The crust on a chicken pot pie is one of my favorite parts of the dish, but it can be hard to get the filling thick enough without a roux or cream.

This crust-free chicken pot pie recipe from “Affordable Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot: Quick + Clean Meals on a Budget” by Jennifer Robins (Page Street Publishing, $21.99) is worth checking out, even if you don't have a multicooker. The author uses pureed cauliflower as part of the soup base, which thickens the broth and packs a ton of nutrients into what can be a calorie-heavy dish. You’ll notice that she doesn’t use any butter or cream, which keeps it dairy-free, too.

If you don’t have a multicooker, you’ll simmer the cauliflower in the broth until softened and then puree to thicken the liquid. Then you can add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the chicken and vegetables have cooked through, adding more liquid if it gets too thick.

Crust-less Chicken Pot Pie

Skipping the crust on chicken pot pie might seem like the worst idea possible, but the savory, hearty filling can be made to accommodate almost any dietary need, and you’ll hardly miss the crust.

-- Jennifer Robins

 4 cups chicken broth

2 heads cauliflower, florets only

1 pound boneless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 small white-fleshed sweet potatoes, diced

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 cups sliced or chopped carrots1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large onion, diced

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 bay leaves1 large sprig fresh thyme (optional)

Chives (optional)

Pour the chicken broth into the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot, then place in the cauliflower, close the lid and close the pressure valve. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button, then press the +/- buttons until 5 minutes is displayed.

Allow the cooking cycle to complete, quick release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button.

Puree the cauliflower and broth with an immersion blender or transfer to a stand mixer to do so. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the thyme and chives, and secure the lid and pressure valve. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and then use the +/- buttons to adjust the time to 10 minutes.

Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Remove the bay leaves. Serve topped with fresh thyme, chives or your preferred fresh herbs.

— From “Affordable Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot: Quick + Clean Meals on a Budget” by Jennifer Robins (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)