I could eat this chicken pot pie every day for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but it’s definitely one of those recipes that I can eat for days in a row and I’ll still be sad once the leftovers are gone. Because when a food makes you feel this cozy and good, how can you not want it in your life every day? Either way, I guarantee this scrumptious homemade chicken pot pie is going to be made on REPEAT in my house all through the fall and winter.
What’s in a Chicken Pot Pie?
Chicken pot pie starts with a deliciously flakey pie crust and is filled with a rich and saucy chicken gravy, chunks of tender chicken, and a medley of colorful vegetables. It’s everything you want in a meal on one plate!
This recipe is pretty flexible, allowing you to take some shortcuts if you need to make the prep easier, or you can do everything from scratch to make this pie an ✨EVENT✨!
Pie Crust Options
It’s no secret that the crust is one of the best parts of a chicken pot pie, so we chose not to skimp on the crust. We used our simple 3-ingredient pie crust recipe, which is super buttery and deliciously flakey. If you want to use a store-bought crust, just make sure to buy a double crust (top and bottom crusts) and follow the baking instructions on the box.
You could also bake this “pie” in skillet without a bottom crust and then top it with your favorite biscuits. The filling is fully cooked before it goes into the pie, so simply top with biscuits and then bake until the biscuits are browned and cooked through.
Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken for Chicken Pot Pie?
Yes! Chicken pot pie is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or even leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! Just skip the first step in the recipe below (cooking the raw chicken) and add your pre-cooked chicken to the filling when the cooked chicken is added back to the gravy with the herbs and spices.
Use Fresh or Frozen Vegetables
To make this chicken pot pie super simple, we used a frozen vegetable medley. Using a frozen veggie mix means less chopping and you won’t have any leftover vegetables to try to use up later. If you do want to slice and chop your own vegetables, use 1-2 carrots, about ½ cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green beans, and ½ cup peas. You could also other vegetables, like mushrooms or celery.
Do I Need to Blind Bake the Crust?
When using our 3-ingredient pie crust recipe and a glass pie plate, our chicken pot pie baked to perfection with a golden brown flakey bottom crust without having to pre-bake the bottom crust. That being said, using different crust recipes or store-bought crusts with different types of pie plates may yield different results.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is a cozy classic comfort food made with a flakey crust and a rich sauce full of tender chicken and vegetables.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice one boneless skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and the diced chicken breast. Cook the chicken pieces just until cooked through (do not over cook).
While the chicken is cooking, dice one yellow onion. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add the diced onion and 4 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened.
Once the onions are soft, sprinkle in 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more. It’s okay for the flour to begin to coat the bottom of the skillet, just make sure it doesn’t begin to burn.
Add one cup of chicken broth and one cup of whole milk to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the skillet.
Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy.
Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir to combine.
Stir in one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Allow the gravy mixture to heat through and come back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once fully heated through and simmering, remove it from the heat.
Place the bottom crust into a pie plate and prick it several times over the bottom with a fork. Fill the pie crust with the chicken pot pie filling.
Add the top crust and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of whisked egg. Use a knife to cut large vents into the top of the pie crust.
Bake the chicken pot pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and flakey and the filling is bubbling up slightly through the vents. Total cooking time may vary depending on the type of crust and pie dish used. The filling is fully cooked before going into the pie, so adjust the baking time based on the crust.
Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I’ve been having a lot of fun lately looking at old recipes from The Great Depression and I’m always surprised at how simple they are. They’re always just a few ingredients, barely seasoned, but always filling. The simplicity of those recipes inspired this Vegetables and Gravy recipe, although I did make sure it was well seasoned to fit today’s pallet. 😅
This recipe is great for those times when you just need to throw together something simple, warm, and filling using inexpensive ingredients that you might already have on hand. It’s kind of like a cross between potato soup and the filling of a chicken pot pie (minus the chicken). Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No. But when money is tight, this dish hits just right.
What is Vegetables and Gravy?
This dish starts with cubed potatoes that are boiled in vegetable broth until tender. The liquid is then seasoned with herbs and spices and thickened to a gravy with a milk and flour slurry. Next, we add a bag of mixed frozen vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor. And we finish the dish off with some butter for added creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. Simple, filling, and satisfying!
What Else Can I Add?
If you happen to have some extra ingredients on hand and want to take this dish up a notch, here are some ideas:
Top with shredded cheese
Brown some bacon in the pot first and top the finished dish with the crumbled bacon
Add your favorite seasoning blend(you could do anything from a Cajun seasoning to something simple like Lawry’s)
Add chopped cooked chicken to make it more like a chicken pot pie (a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken!)
How to Serve Vegetables and Gravy
I would consider this a simple all-in-one bowl meal and would not plan to make anything on the side. I might serve with some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy, but otherwise, everything I need is in that bowl. If you definitely need something on the side, I’d do a simple roasted vegetable. Maybe broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
About Those Leftovers…
Because this gravy is thickened with flour, it does gel up and get quite thick when refrigerated. But don’t worry, it will loosen a bit upon reheating and you can always add a splash of water or milk to thin it out even more, if needed.
Vegetables and Gravy
Vegetables and Gravy is a simple, no frills recipe that is warm and comforting and can be made with simple, inexpensive ingredients.
Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat on to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the milk and flour.
Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the flour and milk slurry. Also add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
Allow the liquid in the pot to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
Add the frozen vegetables to the pot, stir to combine, then allow them to heat through.
Stir the butter into the gravy until melted and combined. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, butter or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!
Start by peeling and cubing about 1.5 lbs. russet potatoes. Cut them into ¾-inch cubes.
Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 7 minutes).
While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the milk and flour slurry. Whisk ¼ cup all-purpose flour into 1 cup milk.
Once the potatoes are tender, turn the heat down to medium and add the milk and flour slurry to the pot along with 2 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine.
Allow the liquid to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
Add one 12oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to heat through in the gravy.
Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the gravy and stir until it has melted in. Give the gravy a taste and add salt, pepper, or more butter to your liking.
Serve it up hot with a little bread for sopping up that delicious gravy! (I garnished with some fresh parsley because I had it on hand, but it’s not necessary to flavor this dish.)
By now everyone knows: Our love for pumpkin runs deep. But unlike our other new pumpkin recipes (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice cake bites), we were craving something savory this time around. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the result!A…
By now everyone knows: Our love for pumpkin runs deep. But unlike our other new pumpkin recipes (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice cake bites), we were craving something savory this time around. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the result! All the classic, creamy, salty, comforting components of risotto come together with nature’s favorite fall child (pumpkin).
Top it with crispy sage and you’ve got a savory-sweet side or entrée that’s simple to make but so delicious and impressive!
Huge Thanksgiving dinners with tons of family and loved ones are awesome, but not everyone has the option to travel or the family to get together with. If for one reason or another you find yourself alone or celebrating Thanksgiving with just one other person, you can still enjoy a classic Thanksgiving dinner on a smaller scale. I’ve crafted this smaller-sized meal that can be prepared in about two hours, so you can enjoy all those delicious thanksgiving recipes without a huge production. :)
What’s Included in This Thanksgiving Dinner for Two
This smaller Thanksgiving dinner menu includes the following scaled-down classic Thanksgiving recipes:
Roasted Turkey Breast and Stuffing
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Green Bean “Casserole” (stove top version)
Mushroom Herb Gravy
Each recipe makes about 2-4 servings, so you’ll still have a few leftovers, but not as much as if you had cooked regular-sized Thanksgiving dinner (we’re all about reducing food waste here at Budget Bytes).
Three recipes will be prepared in the oven (at the same time and same temperature) and three will be prepared on the stove top while the other recipes are doing their thing in the oven.
I was able to make this meal in about two hours. The turkey and stuffing takes approximately 1.5 hours to roast, and I was able to prepare the rest of the sides while they were in the oven. I’m probably a bit faster than the average home cook and very well accustomed to multi-tasking in the kitchen, but I also paused to take all of my photographs in that time, so I think 2-3 hours is reasonable for most people. Beginners may wan to allow for extra time.
NOTE: The most important part of being able to prepare this meal in a decent amount of time is to read through the plan thoroughly before beginning. You need to understand how to execute each recipe and in which order before you begin so you don’t get lost. Making a Thanksgiving dinner, any Thanksgiving dinner, takes coordination and multi-tasking skills.
What You Need
For this entire meal you’ll need the following equipment:
8×8″ casserole dish
Large baking sheet (about 16″x13″)
Medium saucepot (2.5 qt.)
3 qt. covered sauté pan or pot
Measuring cups and spoons
In addition to the equipment listed above, you’ll need the following ingredients:
2.5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
½ lb. Brussels sprouts
¾ lb. sweet potato
1 lb. russet potato
8 oz. mushrooms
12 oz. frozen cut green beans
2 cloves garlic
1 6oz. box stuffing mix
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 ½ Tbsps all-purpose flour
½ cup French fried onions (packaged)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 ¼ cup milk
11 Tbsp butter
1 ¼ tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 ⅛ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
How to Make Thanksgiving for Two – Step by Step Instructions
Okay, let’s get into it! I have the process divided into steps below. Each recipe is its own step so you can skip recipes you don’t like or even scale up recipes that you may want more of. You’ll be cooking most of these simultaneously, but they are listed in order of execution. Keep in mind that the cooking times will overlap. Make sure to read through the instructions thoroughly before beginning. Understanding the process for each recipe and the sequence is critical to executing a Thanksgiving dinner!
NOTE: Before beginning, adjust the racks in your oven so the top rack is slightly above the middle position and the lower rack is just below the middle position (not on the lowest position). The bottom rack only needs enough vertical room for a sheet pan, while the top rack needs enough height for the casserole dish and turkey breast.
1. Turkey and Stuffing
This turkey turns out so incredibly juicy and so so much easier than roasting a whole bird. The stuffing absorbs the juices and fat from the turkey as it roasts, making it even more flavorful!
The turkey and stuffing take the longest to cook (about 1.5 hours), so you’ll want to begin this first. The rest of the sides can be prepared while the turkey and stuffing are in the oven.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Stuffing
Herb roasted turkey breast and stuffing cook together for one easy and flavorful main dish in this Thanksgiving for two.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the box of stuffing mix to a bowl, then pour in 1.5 cups warm water. Stir and let the stuffing sit to absorb the water as you prepare the turkey.
Combine the room temperature butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt in a small bowl.
Pat the turkey breast dry, then spread the herb butter mixture all over the surface.
Transfer the stuffing to the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover nearly all of the stuffing. If there is a lot of stuffing exposed, use foil to cover the stuffing mix to prevent it from browning too much during the hour and a half in the oven.
Transfer the turkey and stuffing to the oven (upper rack) and roast for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165ºF.
After roasting, let the turkey and stuffing rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed quite a bit of moisture from the turkey, while the stuffing on the edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes to rehydrate the drier pieces before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the contents of one 6oz. box of stuffing mix in a bowl and add 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to combine, then set it aside to soak as you prepare the turkey.
Combine 4 Tbsp room temperature butter with 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried thyme, and ¾ tsp salt. Pat a 2.5 lb. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast dry, then smear the herb butter over the surface (if the turkey breast is wet, the butter won’t stick, so dry it well).
Place the hydrated stuffing mix in the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover most of the stuffing. If there are any large portions of stuffing exposed, you may want to cover the exposed portions with foil to prevent them from browning too much as the dish is in the oven. Do not cover the turkey with foil.
Roast the turkey and stuffing in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165ºF. Let the turkey rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed a lot of moisture from the turkey as it roasts while the stuffing on the outer edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes for the moisture levels to equalize.
Once the turkey and stuffing are in the oven, move on to recipe #2, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
2. Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
While the turkey and stuffing are roasting, begin the candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. These will cook together on one sheet pan in the oven at the same time as the turkey and stuffing. The sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts take about 40 minutes to cook, so you can prepare them on the sheet pan and then wait to put them into the oven until the turkey has about 40 minutes to go.
These candied sweet potatoes were so delicious it was all I could do to keep from eating them ALL myself. :o
Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts cook together on one sheet pan for a 2-in-1 easy Thanksgiving side dish.
Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick rounds. Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl.
Melt the butter and then stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Pour the sweet butter over the sliced sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
Cut off any dry ends from the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then lay the butter-coated sweet potatoes out over half of the baking sheet. Try to get as much of the butter mixture out of the bowl onto the sweet potatoes as possible. Spread the Brussels sprouts over the other half of the baking sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, placing it on the rack below the turkey. Roast the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping once halfway through.
Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Step by Step Photos
Peel and slice one ¾ lb. sweet potato into ½-inch thick rounds. Melt 1.5 Tbsp butter, then stir in 1 Tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ground cloves, and ⅛ tsp salt. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes and stir until they’re coated.
Cut off the dry stem end of ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and ⅛ tsp each of salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Place the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined sweet pan. Make sure to get as much of that butter mixture from the bowl onto the sweet potatoes.
The vegetables only take about 40 minutes to roast, so you may want to leave them prepped on the sheet pan until the last 40 minutes or so of the turkey’s baking time so they’re not done too early. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven (lower rack) and roast the vegetables for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping them once halfway through.
Once the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are on the sheet pan and prepared to go into the oven, you can move on to preparing the next recipe, mashed potatoes. When the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are in the oven you can prepare the last two recipes, green bean “casserole” and mushroom herb gravy.
3. Mashed Potatoes
You can prepare the mashed potatoes while you’re waiting to put the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven. They’re pretty quick to prepare, then they can sit on the stovetop with a lid on to stay warm while you finish the rest of the side dishes.
This recipe is also pretty flexible, so if there are other ingredients that you like to add to your mashed potatoes, like sour cream, cheese, or herbs, feel free to stir them in at the end!
Small-Batch Mashed Potatoes
This smaller batch of mashed potatoes is perfect for a Thanksgiving for Two or any quick weeknight dinner when you don't want leftovers.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Servings 3¾ cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
Peel the potato then dice into ½-inch cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove excess starch.
Place the cubed potatoes in a medium pot and cover with one inch of water. Add ½ tsp salt. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and then give them another brief rinse.
Add the butter, milk, garlic powder, and pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat over low until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and mash. Taste the mashed potatoes and add salt, if needed (I added ¼ tsp).
Place a lid on the pot then move it to a back burner (not turned on) to stay warm while you prepare the rest of the sides.
Peel and dice a one pound russet potato into ½-inch pieces. Rinse the pieces briefly in a colander to remove excess starch. Place the cubed potato in a medium pot and cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the water. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them another brief rinse.
Add 2 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat the milk and butter mixture over low until the milk is hot and butter is mostly melted. Add the drained potatoes back to the pot.
Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Taste and add salt if needed (I added ¼ tsp). Place a lid on the pot and move the pot full of potatoes to an unused burner (heat turned off) to stay warm until the rest of the meal is finished.
4. Green Bean “Casserole”
Once your potatoes are mashed and are resting on the back of the stove, begin the green bean “casserole”. This is essentially a quick stovetop version of the classic baked casserole. Tender green beans coated in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with French fried onions. You can bake this in the oven after assembly if you prefer, but I was aiming for speed and simplicity with this recipe, so I skipped the baking step.
Stove Top Green Bean “Casserole”
A quick stove top version of the classic baked green bean casserole. Tender green beans with a creamy mushroom sauce and French fried onions.
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Servings 3¾ cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
3 qt. Covered Sauté Pan
12oz.frozen cut green beans$1.00
Add the frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, then bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until tender, then drain in a colander.
While the green beans are boiling, slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to the pot used to boil the green beans. Sauté over medium heat. Once the mushrooms have released all their water and all of it has evaporated off the bottom of the pot, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
Whisk in the milk, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Make sure to whisk until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot. Allow the milk mixture to return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, it will thicken into a sauce.
Return the drained green beans to the pot with the sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and allow the green beans to remain heating over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). The sauce will continue to thicken as it heats over low.
When you're ready to serve the green beans, transfer them to a bowl and top with the fried onions.
Stove Top Green Bean Casserole Step by Step Photos
Add 12oz. frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Boil the green beans until tender (about 5 minutes). Drain the green beans in a colander.
While the beans are boiling, slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 2 Tbsp butter to the pot that was used to boil the beans (after draining them). Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and it has completely evaporated off the bottom of the pot.
Once there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the pot, add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about a minute more.
Whisk in one cup milk, one cup vegetable broth, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot.
Allow the liquid to return to a boil, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a sauce.
Stir the drained green beans back into the sauce. Turn the heat down to low and let the green beans heat over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). When ready to serve, top with ½ cup fried onions.
5. Mushroom Herb Gravy
This mushroom herb gravy only takes a few minutes to make, so it’s best to make it last just before you serve your Thanksgiving dinner. Gravies tend to gel up even more as they cool, so if you find your gravy becoming too thick after it begins to cool, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of warm water to loosen it back up.
Mushroom Herb Gravy
This small batch of mushroom herb gravy takes minutes to prepare and is full of delicious savory flavor!
Total Cost $1.23 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 15minutes
Servings 3½ cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1/8tspdried thyme (or one sprig fresh)$0.03
Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to a small skillet and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and the water has completely evaporated off the bottom of the skillet.
When there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the skillet, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
Add the vegetable broth and whisk well until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add the sage, thyme, and pepper. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
Taste the gravy and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.
If the gravy becomes too thick as it cools down, simply whisk a tablespoon of water into the gravy until smooth to loosen it up.
The gravy starts out the same as the green bean casserole. Slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 1.5 Tbsp butter over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and it has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet. Once no more water is left on the bottom of the skillet, add 1.5 Tbsp flour and continue to stir and cook for about a minute more.
Whisk in 1 cup vegetable broth. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ⅛ tsp dried thyme, and ⅛ tsp pepper.
Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to simmer it will thicken into a gravy. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.
And there you have it! By the time you’re finished making the gravy, the rest of the dishes should be done and waiting to be served. This meal should provide two people with generous helpings, plus a little leftover for the next day. ;) If you make this meal make sure to take a photo and tag us on social media! I want to see your masterpiece!
This butternut squash lasagna recipe is incredible! Ricotta, Pecorino, and sage make a stunning dinner that pleases everyone.
Welcome to your new favorite fall dinner: Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sage! The flavors are impeccable: creamy ricotta, punchy Pecorino, and fresh sage envelop the sweet squash in a cozy embrace. In fact, an embrace is just what it feels like when you take a bite! It’s a bit of prep work, but we’ve simplified a few steps so you don’t need a nap once you throw it in the oven. Every bite is a bit of sweet, savory, creamy, herby, and altogether irresistible.
Ingredients in butternut squash lasagna
Butternut squash lasagna can take ages to make, especially if you roast the squash and make a béchamel sauce. This recipe is simplified: you’ll boil the squash and make a quick sauce using ricotta cheese that doesn’t require any heating on the stovetop. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
The hardest part of making a butternut squash lasagna? Cutting the squash. Butternut squash is a notoriously difficult vegetable to tackle. We’ve got a few tips for cutting squash without breaking into a sweet:
Use a serrated peeler. A serrated blade makes it easier to peel the tough skin than a normal vegetable peeler, which can easily slip. Don’t have one? Try this serrated vegetable peeler.
Cut off the neck and chop it separately from the base. Don’t cut the entire squash together. Chop off the neck, then peel it and chop into squares! Do the same for the base.
A few time savers in this butternut squash lasagna
If you follow along with us, you might know we’re sticklers for simple recipes (we even wrote a cookbook about it). While lasagna is almost never easy, the concept is pretty simple. But a typical butternut squash lasagna requires quite a bit of prep work. Here’s how we simplified this recipe to save time:
Boil the butternut squash instead of roasting it. Roasting is our favorite technique for cooking vegetables, but it’s got a longer lead time. Roasted butternut squash takes about 45 minutes with preheat time, whereas you can whip up boiled squash in about 10 minutes with boiling time.
Make a quick ricotta sauce. A bechamel sauce is more traditional in a butternut squash lasagna, but that also takes time and dirties a pot. This recipe uses ricotta, milk and some seasonings to make a quick and dirty sauce.
The sauce is not a traditional cream sauce, so the lasagna has a firmer texture. It’s not as gooey as you might expect, but it’s 100% delicious.
Make ahead and storage info
Butternut squash lasagna is a bit of a project for a weeknight: it takes about 1 ½ hours start to finish. We love making this for guests: but you can also make it on a weeknight with some additional prep steps! Here are some ideas:
Make ahead ideas: Boil the butternut squash in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake (or use leftover roasted butternut squash). You can also boil the noodles in advance and refrigerate: just make sure they’re coated in a little olive oil before refrigerating.
Or make ahead the entire pan: Make the entire lasagna prior to baking, then refrigerate overnight. Increase the bake time as needed to cook until it’s warmed through and the cheese has browned.
Storage info: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Or freeze them: it’s easiest to cut it into single servings and freeze each in separate containers. To reheat, defrost the lasagna the refrigerator, then place in a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until warmed through.
More butternut squash recipes
When squash season is upon us, it’s easy to get squash obsessed! Here are a few of our top butternut squash recipes:
8 ounces (2 ½ cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boil the squash: Peel and cut the butternut squash into small cubes about 1/2-inch thick. (Go to How to Cut Butternut Squash for a video! A serrated vegetable peeler works best.) Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until fork tender (test a piece to see if it is done). Drain, then place in a medium bowl. Mix with the olive oil, kosher salt and garlic powder.
Meanwhile, boil the noodles*: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles until just before al dente, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Drain the noodles, then drizzle a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Lay the noodles flat onto the sheet, then turn them over so they become coated with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Prepare the ricotta sauce: Add 1 tablespoon chopped sage to a medium bowl and reserve about ½ tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper and milk. Stir.
Layer the lasagna: In a 9” x 13” baking dish, spread ½ cup ricotta sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, ½ of the cooked squash, scant 2/3 cup cheese sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles (you may need to cut a noodle in half for the side, depending on your pan), the remaining squash, scant 2/3 cup cheese sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese. Finally, top with noodles (again, you may need to cut a noodle in half for the top layer), then the remaining ricotta sauce spread with a spatula. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ⅓ cup Pecorino cheese, and ½ tablespoon sage.
Bake the lasagna: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes, until the top is browned. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a 400°F oven. (See make ahead and storage notes below.)
*If you use fresh lasagna noodles, they don’t need to be boiled.
Make ahead ideas: Boil the butternut squash in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Boil the noodles in advance and refrigerate, making sure they’re coated in a little olive oil. Or make ahead the entire pan: Make the entire lasagna prior to baking, then refrigerate overnight. Increase the bake time as needed to cook until it’s warmed through and the cheese has browned. Storage info: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Or freeze them: it’s easiest to cut it into single servings and freeze each in separate containers. To reheat, defrost the lasagna the refrigerator, then place in a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until warmed through.
Last Thanksgiving I made the most amazing Wild Rice Pilaf that I then stuffed inside roasted acorn squash as a sort of vegetarian main dish recipe idea. It was beautiful and delicious, but I can’t lie, I kind of just wanted to devour that wild rice pilaf by itself! It was so tasty on its own, had so much color, so much texture, that I knew I had to post it as a stand-alone recipe. This pilaf is really delicious and I know I’m going to be making it on repeat every fall and winter from here on out!
What’s in Wild Rice Pilaf
This delicious pilaf starts with rice cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor. While the rice cooks, aromatics like onion, celery, and apples are sautéed in butter until tender. Next comes the cozy mix of seasonings including sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Once the cooked rice is combined with the aromatics and herbs, it’s finished off with a little extra flavor and texture from walnuts, dried cranberries, and parsley. So much fall flavor in every bite!
What is “Wild Rice Blend”?
I used a bagged “wild rice blend” as the base for this recipe. It’s a colorful blend of different varieties of rice, including wild rice. I used Lundberg brand, which you can find in many major grocery stores, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see ALDI had its own version this year (check the step by step photos below the recipe to see a photo). You can use any brand rice blend for this recipe, just follow the cooking instructions on the package and replace the water with vegetable broth.
This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It's the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.
Total Cost $2.73 recipe / $0.68 serving
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 45minutes
Total Time 1hour
Servings 41 cup each
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1/2cupwild rice blend*$0.07
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper$0.02
Add the wild rice blend and vegetable broth to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to medium-high. Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, or for the amount of time directed on the package.*
While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice the onion, celery, and apple.
Add the onion to a large skillet with the butter and sauté over medium heat until softened.
Add the apples, celery, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté for about five minutes more, or just until the apples and celery begin to soften (they should still have some bite).
When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the apples, celery, and onion. Also add the chopped walnuts, cranberries, and chopped parsley. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
Taste the pilaf and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot.
* You can use any brand wild rice blend. Cook according to the package directions, substituting vegetable broth for the water recommended in the instructions. Cooking time may vary depending on the brand.
I used the Lundberg wild rice blend on the left since I actually still had some leftover from last year, but I bought some of the ALDI wild rice blend on the right just to show you another option. Whatever brand you use, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the back but substitute vegetable broth for the water it recommends. Cooking time can vary depending on the brand.
Add ½ cup of the wild rice blend to a small sauce pot with 1 cup vegetable broth. Place a lid on the pot and heat over medium-high. Allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice one yellow onion, 3 ribs of celery, and one apple.
Add the diced onion to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onion has softened.
Add the chopped apples and celery to the skillet along with ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Continue to sauté over medium until the apples and celery just begin to soften.
When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup dried cranberries, and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.
Fold the ingredients together until everything is combined. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!
Okay guys, this chicken stew is definitely at the top of my list for my favorite recipe of 2021! It’s thicker and heartier than chicken soup, but lighter than a beef stew. The flavor is absolutely on point and it’s just one of those things that I could happily eat for three meals per day and still love it. In other words, you have to try this chicken stew!
What is Chicken Stew?
Chicken stew is like chicken soup‘s older cousin that is a little rough around the edges. It’s a little more rustic with a rich, thickened broth that has an almost gravy-like consistency. It’s packed full of vegetables and is a true meal in a bowl. Oh, and you’ll definitely want some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy!
For Best Results, Use Chicken Thighs
Look, I know some people really don’t like dark meat, but that those tender chicken thighs really take this dish to the next level. I strongly advise against using chicken breast, but if you must, opt for a bone-in chicken breast for a little more flavor, then just shred and remove the bones after the stew simmers.
You really want to use a good quality, flavorful broth for this chicken stew. I used Better Than Bouillon because it’s my favorite and it tends to be very flavorful. I also used a combination of two types of broth, chicken and vegetable, which I really think adds to the complexity of the flavor and helps deepen the color of the broth.
I used small baby potatoes for my chicken stew, but if those aren’t available you can substitute red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes in their place. Just cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes so they cook in about the same amount of time as my baby potatoes.
This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.
Dice the onion and celery, mince the garlic, slice the carrots, and cut the baby potatoes in half before you begin.
Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the flour over the chicken and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.
Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling.
Add the flour-coated chicken to the pot with the butter and oil and allow the chicken to brown on all sides (avoid stirring until browned on the bottom). When the chicken is browned and there is a nice brown layer of flour on the bottom of the pot, remove the chicken to a clean bowl with a slotted spoon. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just browned on the outside.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft. Use the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the remaining 2 Tbsp flour to the pot and continue to sauté over medium for about two minutes more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pot again.
Return the browned chicken to the pot. Also add the potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, chicken broth, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.
Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
Taste the stew and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley if desired, and serve hot.
Dice one yellow onion, slice ½ lb. carrots (3-4 carrots) and 3 ribs celery, and mince 4 cloves garlic.
Chop about 1.5 lbs. potatoes into 1-inch pieces. I used baby potatoes, so they only needed to be cut in half.
Chop about 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour over the chicken pieces and toss until they’re coated.
Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling. Add the chicken thigh pieces and let them cook until browned on all sides (the chicken does not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside). Avoid stirring too often, as that will prevent browning. You want the flour to brown a bit on the bottom of the pot. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate or bowl.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot after removing the chicken. Continue to sauté over medium for about 5 minutes, allowing the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add 2 more tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more. The flour will again begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
Return the browned chicken to the pot along with the potatoes, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried sage, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups vegetable broth.
Stir everything to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.
Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
Give the stew a taste and add salt, if needed (I did not add any, but this will largely depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add some freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…
A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. This week, guest columnist, James Beard Award–winning chef, certified cobbler Genius, and co-owner of several Seattle restaurants, Renee Erickson, is serving up a recipe from her second cookbook,Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You.
It’s kind of amazing that I never get tired of eggs—even after years of brunch service—but I don’t.
One of my favorite simple dinner “formulas” is two roasted vegetables and a meat. It’s just so simple and when I can cook them all on one sheet pan, it’s even better. For this Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner I also added a balsamic cranberry sauce that cooks on the stovetop, but it’s only three ingredients and takes only about 10 minutes, so it really couldn’t be easier.
One of my favorite simple dinner “formulas” is two roasted vegetables and a meat. It’s just so simple and when I can cook them all on one sheet pan, it’s even better. For this Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner I also added a balsamic cranberry sauce that cooks on the stovetop, but it’s only three ingredients and takes only about 10 minutes, so it really couldn’t be easier. I hope you get plenty of use out of this super easy, fall/winter-inspired sheet pan meal!
What’s That Sauce?
As I mentioned above, I made a super simple balsamic cranberry sauce to drench the chicken with flavor. The sauce is simple: whole berry cranberry sauce (canned), balsamic vinegar, and butter. It makes the most deliciously sweet, tangy, and rich sauce that you’ll want to spoon over everything!
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken?
The cooking times and temperatures below are for boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been pounded to a ¾ to 1-inch thickness. This allows them to cook quickly and evenly. Bone-in chicken takes much longer to cook and it would be best if they are roasted separately. For example purposes, here is a recipe for roasted bone-in chicken breasts.
Meal Prep It!
Sheet pan meals like this are perfect for meal prep! Just portion everything up into individual containers after baking and keep refrigerated for 3-4 days for quick lunches (reheat in the microwave).
Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner
This Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner is an easy and flavorful weeknight dinner that requires very little prep and cleanup!
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and then cut them in half. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into ½ to ¾-inch pieces.
Place the Brussels sprouts on one half of a large baking sheet and the sweet potatoes on the other half. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side. Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper over the vegetables, then add ¼ tsp garlic powder just to the Brussels sprouts. Toss the vegetables, keeping each on its own side, until they're coated in oil and seasoning. Spread the seasoned vegetables out so they are in an even layer. Transfer the baking sheet with the vegetable to the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the herb baked chicken. In a small bowl, combine the room temperature butter, sage, thyme, garlic powder, and salt. Stir together until it forms an herb-butter paste.
Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound the chicken breasts out to an even ¾-inch thickeness. Cut each pounded chicken breast in half to make two pieces. Pat the chicken dry, then spread the herb butter over the surface of each piece of chicken.
Once the vegetables have been roasting for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and give the vegetables a stir, keeping each on their own side. Push the vegetables to the side a bit (it's okay if they pile up a little) to make room for the chicken breast. Place the four butter and herb coated pieces of chicken down the center of the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
While the chicken and vegetables finish cooking, prepare the cranberry balsamic sauce. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar to a sauce pot. Stir and cook the two together over medium heat, allowing the mixture to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter. Set the cranberry balsamic sauce aside.
After roasting for 20 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts. It should be 165ºF. If it's not, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. If the vegetables are done before the chicken, simply remove them from the baking sheet before returning the chicken to the oven.
To serve, spoon the cranberry balsamic sauce over the chicken. Divide the roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes between four plates and add one piece of chicken to each.
How to Make Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash 1 lb. Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Peel and dice 1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes into ½ to ¾-inch cubes. Place them on a large baking sheet, keeping each on its own side. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Add ¼ tsp garlic powder to just the Brussels sprouts. Toss the vegetables, keeping them separate, until they’re coated in oil and seasoning. Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the herb butter baked chicken. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp room temperature butter, ½ tsp dried sage, ¼ tsp dried thyme, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Stir them together until it forms an herb-butter paste.
Place two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken into an even ¾-inch thickness. This helps it cook quickly and evenly.
Cut each chicken breast into two pieces. Pat them dry, then spread the herb butter over the surface of each piece.
After the vegetables have roasted for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet and give them a good stir. Push them to the sides (it’s okay if they pile up now) to make room for the chicken. Place the herb-butter coated chicken in the center of the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
While the chicken and vegetables finish cooking, prepare the cranberry balsamic sauce. Add ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat slightly and allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the sauce has simmered for about 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and stir in 1 Tbsp butter until melted. Set the sauce aside.
After bakind 20 minutes, the internal temperature of the chicken breast pieces should be 165ºF. If it’s not, simply bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until it does reach 165ºF. If the vegetables finish roasting before the chicken, just remove it from the baking sheet before returning the chicken to the oven.
Finally, spoon the cranberry balsamic sauce over the baked chicken. To serve, divide the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes between four plates, then add one piece of chicken to each.
Brown Butter Ravioli with Butternut Squash, sage, and pecans is a simple, yet elegant fall dish. Perfect for special occasions or any night! When it comes to fall meals, this Brown Butter Ravioli with Butternut Squash is my very favorite. The flavors a…
Brown Butter Ravioli with Butternut Squash, sage, and pecans is a simple, yet elegant fall dish. Perfect for special occasions or any night! When it comes to fall meals, this Brown Butter Ravioli with Butternut Squash is my very favorite. The flavors are incredible! Nutty brown butter, roasted butternut squash, cheesy ravioli, crispy sage, crunchy…