Chicken and Dumplings: the classic recipe for a beloved, comforting Southern soup

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

When the weather dips and the nights get chilly, there's nothing quite like a warming bowl of hearty chicken and dumplings to make you feel wonderfully cozy. This easy soup recipe is a much-loved classic dish from the American South, where it's a go-to for many families when it gets cold.

With a rich, thick, creamy texture, it's made of tender pieces of chicken, and lighter-than-air dumplings. Chicken and dumpling soup is the perfect comfort dish to keep the cold at bay.

It's a super easy dish to make. The best part? It takes less than an hour to prep and cook. Homemade chicken and dumplings is a delicious meal that's sure to become a staple in your kitchen this winter!

What Types of Dumplings are There?

New to the delicious world of dumplings? There are three types of dumplings you should know: dropped, rolled, and biscuit dumplings.

Rolled dumplings are dense and flat. Biscuit dumplings are made with canned biscuits, then cut and dropped into the simmering soup. Dropped dumplings (the type used in this recipe) are made by dropping dumpling dough into simmering broth where they cook to perfection. They're light and fluffy and float on the surface of the soup. Bonus? Dropped dumplings are super easy to make!

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients

Aromatic vegetables like onion, carrot, and celery serve as a base for the soup and help flavor the chicken broth.

Milk lends a creamy texture to chicken and dumplings.

Thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper bring additional flavor, while butter adds a wonderful richness.

You can use leftover cooked chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken to use in this recipe.

The flour helps thicken the soup, but you can use a cornstarch slurry if you don't have flour.

To make the dumplings, you'll need flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, melted butter, milk, and thyme. The baking powder is a must – it makes your dumplings lovely and fluffy, so don't forget it!

How to Make Chicken and Dumplings

Making chicken and dumpling soup from scratch couldn't be easier. Start by sauteing the onions, carrots, and celery until they begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Next, add the flour and cook until the raw smell disappears about 1 minute. Pour in milk and chicken stock and let the mixture come to a boil. Add in the chicken and thyme, then season generously with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it gently bubble away while you make the dough for the dumplings.

To make the dumplings, mix the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the melted butter and milk. Stir the ingredients well to form a dough. Scoop a dollop of dumpling dough into the soup using an ice cream scoop. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the dumplings around the pot so they don't stack on top of each other.

Push the dumplings into the broth, then pop the lid on and simmer for another 15 minutes to cook the dumplings. Once the dumplings are cooked through, serve the soup immediately with your favorite sides, and enjoy!


Tips for Making Easy Chicken and Dumplings

If you don't have fresh thyme, use one teaspoon of dried thyme as a substitute.

To make a creamier soup, use half and half or cream instead of milk.

Use gluten-free flour to make gluten-free chicken and dumplings.

What to Serve with Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is an ultra-hearty comfort food dish. Serve it with lighter sides like roasted vegetables, green bean salad, leafy green salads, or baked beans. You'll also want a side of freshly baked bread or dinner rolls, artisan sourdough, or cornbread to help mop your bowl once you've eaten all the soup.

How to Store Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Store your dumpling separately from the soup. This will prevent them from becoming soggy and falling apart. Chicken and dumpling soup will last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

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for the soup
6 tbsp
yellow onion, chopped
1 cup
matchstick carrots
1 cup
celery, diced
1 cup
Garlic, minced
4 to 5 cloves
All-purpose flour
3 tbsp
12 ounces
Chicken stock
32 ounces
cooked chicken, shredded
4 cups
Fresh thyme
1 tbsp
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for the dumplings
All-purpose flour
2 cups
Baking powder
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh thyme
1 tbsp
Whole Milk
3/4 cup
butter, melted
4 tbsp


Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high flame.

Stir in onions.

Add carrots.

Stir in celery.

Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook for 45 seconds, until fragrant.

Stir in flour.

Mix and cook for 1 minute.

Pour in milk.

Add in chicken stock.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then put chicken and thyme in the Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. Turn it down to a simmer.

To make the dumplings, sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Add thyme and pepper. Make a well in the center of the flour.

Pour the melted butter into the well.

Add in milk.

Stir until a dough forms. If your dumpling dough is too dry, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough is cohesive.

Scoop a dollop of dumpling dough into the soup using an ice cream scoop.

Continue with the remaining dough. Place the dumplings around the pot so they don't stack on top of each other. Press the dumplings down so the broth runs over them.

Put the lid on the Dutch oven. Simmer for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Make sure not to overcook your dumplings, otherwise they'll fall apart in your soup. Take one dumpling out after 15 minutes and cut it in half to see if it's done cooking. If not, cook for a few more minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Use homemade or store-bought stock as a soup base.

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