If you have never heard of the spice blend called hawaij, then allow me to introduce you to this intriguing spice blend that originates from Yemen. Until last summer, I had never tasted hawaij, which means I was completely oblivious to the greatness of this spice blend. But as soon as I experienced it for the first time, I immediately fell in love and started contemplating all of the ways I could use hawaij in the kitchen. One of the very first recipe ideas that I came up with was this hawaij spiced chicken pot pie and I am finally getting to share the recipe with all of you!

hawaij spiced chicken pot pie

HAWAIJ: a Yemeni spice blend that you will grab for again & again

You know how you come across recipes on the internet that proclaim that they are “the best”, “the greatest”, “life-changing”, etc. (I am not immune to using those terms myself), well, if I am simply being honest about how this recipe should be described then all of those descriptions truly apply. 

Hawaij is an earthy blend of turmeric, cumin, black peppercorn, cardamom, and other spices that really comes to life in slow-simmered dishes. I was introduced to this incredible ingredient by my friends at New York Shuk and ever since I first tasted hawaij, it has become a staple spice blend in our kitchen. As I learned more and more about origins and applications of this unique spice blend and how it is commonly used to flavor chicken soup in Yemen, I imagined just how incredible it would taste in a chicken pot pie – and boy, was I right.

hawaij spiced chicken pot pie

Pot pies are probably one of my very favorite foods. They have all of the comforts of soup concentrated into a creamy filling that gets topped off with a flaky blanket of pastry – pot pies are the coziest of foods. And if you didn’t think you could enjoy pot pie any more than you already do, flavoring the filling with hawaij is next level amazing. So much so, that now that we have tried pot pie with hawaij, I don’t think I can ever go back to making them without it!

hawaij spiced chicken pot pie
hawaij spiced chicken pot pie

The filling for this recipe is super adaptable. I used pasture-raised chicken thighs, but you could easily substitute a vegan chicken alternative (we like Beyond Meat) or even mushrooms for a plant-based pot pie. One thing I don’t recommend substituting are the turnips because they are SO much better than potatoes in a pot pie and they get tender much quicker. To keep things simple, I used store-bought puff pastry to top off our pot pies. But you could substitute pie crust or even make this recipe into double-crusted pot pies, whatever your heart desires ;)

I wish there was a way for you to taste this hawaij spiced chicken pot pie while you were reading this – it really is SO incredible! I source my hawaij from New York Shuk (not sponsored – just love their blend) but I have also included a basic guide in the recipe notes on how to make your own hawaij if you want to try it. And as always, if you make one of my recipes, I would love to hear what you think in the comments (it literally makes my day to hear from you guys!)

hawaij spiced chicken pot pie


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  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 4 cups cooked cubed chicken or vegan alternative (from about 4 boneless thighs or 3 boneless breasts)
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup peeled & diced carrot (about 3 medium sized carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups peeled & diced turnip (1 large turnip)
  • 2 cups (10 oz.) frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 stick (8tbsp) butter (or substitute plant based butter)
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup cream (substitute coconut cream or cashew cream for plant based option)
  • 3 tbsp hawaij spice *see note to make your own
  • 1 tbsp salt + more to taste
  • frozen puff pastry sheets (thawed per package instructions) *Pepperidge Farm makes a vegan friendly frozen puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted – for brushing puff pastry


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot or dutch oven, add the diced onion and cook over medium high heat until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the diced celery & carrot and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic and the hawaij spice to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine. Next add in the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 400f degrees
  4. Add the stock and the diced turnips to the pot and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes, until sauce is thick and turnips have started to soften.
  5. Add the salt, cubed chicken, peas, and minced cilantro, stirring to combine.
  6. Finally, stir in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and taste for seasoning. Finish the filling by adding in the cream and stirring until well combined.
  7. Divide the pot pie filling into your baking vessels (I used mini cocottes and a small dutch oven). You want to fill your vessel about 3/4 of the way, to leave enough room for the filling to bubble while the puff pastry bakes. Cut your puff pastry to fit over the top of your vessels, making sure to add some slits to the pastry to allow venting while the pot pies bake.
  8. Place your finished pot pies on a baking sheet, brush the tops of the pastry with a bit of melted butter and bake for about 30-35 minutes until pastry is puffed and nicely browned.
  9. Allow pot pies to cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving


Check out this link if you want to make your own hawaij spice blend: https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/hawayej-spice-blend/

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Niko February 11, 2019, 12:20 pm

    this HAWAIJ SPICED CHICKEN POT PIE recipe was THE BOMB.COM bella !!!!!!!

    • bella | ful-filled February 11, 2019, 2:24 pm

      haha! Thank you so much!

      • Rachel Ringler March 6, 2019, 7:53 am

        Hi Bella. I am a writer for Jewish Week Food and Wine, and I am working on a piece about hawaij.
        I saw your fabulous recipe for hawaij chicken pot pie and I would love to include it, with your photo, in my article. I will give you full attribution for your recipe. Let me know and thank you in advance. Rachel Ringler

        • bella | ful-filled March 9, 2019, 5:43 pm

          Hello Rachel! Thank you for reaching out! I will follow up with you via email!

  • Niko February 11, 2019, 12:21 pm

    it was SSOOO good, we ate it three days in a row!!!

    • bella | ful-filled February 11, 2019, 2:25 pm

      oh my goodness! That is amazing!

  • Niko February 11, 2019, 12:23 pm

    we have been in LOVE with NYSHUK for about a year now, but we NEVER thought of making anything like this with any of their spices, they are SO fortunate to have a recipe developer like you to put a spotlight on their awesome spice profiles!!!

    • bella | ful-filled February 11, 2019, 2:25 pm

      aw shucks! I am in love with their spices too! I have been so inspired by them!

  • Niko February 11, 2019, 12:25 pm

    the photos on this blog post are absolutely gorgeous, we loved the ingredients shot possibly as much as the hero shots, kudos to you!!!

    • bella | ful-filled February 11, 2019, 2:25 pm

      awwww…thank you SO much, that means a lot to me!

  • Kayla Radeke February 12, 2019, 5:46 pm

    Perfect recipe for the tail end of winter! So cozy and the hawaij spice is incredibly flavorful!
    We didn’t have it on hand, but I used the recipe attached in the notes to make some of my own and it was so worth it.

    • bella | ful-filled February 12, 2019, 9:48 pm

      You have no idea how happy this makes me! And I am happy to hear that the guide to make your own hawaij blend worked out for you! Thank you for stopping by the blog to let me know!

  • Aubree mackey February 12, 2019, 8:03 pm

    Our family loves Bella’s recipes, and tonight my husband and I came home from work to an amazing dinner spread! Our daughter made these pot pies for us, and we were in absolute food heaven! So amazing! It brought back memories of a restaurant that specializes in pot pies in the town where I grew up. Seriously! If you haven’t tried these, you must! Not only was it possibly the best pot pie that I have ever eaten (and I have eaten SO much amazing pot pie, as it is one of my favorite meals) , but it was the best meal we’ve had in awhile. Thank you Bella for this truly inspired recipe!!!

    • bella | ful-filled February 12, 2019, 9:49 pm

      My heart is bursting! I wish that everyone would try this hawaij spice in their pot pies because it is such a game changer! Reading your comment seriously made my night! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment!

  • Rubi Kaur March 29, 2020, 9:44 pm

    I used boneless chicken thighs cause we like dark meat. So smaller portions but most definitely a keeper.

    • bella | ful-filled March 30, 2020, 8:52 am

      Yay! We prefer boneless chicken thighs for this as well! SO happy you enjoyed the recipe!

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