Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot PieIf you think pot pie is a baked vegetable and meat dish topped with a pie-like crust, you’re wrong. Sorry.

Hehe, just kidding. Where I grew up, though, pot pie was something very different. It’s not a baked savory pie, it’s actually a very thick stew-like meal with huge noodles, potatoes, meat, and veggies. It’s one of my favorite meals of all time.

The term “pot pie” is actually a version of the German “bot boi,” which I’m told means potpourri and can be used to described a dish that includes a little bit of everything. Pennsylvania Dutch is actually German (not Dutch), so this all totally makes sense.

Everyone makes pot pie a little differently, but today I’m going to teach you how to make our family’s version. Which is obviously the best version of Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie out there! πŸ™‚For this dish, you’ll need onions, celery, carrots, broth, potatoes, pot pie noodles (homemade as shown below or store-bought if you can find ’em!), and cooked meat. I like chicken best, but you can also use ham, beef, or even turkey. Leftovers work really well for this dish.

In my world, pot pie does not include corn. Save the corn for the chicken corn soup, people!

Start by chopping your onions, celery, and carrots and adding them to a large pot or dutch oven with a bit of broth. Cook over medium heat until the veggies soften.

veggies are cooking

While the veggies are cooking, make the noodles.

To make the dough, you need eggs, milk, flour, salt, shortening, and baking powder. Mix all of the ingredients together. You’ll need to get in there with your hands.

pot pie noodle dough

Adding more flour as needed, roll the dough as thinly as possible. Cut into 2-inch squares. They don’t have to be perfect.

pot pie noodles

You can also make these ahead of time and freeze. If you do this, freeze on a cookie sheet first so you have individual pieces to work with in the future instead of a frozen lump of dough.

You’ll also need to cut the potatoes. You’ll want to slice them fairly thin so they cook quickly along with the noodles when added. Anyone who cuts their pot pie potatoes into big, thick chunks isn’t doing it right!

thin sliced pot pie potatoes

By this time, your veggies should be ready to go, so it’s time to add the noodles and potatoes. Don’t just dump them into the pot or the noodles will stick together. Instead, add in layers to make sure the noodles don’t touch one another.

pot pie layers

As you add layers, add more broth to the pot so the layers are always just barely covered. End with a layer of noodles.

Cover the pot pie and allow to simmer until the noodles are cooked through and the potatoes are tender. This will take a little longer if your noodles are frozen or your potatoes are a little on the thick side.

Add the meat to the pot last and stir everything. By this point, the noodles should have sucked up most of the broth, but you can add a little more if things are looking dry. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a soup or even really a stew. You don’t want much broth with it.

pot pie

When stirring, make sure you get down to the bottom where the veggies have been hanging out. Season with a little salt and pepper too at this point and allow everything to simmer for five to ten more minutes (enough time for the meat to heat up).

Yum. For me, this is comfort food at its finest! Here’s the printable recipe:

5.0 from 5 reviews
Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie
Recipe type: Entree
Pot Pie:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4-6 cups of broth
  • 1-2 pounds cooked chicken
  • 3 large potatoes
  • Pot pie noodles (see recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Pot Pie Noodles:
  • 3 eggs
  • 4½ tablespoons milk
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons shortening
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  1. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery to a large pot or dutch oven with just enough broth to cover. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft.
  2. While veggies are cooking, make dough for noodles. Mix all ingredients together (use hands to combine), roll as thinly as possible, and cut into two-inch squares.
  3. Peel and slice potatoes as thinly as possible, so they're similar to noodles.
  4. Add noodles and potatoes to pot in layers over the veggies, making sure the noodles don't touch. End with a layer of noodles. As you add layers, add broth so the ingredients are just barely covered.
  5. Allow to simmer until noodles are cooked through and potatoes are tender (about 20-30 minutes).
  6. Stir the pot to combine the ingredients and add meat. Season and cook for an additional 10 minutes until meat is heated.


The following two tabs change content below.
Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

32 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

    • My grandmother & mother made this for years, the same exact way. When all my cousins were around it was a good hearty meal especially on a .cold winter day..

  1. Very nice recipe, however as a direct descendant of the Pennsylvania Dutch, your noodle recipe is wrong. The PA Dutch were a poor people, their noodles did not include milk or eggs. To them this is a luxury they could not afford to waste when it’s not needed. Trust me, I’ve made Pot Pie noodles this way for over 40 years, starting with my grandmother when I was a small child. It works and makes noodles every bit as good as with eggs and milk. Simply put, 1 cup flower, 1 tablespoon of shortening, 1 teaspoon of baking soda or powder, pinch of salt and finally one cup of warm water (I use the broth from my ham) to use as needed (most if not all). Obviously you can use eggs and milk if you prefer, I am only pointing out the “real” PA Dutch did not use them.

    • Hi Mark – every family has their own recipes they like to use that’s been passed down through the generations. It does not make anyone’s right or wrong. My family has been in Pennsylvania since the 1700s – no clue how old this recipe is or if/how/when it changed along the way, but it is the recipe my grandma passed down to me. It doesn’t make one family more “real” PA Dutch than another.

      It’s a little odd to me that you speak about this culture in past tense. I’ve always considered myself to be PA Dutch, since my family came from Germany on both sides. In the community where I grew up, it is not uncommon to hear “Wie bist du?” instead of “How are you?”

      This is *my* family’s recipe. And I assure you, we are very real PA Dutch. Your recipe is probably equally yummy, and I’m sure your family is equally real PA Dutch! πŸ™‚

    • I was just about to say the same thing.. My mother never used eggs and milk.. I’ve done this on occasion and the texture for me just wasn’t right… My children also like the what they call my “blubbery” noodles. However this recipe is very good for an “egg” noodle in other soups or stews .

  2. Pot pie is a winter meal staple in this house, however, with the kids grown and out of the house now, I have TONS leftover……have you ever tried to freeze it?

    • Yes, we do freeze leftovers sometimes and it isn’t bad. It isn’t as good at fresh though.

      What we like to do instead is make and freeze the noodles (uncooked). That way, we can just grab a few handfuls for a very small batch. Just make the noodles like normal, roll out the dough on a cookie sheet, cut, separate, and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer to a container.

  3. I understand and agree with what expressed as the “real” way the PA Dutch (German) prepared the noodles. I also know that eggs and milk have been added by many over the years. My 86 year old mother still makes it the “old” way and I love it. With that said, I add eggs and milk when I make it and I love it that way too! The difference is a lighter/slightly fluffier “dumpling”. Either way, thank the PA Dutch for passing down and sharing MY FAVORITE FOOD.

  4. Your statement that anyone who uses chunks of potatoes in their pot pie “isn’t doing it right” is ALL wrong. As a Pa. Dutcher myself, everyone I know uses chunks, not slices, of potatoes in their pot pie. Hello! Just sayin!

  5. I remember my grandmother making pot pie when I was a little girl. She would slip them into a beef broth and they were always so delicious. This recipe brings back wonderful memories. Whenever I have tried to explain them to my non Pennsylvania Dutch friends they didn’t get it. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Living in Lancaster county for all of my 40 years on the same farm that goes back 6 generations, I’m a little surprised to hear comments about eggs and milk as a luxury. Most everyone had chickens and at least one milk cow.

    These were not luxuries, they were staples. Chickens lay eggs on average for three years. Then they become pot pie. Eggs will last up to 2 weeks without refrigeration (not store bought, mind you), but milk needs to be used or butter made.

    You didn’t go to the store to buy milk and eggs and chicken to make pot pie.

  7. This is hands-down the BEST PA Dutch Chicken Pot Pie I have ever had. I have a tradition of making it at least twice a year. I don’t care about the authenticity of milk and eggs in the noodle recipe or the way you cut the potatoes- it is stinking delicious and I wouldn’t change a thing!!! Don’t let the haters get you down. THANK YOU for sharing this amazing, crazy delicious, lick the bottom of the bowl scrumptious recipe!

  8. My grandmother lived in Berwick, PA. She often made this dish for us. I recall that she would layer the ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet, cover it with foil and cook it slowly in the oven. I am going to try your recipe with leftover Christmas ham. My son asked for ham and noodles and I thought of bot boi. Haven’t had it in over 20 years!

    • I never heard of it that way, but I know every family has their own way of doing it. I love using this recipe to get rid of leftovers. πŸ™‚ Home your ham pot pie turned out good!

  9. Thanks for the pot pie, not pot in a pie recipe. That makes me crazy when I see pot pie on a restaurant menu and it is really a PIE. My German ancestors & I am from the heart of PA Dutch country, Lancaster County. My grandmother made it with no eggs; water, not milk; and a “walnut” of shortening. I have since added eggs to my dough. Either way it is definitely a “wonderful good” food. My family always added 2-3 pieces of saffron to the boiling stock. (I get mine from the saffron crocuses in my yard.)

  10. The layering of the noodles and potatoes and adding broth as you go is pure genius!! Noodles don’t stick together and potatoes are cooked perfectly.

    • That’s the key! One time I was in a hurry and just dumped everything in. WRONG! Lol! Half the noodles were stuck together in clumps. It’s worth the extra time to do the layering.

  11. I cried reading your recipe, it’s almost identical to the recipe my great-great grandma used and my great grandma used to make for us. With quaint instructions like “as much water as an egg shell will hold” and things like this. She never even used a recipe. She tried to show me many times but my noodles always come out tough. I need to keep trying, I have to keep up her tradition and pass it on down in my family.

    • I am so happy our recipe could bring back happy memories for you! If your noodles are too tough, you might try working the dough less. The more you work the dough, more likely they’ll be tough. You can also try increasing the cook time, especially if you like your noodles on the thicker side. They could be tough because they aren’t cooked completely. Hope that helps! No one can make it like grandma. πŸ™‚ But someday, your grandkids will say that as they try to make recipes that you made!

  12. As this is a folk recipe and everyone had different things in their larder, please celebrate all the folk and enjoy their ways and your ways and our ways. Food is to bring us together, not cause a competition. Corned beef isn’t Irish, pasta came from the Chinese, potatoes are Peruvian, who knows where it all got mixed. let’s just stop using words like wrong or not traditional.

  13. Exactly! What a wonderful post!

    My nanny lived in Mt. Carmel, PA, and she would always make this when we came to visit her, as well as at the holidays when she came to see us. She always used eggs and flour and boiled the noodles in ham broth with potatoes. She always told me how many eggs she put in–she would base it on how many of us would be around the dinner table. Yum! Such a treat! And so many amazing family memories.

  14. Love the feedback here. We are making this dish tonight. Have some successful recipes but always looking for other suggestions. I grew up in Wilkes-Barre and grandparents were German; we had this dish a lot. The seasonings are so similar to most recipes.

    Never tried the thin cut potatoes but will try this evening. Our stock is from Thanksgiving turkey carcasses along with several chicken innards. We freeze several gallons each year for soups, gravies, and of course Pot Pie!

    But to add a modern touch, I sous vide several chicken thighs, which keeps them so moist. I add them near the end of cooking along with any liquid from the sous vide pouch. Yum!

    Scrapple, anyone?

    • My mom used to be called the “scrapple lady” because every Wednesday she would make it for our family’s butcher shop. And when I say she made scrapple, I mean that she used an industrial cook pot with a boat oar to stir it! Then she would portion it all out into tins to cool, solidify, and sell in the shop. People loved her scrapple! But we never ate it at home. She made thousands upon thousands of pounds over the years, but never really cared for it herself LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: