Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

A pot of chicken and dumplings with a long spoon scooping a dumpling.

Long ago while I was in college, I went to the beach with a friend’s family. As is the case on many beach vacations when you rent a house with a lot of people, family members took turns cooking dinner on the nights we didn’t go out to eat. I forever remember the night her aunt made a big pot of chicken and dumplings for everyone. I have no idea how she made it, I wasn’t inclined to ask for the recipe (I was in college and rarely did any cooking of my own), but that memory and that meal never left my mind.

Years later, I would try it on my own and make an okay version, then try again and again, different variations until finally, FINALLY, I put together all of the pieces for the absolute best chicken and dumplings recipe.

A bowl of chicken stew with a dumpling in the middle.

Rich Chicken Stew

Chicken and dumplings, at its core, is essentially a chicken stew with dumplings cooked on its surface. For maximum flavor, we want to make a really rich and hearty stew base that just screams comfort food. Here’s how we do it:

Side by side photos of sauteeing vegetables and starting chicken stew.

First, we begin with a common soup starter trio: onion, carrots, and celery. They are sauteed in butter, and then we add garlic.

In order to thicken the chicken stew base, we stir in flour until it is thoroughly cooked through and the vegetables are coated. Then, chicken stock is added, as well as heavy cream (for extra flavor and thickness), salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. We’re packing in alllll the flavors. We let all of that simmer together while we make the dumplings.

Fluffy Dumplings are Key!

Truth: No one wants to dig into a dense, soggy dumpling.

So how do we make utterly fantastic dumplings? They are incredibly easy!

Side by side photos of mixing together dough for dumplings.

We whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; the baking powder is what gives the dumplings a nice, fluffy interior.

Then, melted butter and milk are added for moisture and fat; these help the dumplings hold their shape and keep them nice and tender.

You don’t want to overmix the dough or they will be tough and dense; just a quick stir to get them to come together and call it quits.

Putting It All Together

After stirring the chopped chicken, peas, and parsley into the vegetable mixture, you’ll drop the dumpling dough all over the surface of the chicken stew.

Chicken, parsley and peas being stirred into chicken stew.

Very Important! >> Once the dumplings have been dropped into the liquid, cover with a lid and DO. NOT. PEEK. You want that steam trapped inside the pot to get those dumplings nice and fluffy.

Once the 15 minutes are up, test the dumplings for doneness; if they need a few more minutes to cook, you can flip them over at this point, then cover again and cook for a few minutes at a time until done.

Overhead photos of pots of chicken and dumplings before and after the dumplings are cooked.

Recipe Tips!

  • To make this a quick dinner, use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
  • If cooking the chicken from scratch, I like to use chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you can use breasts as well. Prepare any way you’d like – saute in a pan, poach, or roast in the oven, then chop. I typically use about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • For uniform dumplings, I like to use a medium cookie scoop, which holds about 1½ tablespoons, for dropping the dough into the pot.
  • Storage: The chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may want to add a splash of chicken stock to loosen it up a bit.
  • Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat over low heat on the stove (or in the microwave), adding extra liquid as needed.

An overhead photo of a pot of chicken and dumplings.

If you love chicken-based comfort food dishes, these will be right up your alley:

I would absolutely love it if you made this for dinner sometime soon; if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

Servings 8 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

The best chicken and dumplings recipe made completely from scratch with a rich stew and fluffy dumplings. Make it a quick meal by using rotisserie chicken!

Ingredients:

  • ½
    cup
    unsalted butter
  • 1
    yellow onion
    (finely chopped)
  • 3
    carrots
    (cut into ½-inch dice)
  • 2
    ribs
    celery
    (finely chopped)
  • 3
    cloves
    garlic
    (finely minced)
  • ½
    cup
    all-purpose flour
  • 5
    cups
    chicken broth
  • cup
    heavy cream
  • 2
    teaspoons
    kosher salt
  • ½
    teaspoon
    black pepper
  • ½
    teaspoon
    dried thyme
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 1
    cup
    frozen peas
  • 4
    cups
    cooked chicken
    (diced small)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    minced parsley

For the Dumplings:

  • 2
    cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1
    tablespoon
    baking powder
  • 1
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 2
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
    (melted)
  • 1
    cup
    milk

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken stock in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute until the onion is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Slowly add the hot chicken stock, stirring constantly, and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the heavy cream, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer while you prepare the dumplings.

  4. Make the Dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.

  5. Stir the chicken, peas, and parsley into the pot. Drop the dumpling mixture by large spoonfuls of dough over the surface of the chicken stew. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Check the dumplings with a toothpick to see if they’re done; if they are still doughy in the middle, flip them over, cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes:

  • To make this a quick dinner, use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
  • If cooking the chicken from scratch, I like to use chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you can use breasts as well. Prepare any way you’d like - saute in a pan, poach, or roast in the oven, then chop. I typically use about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • For uniform dumplings, I like to use a medium cookie scoop, which holds about 1½ tablespoons, for dropping the dough into the pot.
  • Storage: The chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may want to add a splash of chicken stock to loosen it up a bit.
  • Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat over low heat on the stove (or in the microwave), adding extra liquid as needed.

Nutrition:

Calories: 365kcal
Fat: 20g
Saturated fat: 12g
Cholesterol: 55mg
Sodium: 1457mg
Potassium: 535mg
Carbohydrates: 40g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 8g
Vitamin A: 4769%
Vitamin C: 23%
Calcium: 146%
Iron: 3%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]