Savory Chicken-Chile Hand Pies for ‘Pi’ Day


Savory-Chicken-Chile-Hand-Pies One of the delightful side effects of being a parent is that you suddenly become aware of the obscure and often overlooked special holidays sprinkled throughout the year. The 100th day of school and National Sandwich Day (Nov. 3) all suddenly call for cake and candles. Recognizing days dedicated to less than common subjects — April 23 is National Talk Like Shakespeare Day — certainly keeps things lively, interesting, and gosh darn it, fun!

March 14 is National Pi Day (Get it? 3.14?), and while I could share a recipe for a sweet treat, it is a bit more realistic for my family to whip up something for dinner instead of dessert. The internet will be filled with every conceivable kind of fruit, chocolate, cream, and nut pie. I would never turn down pie, but it isn’t very practical for us most of the time. Hence, today’s recipe!

Easy and fun, these little pockets of creamy, cheesy, chicken and corn will become a family favorite that you will want to eat any day of the year. Made with convenient ingredients that can be put together ahead of time, these hand pies are a special way to celebrate Pi day … and are perfect for little hands to pick up and nibble. My husband and kids love the flaky crust and I love how quickly they bake up!

I like to make them ahead and freeze them individually so that I have them whenever the mood strikes. So whether it is National Sea Monkey Day (May 16) or even National Bad Poetry Day (Aug. 18), I’ll be ready.

Chicken-Chile Hand Pies

If you don’t have an immediate use for the rest of the green chiles, they can easily be frozen for another time. Feel free to cut bigger circles out of your dough to make larger hand pies!

3 single pie crusts, pre-made or homemade


2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 shredded cheddar or jack cheese
2 T diced canned green chiles, or 1/2 of a 4 oz can

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and chiles until smooth. Fold in the rest of the filling ingredients and set aside.

Unroll one of the pie crusts onto a sheet of parchment paper or a floured counter. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter (or the mouth of a large glass) cut out circles for the hand pies. You should get nine circles out of a single pie crust.

Spoon a level tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle of dough. Wet your finger and dampen the edges, then fold the dough into a half-moon, carefully sealing the edges well. Use a fork to crimp the edges and poke a few holes in the top with a knife so that the steam escapes while baking.

In a small bowl, beat an egg and then brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.


Set out the pies in a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for several minutes (the filling is HOT) and enjoy!

Note: If you would like to freeze some of your hand pies, proceed with the recipe as written but do not bake them! Place the unbaked pies on a sheet pan and freeze them until solid. When frozen, seal in a zip-top bag and freeze for several months. When ready to bake, you can either deforest the pies and bake as directed, or bake them at a lower temperature of 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Baking time will vary due to size, ingredients, and different ovens.


Savory-Chicken-Chile-Hand-PiesWhat’s your favorite “Pi” Day recipe?

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Brittany Arcand is a food writer, recipe developer, and amateur photographer. Originally from Minnesota, she recently moved south and now resides in the Midlands of South Carolina. After marrying a handsome sailor, graduating with a degree in Family and Consumer Education and a minor in American Literature, she committed to staying home to be with her three children: Evelyn (8) Eli (6) and Lane (3). Her love of the written word, coupled with experience in various commercial and private kitchens has fueled a passion for sensible recipes that actually work. Her food blog Brittany’s Pantry was born, combining dishes and menus with the (often humorous) stories of how they came to be. When she isn’t writing and spending time in her kitchen, she is reading every book she can get her hands on with a giant mug of hot chocolate beside her.


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