Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe just like granny used to make! Learn How To Make Chicken Dumplings 3 Ways: Stovetop, Crock Pot, and in the Instant Pot!
Chicken Dumplings – 2 Styles?
When I was a little girl, “chicken dumplins” meant one thing… Hearty chicken soup with small biscuit-like dumplings that were dumped into the broth. The little mounds of dough simmered in the soup to cook, and to thicken the broth into a rich gravy.
This is the way my mom made Chicken and Dumplings. So of course, it was the right way.
However, after I met Lt. Dan I realized there was another way to make Chicken and Dumplings… With noodle-style dumplings.
These dumplings are rolled and cut into thick noodles that simmer and thicken the broth in the same way. Yet they have a totally different texture.
Drop Dumplings vs Noodle Dumplings
Drop-biscuit dumplings are puffy and almost bread-like in the center. They offer a little more textural variation to a Chicken Dumplings Recipe.
Noodle-style dumplings are soft and delicate, like fat homemade noodles. So this sort of Chicken in Dumplings tastes and feels like a thick version of Chicken Noodle Soup.
Is one better than the other?
No, in my opinion, it’s more of a preference issue. Both types are comforting, made with love, and melt in your mouth.
However, since I’ve already shared a Chicken and Dumplings Soup Recipe similar to my mom’s recipe, today we’re making the kind of Chicken with Dumplings Dan prefers, with dumpling noodles.
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
This Easy Chicken and Dumplings Recipe is the version I learned to make after I married Lt. Dan and we moved to the south.
It has all the same ingredients as my mom’s recipe, yet with slightly different proportions, and with a different dumpling preparation.
The dumplings dough is mixed, rolled, and cut into thick home-style noodles that are gently stirred into the hot broth.
Because the dumplings are thinner and more delicate than drop-style dumplings, you have to be careful not to stir the dumplings too much after adding them to the broth. You don’t want to break them into little pieces!
Yet other than mindful stirring, this Chicken with Dumplings Recipe is easy to make and oh so comforting!
My kids agree with daddy, and love the taste and feel of the fat dumpling noodles.
Easy Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients
For the Chicken Soup Base:
- Boneless chicken thighs and breasts – I like to use both light and dark meat, but you could go with one or the other.
- Butter – To add richness and to sauté the veggies.
- Onion, celery, and carrots – For deep zesty flavor.
- Fresh thyme leaves – To add a pop of herby essence. You could also use dried thyme.
- Bay leaf – For a deeper herby note.
- Chicken stock – The base of the gravy.
- Parsley – To add extra freshness at the end.
For the Dumplings:
- Flour – The base of the dumplings. Use all-purpose flour, or you can use gluten-free baking mix!
- Vegetable shortening – A flexible fat source to make the dumplings soft and bendable. (I like the butter-flavored shortening.)
- Salt – To enhance the flavor.
- Baking powder – For lift.
- Buttermilk – To soften the dough and add a twangy flavor.
How To Make Dumplings
- Start by mixing flour (all dry ingredients) and shortening with a pastry blender. This smashes the ingredients together into little clumps.
- Then mix in the buttermilk the soften the dough and bring it all together.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
- Cut the dough into short-wide noodles. I like to cut them at an angle.
How To Make Chicken and Dumplings From Scratch
- Sauté the veggies.
- Simmer the veggies, herbs, and chicken until the chicken cooks through.
- Take the chicken pieces out of the pot.
- Then make the dumplings as directed above and stir them into the soup, gently.
- Shred the chicken and stir it back into the pot. Done!
Get The Full (Printable) Homemade Chicken Dumplings Recipe Below
Chicken and Dumplings in Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)
So you want to set-and-forget this recipe in your crock pot… No problem!
In the recipe below I’m showing you how to make Southern Chicken and Dumplings 3 ways.
- On the Stovetop
- In the Slow Cooker
- And in an Instant Pot (Electric Pressure Cooker)
The two main keys to making Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings are:
A) You still need to sauté the onions on the stovetop so they soften and sweeten.
B) Don’t slow cook the noodles all day or they will disintegrate. Instead, slow cook the chicken soup all day, then stir the noodles in at the end.
Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe?
Oh yes, you can also make Southern Chicken in Dumplings in the Instant Pot.
The biggest thing to remember, is that depending on the size of your electric pressure cooker, the full recipe may not fit!
If you have an Instant Pot that is smaller than 6 quarts, be sure to use our recipe form servings slider to adjust the recipe to fit your pot.
Using the Instant Pot, you can even add frozen chicken pieces to the pot. It takes 8 minutes to pressure cook thawed chicken and just 11 minutes to pressure cook frozen chicken.
Gluten-Free Chicken Dumplings
That’s right, you can also make gluten-free dumplings using gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour mix, instead of wheat flour.
One thing to consider: Like store-bought gluten-free dried pasta, the noodle-style dumplings do not hold up quite as well as they do when made with standard all-purpose wheat flour.
So just be sure to serve this right away, before the dumplings have time to break apart.
However, the drop-biscuit style dumplings do hold up pretty well when gluten free! Therefore, you can make this exact recipe (with GF flour), then drop little clumps of the dough into the soup base, instead of rolling and cutting it.
You can freeze chicken and dumplings in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Then thaw (completely) at room temperature, before reheating, as to not break the dumplings apart.
Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.
More Comforting Southern Recipes
- Southern Cat Head Biscuits
- Tomato Slab Pie
- Cheesy Squash Casserole
- Easy Jambalaya
- Oven “Fried” Pickles
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
For the Chicken Soup:
- STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Set a large 6-8 quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter and onions. Stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then stir in the celery and carrots and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaf, and broth to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. (Reserve the parsley for later.) Stir and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Dumpling Prep: Meanwhile, set out a medium mixing bowl for the dumplings. Add the flour, shortening, salt and baking powder. Use a pastry blender (or large fork) to mash the mixture together until it resembles oatmeal. Then mix in the buttermilk, until the mixture is mostly smooth.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into an even sheet 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter (or knife) to cut the dough into 1 X 1 1/2 pieces. They should look like thick wide noodles.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the broth. Add the dumplings to the broth, a handful at a time, stirring gently in between so they don't stick together. Simmer the dumplings for 8-10 minutes, uncovered. (Try not to stir too much, or you will break up the dumplings.)
- While the dumplings are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot, along with the parsley. Stir, taste, and add salt as needed. Once the broth has thickened into gravy, turn off the heat and serve!
- CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS: To make chicken dumplings in the slow cooker, still start by sautéing the onions in butter on the stovetop. Then pour the butter and onions in a large 6+ quart crock pot. Add the vegetables, all herbs, chicken pieces, broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low, or 5-6 hours on high.
- About 30 minutes before dinner, remove the chicken pieces from the broth. Then mix and cut the dumplings as directed in step 3 and 4. Stir them into the simmering broth, cover, and let them cook 10-15 minutes.
- While the dumplings are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot. Stir, taste, and add salt as needed. Once the broth has thickened into gravy, turn off the heat and serve!
- INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS: To make this recipe in the Instant Pot you will need at least the 6 quart IP. Or you can use the servings slider above to adjust the ingredients to half the recipe for small pots.
- Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté and add the butter and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken pieces, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, and broth to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Lock the lid into place set on Pressure Cook High for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix and cut the dumplings as directed above in step 3 and 4.
- Once the IP timer goes off, perform a quick release. When the steam valve button drops you can safely open the lid. Remove the chicken pieces with tongs.
- Set the IP back on Sauté and stir in the dumplings. Let them simmer for 8-10 minutes. While they are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Then stir the shredded chicken and parsley into the dumplings. Taste and add seasoning as needed.
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