Nothing is quite delicious like a big bowl of chicken and dumplings soup to warm you up on a cold day. The soup is made from scratch, with ingredients that either come from your pantry or are easily sourced from the grocery store. The recipe includes tips for making the best fluffy dumplings from flour and how to cook the chicken from scratch, and the final steps demonstrate how to make the best chicken and dumplings recipe with ease!
This easy chicken and dumplings recipe is the best there is- It’s creamy and rich, with big, fluffy dumplings that are just begging to be eaten. You’ll instantly be transported to a warm, comforting place when you take a spoonful of this warm soup. It’s the perfect food for a cold winter’s day, and it will definitely leave you feeling satisfied.
While this recipe calls for using chicken breasts, you can absolutely make your homemade chicken and dumplings with a whole chicken, chicken thighs, or rotisserie chicken. It is also a good way to use up a whole chicken from the freezer if you have one that needs to be used.
First, you will need to cook the chicken until it is cooked through. You can do this by boiling the chicken in a large pot of broth, baking it, or cooking it in a slow cooker. You can also decide to cut the chicken into smaller pieces so they cook faster or cook it whole after cleaning it up. Once the chicken is cooked, you will need to remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into smaller pieces.
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The key to making the best chicken and dumplings recipe is to use homemade chicken stock. This will give the soup a much richer flavor than using store-bought stock. Once you have the cooked chicken ready and your homemade stock handy, and also all the veggies are prepped and kept in place, then the soup can be made in no time. The dumplings can be made from scratch or you can use a shortcut and use canned biscuit dough if you have no sufficient time.
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What is chicken and dumplings?
Chicken and dumplings is a comfort food dish that typically consists of cooked chicken with dumplings made from flour and water and then added to the soup. The dumplings are cooked in rich broth until they are soft and fluffy, and the dish is often served hot with a variety of vegetables added to the soup. It is a popular dish in many parts of the United States, especially in the South, and variations of it can be found around the world.
How is it made?
This hearty dish is traditionally made by simmering chicken in a broth with vegetables, then adding dumplings made from flour, water, and fat and they can be either drop dumplings or rolled dumplings. The dumplings are cooked in the broth until they absorb all of the delicious flavors.
Chicken and dumplings dish is usually served as a main course, but it can also be a side dish or even dessert. (Yes, there are sweet versions of this dish). This dish is popular in the United States, and in many parts of the world.
One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be easily customized to your liking. You can make it as straightforward or as complex as you want. And, it can be made ahead of time and frozen for future meals. So, what is this chicken and dumplings recipe all about? Comfort, flavor, and versatility!
Types of dumplings
- Drop dumplings– These are quick and easy to make, and they cook up quickly and turn into light and fluffy balls. They’re made by simply dropping a spoonful of batter into the hot soup, where they cook until done. drop dumplings are the most common type of dumplings used in chicken and dumplings soup recipes. They are made with flour, water, and salt, and are typically boiled in gravy soup. They have a light and fluffy texture that soaks up the gravy broth from the soup.
- Rolled dumplings– These types of dumplings are made from flour and water. The dough is rolled into thin sheets and cut into strips before adding to the soup. You can get these from cracker Barel but they can also be made at home from scratch with flour, water, and salt. They are also great for this recipe for chicken and dumplings soup and can be used as a replacement for noodles in soups.
- Biscuit dumplings– These are made with biscuit dough instead of flour. They are popular in the Southern United States and can be added to either sweet or savory broth. They are usually cut into smaller pieces, and coated in flour mixture to give them a firm texture before dropping them into the soup. Biscuit dumplings have a firm texture with a slightly crusty outside.
Ingredients for chicken and dumpling recipe
- 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, or 2 large pieces
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the dumplings
- 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
- 2 cups of cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of shortening
- 1 baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup of whole milk
How to make the best chicken and dumplings recipe from scratch
Cook the chicken
Start cooking the chicken; this can be done by boiling, baking, or pan-searing the chicken. Add the chicken to the large soup pot, and season with chopped onion, fresh thyme, black pepper, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed garlic, and bay leaves. Add 7 cups of water to cover it and bring to a boil for 35 minutes.
Once done, take out the chicken from the broth, strain the broth, and set aside. Leave the chicken to cool down just a little bit so you can handle it.
Shred the chicken with forks until you have individual chunky pieces, then set aside. You can pick up some shredded rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if you don’t want to cook and shred the chicken from scratch.
Make drop dumplings for chicken and dumpling soup
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make perfect drop dumplings every time.
In a large mixing bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Whisk to incorporate nicely. Add in shortening bit by bit and the chopped parsley and mix again to incorporate.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly add in the milk, stirring until the mixture forms a soft dough. Be sure not to over-mix the dough or else your dumpling will come tough. You will have a sticky dumpling, but that doesn’t matter.
Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form the dough into small balls and set aside.
How to make dumpling soup
Place the soup pot on heat, add olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the oil is heated, add some chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes or until fragrant, add celery stalks, chopped carrots, and 3 minced garlic, and cook the veggies for 5 minutes while stirring until they are soft and fragrant.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour over the vegetables. This is the roux that will help thicken your chicken and dumpling soup. Cook the flour for a couple of minutes, until the raw taste disappears.
Gradually stir in 6 cups of chicken broth to the content and stir until the flour dissolves nicely into it, also, add 1 cup of whole milk in the same manner.
Season the soup with black pepper, chili flakes, salt, fresh thyme, and Worcestershire sauce; stir it again, cover it, and bring it to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling broth one at a time in an even layer. You can use an ice cream scoop or your hand to drop them directly into the soup without having to form them into balls.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, put a lid over the pot, and simmer the dumpling soup for 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and they rise to float on top of the liquid. You can taste to see if the dumplings are cooked by cutting through with a fork. If they are not cooked, allow them to simmer for a couple of minutes to be sure the inside is done and not raw.
Add in the frozen peas and also returned the cooked chicken to the soup and gently stir it together. Simmer for 5 more minutes until the chicken pieces are well heated and the peas are soft. Garnish with fresh parsley and take the soup off the heat.
Serve your chicken and dumplings while it is still hot.
What is the secret to the best chicken and dumplings recipe?
There are a few secrets to making the best dumplings.
- First, start with a good quality chicken. Fresh or frozen chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks will all work well. If you have the time, cook the chicken yourself. This will give you the best flavor. I made use of fresh chicken breasts. I simmered the chicken slowly in a flavorful broth until it is cooked through for maximum flavor.
- If you can’t cook the chicken from scratch, rotisserie chicken or canned chicken can also be used in this recipe but make sure to use good chicken stock. This will give the dumplings a nice flavor and make them nice and moist.
- Use a light hand when mixing the dough. Overmixing will make the dumplings tough.
- Make sure to cook the dumplings in simmering, not boiling, water. Boiling water will make the dumplings fall apart easily.
- Make sure not to overcook the dumplings, they should be light and fluffy, not tough and chewy.
- Don’t over-crowd the pot when cooking the dumplings so they have room to expand.
- Add plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices to the soup. This will brighten up the flavors and make the dish more delicious and fragrant.
How do you know when the dumplings are done?
There are a few ways to tell if dumplings are cooked. One is to poke them with a fork or toothpick; if they’re cooked, they’ll be firm to the touch. Another way is to cut one in half; if it’s cooked through, it will be opaque all the way through. Finally, you can simply taste one; if it’s dense and doughy, give it more time to cook, but if it’s light and fluffy and floats to the top of the liquid, it’s done.
What goes well with chicken and dumplings?
While chicken and dumplings are often served as a main dish, there are a few things that go exceptionally well with it, one is a salad. A light, crisp salad goes great with the doughy dumplings and chicken. Another classic pairing is green beans. roasted or steamed vegetables and, of course, no meal is complete without some form of bread. Buttered rolls or biscuits are the perfect way to round out this dish.
Chicken and dumplings can be served with a variety of sides, such as mashed potatoes, and biscuits. Finally, a simple Southern-style cornbread recipe would go well with chicken and dumplings. The cornbread soaks up all the delicious gravy and gives the dish an extra level of flavor. Plus, it’s the perfect vessel for mopping up any leftover sauce.
How do you thicken up chicken and dumplings?
If your chicken and dumplings is too thin, there are a few easy ways to thicken it up. One way is to add more flour to the dough when making the dumpling dough.
You can use some flour to make a roux, which serves as a thickener for the soup. Also, you can cook the dumplings for a little bit longer so that the water has time to reduce. Lastly, try adding more vegetables or protein to the stew to help thicken it up.
What is the best flour to use for dumplings?
Cake flour and all-purpose flour are both good options for dumplings. Cake flour is a type of flour that is made from soft wheat. It has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which means it will produce dumplings that are tender and light.
All-purpose flour is a type of flour that is made from a blend of hard and soft wheat. It has a higher protein content than cake flour, which means it will produce dumplings that are slightly tougher and denser. So, if you want your dumplings to be extra light and fluffy, go with cake flour.
What vegetables go with chicken and dumplings
In this recipe, I’ve used peas, carrots, and celery, but feel free to go creative and use whatever veggies you like best. Broccoli, green beans, potatoes, and corn would all be delicious in this dish. Just be sure to chop your vegetables into bite-sized pieces so they cook evenly with the rest of the ingredients.
How long do chicken and dumplings last in the fridge?
Chicken and dumplings will last up to four days in the fridge when stored properly. To extend the shelf life of your dish, make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. This will prevent it from drying out or absorbing any unwanted flavors or odors from the fridge. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat in a pot over low heat until warmed through
If you have leftovers that you won’t be able to eat within a few days, freezing is a great option. Chicken and dumplings can be frozen for up to 3 months, this will maintain their quality and flavor for a longer period of time. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the dish in the fridge overnight and reheat it on medium-low heat.
What seasonings go in chicken and dumplings
There are a variety of seasonings that can be used to season chicken and dumplings recipe. Some common seasonings that I used in this recipe included salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and celery. Herbs such as thyme, sage, and parsley are also often used to flavor this dish. If you are using dried herbs, just make sure to add them at the beginning of cooking so they have time to rehydrate and release their flavors. This dish can also be seasoned with different spices such as paprika, cumin, chili powder, or hot sauce.
Other variation of this recipe
- There are many different variations of chicken and dumplings, but they all share the same basic ingredients and cooking methods. Some recipes call for the addition of cream, sour cream, milk, buttermilk, or egg.
- You can also change up the kind of dumplings you use. Instead of flour, you can use Bisquick mix or self-rising flour.
- Other variations use canned biscuit dough and it’s absolutely delicious. The biscuit dough adds a nice fluffy texture to the dish that I just love.
- Wonton wrappers, ravioli dough, or pierogi are other alternatives, they can be cut into strips to create the dumplings.
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings. This type of recipe is made in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. It can also be made in a crockpot or slow cooker.
- If you’re looking for a quicker version of this dish, you can try using rotisserie chicken or canned chicken. Simply shred the chicken and add it to the soup along with the dumplings. This version is especially handy on busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook a whole chicken from scratch.
What to do with leftover chicken and dumplings
There are so many delicious things that you can do with leftovers. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Make a soup– This is an easy way to use up your leftovers and make a delicious soup at the same time. Just add some vegetables (I like carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, etc.), broth, and seasonings to taste. They make a great thickener and add lots of flavors.
- Make a frittata or quiche– Just add some chopped veggies and cheese to the leftovers and bake in a pie dish.
- Use them as filling for tacos or enchiladas– Simply shred the chicken and mix them with the dumplings, then stuff them into tortillas.
- Chicken and dumpling casserole– This is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for cold winter nights. Simply layer your leftover chicken and dumplings with some frozen veggies (I like peas and corn), shredded cheese, and a creamy sauce. I also like to use sour cream or cream of chicken soup). Bake until everything is hot and bubbly.
- Chicken pot pie– This is another great way to use up those leftovers. Simply combine your chicken and dumplings with some mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup on top of a pie crust. Top with additional pie crusts or biscuits. Cut slits in the top to vent, then bake until golden brown at the top.
- Serve over rice– The leftovers will also make a great topping for rice. Just add some steamed rice to a serving dish and top it with the chicken and dumplings.
- Dumpling stir-fry– Add the leftover dumplings to a stir-fry with some chicken, veggies, and sauce for a quick and easy meal
- Chicken salad– You can mix the shredded chicken from the leftovers with mayo, diced celery, grapes, and chopped walnuts for a twist on classic chicken salad. Serve on sandwiches or crackers, or enjoy as is.
Best chicken and dumplings soup recipe
- Icecream scoop
- 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken breasts You can use 2 large pieces or substitute the breasts for the thighs.
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 medium-sized carrots chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup onions chopped
- 3 minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1½ cup heavy cream
For the Dumplings
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup whole milk add more if needed
Cook the chicken
- Start cooking the chicken. This can be done by boiling, baking, or pan-searing the chicken. Add the chicken to the large soup pot, and season with chopped onions, fresh thyme, black pepper, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed garlic, and 2 bay leaves. Add 7 cups of water to cover it and bring to a simmer for 40 minutes.
- Once done, take out the chicken from the broth, strain the broth, and set aside. Leave the chicken to cool down to the touch.
- Shred the chicken with forks until you have individual chunky pieces, then set aside. You can pick up some shredded rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if don't want to cook and shred the chicken from scratch.
Make the dumplings
- In a large bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to incorporate nicely.
- Add in shortening bit by bit and the chopped parsley and mix again to incorporate.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly add in the milk, stirring until the mixture forms a soft dough. Be sure not to over-mix the dough or else your dumpling will come tough. You just want it to come together.Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form the dough into small balls and set aside
Make the dumplings soup
- Place the soup pot on heat, add olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the oil is heated, added some chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add diced celery stalks, chopped carrots, and 3 minced garlic, and cook the veggies for 5 minutes while stirring until they are soft and fragrant.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the vegetables, This is the roux that will help thicken your chicken and dumpling soup. Cook the flour for a couple of minutes, until the raw taste disappears.
- Gradually stir in 5 cups of the chicken broth to the content and stir until the flour dissolves nicely into it, and also add 1 cup of whole milk in the same manner.Season the soup with black pepper, chili flakes, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh thyme, stir it again, cover, and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- Carefully drop the dumpling balls into the boiling broth one at a time in an even layer. You can also use an ice cream scoop or your hands to add them directly one at a time into the soup.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, put a lid over the pot, and simmer the dumpling soup for 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and rise to float on top of the liquid.You can taste to see if the dumplings are cooked by cutting through with a fork. If they are not cooked, allow them to simmer for a couple of minutes again to make sure the inside is done and not raw or doughy.
- Add in the frozen peas and also returned the cooked chicken to the soup and gently stir it together. Simmer for 5 more minutes until the chicken pieces are well heated and the peas are soft. Garnish with fresh parsley and remove from heat.
- Serve your chicken and dumplings while it is still hot.
Can you freeze chicken and dumplings?Chicken and dumplings are best eaten fresh or within a few days, but if you had made a large quantity and want to store the leftover; you can simply separate the dumpling balls from the soup in order not to disintegrate the balls. When storing the dumpling balls separately, first, make sure the chicken and dumplings dish is completely cooled; then use a spoon to separate the dumplings from the soup and place them in a freezer-safe dish with a lid. Also, place the soup in another dish with a tight-fitting lid and store them in the freezer. When you are ready to eat it again, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat them separately over low heat on the stove and then add them together until they are heated through.
How to reheat chicken and dumplingsOn the stovetop– Put it in a pot or saucepan and place it on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir occasionally, and sprinkle a little water if the dumplings start to dry out. In the microwave– Another way you can reheat it is in the microwave. Put the chicken and dumplings in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring once or twice during heating or until heated. In the oven– Place the chicken and dumplings in an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil or a lid and heat for about 20 minutes, or until heated through
This is indeed the best chicken and dumplings recipe, it is easy to follow and yields delicious results. The dumplings are fluffy and tender, while the chicken is moist and flavorful. Plus, the whole dish comes together in just under an hour. So, if you’re looking for a comforting and satisfying meal that’s relatively quick and easy to make, this recipe is definitely for you.