The BEST Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
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This homemade chicken and dumplings recipe is hands down the BEST! If you don’t believe me, just read all the reviews! Cooked in just one pot, this hearty and creamy chicken soup is loaded with big, fluffy dumplings that are made from scratch in minutes.

Why This Is The Best Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

I have spent my life on the hunt for the best chicken and dumplings recipe and this is the one! It took me years to perfect it, but this is my favorite version and here’s why:

  • Easy: This chicken and dumplings recipe is a breeze to make, especially if you use a store-bought rotisserie chicken like I do. Made in just one pot, cleanup is extra quick too!
  • Comforting: Perfect for chilly nights, a bowl of this homemade chicken and dumplings is the food equivalent of a big hug from grandma.
  • Homemade Dumplings: The light and fluffy drop dumplings are the star of the show. Made from scratch in minutes with pantry staple ingredients, you will be hooked after that first bite!
  • Creamy: Butter and evaporated milk make the broth extra creamy.
  • Versatile: I have included directions for making this soup with raw chicken or cooked chicken, as well as how to make it gluten free. You can also use canned biscuit dumplings for one less step!

Looking for flat/rolled dumplings instead? Try my southern chicken and dumplings!

What You’ll Need

Here’s a quick look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this homemade chicken and dumplings recipe. I always gather the ingredients, and have them prepped and ready to go, before beginning as this recipe moves quickly. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

For the Chicken Soup:

  • Butter
  • Vegetables: Onion, carrots, celery and garlic. You could also add peas. If you prefer to not use vegetables, still include the onion and garlic for flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: See below for gluten free options.
  • Evaporated Milk: Evaporated milk makes the broth extra creamy with less fat than heavy cream. Whole milk or half and half will also work.
  • Chicken Stock
  • Chicken: I always use a rotisserie chicken, or shredded cooked chicken, since it makes this recipe faster. However, I included directions for raw chicken as well!
  • Spices: Thyme, salt & freshly cracked black pepper.

For the Dumplings:

  • All-Purpose Flour: See below for gluten free options.
  • Baking Powder: The dumplings use 1 tablespoon PLUS 1 teaspoon of baking powder! If you use just 1 tablespoon the dumplings will not rise properly.
  • Seasonings: Freshly cracked black pepper, salt, and optional thyme.
  • Milk: Use whole milk, 2% milk, or evaporated milk. Do not use fat free or skim milk. Dumplings need some fat to stay soft and moist.
  • Butter: Melted.
Two bowls of creamy chicken soup with fluffy homemade dumplings floating in the soup.

How to Make Chicken and Dumplings

Here is a quick step-by-step showing you how to make chicken and dumplings. This classic comfort food dinner is easier than you think! Scroll to the recipe card at bottom of the post for full detailed instructions. 

Make the Chicken Soup

  • Cook the veggies: I melt the butter and sauté the onion, carrots and celery until they soften in a large heavy bottomed pot. Then I add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Make a roux to thicken the broth: Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Simmer: Add the evaporated milk and broth. Bring to a simmer and add chicken, thyme, salt and pepper. Let soup simmer, uncovered, while you make dumplings. 

How to Make Dumplings for Chicken and Dumplings

Once your soup base is simmering, it’s time to make the dumplings. This recipe uses drop dumplings, but I have also made it with canned biscuit dumplings. Follow the dumpling directions from my chicken and dumplings with biscuits to use a can of biscuits instead.

  • Dry ingredients: Whisk to combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Combine: Add in the butter and milk, stirring together with a wooden spoon, until dough forms.
  • Add the dumplings: Scoop the dough into balls and drop directly into the soup. Lightly press dumplings down under the broth with a spoon.
  • Simmer: Cover pot with lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Check for doneness: Gently stir the soup. Cut a dumpling in half to check if it is cooked through. If not, cook a few more minutes (with the lid on) and test again.
  • Serve: Once the dumplings are cooked, ladle the soup into bowls and serve!
An overhead view of a large pot of homemade chicken and dumplings set on a cutting board.

Chef’s Tips & FAQs

  • Evaporated Milk: It is VERY IMPORTANT that you make sure and use evaporated milk and not condensed milk. If you don’t have evaporated milk, whole milk or half and half are good substitutes!
  • How to scoop the dumplings: I always scoop my dumplings with a cookie scoop as it is the easiest method. However, you can also use two spoons! Scoop a round of dough with one spoon and push it into the pot with your second spoon. Make the dumplings similar in size so they cook evenly. 
  • Why aren’t my dumplings cooking through? Make sure you have the lid on the pot and that the soup is simmering at a low bubble! This is important to trap in the heat to evenly cook the dumplings.
  • Dense Dumplings: Dense or sinking dumplings is usually caused by expired baking powder or improperly measured flour.
    • Test if baking powder is still active. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over 1/2 tsp baking powder. If it bubbles and foams, it’s good. If not, it’s gone bad.
    • Properly measure flour. Fluff the flour in the bag or canister with a fork. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Then scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour.
Overhead view of two bowls of chicken and dumplings with fluffy homemade biscuits floating in the bowls of soup and spoons on the side.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup Variations

  • Herbs: I love adding fresh thyme to my soup and dumplings as it adds a great mild herb-y flavor. You can skip it completely, or swap it for dried parsley, rosemary or Italian seasoning. If using rosemary, I recommend cutting the amount in half.
  • Want to use raw chicken? Add a cup more of chicken broth and add 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs during step #4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken and continue with the recipe as written.
  • Want to use your slow cooker? Try this crockpot chicken and dumplings (with homemade dumplings) or easy slow cooker chicken and dumplings (with canned biscuits). You may also enjoy this instant pot chicken and dumplings!
  • Gluten free: To thicken the soup, use cornstarch instead of flour. Before adding the dumplings, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir into the soup. For the dumplings, many readers have had success substituting this gluten free flour blend 1:1 for the flour.
Up close image of fluffy dumplings floating in a pot of creamy chicken and dumplings.
A bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings with a spoon holding a homemade dumpling with a bite taken out of it to show the fluffy center.
4.5 from 2944 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 6 servings

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

This homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe is loaded with big fluffy dumplings that are made from scratch in just minutes! Made in just one pot, cleanup is extra quick too!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz (1 can) evaporated milk
  • 32 oz (1 quart) chicken stock
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • salt, to taste

Homemade Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions 

  • In a large heavy bottomed pot like a dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. 
  • Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, until vegetables being to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the evaporated milk and chicken stock, stirring to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and add the chicken, thyme, black pepper and salt. Let soup simmer, uncovered, while you make dumplings. 
  • Dumplings: In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and thyme. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the milk and butter into the center of it. 
  • Using a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula), stir together until a dough ball forms. If your dough seems too dry, you can add an extra tablespoon of milk. 
  • Using a medium sized cookie scoop, scoop dough and drop directly into the simmering soup. Place them around the pot, not all in the same place. Once all dumplings have been added, gently press them down so the soup runs over just the tops of them. 
  • Place the lid on your pot and lower the heat a little to a low simmer. You don’t want the bottom of the soup to burn, but want the soup to still be simmering to cook the dumplings. 
  • Cook for 15 minutes with the pot lid on. Gently stir the soup/dumplings and cut one dumpling in half to make sure they are cooked through.
  • If the dumplings are cooked through, serve hot! If not, cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes and check again. 

Video

Notes

Storage: I recommend storing the soup and dumplings separately. If stored together, the dumplings absorb the extra liquid and become mushy. Separate the dumplings and soup into separate airtight containers. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat: Place desired amount of soup and dumplings in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts, until warmed through. You can add additional chicken broth, if needed.
Want to use raw chicken? Add a cup more of chicken broth and add 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs during step #4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken and continue with the recipe as written.
Canned Biscuit Dumplings: Follow the dumpling directions from my chicken and dumplings with biscuits to use a can of biscuits instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 667kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 145mg, Sodium: 1140mg, Potassium: 812mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 3945IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 367mg, Iron: 5mg

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.