How To Make Chicken And Dumplings

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There really is no other recipe that screams comfort food quite like chicken and dumplings. This meal will warm up and comfort any soul on a cold winter’s day!

If you are looking for an easy chicken and dumplings recipe, you found it! Today I’m sharing all my tips and tricks on how to make your chicken and dumplings from scratch with minimal effort.

The fluffy dumplings combined with flavorful chicken soup make this meal irresistible! In just minutes from now, you’ll be enjoying an amazingly creamy and delicious dinner that tastes like it’s made from scratch!

The easiest and fastest way to make chicken with dumplings is to use a can of biscuits. It’s true, canned biscuit dough makes excellent dumplings in this classic Southern comfort food dish the whole family will love!

Don’t get nervous when I say this recipe is made from scratch. If you’ve ever wanted to make dumplings from scratch you’ll be glad to know they’re surprisingly easy and simple to make!

Chicken and Dumplings is one of the top recipes on my site for a reason and I can’t wait for you to try it! I promise, you will love it like the thousands of others who have given this recipe 5 stars over the years!

HOMEMADE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Chicken and Dumplings is the ultimate comfort food. Period. The fluffy dumplings combined with flavorful chicken soup make this meal irresistible! In just minutes from now, you’ll be enjoying an amazingly creamy and delicious dinner that tastes like it’s made from scratch!

The easiest and fastest way to make chicken with dumplings is to use a can of biscuits. It’s true, canned biscuit dough makes excellent dumplings in this classic Southern comfort food dish the whole family will love!

A bowl of Chicken and Dumplings with a spoon.

What are Chicken and Dumplings?

Chicken and Dumplings are a staple in the deep South.   Basically, it’s like a thick, creamy chicken stew with pillowy dumplings.  The dumplings are cooked in a broth and seasoned, usually with a lot of pepper.

Chicken and Dumplings in a large pot on a chopping board.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OLD-FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS:

Can I use chicken things or other dark meat?

Absolutely! Use whatever cut of chicken you and your family enjoy! You could even purchase a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make this a little faster to prepare.

Can you make chicken and dumplings in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can!

What can I serve with Chicken and Dumplings?

Personally, I like to serve with some sort of FRENCH BREAD or BISCUITS. If you want some more veggies with your meal, you could serve with a side salad or GREEN BEANS.

There really is no other recipe that screams comfort food quite like chicken and dumplings. This meal will warm up and comfort any soul on a cold winter’s day!

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings, shown in a bowl with parsley in the background

What is a “flat” dumpling?

For those of you who didn’t grow up eating this style of Chicken and Dumplings – then you may have eaten it at a place like Cracker Barrel. A lot of us grew up eating CHICKEN & DROP DUMPLINGS. Flat dumplings are very basic and are meant to soak up the flavors of the broth. It’s an easy, comforting homestyle meal.

Can I add vegetables to chicken and dumplings?

You certainly could. This particular version of chicken and dumplings usually does not have any vegetables added but you certainly could throw in some peas and carrots if you prefer.

A tip for cooking them:  smaller dumplings cook better.  The dough will expand once it is placed in the warm broth.

WHAT KINDS OF DUMPLINGS ARE THERE?

There are 3 popular kinds of dumplings:

  • Drop dumplings are dumplings made in a bowl that you scoop out and drop into the soup to be cooked. They are light and fluffy.
  • Rolled dumplings are the kind of dumplings you get when you order Cracker Barrel’s Chicken and Dumplings. They are a flat dense dumpling.
  • Biscuit dumplings are made with canned biscuits and are cut into quarters and dropped into the soup.

This recipe uses drop dumplings. Why? Well, when I started trying out different methods of making my own dumplings these drop dumplings were the clear winner. They are very easy to make, fast to cook and extra delicious! This recipe makes fluffy homemade dumplings that float on top of your chicken soup.

Years and years ago, I used to make my chicken and dumplings recipe with canned refrigerated biscuits. If you are a big fan of chicken and dumplings with biscuits, I still have that recipe on my site as well!

Chicken and Dumplings in two bowls with spoons.

HOW TO MAKE SOUP DUMPLINGS FROM SCRATCH

The first step in making chicken and dumplings soup is to make the dumplings. This homemade dumpling recipe is so easy. They take 5 minutes and a handful of ingredients, you probably already have on hand!

Your family will think you were working for hours making homemade dumplings — so don’t tell them our little secret.

Follow these simple steps to make drop dumplings for soup:

  1. Mix dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and thyme) into a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add wet ingredients: Add in the butter and milk, mix it together using a wooden spoon, until dough ball forms.
  3. Cook dumplings: Drop the dumplings into the simmering soup with a cookie scoop and let cook! That’s it!

If you have been wanting to learn how to make dumplings from scratch, this is definitely a great recipe to try since it’s so easy!

Chicken and dumpling ingredients in bowls on a cutting board.

SOUP INGREDIENTS

Once you’ve made your dumplings, the rest of the ingredients needed for this soup are simple classics:

  • Butter
  • Onion, carrots, celery and garlic
  • All purpose flour
  • Evaporated milk <- The secret to creamy soup!
  • Chicken stock
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Spices: Thyme, Salt & pepper

Some things are best when they are kept simple to let the flavor shine and I absolutely think Chicken and Dumplings is one of those things.

However, I do have one secret ingredient that is KEY to making your chicken and dumplings creamy. Can you guess what it is from the ingredients list above? Evaporated milk!

Evaporated milk is creamier when compared to whole milk, but not as thick as heavy whipping cream (and a lot less fattening as well).

P.S. If you can’t have dairy, I suggest trying this dairy free Matzo Ball Soup. You still get dumplings without the dairy!

Three big homemade dumplings in a big bowl of chicken and dumplings.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS SOUP

Now that we’ve covered how to make dumplings and what ingredients go into this soup, here’s how to make it all come together:

  1. Sauté your veggies: In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until the veggies begin to wilt. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  2. Add flour: Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Pour in the milk and broth: Add the evaporated milk and broth. Stir quickly to combine.
  4. Simmer & make the dumplings: Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and make your drop dumplings as described above.
  5. Drop the dumplings into the soup: Using a large cookie scoop, scoop the dumpling dough into balls and drop them directly into the simmering soup. Place them around the edges of the pot, not all in the center. Gently press the dumplings down so the soup runs over them.
  6. Cover and simmer: Place a lid on your pot, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Test the dumplings: Gently stir the soup. Remove one dumpling and cut it in half to make sure it is cooked through.
  8. Serve: Once the dumplings are cooked, your soup is ready to eat. Time to dig in!

WHAT MAKES THIS SOUP SO CREAMY?

There are a few tricks to keeping Chicken and Dumplings creamy without adding any cans of condensed soups.

First is the use of evaporated milk as mentioned above.

Second, and just as important, is the gravy base of the soup made with all purpose flour and butter. You use the butter to sauté the vegetables in and then add in the flour and cook for a minute or two. The two combine to make a great soup gravy base – similar to making white country gravy.

The evaporated milk + gravy make an amazingly creamy soup when combined with the chicken stock!

Two large bowls of homemade chicken and dumplings with three large dumplings in each bowl.

THIS RECIPE IS PURE COMFORT FOOD!

This homemade chicken and dumplings recipe has been a winner with my family and circle of friends for years, but I have never shared it on the blog.

Chicken and Dumplings made from scratch with a dumpling cut in half to show the fluffy inside.

Can you make chicken and dumplings in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can!

What to Serve with Chicken and Dumplings

Cornbread

1. Cornbread

Cornbread and soup make the perfect pair. And that’s doubly true for chicken and dumplings. Soft, buttery cornbread is the perfect tool for soaking up that creamy soup. These two Southern foods are a match made in heaven.

vegetable salad

2. Fresh Green Salad

Now, we all know that chicken and dumplings isn’t super healthy or calorie conscious. It’s got some healthy components, but there’s quite a lot of fat from the cream in there, so you may want to pair it with something healthier and lighter.

And what better nutritious side is there than a fresh green salad? Not only is it healthy and delicious, but it also gives the soup a nice crunchy contrast. Plus, it’s so easy to whip up!

You can use whatever greens, nuts, veggies, and cheese you prefer, but I suggest that you coat it in a tart vinaigrette. Chicken and dumplings is already so rich, you’ll want something tangy to cut through that umami flavor.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

3. Brussels Sprouts

Would you believe me if I said that I consider Brussels sprouts as comfort food? Sure, I hated them when I was younger, but it’s not their fault!

Now that I’m older, I realize that the secret to sweet, crunchy Brussels sprouts is proper preparation and cooking.

Try roasting them for 20-40 minutes, and I’m sure that like me, you’ll change your mind about it. Oh and did I mention they taste amazing with chicken and dumplings?

Green Beans

4. Green Beans

Aside from being crunchy and nutritious, green beans also offer a nice pop of color to your meal. You can always saute the green beans and call it a day, but they taste even better when flavored with some balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, sugar, onions, and butter. Yum.

Fried Okra

5. Fried Okra

Fried okra isn’t only delicious, but it also gives the tender elements in your soup a nice crunchy surprise.

Grape Salad

Now, here’s another refreshing side that features a stunning fruit. Grapes are not only great for making juice and wine, you know. They also make a great salad that pairs well with chicken and dumplings.

And it’s easy to prepare too. All you need is to blend sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Coat the grapes with this fantastic mixture and refrigerate for an hour. Top with pecans and brown sugar right before serving.

Fried Apples

7. Fried Apples

Sometimes a creamy soup needs a sweet companion to balance out its richness. For me, nothing works better than a simple dish of fried apples. Not only does it give a sweet contrast to the soup, but also a nice crunch.

Plus, you don’t need to be a kitchen expert to pull this off. Just combine sliced apples with sugar (either brown or white) in a skillet. Let it cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking to the pan.

Add more sugar and cinnamon and cook for 5 more minutes, and voilá! A deliciously sweet side.

Corn Pudding

8. Corn Pudding

Other than fried apples, corn pudding also makes a sweet pairing with chicken and dumplings. This corny custard is smooth, milky, creamy, and downright delicious. Its mild sweetness cuts through the richness of the soup, giving you a well-balanced meal.

Brownies A La Mode

9. Brownies a la Mode

Now, if you’re a sweet tooth like me, there’s no way you’ll end a meal without some dessert. I like an equally comforting dessert with chicken and dumplings. And what screams comfort food more than brownies a la mode?

Just think about it – a warm, moist, and decadent brownie topped with a scoop of cold and sweet vanilla ice cream.

The combination of hot and cold gives you a wonderful explosion in the mouth! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to end a meal?

Chocolate Mousse

10. Chocolate Mousse

There’s nothing like a decadent dessert to end a rich and creamy dinner.

Another sweet treat that screams decadence is chocolate mousse. What I love the most is how it tastes amazing no matter how you prepare it. Whether it’s light and airy or thick and creamy, it’s still fantastic.

Easy Banana Pudding

11. Banana Pudding

If you’re not a fan of chocolate, though, there are other sweet ways to round out your chicken and dumplings dinner.

One fabulous way is to serve and enjoy some banana pudding. It’s a sweet and refreshing dessert made with layers of custard, cookies, and ripe bananas. A wonderful way to round out your amazing dinner.

fruit salad

12. Fruit Salad

Now, if you’re feeling a little guilty about serving a sinful dessert, this last option is the one for you. Just slice up your favorite fruits, such as peaches, mangoes, and grapes, throw them into a bowl and you’re all set!

You can also drizzle some honey or syrup over the fruits to give them some extra sweetness. I like adding Greek yogurt to mine too for a little tartness.

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