When you ask people to list their ultimate comfort food favorites, it’s almost certain that chicken dumpling soup will come up, along with classics like chicken noodle soup and chicken pot pie. A bowl of this cozy comfort soup is exactly what we crave when the weather turns cold. We love that we’re getting a well-rounded meal that nourishes us with many essential nutrients and also tastes so good, with tender chicken, fluffy cooked dumplings, and a flavorful creamy broth.
Highlights: Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe
This homemade chicken and dumplings dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers a healthy medley of essential vitamins and minerals.
Here are a few reasons this chicken dumpling soup may become a perfect addition to your weekly meal plan:
- A comforting soup that nourishes you with a good balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats
- Plenty of good-for-you veggies with minimal chopping required
- Can be made gluten-free and dairy-free with simple swaps
- Long-simmered flavor in a total time of just 1 hour and with only 20 minutes of prep time required
- Leftovers reheat nicely and can be frozen for another day
Ingredients to Make Chicken Dumpling Soup
Here are the ingredients to make chicken soup with dumplings today.
- Frozen peas and carrots — for convenience use a 12-ounce bag of these frozen veggies
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts — may substitute chicken thighs
- Chicken broth — we used low-sodium chicken stock
- Heavy cream or half-and-half — may sub whole milk or buttermilk, or use coconut milk for a dairy-free soup
- Olive oil — may sub avocado oil
- Yellow onion
- Garlic powder
- Ground sage — may sub fresh sage
- Dried thyme — may sub fresh thyme
- Dried rosemary — may sub chopped fresh rosemary
- Fresh chives — may sub dried chives or use dried or fresh parsley instead
- Cornstarch — an optional ingredient, recommended for thickening
- Flour — may use all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend, if needed
- Garlic powder — may sub 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Baking powder
- Fine salt and black pepper — you’ll need 1 teaspoon salt for the soup and another ½ teaspoon salt for the dumpling dough
- Milk — may sub unsweetened non-dairy milk for dairy-free
Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Health Benefits of Chicken Dumpling Soup
Chicken and dumpling soup may be in many people’s collection of delicious recipes, but it doesn’t have a reputation of being a healthful soup. This is historically due to versions that rely on canned biscuit dough (a hidden source of trans fat) and lots of melted butter.
However, our chicken dumpling soup recipe makes a very nutritionally balanced meal. This version ensures you’re getting multiple food groups and nutrients from the addition of vegetables and dairy.
With just 310 calories per 1 ½-cup serving of this soup, you’ll also get a nice macronutrient mix of protein (27 grams), carbohydrates (25 grams), and total fats (23 grams).
Some of the micronutrient highlights include an excellent amount of vitamin A and vitamin B1 and a good amount of fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.
Equipment You’ll Need
After testing many versions of this soup, we concluded that chicken dumpling soup is best made in a soup pot on the stovetop (not in a crockpot or Instant Pot).
The stovetop simmering soup method is required for the dumplings to cook nicely through and quickly, whereas it takes much longer for the dumplings to cook properly in the crockpot. The dumplings also tended to cook too quickly and disintegrate in the Instant Pot.
Here’s what you need to make this stovetop chicken dumpling soup:
- Dutch oven or large soup pot with lid
- Cutting board and chef’s knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Bowl of water
How to Make This Chicken and Dumpling Soup Recipe
In many ways, this recipe is similar to making chicken noodle soup, only here you are adding dumplings instead of noodles.
Here are the basic steps to make this easy chicken dumpling soup:
- Saute the onion: Saute the onion in oil in a large pot or Dutch oven until tender.
- Add the chicken, seasonings, and broth: Place the chicken in the pot over the onion. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and rosemary (you can use fresh or dried versions of these herbs). Add the chicken broth, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the dumpling dough: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, baking powder, salt, and chives; stir in the milk. The dough will be very sticky.
- Shred the chicken: After the chicken has been simmering for 20 minutes, remove the chicken to a cutting board; shred it with two forks and return to the soup base in the pot.
- Stir in the veggies and cream: Add the frozen peas and carrots and the heavy cream. Cook until the soup is simmering again (this should be a gentle simmer, not a boil).
- Thicken the soup (optional): Remove ¼ cup of the hot broth from the pot and place it in a small dish or glass measuring cup. Add the cornstarch and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved into a slurry (a cloudy white liquid). Stir the slurry back into the liquid in the pot. Return this mixture to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the dumplings: With a small spoon, scoop about ½ teaspoon of dough, which is a small portion. Dip your finger in the water and use that finger to slide the dough off of the spoon and into the soup. Repeat until all dough is used up, re-wetting your fingers as needed. You can also just use your fingers to pinch off small portions of the dough and drop them into the pot, rewetting as needed.
- Cook until the dumplings float: Stir the soup and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a gentle simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through and floating to the top.
For serving size and the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories (kcals), protein, carbohydrates/carb, fiber, total fat, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.
Make the Perfect Dumpling
When it comes to fluffy dumplings for your delish soup, there are a few tips to follow. First, use a small amount of dough to make each dumpling, just about ½ teaspoon. Second, don’t overwork or overmix the dough. Stirring it too much could cause your dumplings to be too dense.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through. Leftovers can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container (or frozen in individual portions in our favorite Souper Cubes) for up to 3 months.
History of Chicken and Dumplings
For many years it was believed that chicken and dumplings were a product of the American South during the depression era, as a way to provide a filling meal at a low cost.
However, it has recently come to light that even earlier versions of chicken and dumpling soups date much farther back. They were popularized in European cooking in the 1600s before America was even colonized.
Southern Kitchen provides a great overview of this history, including versions of chicken and dumpling soups that appeared in cookbooks dating as far back as almost 200 years ago.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use already cooked, shredded chicken (or rotisserie chicken) to make this recipe even faster. To do so, sauté the onion. Then, add the cooked chicken, seasonings, and broth. Bring this mixture just to a light simmer (prepare the dumpling dough while the soup is heating up), and then skip ahead to step 5 and proceed from there.
The secret to perfect dumplings is to keep them on the smaller side so you get more dumplings in each serving and they cook nice and evenly. Don’t mix the dough too much, which prevents it from resulting in too-dense dumplings.
We seasoned our dumpling dough with garlic powder, salt, and chives to give it a delicious savory flavor.
There are many different methods for adding dumplings to chicken dumpling soup. Some recipes even call for premade biscuit dough or tortillas.
In our version, we’ve gone the more classic route with a very simple flour-milk dough that you drop into the soup, which cook as the soup simmers.
Yes, this soup stores and reheats nicely. We think it tastes even better the next day after the soup thickens more and the flavors meld together.
Garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, parsley, and onion powder are spices that you’ll commonly find in Chicken and Dumpling soup.
This stovetop recipe takes 1 hour total, with 20 minutes of prep time.
For The Soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion (14-15 oz, or 2 ½ cups diced)
- 1 ½ – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground sage (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary)
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups (or a 12-oz package) frozen peas and carrots
- 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (optional for thickening)
- Additional salt to taste
- Fresh thyme (optional for garnish)
For The Egg-Free Dumplings:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if needed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or 1 tablespoon dried chives)
- ¾ cup milk
- Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and saute it while you season the chicken.
- Place the chicken over the onion in the pot and add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dumpling dough. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, baking powder, salt, and chives; stir in the milk. The dough will be very sticky. Set the dough aside.
- After the chicken has been simmering for 20 minutes, remove the chicken to a cutting board; shred it with two forks and return to the pot. Add the frozen peas and carrots and the heavy cream or half-and-half.
- Cook until the soup is simmering again (this should be a gentle simmer, not a boil).
- Optional step for a thicker soup: Remove ¼ cup of the hot broth from the pot and place it in a small dish or glass measuring cup. Add the cornstarch and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved into a slurry (a cloudy white liquid). Stir the slurry back into the liquid in the pot. Return this mixture to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Now it’s time to add the dumplings. Set a small bowl of water next to your dumpling dough (this is for dipping your fingers and spoon since the dough is very sticky). With a small spoon, scoop about ½ teaspoon of dough, which is a small portion. Dip your finger in the water and use that finger to slide the dough off of the spoon and into the soup.
- Repeat until all dough is used up, re-wetting your fingers as needed. (You can also just use your fingers to pinch off small portions of the dough and drop them into the pot, rewetting as needed). Stir and cover the pot.
- Cook the soup at a gentle simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through and floating to the top. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish servings with additional fresh thyme leaves or fresh herbs of choice, if desired.
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Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1/10th of the recipe (about 1 ½ cups)
- Calories: 310
- Fat: 13 g
- (Sat Fat: 6 g)
- Sodium: 542 mg
- Carbohydrate: 25 g
- (Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 5 g)
- Protein: 27 g
- Cholesterol: 92 mg
The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.
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