Chicken pot pie is a savory dish that's typically made with a mixture of diced or shredded chicken, diced vegetables, and a creamy sauce, all encased in a flaky crust. The allure of the dish lies in its harmony of textures and flavors, with the golden-brown crust contrasting with a soft and savory filling. The dish is also popular for its hearty qualities, making it a cherished comfort food that's become a staple at many family dinners.
The concept of pies in general has been around for a surprisingly long time. One recipe for a chicken-based pie comes from an ancient Egyptian source from before 2,000 B.C. A pie crust closer to what we might see today originated in ancient Greece around 500 B.C. It wasn't until the medieval era that pot pies started becoming popular in Europe. Eventually, colonial settlers brought their pie-making skills to North America. The first known American cookbook, "American Cookery," published in 1796, featured recipes for chicken pie, stew pie, and sea pie.
But sometimes you don't feel like making your own chicken pot pie. When the craving strikes and you're looking for an easy restaurant solution, simply take a look at our ranking of pot pies at chain restaurants, according to customers!
Read more: The Best Wings In Every State
Mostly known for its Southern-style fried chicken, KFC also offers plenty of other options for those wishing to look beyond the chain's famed bucket. From wraps and sandwiches to nuggets and tenders, the restaurant delivers a variety of choices to suit different palates. Nevertheless, the Pot Pie stands out as a somewhat unexpected addition to the chain's usual menu offerings. Made with a flaky crust and a savory sauce, the pie's filling contains fried chicken, peas, potatoes, and carrots.
KFC's Pot Pie has been the subject of predominantly unfavorable feedback from reviewers, indicating that the chain's patrons may be better off sticking with its iconic fried chicken. Dane Rivera, reviewing the pie for UPROXX, compared it unfavorably to frozen pot pies. While Rivera praised the pie's crust and tender pieces of chicken, he said that the pastry is filled with mushy potatoes and an overpowering sauce.
A recurring grievance among online reviewers focuses on the ratio of chicken to everything else. As one unhappy diner said, I've NEVER had MASHED POTATOES replace the pie filling and no chicken, only carrots and peas." Another KFC patron agrees, saying, "Very oddly, our pies never contained any chickens — only gravy and vegetables. We complained and were told it was out of their control as the pies were made elsewhere."
8. Cracker Barrel
From Southern Fried Chicken and Country Fried Steak to Bacon Mac n' Cheese, Cracker Barrel's rich menu embodies classic American comfort food. The restaurant's take on chicken pot pie, with a rich filling and golden, flaky crust, sits comfortably among these hearty offerings. Filled with slow-simmered chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes, celery, and onions in a creamy sauce, the dish comes with your choice Corn Muffins or Buttermilk Biscuits on the side.
But does it taste as good as it sounds? Perhaps not. Most diners have expressed disappointment with the Chicken Pot Pie on offer at Cracker Barrel. The menu item has even been the subject of a viral TikTok that captures a woman laughing at the dish's presentation. The video shows a pot pie with a notably large, square-shaped crust, which easily lifts right off the bowl. More damning feedback comes from a Tripadvisor reviewer who says that Cracker Barrel's chicken pie wasn't worth the money. "It had a good flavor but there was so much dough and very little chicken," they wrote. Worse, parts of the meal were downright raw. "The dough was sticking together and some of it was not even done."
7. P.J. Clarke's
Dating back to 1884, P.J. Clarke's is an iconic establishment that has been a magnet for celebrities, serving the likes of Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, and Nat King Cole. Today, the chain features just five locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, as well as a pretty full menu. Listed alongside other classic American entrees like Short Rib Beef Stew and Baked Macaroni and Cheese, the restaurant's Country Chicken Pot Pie comes with all the usual trimmings plus a cheddar cheese crust.
Despite the restaurant's pedigree, the Country Chicken Pot Pie at P.J. Clarke's has elicited a polarized response. Several diners praise the dish, with one Yelp reviewer saying: "The food was absolutely delicious! I ordered a chicken pot pie which is so rare to find these days, and it was everything I wanted in a chicken pot pie. So creamy and warm on this winter day." Other patrons have noted that the meal was huge and looked more like a loose chowder than more cohesive chicken pie.
On a less positive note, one underwhelmed Yelper calls the pot pie a real disappointment, adding, "It was supposed to have this flaky buttery crust on top, but instead it had an extremely dry crust that was clearly a sign of frozen commercial dough. The filling itself was soupy, lacking seasoning and the medley of ingredients of a chicken pot pie."
6. Boston Market
Featured as a "World Famous Specialty" on the Boston Market menu, the Chicken Pot Pie stands alongside the chain's other popular meat dishes like baby back ribs, meatloaf, and whole rotisserie chicken. Boston Market's pot pie filling incorporates precisely this rotisserie chicken, which has been chopped and mixed into the filling with a medley of vegetables in a rich chicken sauce and topped with a flaky crust. The Chicken Pot Pie is also typically served with freshly baked cornbread.
Opinions about Boston Market's Chicken Pot Pie among diners are split. One diner says "It was a perfect round golden crust overlay of flour goddess. [...] I needed to break the too perfect crust. And it was good. I'll check my sodium level later." Other reviewers also praise the pie, calling it both filling and delicious. On the flip side, one diner writing on Restaurant Guru calls the menu item frankly disgusting, further explaining, "BM has been my fav for over a decade but the past couple [of] times it was nasty. I ordered my usual chicken pot pie and it was made from all scraps of dark meat. Super greasy/oily texture. Didn't even taste like the same chicken pot pie that [had] been my favorite for MANY years."
5. Gregg's Restaurants And Taverns
If you haven't heard about Gregg's Restaurants and Taverns, then at least you're not the only one. The mini-chain operates just four restaurants, all located in Rhode Island where the restaurant has been feeding hungry diners since 1972. Despite the small footprint, this family-friendly establishment offers a huge menu of all-American favorites that include soups, chowder, burgers, seafood, pasta, salads, and tacos. One of the items on the restaurant's vast menu is the Gregg's taken on Chicken Pot Pie, which comes served with a salad or soup.
Gregg's Restaurants and Taverns' Chicken Pot Pie has received a mixed reception from diners. One Tripadvisor reviewer rates their dining experience at the restaurant at a respectable four out of five stars, saying, "The chicken and vegetables were fresh, but the crust was overcooked and there wasn't enough sauce or gravy in the pot pie." Meanwhile, another customer claims that the dish is overpriced, adding that while their daughter enjoyed the pie, she said that it was slightly overcooked and too small.
4. Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
True to its name, the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen menu is all about quality ingredients and freshly prepared cuisine. Made in-house, the restaurant's chicken pot pie is no exception. This dish features homemade cream sauce and a hearty filling that includes roasted chicken, peas, onions, and carrots. However, the real star of the show is the crispy, flaky crust. Baked until the crust has turned golden, the chicken pot pie is typically served with a house salad.
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen's Homemade Chicken Pot Pie has garnered a range of online feedback, from compliments to criticism. One reviewer writing on Tripadvisor recommends the dish, saying, "The chicken pot pie is just like you would make at home, but better. Large chunks of chicken with a great crust." Over on Facebook, another diner is also impressed with the dish, commenting, "I have a pot pie every time I eat at Cheddar's. Well, almost every time. And it is always perfect."
Yet, it's not all perfect at this restaurant. Several of the chain's patrons haven't been quite as enthusiastic about the dish, variously describing it as nothing special, mostly crust, and under-seasoned for what could be an underwhelming experience.
3. Marie Callender's Restaurant And Bakery
Marie Callender's is a food brand and restaurant chain whose origins can be traced back to 1940s Orange, California. That's where the eponymous Marie began her venture by selling pies to nearby restaurants. They became so popular that Callender opened her first restaurant in 1964, which gradually grew into a 27-outlet chain across the United States.
Today, Marie Callender's freshly baked pies are as popular as ever. Marie Callender's Heartland Chicken Pot Pie is packed with seasoned chunks of chicken and veggies, then finished off with a hand-pressed crust. Diners who like a little variety can opt for a combo that includes a mini chicken pot pie, Caesar salad, and a slice of dessert pie.
Marie Callender's chicken pot pie has won over the hearts — and stomachs — of many diners. One Yelp reviewer raved about the dish, noting that "The crust was so soft and flaky and [it] had huge chunks of chicken, carrots and peas in a creamy sauce." Additionally, several other happy diners describe the pie as amazing, satisfying, and the best pot pie in town. The only downside is that, depending on the restaurant, the dish may not arrive at your table as hot as you may wish. "The pot pie was large, with lots of chicken and veggies. It was somewhat warm, not too hot as I usually prefer," one Tripadvisor reviewer noted.
2. Mimi's Bistro + Bakery
Mimi's Bistro + Bakery specializes in a fusion of American and French cuisine, a combination inspired by its founder's experiences while serving in France during World War II. Listed alongside other entrees such as Slow-Roasted Turkey and Ribeye Steak, the chain's Chicken Pot Pie stands out for its comforting, home-cooked appeal. This classic dish features a flaky crust that encases a hearty mix of roasted chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots, and onions, as well as a creamy herb sauce.
The restaurant's Chicken Pot Pie is a standout favorite with its patrons. One diner says that the dish was served "in a large bowl with a gorgeous golden brown flakey pastry crust." Another customer says "The chicken pot pie and the salmon dishes were the clear winners. Everything else was just okay." Numerous other reviewers are also fond of the dish, referring to it as delicious and a meal that will make your day.
1. Claim Jumper Steakhouse & Bar
Despite technically being a steakhouse, the Claim Jumper Steakhouse & Bar serves a huge range of dishes from ribeyes and prime New York Strips to seafood, salads, soups, and sandwiches. A part of the chain's lunch menu, the Chicken Pot Pie hasn't changed since the restaurant first opened its doors in 1977 in Los Alamitos, California. Baked each morning, the pastry consists of peas, carrots, onions, and something a little unusual as far as chicken pot pie fillings go — mushrooms. All the ingredients come immersed in a creamy herb sauce and enveloped in a flaky crust.
While a Claim Jumper's Facebook post refers to the chain's Chicken Pot Pie as nothing less than a fall staple, it seems that diners enjoy the dish all year round. One reviewer calls the menu item divine and is a bit over-eager to dig into the dish. "Great, tasty, flaky crust with an incredible, savory sauce inside. One pitfall ... too dang hot! That sauce holds the heat and I've burned my mouth on several occasions. But I still keep ordering it!" they say. Other reviewers also give the dish a series of enthusiastic thumbs up, describing it as really tasty, heavenly, and superb.
To determine the chain restaurants with the highest and lowest-rated chicken pot pies, we examined user reviews from popular social media and review sites, including Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook.
Read the original article on Mashed.