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Who makes the best frozen pot pie?

  • f

Got a craving.

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  1. w
    Win (Boston)

    Petsi, but it's fresh, not frozen.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Win (Boston)

      I assume the OP was referring to stuff available in supermarkets around the country, as this is the General Topics board....

        1. re: Fat Cat

          marie calendars - i grew up on stoffers frozen pot pies - yeech! marie calendars are tasty, lots of flavor inside, flaky crust outside, for frozen grocery store pot pies that is. but watch out - super high calorie, fat and sodium content. i mean really high...


          1. re: leesh

            We like Marie Callendar's chicken pot pie -also Pepperidge Farm is very good. D.

            1. re: Donna - MI

              I second pepperidge farm, right out of the micro
              it comes out amazingly crispy

            2. re: leesh

              Marie Calendars is very good....it costs a little more then a stouffers but you can taste the difference

              1. re: leesh

                Isn't that the whole point of chicken pot pie? Ummmmm. Yep, I piggyback on Marie's version therein. Good stuff for depression, and even better on a great day.

        2. t
          torta basilica

          MArie Callendar's is one of my favorite comfort foods - don't know if it's the best, tho!

          1. If you live near a Whole Foods, you can buy their excellent chicken pot pies in the refrigerated section. Take a few home and freeze them, then cook when the craving hits.

            1. A few years ago, you could get Mrs. Budd's chicken pies from the fresh meat counter, but I haven't been able to find them in a very long time.

              Marie Callendar's are okay, but they leave a metallic flavor in my mouth.

              Pepperidge Farms aren't bad.

              Stouffer's place is in the garbage disposal.

              Claim Jumper's puts out a nice, meaty pie, but I'm not sure if they're available in your area.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Angie D

                I think Mrs. Budds fresh chicken pies are the best. They have the two types of chicken, in two sizes, in my local markets. Right in the chicken section of the meat aisle. I like the chicken with fancy vegetables best.

                I did a tasting of a few frozen pies last month. Should have posted. I didn't care for any of the ones I tried.

                Marie Callendar's were bitter tasting.

                Pepperidge Farms were flavorless and artificial tasting.

                Stouffer's were artificial tasting.

                I was so disapointed with those three that I still have 3 more types buried in the back of my freezer.

                1. re: The Rogue

                  Given a previous post - do these fresh pies have a bottom crust?

                  1. re: bk

                    As I recall, Mrs. Budd's didn't have a bottom, but then again I haven't had the pleasure of devouring a slice in awhile. ;)

                  2. re: The Rogue

                    Well, come the apocalypse, you'll be all. set. : )

                2. I'm going to be really irreverent here, but I still like Swanson's chix or turkey pot pies. They're just the right size on the small side. Of course, after nuking one, I add fresh squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce or dry sherry depending on my whim of the moment.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Taralli

                    I grew up eating Swanson's chicken pot pies (and the other kinds they made). They hold a special place in my heart. I have not looked for them, recently.

                    I have tried the Marie Callender's variety, as well. They are okay, possibly better than Swanson's, but they don't hold the same sentimental value. :)

                  2. A craving? Not a jonesing? I know this place in Amsterdam...

                    1. I too have strong opinions on this matter. I'm with Taralli on Swanson's. Having been raised on it, I've come to make an unpopular assumption; chicken pot pies MUST have crust on the bottom, as well as the top.

                      My former roommate also grew up a Swanson's fan so we'd occasionally grab a few, make some mashed potatoes w/garlic & sour cream, grab some heavy winter beers, and commit ourselves to immovably lying on the sofa. Now, we were at Whole Foods (actually Bread & Circus at the time) and saw their Chicken pot pie which cost $7 or so. Wow, we thought. If Swanson, which we love, costs $1-$2, these must be REALLY good. Well, we went to eat it and to our chagrin there was no bottom crust. It was fine, but come on, no bottom crust? We happen to have a friend who works in the PR department of Whole Foods, so at our next party we teamed up on him in a fit of beer-addled rage. Our otherwise gentle friend shot into a tirade stating that the lack of bottom crust is directly related to its freshness and due to it never being frozen. The spittle flying out of his mouth was certainly indicative of someone who has answered this question a millions times in his work day. To keep it in the refrigerated section w/a bottom crust would sogg-ify the crust, apparently.

                      Moving on, I was watching the Phantom Chef in Boston (basically a show that aspires for the kind of truly anonymous, unbiased reviews that Chowhound has) and they had a commercial for Harrows Chicken Pies, apparently the best chicken pot pies in the universe or some such hyperbole. Well, boy did the then future Mrs. Joypirate get yelled at because this place was literally 3 BLOCKS from her parent's house in the city of Reading. The conversation went something like, "You know I LOVE pot pies, and EVERY WEEK we drive DIRECTLY by THE BEST makers of CHICKEN POT PIES IN THE UNIVERSE and you NEGLECT to tell me!!!!" Well, so I tried them, not the best in the universe, and again, no bottom crust as they are fresh. They do, however, have a function room, and I threatened to throw our upcoming rehearsal dinner there ordering up 40 chicken pot pies, courtesy of the groom's side.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: joypirate

                        If you can make a fresh apple, or anything else, pie with a bottom crust, why not a pot pie?
                        Anyway, a good crust, even soggy, is better than no crust at all.

                        1. re: joypirate

                          Swansons. And I add salt. I need a salt lick.

                          1. re: joypirate

                            The contrast between that baked-but-soggy bottom crust and the crunchy top crust is what totally makes a chicken pot pie.

                          2. I noticed most posts commenton chicken pot pies.

                            Can anyone reccommend a beef pot pie? They seem to be few and far between these days.

                            Alternatively, maybe a decent canned beef stew that I can dump in pie crust?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bk

                              I, too,am looking for a better beef pot pie than the Swansons/Banquet offerings at the average market. Swansons will work in a cravings pinch, but I can't stand Banquet's pot pies. I look forwards to any suggestions!

                              1. re: Honeychan

                                Go for Marie Callendar's or Boston Market, in that order.

                            2. 1.)Lynn's Bin (Cambria--they might ship). The best I have tasted.

                              2.)Julienne in San Marino has them in the freezer. Most of their food is great, so they will probably be very tasty (albeit a bit pricey).

                              1. Marie Callendar has all sorts of pot pies in your grocer's freezer. I love the chicken, and yes it has a bottom crust. What's the point without?

                                I've tried the 'gourmet' pot pies from Whole Food and TJs. Disappointing. When you're looking for a pot pie, you want the traditional buttery crust and somewhat salty insides. Don't skimp on the calories!

                                1. Amy's Broccoli Pot Pie. Used to buy 'em by the case (when I had a big freezer).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: marmite

                                    Agree. Her shepherd's pie is also quite tasty.

                                  2. I haven't seen them in a while, and will be heartbroken if it's been discontinued, but I always try to keep a few Trader Joe's frozen chicken pot pies on hand.

                                    Crispy crust, even in the microwave, with a touch of black pepper, white meat chicken, and good amount of vegetables. Yum.

                                    And you're killing me here.... I actually had a pot pie craving yesterday that went unanswered and will now be forced to make a stop on the way home =)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: jessicheese

                                      Hi Jess. No they have not been discontinued. I work for TJs, and the pies continue to be a big seller, which equals them staying in the freezers. We are also carrying a fresh, not frozen chicken pot pie now. It's a bit more gourmet, as it also has sliced mushrooms, and large pieces of chicken that looks as if it was hand pulled off the bones. Oh, and there is no bottom crust..

                                      1. re: thecelt2

                                        I really like the fresh chicken pot pie at TJ's..a LOT of meat..flakey crust mushrooms and a creamy sauce.....

                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                          Thanks guys! I'll have to check out the fresh one, too. I've also learned to make my own in the past year or two, but I still like to keep some stocked for "emergencies".

                                          PS- love the name, Derek! ChowFun is on my favorite food list, too:)

                                      2. re: jessicheese

                                        Just tried Trader Joe's chicken pot pie yesterday. Yuck! It tasted like peas. Nothing but peas. I thought of giving it to my cat since she likes peas. Someone should open a retaurant that makes just pot pies. There was one in Bellflower, CA but it went out of business a few years ago. You could buy 4 pies for $10.00 to take home. Like Marie Callender's but, had a reaction to too much salt, even though it tasted great!

                                      3. Fairway, at least in Red Hook, has the ultimate: frozen shepherd's pie, in several versions. They're big, very satisfying and well flavored.

                                        1. Nobody does. Okay, well I never tasted a single one that wasn't too sparing on chicken, or which used the delicious, juicy dark meat. Pot pie is mood food, and needs to be mouth filling, rich, and loaded with thick chickeny sauce. The guys who make those TV ads showing a product you will never see when you bring it home from the grocery freezer. Just like the burgers which only exist in ad agency photos: they ain't real.

                                          1. -----

                                            I've been a Banquet fan for many years till they absolutely ruined them with the microwavable crust. Currently I am stuck on Great Value, a Walmart brand.

                                            Other brands are a turnoff of either not having a full crust, or not using the right crust. (mash potato crust) Another turnoff is an excessive amount peas in the other brands.


                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: RShea78

                                              Has anyone tried the potpies at a Boston Market? (I mean the national chain..chicken place) Can they be taken out frozen???

                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek


                                                Boston Market does have some meals available in the grocers freezer, however I haven't any MPP.

                                                Now, are you are referring to the Boston Market Restaurant? Those are only a top crust pie of which I feel isn't a full fledge pot pie as it is kind of a cheat. Anyone that can make a pastry crust cookie and slap it on the top of some diced meat, potatoes, and gravy. The all in one, full crusted MPP, is a work of art as long as it comes out right. (Golden brown crust. Inside should have, the gravy at the right consistency, with a good balance of meat and potatoes) ((I hate peas))


                                                1. re: RShea78

                                                  The take-out (made fresh) Boston market pot pies are pretty good. They include fresh chicken meat, fresh carrots and potatoes. The gravy is tasty, although its not homemade, so it has that "manufactured" quality to it. Yes its a "Cheat" with no bottom crust, but I would prefer it over any of the frozen pot pies available.

                                              2. re: RShea78

                                                I'm glad someone else admitted to liking Banquet, hey it's what I grew up on. I SO TOTALLY AGREE that they absolutely ruined them when they changed the crust and pan to be microwavable. Boo hiss! I've tried taking them, putting them in a foil pan and baking but they just aren't the same, the crust doesn't crisp up right.

                                                It's probably false nostalgic memories but it seems now they are mostly gravy with 3 piece's of chicken, four peas, three potato chunks and twenty little chips of carrot. Oh well, there are better foods to spend my calories on.

                                                1. re: Alicat24

                                                  >>...hey it's what I grew up on.<<

                                                  LOL!!! As a youth my dad would phone the local store when they ran their specials to get 2 or 3 cases of them. If his timing was right they would even discount them each a nickel as so he only paid 15 cents a piece.

                                                  1. re: RShea78

                                                    Now that's dedication! We didn't get them very often, which made them a treat (we had ebbs and flows when my parent's had to rely on welfare periodically).

                                                    Ironically, I found ears of corn for .15 cents a piece at Meijer's today!

                                                    1. re: Alicat24

                                                      >>Ironically, I found ears of corn for .15 cents a piece at Meijer's today!<<

                                                      Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) we once grew several acres of sweet corn. Perhaps the most unfortunate part was spoilage due to lack of either canning jars. freezer room, or sheer physical exhaustion of way too much sweet corn to work with.

                                                      15 Cents... I consider that to be a rip off as store bought'in corn tastes like that of early field corn. I mean that once you have had home grown sweet corn you would never buy the mystery corn that the local grocery stores carry.

                                                      1. re: RShea78

                                                        You're right that grocery corn pales in comparison. Unfortunately it's quite a trek for me to find any roadside stands and I can rarely make it to our farmer's market. I guess I'd rather have mediocre fresh than frozen!

                                                        This year is my first stab at growing corn myself, "Honey 'n Pearl" from Gurney's. I'm not getting my hopes up but if I'm sucessful I'll be a happy woman!

                                              3. I don't know if they would do mail order, but the aussie pies at Tuck Shop in NYC are delish - guinnes steak, aussie beef, thai chicken and lamb shank. They sell them frozen to take home. http://www.tuckshopnyc.com/baking.php

                                                1. I know the original poster asked for frozen pot pies, but I just had to throw out there that I recently tried the turkey pot pie from KooKooRoo and it was very tasty. They have both chicken pies and turkey pies for take out.

                                                  1. Petersons Aussie chicken pot pies...THE BEST...But I can not find anymore. Anybody heard of them also?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: meeeee

                                                      OMG!!! I loved those!! We used to eat them by the truckload from Costco...but when they stopped carrying them, we couldn't find them anywhere! Has anyone else found them?

                                                      1. re: meeeee

                                                        I loved those too. They had them at BJ's in Boston a few years back, but I can't find them at Costco on the west coast. This website lists them as out of stock, don't know if that's permanent:

                                                      2. Costco has a lovely very large chicken pot pie with a top AND bottom crust. Lots of big pieces of chicken breast and veggies. The crust is to die for, buttery and very filling.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Gingerleen

                                                          I was surprised it took this long to hear from a Costco person. Their CPP is so good, very fresh and loaded. I've had them on both sides of the country, so most Costco's should have them. One pie with a couple of sides will feed a small family.

                                                        2. I just had a Marie Calllendar - I didn't think it was that good. Perhaps it was in the microwave too long. The pot pie that I find the best is Boston Market Pot Pie. I only tried the chicken, but I think it's really, really good for a frozen pie.

                                                          1. Boston Market. Yum.

                                                            Now I have a craving too.....

                                                            1. When I was a kid, I used to love frozen tuna pies. I don't remember the brand but I haven't seen those in years. I guess they don't make them anymore

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                I believe it was Swanson's who made these tuna pot pies back in the '50s and '60s, So many great products from those days got discontinued, including my favorite Wispride Garlic Cheddar, which was delicious to spread on crackers.

                                                              2. Marie Callendar makes a seasoned turkey pie (also a "regular" one), that I like quite a bit. The small ones, not the two-portion size. And on the regular chicken and turkey, I add some garlic salt and butter to boost the sodium and caloric levels.

                                                                1. I like PF, but good golly! The calorie count is scary (and the "serving size" is only HALF a pie!

                                                                  My easy make your own is rotisserie chicken plus whatever veggies and chicken gravy (either packaged or make stock from the chicken bones and thicken), then put in the pie pan with a top crust of Trader Joe's puff pastry. Damn good stuff!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                    It's not frozen, but I have friends who rave about the chicken pot pie at KFC. I've never tried it but a colleague had one for lunch this past winter and it had a flaky crust, big chunks of chicken and brightly colored peas and large carrot rounds. it looked good. Maybe I'll try one this winter. It's definitely cold weather comfort food.

                                                                    1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                      Your colleagues are correct about the KFC pot pie. It really is delicious, the vegetables taste fresh and the chicken pieces look like they are pulled off the bone, not cubed in a machine. The only quibble is that it is too salty but that is probably unavoidable in fast food.

                                                                      For frozen, Marie Callendar's is probably the best. Never buy Hungry Man... they are almost all sauce on the inside with very little actual chicken.

                                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                        ""The only quibble is that it is too salty but that is probably unavoidable in fast food.""

                                                                        You may ask for the product declaration for sodium content as well as if MSG is used.

                                                                        According to KFC website the sodium content is 2160mg but how much or if MSG is used should be looked into as I suspect there is lots of it. MSG is IMHO, very hazardous to one's health.


                                                                      2. re: MysticYoYo

                                                                        KFC no longer has the Chicken Pot Pies, at least here in Honolulu.... so sad

                                                                    2. I haven't tried them yet, but a friend recommends the ones from Whole Foods (their own brand). They're small (for the price, I expected something the size of a Mrs. Budd's) so I didn't buy them the last time I was there, but she insists they're so rich that a small one is enough. I'd be happy if I could still find the Mrs. Budd's refrigerated gourmet ones (I never liked the peas in other brands, and Budd's substitutes broccoli), but I haven't been able to find them in ages.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: ducdebrabant

                                                                        Boston Market pot pies from the freezer are very good, the crust gets flaky in the microwave and LOTS of chicken

                                                                        Locally (RI, MA) we have Willow Tree Farms frozen chicken pies that are exceptionally good...

                                                                      2. My Grandma lived in perfect mental and almost perfect physical health until just 3 months shy of her 100th birthday. She would walk to KFC and buy 4 or 5 of their pot pies once a week in her late 80's. (Miss you grammy!) I have never tried them, but she raved about them. My guess is they are easy to eat if you don't have good teeth.
                                                                        I purchased frozen Marie Callender's pot pies once when they were practically free after coupons on sale. It was HUGE and kind of sickened me when I read the nutritional info on the box. Husband ate until he had to go lay down.

                                                                        1. I'm partial to Mrs. Budd's when I can get them. If I get desperate I can order them on line.

                                                                          1. Otis Poultry Farm, Otis, Massachusetts.

                                                                            1. Costco has a great pie (technically a "slab pie") but it is by Martha Stewart. Great taste. Super high in calories and fat, but it beats any others I have had. Its basically just a pot pie without the pie plate/tin/pan.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: bnamoore

                                                                                Thanks for posting that -- I just bought a package of those slab pies. While high in calories and fat, they look to be much lower in sodium than the chicken pot pies (Marie Callender's, maybe?) that Costco also sells.

                                                                              2. Marie Calenders for sure. There are two different sizes. There is a small one, and then there are some that you can split with 2 people. Yum...

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Vin Moi

                                                                                  Stouffers came in first, Boston Market my favorite was 3rd, and Marie Calender was 6th in this taste test


                                                                                2. I adore a good chicken pot pie; I would choose Marie Callendar, as the best supermarket pie, hands down. It kills me that they're not available in Canada. Stouffer's is a dim second-best.

                                                                                  1. Martha Stewart's slab pies are by far the best pies ever made, bar none. Half the calories are fat so that's why I suspect it to be so good. They are difficult to find though. The only pies that have that "thyme" taste in it. Second place goes to Marie Calendar, especially the portobello mushroom chicken pies. Though I feel they have decreased in quality over the years.

                                                                                    1. You might try looking in local specialty food shops. In a cheese shop here in CT we found an excellent frozen Turkey PP by Summer Hill Catering that had a better (double) crust than any supermarket brand we've tried. (And if you have to go with the grocery brands, Marie Callender's is acceptable.)

                                                                                      1. Marie Callanders is a about as good as it gets and it is only average. I buy one a few times a year. Much much better is the chicken pot pie soup served with a biscuit at Sweet Tomatoes buffet restaurant. It is in their soup rotation.

                                                                                        Dark meat chicken or turkey pie is what I really need. With say 25% white meat. Then little pearl onions in it. Those Marie Calendar pies need to be modded at home.

                                                                                        1. If you want calories and a tasty CPP with fresh carrots and potatoes try the Cheesecake Factory's chicken and biscuits. The portion is enough for about 3 meals but it's damn good.