Fluffy dumplings nestled in a creamy chicken soup flavored with thyme and veggies. This recipe for homemade Chicken and Dumplings is warm, cozy, delicious and perfect for when you need a little comfort food!
Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch
Easy, creamy Chicken and Dumplings slow cooked to comfort food perfection. 😍
Chicken and dumplings is one of the ultimate cozy dinners. The combination of creamy gravy-like chicken soup plus fluffy, biscuit dumplings on top is just… perfect!
This is a recipe that tastes like it would have taken all day to make, but guess what? It actually takes less than an hour! And most of that time is hands-off, making this a simple and easy dinner.
Thus, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to some real comfort food. It’s nourishing, satisfying, and very easy to make. Use this beloved dish as the perfect excuse to gather around the table with family.
What You’ll Need
Classic ingredients like butter, onions, carrots, celery, and thyme give this recipe a wonderful homespun flavor.
For the Chicken Soup
- Butter: Six tablespoons of butter form the base of the creamy soup broth.
- Onion: Chop up about ¾ cup yellow onion, or use any type of onion you prefer.
- Carrots: To make things easy, I just use a cup of pre-cut matchstick carrots. You can also dice a couple of whole carrots, enough to make one cup.
- Celery: I find that ¾ cup celery is just right for a cup each of carrot and onion.
- Garlic: If you use fresh garlic, mince or press 5 cloves. If using garlic powder, you’ll need about 2 teaspoons.
- Flour: 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour blend with the butter to make the soup thick and velvety.
- Evaporated Milk: This concentrated milk makes any dish extra creamy!
- Chicken Broth: You’ll need four cups of broth, or you can substitute stock or bone broth.
- Cooked Chicken: For this recipe, I used 4 cups of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cooked and chopped.
- Fresh Thyme: Strip the leaves off of the tough stems and discard the stems. You’ll need about one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.
- Pepper: One special thing about this recipe is that you use more pepper than salt. It gives the dish a really homespun flavor. I used 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, but you can adjust the amount to taste.
- Salt: ½ teaspoon sea salt should do the trick.
For the Dumplings
- Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour form the base of the biscuit dough.
- Baking Powder: A common mistake some cooks make is underestimating the amount of baking powder needed to lighten biscuit or dumpling dough. This recipe uses 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon, of baking powder.
- Pepper and Salt: You’ll need ½ teaspoon black pepper and one teaspoon of salt.
- Thyme: To echo the flavor in the broth, add 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves to the dough.
- Milk: You can use whole or 2% milk here.
- Butter: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
Can I Use Leftover Chicken?
Definitely! I recommend using dark meat, because it tends to dry out less than white meat, but this would definitely be good with either. If you do use white meat, you don’t need to simmer the soup as long.
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings
Making this recipe is simple and it makes the whole house smell amazing. I love creating this relaxing, chicken and dumplings dinner, especially on the weekends.
Make the Soup
- Cook the Veggies. In a Dutch oven, melt the six tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Then, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the Flour and Liquids. Evenly sprinkle in the flour, and stir to combine. Next, pour in the evaporated milk and chicken broth, stirring or whisking well until thoroughly combined.
- Add the Chicken. Bring the milk and chicken broth mixture to a low boil, and then add the cooked chicken, thyme, pepper, and salt. Simmer uncovered.
Make the Dumplings
- Make the Dough. While the soup simmers, prepare the dumpling dough. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, pepper, salt, and thyme. Add in the milk and melted butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir together, until the mixture forms a dough.
- Shape and Cook the Dumplings. Using a cookie scoop or your fingers, form the dough into roughly golf-ball sized balls. Arrange the dough balls evenly on top of the simmering soup mixture (be careful not to splash it—it’s hot!). Cover, and turn the heat down to a very low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Test and Serve. Check to see if the dumplings are cooked through by breaking one in half. If the dumplings are not fully done, cover again and cook for a few more minutes before testing again.
- Enjoy! Serve the chicken and dumplings hot.
Tips for Success
Are you drooling yet? Girl. Me too. But don’t rush off to make dumplings just yet. I have some helpful tips to share before you get started!
- Frozen Dumplings Are an Option: In some parts of the U.S. chicken and dumplings is actually made with flat, rolled dough somewhat like pasta or pie crust. These flat dumplings are often available frozen, so feel free to pick up a package and use them instead.
- Biscuit Dough Also Works: That’s right! Just grab a couple of rolls of your favorite refrigerated biscuits and open them up. Cut each biscuit in half or in quarters, and gently drop into the soup in place of the homemade dumplings.
- Make It a Pie: Stretch this recipe even further by making it a pot pie! Just add a bag or two of frozen veggies to the soup mixture along with the chicken. Then pour it into a large baking dish and top with dumplings, biscuits, or even mashed potatoes! Bake at 350F until the topping is browned and cooked through.
When it comes to sides for this down-home recipe, the world is your oyster! (Hmmm, would oysters be a good side? Maybe that’s a bit much.)
- Roasted Veggies: Possibly the easiest side dish of all time, Roasted Veggies on a sheet pan are crispy, caramelized, and simply scrumptious.
- Green Beans: My Garlic Butter Green Beans add a touch of color and a whole lot of garlicky love to the menu.
- Snap Peas: Another easy roasted veggie, these Roasted Sugar Snap Peas are gorgeous and add a pop of sweetness.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store your leftovers in the fridge. Just place in airtight containers, and store for 3-4 days.
- Reheat leftovers by baking at 350°F until heated through, or heating on the stovetop in a covered skillet on low.
Can I Freeze this Recipe?
- Yes, you can! Just place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch
For the Chicken Soup:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- ¾ cups diced celery
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 32 ounces chicken broth or stock
- 4 cups chopped pre-cooked chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 cup milk, whole or 2%
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a Dutch oven, melt the six tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Evenly sprinkle in the flour, and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the evaporated milk and chicken broth. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
- Bring the milk and chicken broth mixture to a low boil, and then add the cooked chicken, thyme, pepper, and salt. Simmer uncovered for 12 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the dumplings. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, pepper, salt, and thyme. Add in the milk and melted butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir together until a dough forms.
- Using a cookie scoop or your fingers, form the dough into golf-sized balls. Arrange the dough balls evenly on top of the broth mixture (be careful not to splash the simmering broth). Cover, and turn the heat down to a very low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Check to see if the dumplings are cooked through by breaking one in half. If the dumplings are not fully done, cover again and cook for a few more minutes before testing again.
- Remove from heat.