This Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes tastes exactly like Thanksgiving in every bite with cranberries and crunchy pecan topping. Made in stackable insert. No pots to drain, so easy! Perfect comforting meal with no effort. Healthy and gluten-free! Delicious and impressive!
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Last June I was brainstorming recipes that I could make in my Instant Pot Pans in Pot Stackable Inserts. All I could come up were simple chicken and rice or fish and vegetables recipes. All sounded healthy and delicious but not too exciting.
And then, all of a sudden, my mind hit a jackpot and a fully-formed idea appeared right in front of my eye: Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes with cranberries between the layers and crunchy pecan topping to mimic the traditional flavours of sweet potato casserole. Basically, I dreamed up the Ultimate Thanksgiving Pot Pie made in Instant Pot. I was eager to start developing and testing the recipe.
The only problem with that it was June and it was hot and I was pretty sure that my husband would think I was crazy (well, crazier than normal) if I made a Thanksgiving recipe in June.
So, I waited and waited and when August brought first cool nights, I started testing the recipe. Unlike some of my recipe posts that require 5-6 tests, this one was developed pretty fast. I got the flavours right from the first try and the other couple of times I made it just to nail down the timing and try a few variations.
What can I say about this Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes? It is amazing! It tastes exactly like Thanksgiving. Creamy turkey and sweet potatoes are a perfect combination. Sudden bursts of cranberries add a wonderful freshness to the turkey filling. And the crunchy pecan topping is delicious with mashed potatoes.
Fun fact: I am super proud of this recipe. I think it’s one of my best yet!
I love that this Thanksgiving Pot Pie is made in Instant Pot. It requires a few steps but the main cooking part is really convenient. You can put your stackable insert in Instant Pot and go run errands, no need to worry about the oven or stove.
Whether you do quick release or natural pressure release and leave the food on Keep Warm for a few hours, won’t change the flavour. Once you are free and ready to put that delicious meal together, just mash, mix, broil, and enjoy your beautiful Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, and Crunchy Topping.
Ingredients to make Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Turkey breast (boneless, skinless)
- Peas (optional)
- Cream cheese (read my notes in the variations section)
- Seasonings (I used: dried parsley, dried thyme, dried rosemary, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika)
- Chicken broth
- Frozen cranberries
Sweet Potato Layer
- Sweet potatoes
- Seasonings (I used very simple: salt and nutmeg)
- Chicken broth
- Butter (read my notes in the variations section)
Crunchy Pecan Topping
- Bread crumbs (I used Panko)
- Parmesan (read my notes in the variations section)
How to make Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie
Unlike most of my recipes, this one is quite involved and has a few steps. It is also definitely not instant or fast. However, it is still quite simple and can definitely be done by a novice cook.
Making this Thanksgiving Pot Pie in Instant Pot means that you don’t have to babysit your stove or oven. In fact, after the initial prep time, you can go run errands or relax. You can leave Instant Pot to do natural pressure release if desired and then let the food stay on keep warm for a while. Once you are ready to serve dinner, all you need is another 10 minutes to mash, assemble, and broil.
- Prepare all the ingredients for the Mashed Sweet Potato Layer in one of the stackable pans.
- Prepare all the ingredients for the Turkey Layer in the second stackable pan. Mix well.
- Cook both layers together in Instant Pot.
- While turkey and sweet potatoes are cooking, make the Crunchy Pecan Topping in a small food processor.
- Once cooked, mash the Sweet Potatoes right in their pan. No need to add any other liquid unless desired.
- Mix the turkey layer to melt the cream cheese, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken.
- Layer frozen cranberries over the turkey, cover with mashed sweet potatoes, sprinkle with crunchy pecan topping.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes until the topping is lightly golden.
So, although there are quite a few steps, they are easy to do and you don’t need to constantly stay in the kitchen. It is really an impressive and easy recipe and tastes like Thanksgiving in each bite. It’s great for new cooks as it is quite fail-proof.
This recipe uses stackable Pans-in-Pot Instant Pot inserts, which means that cleanup is pretty easy as you don’t have to wash the actual big Instant Pot Liner. I also broil this pot pie right in the insert.
This particular stackable insert set is the largest and widest one in the market. It is also very sturdy. It did not have any information on whether it can be used in the oven or not but I’ve been using it in the oven for more than six months now. After at least a dozen uses there’s no warping or discolouration at all. I highly recommend this particular product.
If your particular insert is not oven-safe, then you would need to transfer the creamy turkey layer in a casserole dish and then finish assembling and broiling it that way.
If you’d like another recipe using these Pans in Pot Stackable Inserts, try my Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie.
How long it takes to make Thanksgiving Pot Pie in Instant Pot
There’s a lot of measuring, peeling, and chopping involved in the prep time. Because of all that, prep is a bit on a longer side. I timed myself prepping both Turkey Layer and Sweet Potato Layer and it took 25 minutes, which included me finding all the ingredients in the cupboards, measuring everything, chopping and also cleaning up after.
Once all the prep is done, Instant Pot takes about 15 minutes to come to pressure. Add to this 25 minutes of cooking time, another 5 minutes for quick release, and another 10 minutes for mashing and mixing, although most likely it could be done in 5 minutes. Broiling takes another 5 minutes.
So, total time to make Instant Pot Thanksgiving Pot Pie is: 25+15+25+5+10+5=1 hour and 25 minutes (most likely even less)and only 35 minutes are active cooking time, the rest is Instant Pot time.
Notes about using stackable inserts in Instant Pot
I got this recipe exactly where I wanted flavour-wise from the first try but I always test my recipes multiple times, especially when they use such equipment as Instant Pot. I have two different models of Instant Pot: Duo (this is my particular model) and Wifi (this is the second model I have).
Duo is my original and very much loved Instant Pot, Wifi is new. First time I cooked this Turkey Pot Pie I used my Instant Pot Duo model and after 20 minutes of cooking on high pressure everything was cooked. Turkey was above 160F and sweet potatoes were soft and ready to be mashed.
My second test was in the Wifi model. I was extremely surprised that after 20 minutes of cooking, turkey was way below 160F and the sweet potatoes were still hard and uncooked. Adding extra 5 minutes didn’t help. I had to move the whole Pans-in-Pot insert into my duo and finish cooking the pot pie there. That was actually a very good idea as it turned out that longer cooking time made the turkey taste a lot better.
So, for my final test, I did this recipe yet again in my Duo and cooked it for 25 minutes with great results.
In conclusion, I have noticed that Wifi model isn’t as powerful as duo. It is not the first time that some recipes came underdone in it. The timing of this particular recipe will really depend on your model of Instant Pot. If you cook it for 25 minutes and it is still not done, then don’t hesitate to add another 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
IMPORTANT: Cooking time depends on your particular model of Instant Pot. My DUO cooks everything perfectly in 20-25 minutes but other models (such as Wifi for example) may need longer cooking time.
Ingredients and variations for Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Obviously turkey is the traditional meat for Thanksgiving, however, you can totally use chicken breast, cooking time will not change.
- I like using shallot in this recipe as it is the perfect size and tastes delicious.
- You can use regular onion, sweet onion, or red onion instead. Use similar amount to what one shallot would be.
- You can use fresh or from a jar.
- I used seasonings that I normally associate with Thanksgiving Turkey.
- If you prefer different spices, feel free to use them. For example, dried tarragon would be delicious.
- I don’t use a lot of salt in my cooking.
- Feel free to increase the amount of salt to your taste.
- Peas were my husbands addition. The first time I made the recipe I didn’t add the peas and he asked for them.
- You can use frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen mixed veggies. Basically whatever you like.
- You can also omit altogether.
- Cream Cheese
- I love the creaminess that cream cheese adds to the turkey. It also makes it a bit more savoury.
- However, you can totally omit the cream cheese if you are following dairy-free diet or just do not mix meat and dairy. I’ve tried that and it tasted great also.
- If you omit the cream cheese, increase the amount of cornstarch from 2 tablespoons to 3 tablespoons. Also, you might need to add more salt.
- I thought that adding a layer of cranberries between Turkey and Sweet Potatoes was brilliant. I love the colour and flavour and fun bursts of the berries. They add such a beautiful contrast to the creaminess of the turkey and the sweetness of the potatoes.
- You can totally omit the cranberries if they aren’t your jam.
- Sweet potato layer
- Sweet potatoes are quintessentially perfect for Thanksgiving, however, if you prefer regular potatoes, you can use Russet or Yellow potatoes as they are perfect for mashing, timing will not change.
- If you are using regular potatoes, then adjust the seasoning to your taste. For example, you might need to omit the nutmeg.
- Don’t worry about getting exactly 1.5 pounds of potatoes, if you go a little bit over, it is perfectly fine. You might need to add a bit more liquid during mashing. If you go under 1.5 pounds, you might need to reduce the amount of broth though.
- For dairy-free diet, use non-dairy butter.
- Crunchy pecan topping
- The idea for the crunchy pecan topping came from me trying to mimic a Sweet Potato Casserole. I wanted it to be savoury and not sweet, so I used pecans, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and butter.
- You can omit parmesan if you don’t mix meat and dairy together, just add more salt.
- You can use your favourite sweet potato casserole topping. If you prefer sweeter topping then by all means use that.
- Another option is to omit the topping altogether, however I really like the textural contrast.
- Chicken broth
More Instant Pot Recipes:
- Instant Pot Maple Cranberry Sauce
- Instant Pot Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
- Instant Pot Sausage and Sauerkraut
- Instant Pot Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
- More Instant Pot Recipes…
DO YOU WANT MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES?
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Instant Pot Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Creamy Turkey Layer
- 1.5 pound skinless and boneless turkey breast (diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces)
- 1 shallot (finely minced)
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or more to taste)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 60 g cream cheese (1/4 block)
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
Sweet Potato Layer
Crunchy Pecan Topping
- 1/2 cip pecans
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon butter
- chopped parsley or chopped chives for serving
- Mix all the ingredients for the creamy turkey layer, except for cornstarch and cranberries, in one of the stackable pans.
- Mix all the ingredients for the sweet potatoes layer in the second stackable pan. Cover with a lid.
- Follow instructions from your stackable pans insert to secure both pans.
- Add 2 cups of cold water to your Instant Pot. Place the stackable pans inside the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid of your Instant Pot and turn the valve to Sealing.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select 25 minutes. Use default High pressure.
- It should take about 15-17 minutes to come to pressure. Might be a bit less or more depending on your model.
- While the turkey and sweet potatoes are cooking, make the Crunchy Pecan Layer. Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until everything is to your desired consistency. You might prefer finer grounds or coarser grounds.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 25 minutes of cooking are done, do a quick release. This should take about 2-4 minutes. Note: you can also do a natural pressure release and leave the pot on Keep Warm for a few hours at this point if desired.
- Carefully open Instant Pot and remove the stackable inserts.
- Mash the sweet potatoes. No need to drain them. Adjust seasoning if desired.
- Lightly mix the turkey layer with a fork to break up the meat as it'll be stuck together and mix the cream cheese into the juices.
- In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with about 4 tablespoons of juices from the turkey layer until a white creamy slurry forms.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the turkey and mix well. It'll start to thicken right away.NOTE: If you chose to omit cream cheese, use 3 tablespoons of cornstarch instead.
- Scatter frozen cranberries evenly over the Creamy Turkey Layer.
- Cover the turkey with the mashed sweet potatoes and smooth the top.
- Evenly cover the Sweet Potatoes with Crunchy Pecan Topping.
- Broil in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Make sure to watch the oven like a hawk as the topping will go from lightly browned to burnt in a few seconds. You may need to rotate the pan a few times.Note: if your stackable insert pans can't go in the oven, then transfer the turkey layer to an oven-safe casserole dish and layer mashed sweet potatoes over it.
- Cool slightly and serve.
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