little different.
- A green salad. I love this maroulosalata (Greek shredded lettuce salad) which elevates a crunchy green salad just that little bit to make it more interesting.
- Why not try adding mushrooms to make this a chicken leek and mushroom pie instead? Simply saute sliced mushrooms in a little oil or butter for 5 to 7 minutes, then stir into the creamy pie mixture.
- For a little smoky flavor, add leftover ham or pan-fried bacon.
- In spring, replace or add to the frozen vegetables with chopped fresh asparagus. You can blanch it (boil for 2-3 minutes) before adding it to the pie filling.
- Add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard for extra flavor.
- Try the pie using shortcrust pastry instead. Or how about a few sheets of filo pastry scrunched over the top? (brush with a little olive oil before baking)
- Experiment with different herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, tarragon or parsley. All of these pair well with chicken and leeks.
- For an extra creamy, not-so-light version of the pie, replace some of the low-fat milk with cream or half and half.
This homemade pie will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator if covered tightly or stored in an airtight container. To reheat, bake in a baking dish in the oven (350F/175C) for 20-25 minutes, or until it is properly heated through. Alternatively, simply reheat separate pieces in the microwave for a couple of minutes until hot, but bear in mind that the pastry will be less crisp.
Yes, you can. After baking, allow it to cool completely. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months (don’t forget to label and date!). To reheat, thaw the pie in the refrigerator overnight, then bake again at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, cook straight from frozen, adding around 50% to the cook time.
Yes, no problem! You can use packaged shortcrust pastry or even filo pastry instead. Try scrunching sheets of filo pastry on top of the pie, then spraying with a little olive oil. If you decide to use a different kind of pastry, however, remember to check the package to see how long it takes to cook, and keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven.
More easy, healthy pies
Loving the healthier comfort food vibe in this post? Try these easy, healthier pies as well.
- Fan of easy, comforting fish dinners? This fish pie recipe is a slight twist on the usual with a delicious (and easy) crispy, cheesy crushed potato topping.
- This Greek spinach and feta filo pie looks fancy and delicious, but you won’t believe how easy it is to make.
- This impossible quiche (ham and cheese quiche with a ‘magic’ crust) is another healthier pantry meal that never disappoints.
- For a party, these mini Greek cheese pies are perfect. Everyone loves them, and especially kids!
Want to use up the leftover puff pastry? Try these quick puff pastry tarts with tomatoes and prosciutto or these asparagus tartlets with bacon.
Easy Creamy Chicken And Leek Pie
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- a little olive oil for cooking
- 3 large leeks chopped and washed thoroughly (around 18 ounces)
- 14 ounces chicken breast chopped into small to medium sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth (stock)
- 1 cup milk (Any, but go for 2% or non-fat to keep the pie as light as possible.)
- ¼ cup corn starch (corn flour)
- 2 cups frozen peas (about 10.5 ounces)
- 4 cups frozen broccoli cut into smallish pieces (about 10.5 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese (could be plain or the kind with garlic & herbs, if you like)
- 1 tablespoon mixed herbs such as mixed Italian seasoning, or your own mix of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley.
- plenty of salt and pepper to tastes
- 6 ounces puff pastry (store-bought ready-rolled) This is a rough quantity. You'll need around 12 smallish squares to dot over the top of the pie. Don't overlap too much.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Heat a large splash (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil in a large saucepan, then soften the leeks and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes.a little olive oil, 3 large leeks, 14 ounces chicken breast
- Add the broth/stock and milk to the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup milk, ¼ cup corn starch
- Mix the corn starch/corn flour with a little water, milk or stock. Then add to the pan slowly. Let the mixture cook and thicken for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the frozen peas, broccoli, cream cheese, herbs, and plenty of salt and pepper (to taste). Then empty the mixture into a large pie dish or baking dish.2 cups frozen peas, 4 cups frozen broccoli, 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon mixed herbs, plenty of salt and pepper
- Cut the pastry into 12 squares or rectangles (roughly 4cm x 3/4cm). Then scatter them all over the pie filling. They should overlap in places but not cover the whole pie. Brush lightly with a little extra milk and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.6 ounces puff pastry