easy chicken & dumplings recipe

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Food & Fitness56 Comments

Today was another snow day for the boys and they’ve already canceled school through Wednesday due to the cold.   (The high on Wednesday will be -20 degrees F!)  So, it’ll be a bit of a tough work week for me!  I need an empty house to really focus and reach my maximum level of productivity.

But, while we’re socked in with the snow and cold, I decided to make chicken & dumplings.  I made them last week to use up a rotisserie chicken that was on its last day and many people asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share.  I also wanted to show how easy it is.  I think chicken & dumpings has the reputation for being complicated to make, but it’s pretty easy!  At least, this version is.

When I made it last week, I started with a rotisserie chicken, so that sped things up right away.   Today, I didn’t have one, so I cooked up two large chicken breasts.  I cut them in half, so they are four thinner pieces that will cook faster.  Chicken breasts are so huge these days that I almost always do that when I cook chicken.

I salt the chicken and cook them in the cast iron pot I’ll use for the soup.  One of the keys to cooking chicken is to have the pan nice and hot before putting it in.  Put it in place and leave it there.  Don’t poke it or scoot it.

After about 5-7 minutes, turn it over with some tongs.  Cook the other side until the chicken is no longer pink.  (Usually another 5-7 minutes).

Remove the chicken and add the celery, onion, carrots, garlic, and 4T butter.  Saute until soft.

Add 1/2 cup flour and stir until veggies are coated…

Add two 32 ounce boxes of chicken stock.  I would suggest always using unsalted chicken stock for soups.  Especially when the soup condenses on the stove, it can get too salty if the stock is salted already.  I also don’t add salt to the soup until the end for that reason.

(I’m not endorsing this specific brand, but just showing what I used today.)

Add fresh (or dried thyme) and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon.

Bring to a boil and allow it to cook until broth is thickened.

While soup is coming to a boil, shred chicken with a fork or even just your fingers.

Make dumpling dough by mixing flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.  Stir in 4T of melted butter until flour has a crumbly texture…

Gently stir in 1 cup of whole milk until just combined.

Once soup is thickened, reduce heat to a simmer.  Add chicken and 1 cup of whole milk.

Use a cookie dropper (or two spoons) to drop tablespoon-sized globs of dough into the soup.

They will sink at first, but then start floating up to the top.

Once you’ve dropped all of the dumplings, put the lid on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Take the lid off and admire your fluffy dumplings!  You can make sure they are done by gently pulling one open with a fork.  They should have a light, airy texture inside.

This is how the inside of the dumplings should look…

Salt and pepper it to taste and serve it up with some fresh parsley on top!

This makes a big batch that will serve a lot of people or give you a bunch of leftovers (that reheat nicely).  You can halve the recipe if you want to make a smaller batch.

Of course, there are dozens of variations you can try to suit this to your taste, but this is how we like it.  It’s hearty and a nice treat on a cold winter day.  Since the dumplings are on the heavier side, I like to serve it with mixed greens dressed in some olive oil, lemon juice, and a little bit of salt.

Enjoy!

Print Recipe
4.94 from 15 votes

Easy Chicken & Dumplings

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 peeled & chopped carrots
  • 4 washed & chopped celery stalks
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 large chicken breasts (or a rotisserie chicken)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 32 ounce boxes of unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups flour divided
  • 2 cups whole milk divided
  • 8 Tbsp butter divided
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Wash & salt two large chicken breasts.  Preheat large cast iron stock pot over medium-high heat with 1T olive oil in the bottom.  Add chicken when the pot is hot (or when olive oil is shimmering).  Cook on one side for 5-7 minutes until brown and chicken lifts easily.  Flip to cook second side for another 5-7 minutes or until center is no longer pink.  Remove from pan.  (You can also use a rotisserie chicken as a shortcut.)  
  • While chicken is cooking, peel and dice carrots and onion.  Wash and chop celery.  Add carrots, celery, onion, celery, garlic, and 4T of butter once chicken is removed from pot.  Stir and saute until vegetables are soft.  
  • Add in 1/2 cup flour and stir until veggies are coated in flour.  (For about 1 minute).  Add chicken stock and wine.  Stir and scrape bottom of pot with spoon to lift any stuck-on bits.  Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.  
  • While soup is thickening, make dumpling dough.  Put 2 cups of flour, 2t salt, and 2t baking powder into a clean mixing bowl.  Melt 4T of butter and add to dry ingredients.  Stir until dough is crumbly.  Add 1 cup of whole milk.  Stir until just combined.  (It'll look lumpy.) Set aside. 
  • Once cooled, shred chicken with a fork or your fingers.  
  • Once soup has thickened, reduce heat to a simmer.  Add chicken and 1 cup of whole milk.  Stir.  
  • Drop dumpling dough into soup 1T at a time.  A cookie dropper is perfect for this, but you can use two spoons as well.  Each dumpling will sink and then rise.  Keep adding dumplings until all the dough is used.  Cover and cook for a remaining 15 minutes.  
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.  Top with fresh parsley to serve.  

easy chicken & dumplings recipe

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56 Comments on “easy chicken & dumplings recipe”


  1. Perfect timing! We are expecting snow and I don’t feel like doing a big grocery run after work tonight. I have all these ingredients!

  2. Dinner tonight!

    Your “mixed greens dresser” typo is endearing! Miss Mustard Seed through and through.:)
    Made me smile this morning.

    Have a blessed (snow) day!

    1. Ha! My mom gave me that correction and said, “You can’t take the furniture out of the girl.” 🙂 I often write “paint” instead of “pain”, too. Just what I write about a lot!

  3. That looks so good! Thank you for sharing it. Do you think it would be a tasty stand alone soup WITHOUT ADDING THE DUMPLINGS? I’m considering trying it that way.

    1. It would basically be a chicken soup without any noodles or dumplings. You can always add rice or potatoes. This is one thing I love about soups! You can just throw a bunch of tasty stuff into a pot and see how it works!


  4. And I have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge! Lucky me! I now have to make this. Thank you!
    Looks delish. And I am still thinking about your post from yesterday about Instagram. I don’t have an Instagram account, but I am on Facebook a lot and after your blog yesterday I am going to be on there less, I totally agree with you on the effect it has on us. And I have been on a NY City Housewives and Orange County Housewives kick and let me tell you, I really would love to have some if the luxuries they have and just don’t know why I cant?! Lol


  5. Looks great -wonderful for cold weather. It’s very cool in FL this week but nothing like what y’all have. Stay safe and warm!!! PS, rotisserie chicken is like our secret for fast chicken to cook with.

  6. Can I come for dinner?? Of course it’s a little far from Washington state, guess I’ll have to make my own pot!

    1. Oh no…let me check that out. I just tested it as a user and it worked, so perhaps there is an issue with your browser? Maybe try it in a different browser and make sure you’re allowing pop-ups.

  7. I make something similar but use half cornmeal half flour for dumplings and add herbs. I love dumplings!

    1. Yes, some recipes I saw added herbs. I kept mine plain, though, since that’s how my son likes them. I’ll have to try it with cornmeal sometime! I bet that gives it a different texture.


  8. I’m from upstate New York & they have just advised us to stay indoors for the next couple of days. This is perfect & I’ve always wanted an easy recipe for this. Stay warm!!


  9. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This looks like my late MIL’s recipe that she made and it was delish! I’m printing it out and I’m going to surprise my husband with this very soon. We’re getting cold weather down south too, in Georgia, but not like you guys up north. Please be safe and stay indoors!

  10. To make it a little easier at the end Bisquick makes awesome dumplings! That’s what I use.

  11. Looks like memory lane to me. Did your Oma make German potato dumplings? Kartoffleklasse (sp) My mother always made them out of left over mashed potatoes and never measured anything. After I left home I would always ask her to make them. She lost the knack and sadly never could make them again.

    1. My Oma wasn’t actually German! She was called Oma because my brother, who is older than me, was born in Germany and had a German babysitter when he was a toddler. She spoke German to him and he started calling them Oma and Opa because of it.

      My heritage on my dad’s side is German, but I never met that grandfather.

      Anyway, I haven’t had potato dumplings, but I love German food. I have a cookbook and will have to try it. I love potato pancakes, though!

  12. This sounds amazing right now. I’m curious if your soup bowls are vintage or new? They’re beautiful. Do you mind sharing the name of the pattern?

  13. Oh that looks so good. I think I will half and make. Just me at home now. My mother always made this and I loved it. She cut hers in small squares. It’s the best for cold days. Comfort food I call it. Love all you do in your house. Wish I could bring you to my house for some of those projects. 🙂

    1. Yes, if it’s just you, I would halve or maybe even quarter the recipe. You can freeze it, too, if you make a lot.

      I wish I could come to a lot of people’s houses, even if it’s just to help them arrange their furniture and make what they have look its best. Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to do something like that!

  14. I use bisquick too! You can make it without the vegetables and serve them with other vegetables like green beans or peas on the side.

    1. I used to make the bisquick recipe a lot, years ago, but this one is just as easy and from scratch.


  15. Made your potato soup last week! It was divine! Every last spoonful eaten. I had some leeks I needed to use up and threw them in also. I suppose you could also throw in a bunch of finely chopped kale, just to fool myself it’s very healthy, lol! Like you say, you can use up just about anything in soups and such. Thanks for your dumpling soup recipe. I have the confidence now to try it! Stay warm and cozy. Enjoy your “inside” days!

    1. Awesome! We’ve been eating a lot of that potato soup and yes, you can throw all sorts of things in it. It’s nice base soup that you can spice up in a variety of ways. Thanks for sharing the review!

  16. Love your table setting – wish we could get you on the “RED” search.
    I love everything red. Every time I see your bluues, I wish it was reds.
    Share any knowledge you have on REDS with me, please.

  17. I love Chicken & Dumplings and will definitely try this recipe out. My Moms C&D is more of a traditional southern style with the dough in squares instead of balls. You guys try to stay warm and be safe with all the dangerous cold your are having!

    P.S. I always thought your grandparents were German as well! Now, I am craving some good German food which I consider the ultimate comfort food especially when its cold.

  18. Marian’s dad here. When she was a little girl, we were in Bavaria where the gasthaus childrens menus always featured kartoffel puffern und apfelmus, and THAT was Marian’s favorite back then,… that and kaese spaetzle.


  19. I haven’t read the other comments, so I hope I’m not just repeating someone else up there, but I made a gluten-free version of this as the snow fell heavy in N.VA. this afternoon. I just subbed cassava flour wherever wheat flour was used in your recipe. I had to add a bit more milk as cassava seems to suck up extra moisture, but wow was it yummy! My poor hubby is a native of Mississippi and he hasn’t had this dish at our house since we learned of some serious issues with gluten and wheat years ago. The dumplings tasted just as good as what I remember from my childhood! Thank you again! Stay warm!

    1. Jackie, do you know if it would work with almond flour? I have that and coconut, but no cassava. Thanks!

      1. I would suggest looking for a gluten-free dumpling recipe. I’m sure one is out there! You can keep the rest of the soup the same and use corn starch to thicken instead of flour.

      2. I saw some paleo dumpling recipes with almond and coconut flour, but I’d always heard you could sub 1:1 cassava for standard all-purpose flour in most recipes. This was the first time I’d tried it and it worked! Even though we’ve also got dairy issues around here, I used butter and whole milk anyway and we had a digestive enzymes chaser. Ha! I just couldn’t do coconut milk in a chicken and dumplings recipe. :o)

      3. Sorry Paige— forgot to mention, cassava has a much less distinctive taste than almond and coconut, so when you use it, it tastes a lot more like what you were used to when you could eat regular breads. I make flour tortillas with it all the time. I’ve been on restrictive diets for a long time, and I’m so thankful for cassava flour. I’m thankful for all the coconut products, but I get tired of tasting coconut in everything.


  20. Your recipe is about the same as the one I use…I’m from mid Mn & our wind chill is -32 right now…your pictures look so good I’ve decided to make it tomorrow…


  21. I made it for supper tonite–it was great! Here in Madison, Wi it is supposed to get to -55 with windchill tomorrow so you know it was welcome to eat that warmth. I hadn ever made dumplings before, mine were not quite the same texture as yours, Im’ confused about the dumpling ingredient measurements—Tbsp vs tsp? Any help would be appreciated. Still good enough to share with neighbors and spread the cheer! Thank you so much!

  22. My chicken and dumplings recipe is quite different but I am always up for trying something new and this sounds delicious. We have been having warmer than normal temps, today I was out transplanting Iris! 60 degrees with sunshine. Not to rub it in but I was in garden heaven. Just hearing about all the extreme cold makes me shudder. I wish you all some warmer temps soon!


  23. When I saw your post on Instagram it immediately made me happy just seeing this,because I haven’t made chicken and dumplings this year yet and my Hubs was excited at the prospect! My recipe that I’ve always made is a little different from yours, and I’ve always use shortening in the dumplings and steamed them 10 minutes with the lid on and 10 minutes with the lid off oh, but I would like to try it with butter instead because butter is better for us than shortening! This will definitely be a meal I make this week! Thank you so much for sharing this with us ❤️

  24. This recipe sounds great. I have made dumplings using Bisquick, which are very good and look like yours.
    I like the pot you used for your soup, could you tell me where that is from. It looks very roomy for this recipe, especially when making dumplings. Thank You


  25. Hi Marian! Chicken and dumplings is my number one comfort food. My parents built this little tiny cottage style house for my mother’s parents, my grandparents, in our back yard. My mother said when I was just a toddler I’d climb up the steps to Granny’s house and beg for “ chicken and DUNKLINS’.” Ha! She made the best! When I just smell them cooking, much less taste them, I remember sitting on her lap and her feeding them to me. I associate them with my Granny’s love. Such a great memory, but that’s the only thing I remember about her. She died When I was young. We make the flat rolled out dumplings down South which is a real hassle. I’m going to try and make your fluffy ones! They’re a lot easier and they look so yummy inside! Mmmm. Oh, thank you for your advice yesterday. 😁👍🏻. Have a great day tomorrow and enjoy having some extra time with your boys!
    Shelia P.

  26. This looks so good! I have never made chicken and dumplings but I am definitely going to try this. Thanks Marian.

  27. I have a question about the Staub lid, did you change out the knob/handle or was this a special edition? Is this considered a dutch oven? or a braiser? What size is it? Just love it and was wondering if I “need” it.

  28. I haven’t made chicken and dumplings yet this winter. Seems like the perfect day to do so here in southern MN!


  29. I’ve got some on the stove right now, looks delicious! I think there’s a typo in step 4 of the instructions for the dumplings? It calls for 2 T each of salt & baking soda but the recipe above says 2t of each.

    1. You are right! The big T vs. a little t makes a difference. It is 1 tsp and I made that correction. Thanks for pointing it out!


  30. Made this with Sous vide chicken breasts finished by frying to get some colour on the meat. Would recommend only one container of chicken stock. And watch your salt. Otherwise a meal I will definitely make again!

    1. The salt issue was my fault! I wrote 2 tsp in the ingredient list and then used a T in the directions. It’s just 2 tsps, though, and I corrected that. Sorry for the confusion on that!


  31. Made this tonight my husband and I absolutely loved it. Everything came out to perfection. The dumplings were like tiny biscuits. I would serve this to company as well. I halfed the recipe and there was plenty leftover for tomorrow. Thanks Marian this one is a winner!

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