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Autumn leaves will soon be falling. As the temperature dips, a warm hearty meal is just the thing to keep you toasty from the inside out.
Luckily, a satisfying winter meal doesn’t need to be bad for you. Smart substitutions and additions can turn a dense dish into a tasty treat. One meal that’s ripe for a revamp is the oft forgotten potpie. Maybe the pastry, butter, and cream made you write it off? These recipes invite you to erase the notion of bygone-era pies and embrace a modern take on a culinary classic.
For an added bonus, add lean proteins like chicken, or toss in other ingredients to help you fight the winter blues. Here are the best potpie recipes we found to entice you to whip up an old favorite.
Lighter Chicken Potpie
Martha Stewart is a master of classics for the home cook. As people increasingly request healthier meals, she’s revisiting traditional dishes and providing lighter versions. She balances her potpie with subtle substitutions, so you won’t even know what you’re missing. She swaps the heavy piecrust for a semi-sinful indulgence of puff pastry. She opts for white meat over dark, and olive oil rather than butter. Her potpie also calls for increasing the veggies and a lighter dairy component, staying true to its recipe name for a truly “lighter” potpie. Get the recipe!
Vegan ‘Chicken’ Potpie Recipe with Gardein
This vegetarian option from The Spruce promises to be as hearty and comforting as the traditional meaty dish. It also boasts being cholesterol-free with a much lower fat content. The recipe substitutes chicken with Gardein and vegan stock, and butter with vegan margarine. If you want a truly vegan recipe, be sure to check the ingredients on any store-bought puff pastry. Get the recipe!
Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits
This recipe from Eating Well turns the potpie on its head. The skillet full of white beans and kale is packed with nutrients. Accompanying it with biscuits in lieu of a piecrust lets you control the portion of carbs on your plate. Follow the tips at the bottom of the recipe to experiment with alternative flours and make the prep more convenient. Get the recipe!
Roasted Autumn Vegetable Potpies
LA-based chef, Jonathan Melendez, vows he could never be a vegetarian. So you know his veggie potpie will be fulfilling for the biggest meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Swearing that crust is “the best part,” Melendez walks you through his technique for the perfect seasoned dough. His pictorial journey through preparing the dish leaves your mouth watering for one of these elegant, golden pots. Get the recipe!
Mini Pumpkin Potpies
These pumpkin-filled potpies are autumnal crowd pleasers. Recipe publisher Vegetarian Adventures boasts that they’re so good, they make a great Thanksgiving main — but don’t let that stop you from a year-round treat! These guys are also perfectly portioned so that you don’t overindulge. If you’re planning to serve these for a group, check out the helpful advice to make your event even more elegant. Get the recipe!
The Pioneer Woman is known for rustic dishes, and Ree Drummond has a recipe that’s sure to satisfy. Her dish stays close to the classic chicken potpie. However, calling for only an upper pie crust lowers the calories and fat. Follow her step-by-step photo instructions for the perfect prep of possibly your new favorite winter treat. Get the recipe!
Thanks to its chickpea base, this runner-up for best reader recipe from Vegetarian Times is full of veggie protein. Chickpeas are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The cream cheese and noodles round out the hearty dish, keeping you energized and warm in colder temps. Get the recipe!
Thyme & White Bean Potpies
The Minimalist Baker specializes in recipes that have fewer than 10 ingredients, take less than 30 minutes to prep, or use just one bowl — perfect for a busy weeknight. This recipe promises that you can whip up these white bean potpies in about an hour. Plus, white beans aren’t only yummy, but also good for you. Get the recipe!
Vegetable Potpies with Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sweet potato is readily available year-round, delicious, and packed with nutrients. This recipe from Food & Wine integrates sweet potato into a biscuit crust. Instructions for the unbaked biscuits aren’t in the recipe, but you can find them here. Make the dough according to the recipe, but be sure to bake them with the potpie. Get the recipe!
Puff Pastry Chicken Potpie
Rounding out our list is the most decadent potpie, calling for more than a cup of cream. Taste of Home lead test cook, Nick Iverson, described the meal as rib-sticking and soul-satisfying. To make a healthier dish: why not try swapping the cream for a lighter milk option? Get the recipe!
Whether staying true to the spirit of the potpie or throwing crust aside, there’s something for everyone. Plus, a prep-ahead, leftover-friendly, or time-saving dish is key as we leave lazy summer days behind us and hit into high gear at work and school.
Catherine is a journalist who's passionate about health, public policy, and women's rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics from entrepreneurship to women's issues, as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, Huffington Post, and other publications. She’s a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.