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    How to Make Economy Meat Pie (Great Depression Recipe)

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    How to Make Economy Meat Pie (Great Depression Recipe)

    “We don’t waste food,” my friend’s dad always said. And rightly so. They didn’t like wasting money – or food – so they used up every last bit of leftovers so that nothing went to waste. 

    We could all learn a lot from the Great Depression – especially about using up what we have. Those of us who have never had to miss a meal might not understand the gravity of the Great Depression, but we can all recognize that times were hard then, and food and money were scarce. 

    Families would work hard to make their meals stretch and that meant being very creative with leftovers. One way they did this was to make meat pie. 

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    What Is Meat Pie? 

    Meat pie is a simple, tasty dish that is filling and easy to make. It’s like a casserole or a chicken pot pie made with your leftover meat, vegetables, gravy, and some kind of pie, biscuit, or mashed potatoes on top. It’s a great way to take yesterday’s leftovers and turn them into a new, delicious meal. 

    In a time where the cost of groceries, as well as the amount of food waste, is skyrocketing, we could learn a lot from Depression Recipes that make use of what we already have on hand. We can save money and keep extra food from ending up in the landfill. 

    I tried my own version of meat pie with the leftovers that I had on hand, and the result was delicious. My family and I both enjoyed the fresh, hot meal! Here’s how I made meat pie. 


    • Left over chicken breast 
    • Leftover carrots and peas
    • Leftover mashed potatoes 
    • Cream Sauce (milk, flour, and butter) or gravy
    • Onion
    • Salt and pepper

    How to Make Meat Pie

    1. First, I gathered all my leftovers to see what I had available: chicken, carrots, peas, and mashed potatoes. 
    Economy Meat Pie Ingredients
    1. I didn’t have any gravy, so I gathered the ingredients to make sauce: milk, flour, and butter. 
    1. I sliced the leftover chicken into thin pieces and laid them across the bottom of the casserole dish. 
    Chicken in Dish
    1. I covered the chicken with the leftover carrots and peas. 
    Peas and Carrots in Dish
    1. I chopped an onion into small pieces and sprinkled it over the carrots and peas. 
    2. I added salt and pepper. 
    Red Onions in Dish
    1. I made my cream sauce by heating 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter on the stove. I stirred the mixture as it was heating, until it was well combined. 
    1. Next, I poured my sauce over top of the chicken and vegetables. 
    Milk and Butter in Dish
    1. I had more chicken leftover, so I placed another layer of chicken on top of that. 
    More Chicken in Dish
    1. Finally, I mixed two eggs and a half cup of milk into the mashed potatoes to make them a little bit creamier.  
    Mixing Ingredients
    1. I spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top like I was icing a cake. This helps to seal in the juices. 
    Ingredients in Dish
    1. I baked the casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about half an hour until the mashed potatoes were just starting to brown. The sauce underneath the potatoes was beginning to bubble and everything was hot and savory. 
    Economy Meat Pie Baked

    You can make this recipe with any leftovers you have. For example, if you serve Thanksgiving dinner, you could make your own meat pie with leftover turkey, green beans, gravy, and mashed potatoes. 

    Economy Meat Pie on Plate

    If you don’t have mashed potatoes, you can put your meat and vegetables into a pie crust with sauce or gravy. Then put a layer of crust on top and bake until the crust is done. 

    Alternatively, if you prefer, you could even put your leftover ham and peas in the bottom of the casserole, cover with glaze, and mix up some biscuit dough. Cover the mixture with your dough and bake until the dough is thoroughly cooked. 

    In place of gravy or sauce, you can mix one can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of milk, and 1 envelope of dry onion soup to create a rich gravy to pour over your meat. 

    Make sure everything is thoroughly cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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      1 thought on “How to Make Economy Meat Pie (Great Depression Recipe)”

      1. I going to make this. I always cook a whole chicken in my instant Pot and use the meat to make a variety of meals and this one is going to be on the list. Thank you for this web site and wish I lived on a piece of land. but since I don’t I still use a lot of your advice. thank you again.


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