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Mystery Pot Pies, a KNIVES OUT Recipe to Die For

Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson, is out this Thanksgiving weekend and promises to be a rollicking and hilarious murder mystery. Inspired by the likes of ClueGosford Park, and Agatha Christie mysteries, it stars, well, everyone – a brilliant ensemble cast led by Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc. Although it has a distinctly modern twist, it leans on many of the usual murder mystery tropes, with an eccentric family gathered to a remote mansion by its patriarch. He dies right away of course, and everyone’s a suspect.

When brainstorming recipes, I thought about the large, wealthy New England family which led me to all the WASPy classics. WASP food has a reputation for being bland and boring, but done well it can be comforting and delicious, and just the thing to calm familial dysfunction. Think pot pie, French onion soup, and especially as the movie is filmed in Boston, seafoods like lobster rolls, clam chowder, and crab cakes. I ended up with a mishmash of these classic dishes, with twin versions of pot pies in darling ramekins, topped by puff pastry.

Although there are two distinct versions, this is a single recipe (with shared componants) as weird and winding as the film.

Recipe Card

Mystery Pot Pies (French Onion Pot Pie & Crab Chowder Pot Pie)


For the French Onion Pot Pie:

For the Crab Chowder Pot Pie:

To finish and bake:


  1. Prep the French Onion Pot Pie:

    In a pan on medium low, heat olive oil and cook onion, stirring often, until very golden brown (I will not lie to you like so many recipes, this takes a long time so be patient). Stir in thyme, black pepper, and marmite. Remove from heat and reserve. 

  2. Prep the Crab Chowder Pot Pie:

    In a separate pan, heat olive oil, and sauce shallot until translucent. Stir in celery, carrot, potato, crab meat, Old Bay and lemon zest. Remove from heat and reserve.

  3. To finish both:

    Make a roux by stirring together butter and flour  in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until it is a light golden color, remove from heat, and reserve.

    Heat oven to 375. Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and half of the roux to each pan, and simmer each until each mixture is very thick.

    Divide the onion mixture between two ramekins, and the crab mixture between two more. To the onion ramekins, top with croutons and a sprinkle of gruyere.

    Roll out the puff pastry and cut circles the size of the ramekins. Top each, brush with egg white, cut a couple vents for each, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Fresh out of the oven they look almost the same – but I’m sure a good detective can figure out which is which! 

Originally published November 28, 2019 on NOFS.

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