Bake to School: Chicken Pot Pie Balls and Fruit Leather

This year Back to School takes on a whole new meaning in my life, a whole new chapter so to speak. My little boy is starting his first mommy’s day out program this fall for just two days a week and I am a ball of mixed emotions. Excited for some “me” time, sad to lose my baby for 2 days a week and kinda anxious to see how he is going to like this new teacher and friends. My son is a lover. He loves to be around other people, especially girls (ladies man) and I know in my heart he is going to have a blast this fall.

Let’s say it all together now- My son is a Picky Eater, a.k.a. P.E. If you have stuck around here long enough you know he has from the time he was able to put a piece of food in his mouth and spit it back out at me, told me what he does and does not like…. Mainly does NOT like. He is the reason I started Belleicious Kids and why I have learned the importance of feeding our kids nutritious but healthy foods regardless of their picky preferences. This fall our motto is not Back to School but Bake to School (catchy huh?) Since my son will be eating lunch unsupervised, by that I mean I will not be there to stick food in his mouth and say “EAT THIS!” I must make sure that his lunch box is filled with lots of yummy but nutrious food that he will love and food that will give him the energy he needs throughout the day.

I realize I am not saying anything you other mom’s out there don’t already know. It is a struggle to make sure we have the right meals for our kids regardless if they are picky or not. In thinking of new meals to pack for my son I wanted to share my latest creations with you, hoping that your kids will fall in love with these recipes as well and be on the right track for a great year of learning and fun.

First up, My Chicken Pot Pie Balls. Little yummy balls of sweet dough filled with a delicious mixture of chicken and veggies that will knock the socks off your kids. They are so good. My husband and I love to eat these for lunch. A quick grab and go meal that is incredibly flavorful and easy to eat.


Chicken Pot Pie Balls


1 rotassirie chicken, shredded

3 TBSP of Devo Olive Oil

1 small onion, diced

2 small carrots, diced

1 large celery stalk, diced

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup chicken stock, warmed

1 tsp of lemon juice

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tsp salt and pepper each

1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning

1/4 tsp sweet paprika


Saute the onions, carrots and celery in the olive oil for approximately 5-6 minutes until nice and tender. Add in the flour and stir to form a light brown roux. Turn heat to low and add in the chicken stock (that should be warm) and remaining ingredients. Stir well and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The mixture should be thicker than usual since we are putting this into balls of dough.

Meanwhile, using thawed out bread dough pull approximately 1/2 inch strips. Roll into a ball shape and form a small well in the middle. Place a spoonful of the chicken mixture in the middle and carefully fold up the dough around it forming a ball. You should not be able to see the filling at all. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until nice and golden brown. Brush with a little melted butter and enjoy. This recipe makes approximately 40 pie balls. To freeze, allow them pie balls to cool completely then stash them in a freezable ziploc bag or container. To heat, bake at 300 for 5-7 minutes or pop in the microwave, covered, for 30 seconds.


Fruit Leather! What kid doesn’t like fruit leather. A strip of tangy, sticky and sweet goodness that they can chew away on filling them up with the energy they need for the rest of the day.


Homemade Fruit Leather


2 cups of sliced berries of your choice ( I used half blackberries and half strawberries)

1 TBSP lemon juice

3-4 TBSP sugar


Place the diced berries or fruit of your choice in a medium saucepan along with a dash of water and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stew the fruit for approximately 10 minutes while you mash it with a potato masher ever so often. Transfer for a blender, add the sugar and pulse on low until nice and smooth.

Place wax paper on your baking sheet and brush it with a little olive oil. This is where I had fun and used a strawberry flavored oil I got from Devo. Just added to the flavor even more. Pour the pureed fruit on the baking sheet, spreading it around evenly with a spatula. Bake at 150 degrees for 6-8 hours. If your oven does not go that low then put temperature to 170 degrees and leave the oven door cracked. Once 6-8 hours is up, invert the sheet of fruit leather onto baking sheet lined with oiled wax paper. Return to the oven and bake again for another 6-8 hours. Allow to cool completely then cut with a knife. Roll up into your nice little traditional roll up shape and watch your kids have the time of their life eating it! Perfect for the lunch box.


Note: I am also posting these recipes on Belleicious Kids as it fits the theme entirely!


  1. Alli

    Love the fruit leathers! I always assumed there was so much more sugar. I can’t wait to make these with the kids.

  2. Three-Cookies

    Those pot pie balls sound incredible, even the pickiest eater should love it. Great idea to use bread dough instead of pastry – a healthier twist?

  3. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray

    Love those chicken pot pie balls! What a fun idea!

  4. Shawn

    I want this for my lunch…fruit roll-ups included!

    I’m working on pot-pie for a post this week…I might have to sneak some filling to make these pot pie balls just for me 🙂

  5. Bonnie

    This makes me want to find a reason to pack a lunch! Oh, wait!! I can enjoy both without ever leaving home.


  6. Joanne

    I think you are making such a great example for other moms by making sure your son eats well even though he is picky! It’s SO important! And well…I’d love these chicken pot pie balls as well. Maybe with chickpeas instead of chicken, but still. Same difference.

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Oh it is so hard to feed a Picky eater healthy food but you have to make it a priority because just as my son is continuing to show me- they will eventually eat whatever and when they so it’s better they are used to healthy food rather than junk.

  7. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    Yum to the chicken pot pie balls and the genuineness of the fruit leather! I didn’t know you had another food blog for kiddies—did I? Anyways, I’m so excited to go check it out! 🙂

  8. Kelli

    The chicken pot pie balls are brilliant! I love the idea of these and how fun do they look also. I love MDO! Im kind of saddened that I didnt work ours this year but this is Rhett’s last year at home before he starts school so I wanted to spend every moment I had with him. Glad he likes it!

  9. Dzoli

    How exiting.Don;t you think time is flying?I just other day sorted babyclothes to give away(my daugher is 2) and can’t belleive how fast she grew:) Love your fruit leather;)

  10. Erica

    I so hear you! Kaylin starts daycare soon and i want to cry!!! The chicken pot pie balls are a brilliant idea. I think i need to taste test them 😉

  11. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh these both look awesome! It has been years since I made fruit leather in our dehydrator but our children loved it.Now you have made me want to make it for our grandson. I am so excited to send our daughter-in-law the link to Belleicious Kids!!!!

  12. Greg

    I don’t miss fruit roll ups. (Yours do look great of course.) But those pot pies make me want to go back to school.

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      What not miss fruit roll-ups? You were a healthy child weren’t you? Lol!

  13. lena

    jess, you really have such terrific ideas of coming out with this and that. Sure your son would love this. Now i worry that the rest of the children in his class will just stare at these lovely chicken pies that your son is bringing and forgot abt their own packed lunch !

  14. Candace

    Chicken Pot Pie Balls?! I didn’t think pot pie could get any yummier and you have proved me wrong. These are AWEsome. I sure wish that I had some of those for lunch. Consider yourself pinned, girlie. I am so making these!

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Pinned! I love it. Hope you get to try them out soon

  15. Allison @ Alli n Son

    Why oh why don’t we live closer to each other??? I would love one of these chicken pot pie balls, and I’ve always wanted to make fruit leather. We need to share a kitchen some day!

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      I don’t know alli. I ask myself that question everyday when I visit your blog. Why can’t we live closer! Lol!

  16. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Both of these are fantastic ideas for kids and adults! I really love the chicken pot pie balls…brilliant!

  17. blackbookkitchendiaries

    i love the idea of chicken pot pie balls!! it’s looks so delicious:)

  18. sportsglutton

    I wish I was a kid again to enjoy those fruit roll ups! I think all try the chicken pot pie balls though. Great recipe!

  19. Eva

    Wow, the chicken pot pie balls look great. The fruit leather sounds like a fall type of thing, considering how long you have to have the oven on.

  20. The Slow Roasted Italian

    These chicken pot pie balls look delicious! I may have to try them for my 19 month old. She is in quite a phase right now… Although she did enjoy some meat yesterday, so maybe there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

  21. Mary

    What a brilliant idea!! CHicken pot pie balls!! my girls love chicken pot pie and what a fabulous snack – and the fruit leather!! – well, I must go and make some – now –
    Mary x

  22. vianney/sweet life

    what a great idea pot pie kiddos would love these!!

  23. Caroline

    What a great idea for chicken pot pie! One of my favorite hearty meals during the winter. Looks so delicious. 🙂

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      thanks caroline. It was so easy and perfect for a quick meal or even snack

  24. Shilpa

    Love the idea of stuffed rolls….I am going to make this for the lunch box – though without the chicken…hope it’ll still taste as delicious as it looks now…

    and a big thank you for the fruit roll-ups. I have never, ever come across a recipe of this before…how brilliant – what a treat and not too tricky to make (I hope so anyway!)


    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      I am sure it will be great chicken or no chicken. Just up the amount of veggies and maybe another touch of salt or an herb to replace that savoriness from the chicken and your good to go!

  25. chef_d

    Love the idea of chicken pot pie balls, so clever. The fruit leather looks yum! I’m sure your little boy will like them 🙂

  26. Blond Duck

    Those chicken pot pie balls are the best thing ever!

  27. Shea

    Those Pot Pie Balls are such a cute, fun idea! And it’s funny, because every time I read about your picky kiddo I think about my picky husband, who I sometimes have to sneak the healthy stuff to as well 🙂

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      You and me both Shea.The pickiness my son gets from my hubby. It is all I can do to get him to eat anything with mayo in it! i have to lie to him most of the time:) Shhh! don’t tell

  28. Bree

    I can relate to this post! I started my blog for the very same reason-adapting my cooking to having kids. Both of these recipes look perfect for my boys. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    These look so yummy! Do you think I could use biscuit dough? Like the kind Pillsbury sells for their rolls–just unwrapped and smooshed around the chicken and veggie mixture? I don’t always have bread dough around (I fear yeast), so I was thinking I could improvise that way!

  30. Kathleen

    Wow! Pot pie balls! Ah-maz-ing!!!

  31. kankana

    I am not a mommy yet but as a kid eating was a torture to me , so i can understand 🙂 Loved both the fruit leather and the pot-pie balls 🙂

  32. Linda

    My 19 yr old son will love these chicken pot balls!! I’m always looking for meals that are quick to pick up and go because that’s what he is always doing!!! I’m so impressed with your fruit leather! Years back when my kids went crazy for that I cringed to buy it and had no idea I could make a healthier version!!

  33. yummychunklet

    How cute! The chicken pot pie balls look really tasty. And, the fruit leather looks so much healthier than the storebought stuff!

  34. Marina @ Yummy Mummy

    I’ve been meaning to make fruit leather! Thanks for the reminder to get on it!

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      So easy! Email me if you have any questions

  35. Kristy

    I’m not sure I can sell Mr. N on the chicken pot pie balls, but the fruit leather he would eat for sure! And hopefully the other 2nd grade boys won’t find it “gross.” I was so excited to have found a fruit salad that Mr. N would eat and enjoy. So I sent it to school. Well, apparently it looks “gross” to other second graders, so it came home uneaten. Ugh. Now I have to battle finding something he’ll eat for lunch with something that won’t gross out other 7-year olds.

    Good luck with sending your little guy to school a few days a week. I know exactly what you’re feeling! Even though it’s just a few days and a few hours (which will fly by!) it’s still a mixed bag of emotions. He’ll do great though! I have no doubts! 🙂

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Oh girl, you could get the Mr. to eat them. Just tell him it has bacon in it- that is what I do! LOL!

  36. Alea Milham

    What delicious solutions! i am sure they would satisfy my picky eater! Actually both of my boys were/are picky eaters. The oldest one was super picky until he was 13 and then he became an indiscriminate eater. 🙂 I remember the first time I went shopping with him after he began his growth spurt. We were in the produce section and he kept putting fresh fruits and veggies in the cart saying,” doesn’t this look delicious” or “doesn’t this smell great”. Truly a happy mom moment for me and now I waiting for my little guy to reach that phase. 🙂

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      til 13? wow, i have a long way to go then! LOL! hopefully we will grow out of this sooner rather than later- but it does keep me on my toes thinking of new recipes:)

  37. Kate (What Kate is Cooking)

    Ahhh, I used to love fruit leather! I’ve never even thought about making it at home. Such a good idea, and such a good snack!

  38. Cooking Creation

    This is a great idea for school lunches! I’ve been wanting to try fruit leather ever since I saw it in FN magazine. Yours turned out wonderfully!

  39. sara@domesticallychallenged

    Those look amazing. Both of them. Amazing! Especially on a chilly day.

  40. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I used to love fruit leather when I was a kid, it was one of the few things I used to eat (I was a picky eater too).

  41. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    Both of these recipes would be a hit at our house. Sound easy and delicious!

  42. Reem

    Chicken pot pies balls… Loveeeeeeeeee them.
    Fruit leather.. Perfect.
    I want to go back to school, yum yum yum….
    Have a great week girl.

  43. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Your chicken pot pie balls are very cute and great for kids! I’ve seen other kids eating fruit leather before (store bought) and I thought it’s interesting. I’ve never tried it before but I guess it’s a good healthy candy. I should make this on my own!

  44. The Undercover Cook

    These chicken pot pis balls are very creative. I bet they are tasty!

  45. Stacey

    I love fruit leather and chicken pot pie is a childhood favorite. You make everything look so easy! Gotta try this out soon

  46. greencookinlife

    My son loves chicken pot pie so putting it into balls will definitely be a winner for sure

  47. Sheila

    The Chicken Pot Pie Balls are ingenious! Perfect little hand held meals. (Maybe someone already said this….but the dough isnt in your ingredient list for your printable.)
    You always have such great ideas!

  48. erica

    Both of these are such neat idea. You are so creative. I am definitely going to try to make chicken pot pie balls!


  49. Renee

    My kids are going to love these! Thank you again and again

  50. Cindy

    Catching up on all the posts I have missed. These pot pie balls look amazing!

  51. Becky

    I am wondering if you have a recipe that totally disguises chicken…my 4-yr old granddaughter is SO picky – she will eat only certain foods & that’s it! (& not very good foods either)…Dr. says to try & get her to start eating small amounts of chicken to start. She won’t budge. Food she loves: bacon, cheese, eggo waffles, p b & j sandwiches, chips & junk food of course, cookies…I swear she dislikes everything!….I tried putting itsy bitsie pieces of chicken in the jelly on her sandwich…first time it worked & she still ate it. 2nd time, she saw a piece & then refused to eat the rest…*sigh*….if you have any recipes where you can “hide” things, that’d be great! I do like your fruit rollup idea, as she does like those………

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