Cooking Through A Cookbook

Pancetta, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies Review

Recipe 54 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


WW Note: So you’re going to need to enjoy this on a day where you’re willing to use 34 points….that is if we’re talking about leaving the recipe alone without any skinny modifications.

You won’t regret it, this is utterly delicious and a impressive dish to serve guests like we did…but ooft. That’s a lot of points.

A few ideas for cutting this down though…the pastry top makes it a pot pie but I think some 2 Ingredient Dough could be a decent substitute and save you the points that come from the butter. You could roll in some fresh herbs to add some flavor like thyme or sage or rosemary. So, if you do that, your topper ingredients would be 2 cups flour (22 points) and 2 cups non fat Greek yogurt (0 points)…those would be combined until dough is formed, then portioned equally into 4 balls to be rolled out for the lids. There is no butter in that dough so you can skip refrigerating it. Your cook time and temp may look like 350 for 10-15 min…just a guess…possibly longer… so keep an eye. The points for the whole dish then go down to 15 points!! And guys that’s not even making modifications to the yummy filling of your pot pie. So, do it the original way and modify it the next time and tell me what you think! I loved this so we’ll be trying those 2 Ingredient Dough mods next time around!


Oh man these are so so good. They took a little more time then I had ear marked and my poor in-laws had to wait for lunch till 2:30pm…thank goodness for appetizer foresight…but all the ‘mmmms’ and ‘yums’ and ‘this is so goods’…made it worth it in the end.

This felt like a semi familiar recipe since I’ve made pot pie from scratch before but I loved how un-technical this was despite how fancy it looks when it’s done. You can’t really mess up a pot pie folks….well. Maybe you can…

Like you could maybe mess up the dough if you let the butter soften. That happened to me on one of the lids because I struggled rolling the shape out correctly. By the time I was done with it the dough was much softer because I had worked it so much the butter was melting. This makes for a more familiar dough texture to those who have made bread before. Yet, think pastry here. Pastry dough is flakey and yummy because of those layers of cold butter cut into the flour. The butter has to stay cold to get that flaky result.

So, what happens if you overwork your pastry dough?? Pop it back in the fridge to get that butter firmed up again, then try again to shape it if you still need. If you skip this step, the final product will be flatter and less puffy…more doughy in some cases and not as visually appealing. Will it taste good…you bet. But if you’re going for texture and attractiveness then go put it back in the fridge.

Now, I can not tell you the reasons why that is with scientific facts but I have watched enough Food Network and have made a few pie doughs myself to know the importance of cold butter in pastry dough. Just sharing from my mistakes 😉.

A second trouble was thickining the gravy..I did the measurements for the ingredients with my kitchen scale and not my spoons and cups. This worked against me when it came to the flour I’m the sauce. I wanted the 10 minutes she suggested however the gravy did not thicken up. I ended up adding probably another tablespoon of flour and whisking it some more to thicken it up before I felt like it was done. That’s an easy fix but passing that along in case you run into that too.

The last little trouble that I ran into was timing. Deb gives tips for doing it ahead of time. I listened to her tips for half the recipe by making the dough the night before to refrigerate. I’m glad I did that but I regret not also completing the filing the night before too because it took me a lot longer then I planned to get the ingredients ready and then get the gravy right before preping for the oven. Which means the 35 minute bake time was a rough punctuation to an already long process. Thus the 2:30pm lunch time.

Next time I made this I would do both ahead of time and then get them all in their bowls and ready for the oven right before I wanted to serve them. If anything the flavors would be deeper in the filling if you let them sit a day.

I switched up was using bacon instead of pancetta because it was more then I wanted to pay and bacon helped lower the points on this just a smidge.

Pardon my goofy soup bowls with handles. I guess it gives the final product some character but we had quite a time eating them because of all the places the dough baked onto the bowl.

Who cares though. It has a fun homemade rustic feel to it that’s inviting and charming and was perfect for the rainy day we had. I can’t wait to make this again! It was awesome!

Happy to share a link to the recipe directly from Deb herself since this gem is on her site:

Pancetta, White Bean & Chard Pot Pies

Please enjoy this one these winter months. You’re going to be popular when you make it!

Happy pot pie baking readers!!

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