Hello friends! Surprised to see me? No, it’s not the first or fifteenth; this isn’t another daring kitchen challenge. Thanks to a lovely rotation with 9-3pm hours and as much break time as I want, I can bake and I can cook, and more importantly, I can share!

I’m actually on a school computer right now.  SHHhhh…don’t tell…

What I’d like to start today is a little series called Dairy Free Family Recipes. Not to be confused with homestyle…no chicken fried steak, yuck. I mean recipes that were staples in my house, and probably yours too if you grew up in the suburbs, that I’ve managed make dairy free while maintaining all the heart warming goodness.

I’m starting today with chicken pot pie. So delicious. So satisfying.

My mom starts this recipe off with two cans of condensed cream of chicken soup. Can you think of a chicken casserole-type recipe that doesn’t? It almost seems impossible that there was a time before Campbell’s existed. But there was! And people got along just fine. It even turns out, the cream is totally unnecessary. I’m actually not convinced it’s the cream that even makes the “cream of” soup so creamy. I strongly suspected it’s actually all thanks to the cooked flour, and that’s what we use here.

Give this a try. Even if you do so love the ease of the “cream of whatever + chicken + starch/vegetable = casserole” formula, at least you’ll know you’ll never be in trouble if you reach in the back of the cabinet and there’s no soup left.

My only warning is that this recipe takes a fair amount of preparation but it makes enough for DAYS, and if you’re really in a hurry you can use cooked chicken and frozen vegetables.

If you’re vegetarian, I happen to know for a fact this comes out amazing without the chicken.  Just use vegetable bouillon cubes instead of chicken and add more vegetables.

Chicken Pot Pie

6 medium russet potatoes cubed

2-3 large carrots halved and sliced

1 cup frozen green beans

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1-2 tsp poultry seasoning

2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed

3-4 cups water

½ onion diced

1 tbsp butter/margarine

1 tbsp oil

1 cup flour

2 unbaked deep dish pie crusts (frozen works fine, homemade if you’re ambitious)

1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Chop up the potatoes and carrots into pretty small cubes. If the carrots are really large, sometimes I even quarter them. Add to a large pot of boiling water with about a tbsp of salt. When they’re soft add the green beans, let cook for another minute then drain and add to a large mixing bowl.

While you’re boiling your vegetables, you can start on the chicken. Cut it up into cubes slightly larger than your vegetables. Add this to a pot filled with 3 cups water, poultry seasoning, and the chicken bouillon cubes. Alternatively you can use chicken broth, but I like the Knorr cubes for this recipe because they’re less expensive, require less cabinet space, and they’re pretty flavorful too. Plus however they’re seasoned is kind of reminiscent of the cream of whatever soup. Boil until chicken is done, then remove from heat. Strain the broth into one bowl and set aside to cool. Add the chicken to the bowl with the vegetables.

In a deep pan with the oil and butter sauté the onions and any additional fresh herbs if you have them…or if you’re so lucky to have a neighbor that lets you snag herbs from her vegetable garden at will. I chose parsley, thyme and rosemary…basically the ingredients for poultry seasoning but fresh and therefore better.

When the onions start to get translucent, whisk the flour into the now cool-ish broth making sure to get out all the lumps. Slowly add this to the pan whisking continuously until it comes to a boil and turns thick. Remove from heat. Carefully fold the sauce into vegetables. Try not to destroy the potatoes, but it’s all right if you mush them a little. It all just adds to the creaminess.

Layer a pie pan, or whatever dish will be big enough with pie crust. Dump in the filling and top with a second pie crust. Whisk an egg and brush the top. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Congratulations, you just made chicken pot pie with NO condensed soup!


PS. If you have a favorite family recipe that seems to rely on dairy post it in the comments section and let me know how you (or your mom) make it. I’d love to figure out a non-dairy alternative and add it to this collection.