Chicken and Dumplings From Scratch

Made this for dinner last night, and thought you might like the recipe! It might look like a lot of work, but really it doesn’t take that long to prepare. A delicious, hearty, cool weather meal!

Chicken and dumplings is often considered a quintessential American comfort food. Common in the southwestern and midwestern United States, this dish consists of chicken cooked in water, with the broth then used to cook dumplings made out of biscuit dough.

chicken and dumplings from scratch
chicken and dumplings from scratch

There are arguments as to the exact origins of chicken and dumplings. Some people say that this meal first came to be in Quebec, migrating to the States during the Great Depression. Others argue that the meal originated in the antebellum American South.

The earliest versions of this recipe called for cornmeal-based dumplings (often served up over turnip greens) along with additional vegetables like carrots, celery, and occasionally, potatoes.

You can buy commercial chicken and dumplings at the store. Dumplings are usually sold raw and frozen and can be cooked into any broth. The consistency of this meal varies, from a thin soup to a casserole-like dish that’s thick enough to eat with a fork.


Chicken and Dumplings From Scratch


  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 2 ribs of celery sliced
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced (I also threw in some carrots toward the end of the cooking time)
  • 1 onion medium, diced
  • 14 1/2 oz can chicken broth (I use homemade chicken stock)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • water


  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder I use 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 3 tsp cream of tartar as a substitute to avoid the aluminum in baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 4 tbsp oil


  • In a dutch oven, combine the chicken pieces, celery, carrots, onion, broth, parsley, bouillon, salt and pepper, and add enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, and cover to simmer for about 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken pieces; allow them to cool. Then, remove any skin and bones, and shred the chicken up. Return the chicken to the pot.
  • Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Return the soup to a simmer.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the dumpling ingredients, and mix well to form a stiff dough. (It’ll be very thick and stiff.)
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes more. Best if served immediately.


Check out my homemade chicken broth recipe if you don’t want to use store-bought.

Traditionally, making chicken and dumplings has been a very time-consuming process. That’s not the case with this recipe, which only takes about half an hour to make!

There are some shortcuts you can take to make it even faster, like using storebought dough or using deboned chicken breasts, too. You can also use canned soup to make your life easier, too – but this won’t be the same “from scratch” recipe you know and love!

There are essentially three types of dumplings you can make, depending on your preferences. Biscuit dumplings are made out of canned or homemade biscuits and then cut into quarters before being dropped int o the soup.

Rolled dumplings are flat, dense dumplings, while drop dumplings are made in a bowl and just scooped out and plopped into the soup.

Although I made this meal in a dutch oven, you could also use a slow cooker or conventional stock pot to prepare it, too. The main goal here is just to simmer the ingredients long enough to really allow the flavors to meld together.

Finally, if you find that your broth is too thin after cooking, go ahead and add some cornstarch. Mix your cornstarch and bone broth ahead of time to make a roux, then add. This will prevent unsightly clumping.

I’ve also heard of people adding heavy cream to their recipes, which makes a beautiful, creamy soup that is incredibly savory and decadent.

chicken and dumplings Pinterest

16 thoughts on “Chicken and Dumplings From Scratch”

  1. Yum! I love to make this in my slow cooker, then for the last 30 minutes I make the dumplings & turn it up to high. I use cornmeal in my dumplings,and my recipe does not use baking powder. Delicious! One of our favorite comfort foods.

  2. Sub out “RABBIT” for yard bird and I am IN THERE!!!!


    Have I told you today how much I love your sweet little blog?

  3. Rumford also makes an aluminum-free baking powder it is in a red can. My guys prefer their dumplings rolled out and cut into strips and it is one of their favorite meals.

  4. I think we’ll have that tonight. Argo makes an aluminum-free baking powder that is not expensive, and I think Bob’s Red Mill does too.


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