Taste of the Holidays: Turkey Pot Pie

By Candice Wagener | Photography and Food Styling by Sunny Frantz

During her childhood, Thanksgiving was a favorite holiday for Shaina Robbins Papach, co-owner of The Harvey House. She remembers it as “quite a bash” due to the large sizse of her mom’s family; each year they hosted upwards of 60 people at her family’s home in Madison.

“I loved having our family and friends over to celebrate food and love, but the thing I loved most was the next day,” says Robbins Papach. “Just my mom, dad and brother eating leftovers and chatting about the details of the night before.”

For many years, those leftovers consisted of turkey sandwiches with the “most perfect horseradish mayo,” says Robbins Papach. “As I became more enamored with cooking, leftovers turned into a turkey pot pie.”

When Robbins Papach and husband Joe, who is chef and co-owner of The Harvey House, started their family, he took over pot pie duty (shown at left) and made some minor tweaks “that makes it even more special,” says Robbins Papach. “Now when I eat turkey pot pie with my parents, [my] brother and his family and Joe and my kids, it makes me think of standing up eating [at] the kitchen counter with my parents and brother. It makes me feel comforted and comfortable, and makes me feel like I am at home.”

Turkey Pot Pie

Yield: 1 large pot pie or 6 individual pot pies (feeds six)


  • 3 lb. organic turkey breast
  • 2 qt. organic chicken stock
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1⁄2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole garlic cloves (unpeeled and smashed)
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. organic butter
  • 1 cup vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup celery root, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry


Place the turkey breast, chicken stock, thyme, peppercorns, garlic and salt in a medium pot. Slowly bring to a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes or until the turkey breast registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the liquid and allow to cool. Strain the turkey broth and reserve 3 cups to use later.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan on medium/low heat, add the onions and kosher salt. Sweat until tender without color. Add the cracked black pepper, celery, carrot and rutabaga, and continue to cook until completely tender, about 10 minutes.

Once all of the vegetables are cooked, add the flour. Allow the flour to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the turkey broth, turn heat to medium/high, and whisk. The liquid will begin to thicken, so be sure to whisk periodically to prevent sticking. Once the liquid has thickened, fold in the chopped fresh sage.

Transfer the pot pie filling to a large casserole dish or six individual, oven-safe dishes. Top with one sheet of puff pastry (or cut pastry into six squares with a cutter). Using a knife or decorative cutter, cut the second sheet of puff pastry into an autumnal shape of your desire (this step is optional). Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Read more from our “Taste of the Holidays” 2021 feature here.

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