This Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie is a fusion of two classic, family friendly meals: Shepherd’s Pie and Chicken Pot Pie. Sponsored by Idaho Potato Commission.
When my husband and I had our first child, we found ourselves in a new city, looking for a new house. My husband had begun a new job and I moved down from Los Angeles to join him… when my baby boy was only 2 weeks old.
What was I thinking? Packing and moving with a newborn?!
I was a first-time mom and I was delirious from lack of sleep. Boxes took forever to get unpacked. The house was empty and expensive. We lived paycheck to paycheck those first few years in San Diego. And I learned quickly how to live on a super tight budget.
So when the Idaho Potato Commission asked me to develop four recipes using a 10-pound bag of Idaho Potatoes that would feed a family of four for $25 or less, I was up for the challenge.
Why you should make this recipe
Today’s post is one of these four budget-friendly recipes. It was also the cheapest meal, with ingredients costing totaling $3.98 (not including staple items like spices, oil and flour).
Yup, $4 to feed a family of 4. And that’s 4 hearty servings of chicken shepherd’s pie. No one is going hungry after this meal! I shop the sales, buy meat and freeze it until I am ready to cook with it. I also make sure buy what I can in bulk. When I come across an expensive ingredient I cannot afford, I look for alternatives.
This chicken shepherd’s pie is cross between chicken pot pie and a classic beef shepherd’s pie. It has all of the delicious goodness of the filling in a chicken pot pie, nestled underneath a layer of mashed potatoes.
I much prefer mashed potatoes to pie crust – wouldn’t you?
Ingredients you need
- Potatoes: For mashed potatoes, russet potatoes are preferred. White or red potatoes can be used but will produce a gummier mash. They are also more expensive, if budget is an issue.
- Milk: I use milk to make mashed potatoes, but you can also use heavy cream. If you prefer to make dairy free mashed potatoes, use chicken or vegetable broth instead. Milk is also added to the chicken filling, which can be replaced with more chicken broth.
- Butter: This is being added to the mashed potatoes. For dairy free option, you can use margarine or olive oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil: This is used to brown the meat and vegetables. You can also use vegetable oil.
- Chicken breast: I prefer chicken breast, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs. Bone in chicken breast is cheaper than bone-in. You can use this and debone yourself.
- Vegetables: The vegetables I use for the filling includes onions, carrots, celery and peas. The carrots and celery I used are fresh while the peas were frozen. You can also add corn or bell peppers.
- Chicken broth: You could also use vegetable broth instead of chicken.
- Pantry staples: flour, thyme, salt and pepper
1. In a medium sized pot, place peeled and cut potatoes, add salt and water to cover. Bring to boil and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, drain water and return pot full of cooked potatoes to the stove.
2. Add butter, salt, pepper and milk to the potatoes. Using a hand masher or ricer, mash potatoes until all ingredients are incorporated and mashed potatoes are smooth. Set potatoes aside.
3. Add olive oil to a large 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add diced chicken and cook until evenly browned.
4. Once chicken is browned add onions and continue to cook until onions have softened, approximately 5-7 minutes.
5. Stir in carrots, celery, and peas. Cook vegetables for 5 more minutes then season with salt, pepper and thyme.
6. Add remaining oil and flour to the vegetables. Stir and cook until flour is incorporated.
7. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Cook until mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
8. Gently spread mashed potatoes evenly over the chicken mixture until fully covered.
9. Place skillet in the oven and bake until bubbly and golden, 20-30 minutes.
Recipe tips and FAQS
Although the potatoes are boiled in a second pot, everything else is cooked in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you can also cook it in a regular pan and bake everything in a casserole dish.
The creamy chicken and vegetables lay on the bottom of the pan and are covered with a fluffy layer of mashed potatoes. This is serious comfort food. And I think I got 6-servings with this recipe. It just depends how hungry you are!
If you interested in the other budget-friendly recipes I made with Idaho potatoes they are:
- Spinach and potato lasagna
- Chicken and sausage potato gumbo
- Sheet pan spatchcocked chicken with potatoes and vegetables
Russet potatoes are starchy and are the best potatoes for mashing. Red or white potatoes are more buttery and less starchy. Although you can make mashed potatoes with them, they will turn out less fluffy and more gummy.
For creamy mashed potatoes I like to use heavy cream, but you can also use milk and butter. For a non-dairy option, you can chicken or vegetable broth to make mashed potatoes.
- 2 1/2 lbs Idaho Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cup milk, divided
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 chicken breast, diced (approximately 1lb)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup celery
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 tsp ground thyme
- 2 TBS all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- In a medium sized pot, place peeled and cut potatoes, add salt and water to cover. Bring to boil and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain water and return pot full of cooked potatoes to the stove.
- Add butter, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 cup milk to the potatoes. Using a hand masher, mash potatoes until all ingredients are incorporated and mashed potatoes are smooth. Set potatoes aside.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Add 1 TBS olive oil to a large 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add diced chicken and cook until evenly browned.
- Once chicken is browned add onions and continue to cook until onions have softened, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in carrots, celery, and frozen peas. Cook vegetables for 5 more minutes then season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and thyme.
- Add remaining 2 TBS oil and 2 TBS flour to the vegetables.
- Stir and cook until flour is incorporated.
- Stir in chicken broth and remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
- Cook until mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
- Gently spread mashed potatoes evenly over the chicken mixture until fully covered.
- Place skillet in the oven and bake until bubbly and golden, 20-30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 878mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 16g
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Disclosure: I was paid a stipend to develop a recipe cooking Idaho Potatoes. The opinions I expressed in this post are 100% all mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.