These healthy, delicious mini chicken pies with asparagus are a fantastic way to turn your chicken leftovers into a family meal. This creamy chicken recipe is low in fat, simple and super easy to make.
These mini chicken pies show that delicious comfort food can also be healthy. Although rich and creamy, these mini pot pies are low in fat, full of goodness and made using a moderate amount of light, flaky pastry.
What meat should I use to make mini chicken pies
I recommend either a combination of brown and white or just brown meat. Breast meat (i.e. white meat) on its own can be a little dry, especially as you are using meat that’s already been cooked.
You could use leftover meat from your roast chicken dinner as well as chicken soup.
What if I don’t have chicken leftovers
That’s not a problem. You could simply boil some chicken legs (without the skin) with salt and pepper and a bay leaf, for more flavour, and use that.
Alternatively, you could roast a whole chicken the night before. This is actually a pretty effortless way of preparing chicken even if it does require a bit of time. Season the chicken, place in a roasting pan, throw in some thyme or bay leaf if you like, drizzle with a little oil and slow roast in the bottom of the oven for 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your chicken (310 F/160 C). Baste 3-4 times throughout cooking. You may want to cover it loosely with a sheet of tin foil 3 quarters of the way through to prevent it browning too much. Once cooled, separate the meat from the bone, chop or shred and use in your pie filling.
How to prep the asparagus
Snap off the tough woody ends from the asparagus tips (usually about 2-3 cm long) and chop the asparagus into pieces about 3 cm long. There is no need to cook the asparagus before adding into the pie filling.
I recommend using asparagus that has a medium thickness. Very thin asparagus tips may become a little too tender in the oven. On the other hand, ones that are super thick might be a little too crunchy. So medium is best.
Also weigh the asparagus after you’ve removed the tough ends.
How to prep the puff pastry
I used ready rolled puff pastry in this chicken asparagus pie recipe as it’s light, fluffy and delicious as well as super easy to use. Just unroll your pastry and cut out squares or circles that are a little larger than your dish.
Just as a reference, I used a 320g pastry sheet, which I was able to cut into 6 squares for 6 mini pies and nothing got wasted.
For best results take the pastry out of the fridge 30 minutes before you make the recipe. Once you’ve unrolled it, however, use it straight away to prevent it drying.
How to make the simple white sauce for mini chicken pot pies
A while ago I posted a recipe for making a simple white sauce, which is super adaptable and works in all sorts of recipes. I adapted it for this chicken recipe by adding a little mustard for sharpness, fromage frais (fromage blanc) for a hint of tanginess and onion granules for added flavour.
I used semi-skimmed (about 2% fat) milk and only 2 tablespoons of butter so this sauce is very low in fat, though still creamy and delicious. Plus it only takes about 5 minutes to make!
This sauce is quite thick to start with but do not be alarmed! It will have a runnier consistency once the pies are cooked (the asparagus will release moisture as it’s cooking).
How to make healthy mini chicken pies with asparagus
Once you’ve shredded the chicken, prepared the asparagus, made the sauce and prepared the pastry you are 5 minutes away from completing your recipe. Simply combine the sauce with the meat and asparagus and spoon the mixture into your mini pie dishes, filling almost though not quite up to the top. If you fill it right up to the top the sauce is more likely to escape during cooking and you’ll have pretty messy looking pies.
Lastly, place your pastry on top of each pie, pressing gently to seal along the rim and brush with the egg mixture. Place the pies on a baking tray, leaving plenty of space in between and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. If your pies start getting too brown cover them loosely with tin foil (for the final 7-10 minutes).
What to serve with mini chicken pies
These individual little asparagus chicken pies can be served on their own or with a simple salad, garden peas or steamed vegetables. If you are making them as one of several brunch/party dishes they would be delicious with honey glazed roasted carrots or braised red cabbage with beetroot.
More dinner recipes using puff pastry
Mini Chicken Pot Pies with Asparagus (Healthy)
- 320 g ready to eat chicken, either brown or mixture of brown and white meat chopped/shredded
- 220 g asparagus, weigh after the tough ends have been snapped off chopped into 3 cm long pieces
- 1x320 g ready rolled puff pastry sheet room temperature
- 1 small egg lightly beaten
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- 1 cup semi-skimmed milk
- 1.5 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fromage frais/thick yogurt/low fat sour cream
- 1/2 tsp each: fine sea salt, white pepper, onion granules
- Take the pastry out of the fridge 30 minutes before making the recipe.Preheat the oven to 425 F/ 220 C/ gas mark 7. You will need 5-6 ramekins/mini pie dishes.
- To make the sauce in a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and quickly whisk over a low/medium heat until the mixture becomes smooth. Add half of the milk, increase the heat and cook until the mixture thickens whisking all the time. Pour in the rest of the milk, add the seasoning and continue cooking and whisking until the sauce starts bubbling up. Remove from the heat, add the mustard and fromage frais (or alternative) and stir.
- In a large bowl combine the sauce with the chicken and asparagus. Spoon the mixture into your oven dishes stopping about 1 cm from the top.
- Unroll the pastry and cut out squares or circles. The shapes should be a little bigger than your dish. Place the pastry shapes over the pies pressing gently to seal along the rim. Using a pastry brush thinly coat the top of the pastry with the egg mixture. Place the mini pies onto a large baking sheet leaving plenty of room in between and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. If the pies start to brown a little too much (after 15 minutes or so) cover them loosely with a large sheet of tin foil.
- Remove from the oven, set aside for 10 minutes, then serve.
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