Chicken pot pie is a little tricky to reheat due to its mixture of wet and dry ingredients. If you don’t do it right, you could end up with a mushy mess or a bone-dry disaster.
What is the best way to reheat chicken pot pie?
We prefer the oven because it does a better job of heating up both the wet and dry textures while keeping them separate. It also lets you fortify the edges with foil to keep them from burning. To clean out any contaminants that may be growing inside, make sure your chicken filling is bubbling merrily at 165°F before you turn the heat off.
In this article, you’ll learn the correct timing to reheat your chicken pot pie just right. You’ll also learn how to wrap up problem areas to prevent them from drying out and burning.
Can You Reheat Chicken Pot Pie?
A chicken pot pie is basically an entire meal in a neat little package. Besides the obligatory chicken, it may contain all kinds of nutritious sides, including potatoes, peas, carrots, corn and gravy, all wrapped up in a delicious pastry.
The problem is that many of those ingredients should ideally be reheated slightly differently to keep them at peak quality.
The chicken needs to reach a specific temperature for safety reasons. The vegetables need to be warm and gooey without turning to mush. The crust needs to be flaky and crisp without burnt edges.
Low reheating temperatures can feel like they take forever to finish, and high temperatures can dry your pie. Do it wrong and you could end up with perfectly heated insides and a soggy crust or the reverse with a golden crust and filling as dry as a desert.
The tips and instructions in this guide will work for reheating all kinds of chicken pot pies, including:
- Homemade chicken pot pies
- Frozen chicken pot pies
- KFC chicken pot pies
- Single-crust chicken pot pies
- Double-crust chicken pot pies
Related | What Goes With Chicken Pot Pie
How Long To Reheat Chicken Pot Pie
One of the most important parts of reheating a chicken pot pie is finding the right heat setting. High heat may cook the outside quicker than the inside, leaving you with a burnt crust and cold filling.
Low heat cooks evenly and will forgive many mistakes in placement and timing, but if you set your heat too low, it can feel like you might die of starvation while you wait.
Here’s an overview of our recommendations for the ideal temperatures and timings of the most popular reheating methods:
- Reheating in the oven – 20 minutes at 300F
- Reheating in the microwave – 2 or 3 minutes on the lowest power setting
- Reheating frozen chicken pot pie – about 40 minutes extra in the oven or 3 minutes extra in the microwave
Ovens work best for reheating dishes with different ingredients and textures. Their dry, balanced heating does the best job of keeping the crust crisp without losing the moisture in the filling.
Their main weakness is that they can burn the crust’s edges. We’ll show you how to fix this in our section on oven reheating.
If you need to use the stove or microwave in a pinch, you’ll get better results if you cut the pie into slices or at least in half.
If you’re reheating a frozen chicken pot pie, it may come in an aluminum wrapping, which you should never put in the microwave.
KFC chicken pot pies also come in a foil pan. If you have to reheat one of these in the microwave, you can try to scoop the pie out and put in it a microwave-safe dish, but this can easily ruin the pie’s structure and make a mess. It’s safer and easier to reheat these in their original aluminum container in the oven.
Related | Can You Microwave Aluminum Foil?
When reheating poultry, the USDA recommends you get the internal temperature to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is key to killing salmonella, the most heat-resistant bacteria found in poultry. It will also wipe out other dangerous pathogens like avian flu viruses and Campylobacter bacteria.
If you don’t have a food thermometer handy, you can stick a butter knife or a fork into the pie to help you estimate its temperature. You’ll know the pie has reached the recommended 165 degrees if the fork is too hot to touch for more than a split second.
Your ears can also be a good gauge of when your pie is ready. Listen for a bubbling sound from the middle of the pie. When you hear the center seethe, the heat has done its job.
How To Reheat Chicken Pot Pie In The Oven
We think the oven will be your best option to reheat chicken pot pie uniformly. It won’t dry out the filling too much or leave nasty cold pockets for you to bite into later. You’ll also be able to leave the pie in its original dish, even if the dish contains aluminum.
Some ovens may burn the edges of a chicken pot pie before the inside is completely ready. We discovered a little foil trick that you can use to prevent this.
What You Need
- Aluminum foil
- 1 Thermometer
- 1 Oven mitt
- Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You can prepare the foil covering for your pie while you wait.
- Cover just the perimeter of your pie with aluminum foil. This will help keep the heat away from the parts that are most vulnerable to getting burnt. The middle of the crust will receive plenty of moisture from the steam rising out of the filling, but the edges may need a foil assist. We recommend you experiment with your oven to see exactly how much of the edges you need to cover and how much foil you need to use.
- Once your oven reaches 300 degrees, put the partially covered pie inside. It will need about 20 minutes to warm up all the way through.
- Check on your pie after about 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate the pie halfway at the halfway mark to heat up both sides the same.
- When the 20 minutes are up, use the thermometer or some other method to make sure your filling has hit the magical 165-degree threshold.
- Remove your pie from the oven using the oven mitt.
How To Reheat Chicken Pot Pie In The Microwave
If you’re short on time and not too picky about texture, you can reheat chicken pot pie in the microwave. This method works much better for individual servings than whole pies. Make sure to remove any wrappings, lids, or containers that contain aluminum foil, and use a microwave-safe dish only.
What You Need
- 1 Microwave-safe dish
- 1 Knife
- 1 Oven mitt
- This works best if your microwave has multiple power settings. Use the lowest power setting possible, just above the Defrost setting.
- Use the knife to cut the pie into slices, so you can reheat one slice at a time. If you need to reheat a lot of pie, you can cut it in half and reheat one half at a time.
- Microwave each slice for two minutes, but check on it at the one-minute mark to make sure it’s not drying out too much.
- After two minutes, listen to the filling to check if it’s bubbling yet. If not, put the slice back in for another minute.
- When the filling is boiling and too hot to touch, your pie is ready. Use your oven mitts to remove it from the microwave in case the dish is hot.
How To Defrost Chicken Pot Pie
Some commercial frozen chicken pot pies leave the crust uncooked for you to bake right before eating. The steps you’ll need to take for reheating frozen chicken pot pie depends on if the crust comes precooked or not.
To defrost a frozen chicken pot pie that has an uncooked crust:
- Set your oven to preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While you wait, cover the entire pie with foil.
- Put the pie in the hot oven for about 40 minutes until you hear the insides bubbling.
- Take the pie out, remove the foil carefully, and then put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
To defrost a frozen chicken pot pie with a precooked crust, repeat the first three above steps. For the final step, only remove the foil covering the center of the pie, and leave the covering around the edges. Put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes, instead of the full half an hour.
If you don’t have an hour to wait, you can defrost the pie for three minutes in the microwave and then follow the directions from our section on oven reheating.
We’ve found that the oven does a better job of spreading the heat around evenly.
Whether you use the oven or the microwave, the trick is to keep an eye on your pie to prevent it from devolving into mush.