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Chicken and Dumplings


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This Chicken and Dumplings recipe is comfort food at its best. A flavorful chicken soup is topped with pillowy soft dumplings that cook right in the simmering soup on the stove.

Chicken and dumplings in a dutch oven pot.

Chicken and Dumplings

After a busy day, I love sitting down to enjoy a warm, comforting meal, and it doesn’t get more comforting than chicken and dumplings. This chicken and dumplings recipe starts with a made from scratch chicken soup that’s layered with flavor. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, easy homemade dumplings are placed on top of the soup and then cooked in the covered pot until they’re soft and tender.

There are a few types of dumplings commonly used to make chicken and dumplings, and I opted to use simple drop dumplings in this recipe. The dumpling dough takes just 5 minutes to mix up in a bowl and then you drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on top of the soup to cook. The dumplings cook up amazingly soft and fluffy; they’re the perfect complement to the cozy soup. This is a meal that you’re going to want to keep in your rotation all winter long.

Chicken and dumplings served in a bowl.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you need to make homemade chicken and dumplings:

  • Chicken Breasts: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe because they cook up nice and tender and it’s easy to shred the chicken once it’s cooked. See my notes below for how to substitute bone-in chicken breasts, chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken.
  • Olive Oil: For browning the chicken.
  • Onion, Carrots and Celery: This trio of veggies creates a flavorful base and is the beginning of many soup recipes.
  • Butter: Cooking the onion, carrots and celery in butter adds richness and flavor.
  • Garlic: You can’t beat the flavor of fresh garlic!
  • Flour: To thicken the soup.
  • Chicken Broth: The liquid base of the chicken soup.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme (or substitute fresh thyme), bay leaves, salt and pepper ensure that the soup is perfectly seasoned.
  • Frozen Peas: You do not need to thaw them before adding them to the pot.
Ingredients for chicken and dumplings recipe.

For the Dumplings You’ll Need:

  • Flour: Use regular all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder: To make the dumplings rise and puff up as they cook.
  • Salt and Pepper: Salt is essential for making flavorful dumplings. Adding a little freshly ground black pepper gives the dumplings an extra pop of flavor that I find irresistible.
  • Milk: I recommend using whole milk if possible for its richer flavor. 2% can be used if desired, but I don’t recommend using nonfat.
  • Butter: Using melted butter makes it easy to incorporate the butter into the dough.

How to Make Chicken and Dumplings

Making this easy chicken and dumplings recipe is a simple as 4 easy steps: brown the chicken (for flavor!), make the soup, mix up the dumpling dough, and cook the dumplings. Here’s a closer look at each step:

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then brown them in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Once both sides are golden brown, remove the chicken to a clean plate. It will finish cooking through later on in the soup. Browned chicken breasts in dutch oven pot.
  2. Add the butter, onion, carrots and celery to the pot and sauté until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Stir in the garlic and flour and cook for 30 seconds. Flour and garlic added to pot with onion, carrots and celery.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth and seasonings. Stir and scrape up any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Then return the chicken to the pot.
  5. Bring the pot to a low simmer, then cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through to 165° F and the vegetables are soft, 12-16 minutes.
  6. While it simmers, make the dumpling dough and then refrigerate it until you’re ready to add the dumplings to the pot.
  7. Remove the chicken, shred it (see how to shred chicken) and return it to the pot. Stir in the frozen peas. Shredded chicken and frozen peas stirred into soup.
  8. Scoop rounded spoonfuls of dumpling dough and place on top of the soup in a single layer. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Then discard the bay leaves, serve and enjoy! Uncooked dumplings added on top of soup.
Chicken and dumplings served in a bowl with chopped parsley.

Recipe Tips

  • Browning the chicken adds a lot of flavor to the dish, so don’t skip this step (unless you’re using rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken).
  • Don’t lift the lid to peek at the dumplings as they cook. You want them to steam cook and lifting the lid off of the pot would release the steam.
  • You can make the soup thinner or thicker depending on your preference. I love the broth thicker, almost like a gravy. To thin it out, add more broth or some whole milk, half and half or heavy cream. To thicken it up, simmer it for a few extra minutes uncovered before adding the dumplings.

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) or bone-in chicken breasts may be substituted for the boneless chicken breasts. They may take longer to cook through; use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature is at least 165° F. Remove the chicken from the bones before shredding.
  • To use rotisserie chicken, skip step 1 of the recipe (browning the chicken). Add 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken to the soup in recipe step 7, when you stir in the frozen peas.
  • To make creamy chicken and dumplings, stir in up to 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream when you add the shredded chicken back to the pot. Be sure to cook the dumplings at a low simmer so that the dairy doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan.
  • Want to make it in the Instant Pot? Follow this Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings recipe.
Bowl of chicken and dumplings with a spoon and one dumpling cut open.

What to Serve with Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is a hearty one pot meal that doesn’t need much else served on the side. I recommend serving it with a simple Green Salad, Arugula Salad or Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad.

Storage Tips

Leftover chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dumplings are best made fresh, but still good after reheating. For best results, store dumplings in a separate container from the soup and reheat on a baking sheet in the oven. Soup may be reheated in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.

More Comforting Chicken Recipes

Love chicken and dumplings? Try one of these favorite chicken recipes next:

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings in Dutch oven pot with a ladle.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken and dumplings
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings 6 servings
Calories 516kcal
This Chicken and Dumplings recipe is comfort food at its best. A thick and flavorful chicken soup is topped with pillowy soft dumplings that cook right in the simmering soup on the stove. Perfect for a family dinner!

Ingredients

For the Chicken and Vegetables

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper (to season chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 medium carrots (chopped)
  • 3 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional, for serving)

For the Dumplings

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ¾ cup milk (whole milk works best)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Once the pot is hot, add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides. Then transfer the chicken to a clean plate. (It will not yet be cooked through yet.)
  • Add the 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. Once melted, add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot and cook until softened, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, dried thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pot.
  • Bring to a low simmer, cover the pot and simmer (adjust the heat as needed to maintain a low simmer) until the chicken is cooked through to 165° F and the vegetables are soft, about 12-16 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Pour in the milk and melted butter and stir with a fork until the dough comes together. Place dough in the refrigerator while you finish cooking and shredding the chicken.
  • Once chicken is cooked through, remove it to a clean bowl or cutting board. Turn the heat off under the pot and let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Then shred the chicken and return it to the pot, along with the frozen peas. Stir. Turn the heat back on under the pot to bring it to a simmer.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the dumpling dough into 1 ½-inch balls and place on top of the soup in a single layer. Spoon a little of the liquid from the pot over the tops of the dumplings. Once simmering, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the pot. Cook at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, without lifting the lid off of the pot so that the dumplings can steam cook. After 15 minutes split a dumpling in half to see if it is cooked through. If not, cook, covered, for another minute or two. Then remove the pot from the heat.
  • Discard bay leaves and serve, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  • Chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) or bone-in chicken breasts may be substituted for the boneless chicken breasts. They may take longer to cook through; use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature is at least 165° F. Remove the chicken from the bones before shredding.
  • To use rotisserie chicken, skip step 1 of the recipe (browning the chicken). Add the shredded rotisserie chicken to the soup in recipe step 7, when you stir in the frozen peas.
  • To make creamy chicken and dumplings, stir in up to 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream when you add the shredded chicken back to the pot. Be sure to cook the dumplings at a low simmer so that the dairy doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dumplings are best made fresh, but still good after reheating. For best results, store dumplings in a separate container from the soup and reheat on a baking sheet in the oven. Soup may be reheated in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 775mg | Potassium: 1268mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7418IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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