Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken soup like your mom used to make. Literally, your mom. At my house growing up, chicken soup came from a red and white Campbell’s soup can. I remember the first time I had homemade chicken soup and truly, it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten. It was comfort in a bowl. And it can’t be replicated, no matter how hard Progresso tries.

The Best Chicken and Dumpling RecipeNow…living in the South, the idea is that chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup MUST be made from scratch with the whole chicken and homemade broth. Let me fill you in on a little secret. I’ve been assured time and time again from cookbooks and the Food Network that homemade chicken broth is incomparable to the stuff you can buy in the store. I have tried to make homemade broth a number of times, and, quite honestly, I find it to be a great deal of work and I can’t taste enough of a difference to make it worth my time. The other thing is that if you’re making soup that involves hours and hours of work, you’re not going to make it a lot. And this soup is too good not to make a lot. So don’t listen to those ninnies who would have you believe that you’re less of a person for using bouillon cubes or canned chicken broth and welcome them to the 21st century. And reality.

The Best Chicken and Dumplings from Our Best BitesOne more thing–I really, really like dumplings in this soup. A lot. I love the texture and how they thicken up the soup just right. However, if you’re not a dumpling fan, you can use noodles. We have a recipe for homemade noodles, but if you buy them at the store, I strongly recommend that you get Kluski noodles like these ones:

Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients
They taste homemade without actually having to make homemade noodles. That way, everybody wins… 🙂

 Basically we’re making an easy homemade chicken noodle soup.  Start with the building blocks of most great soups: a saute of onions, carrots, and celery.

The Best Chicken and Dumpling Fresh Ingredients

For even more flavor, saute your vegetables with one of our flavored olive oils.

The Best Chicken and Dumpling Recipe ingredients

Then you’ll add chicken broth and a few seasonings,

Chicken and Dumpling Prep

and let it simmer away.  This recipe calls for cooked, chopped chicken, but you can just as easily cook your chicken right in the soup.  I take a few chicken breasts and just gently poach them as the soup in simmering to cook the veggies.

 The Best Chicken and Dumplings Simmering

It all gets done at about the same time and you can just shred the chicken and toss it back in.

The Best Chicken and Dumplings

Now the secret for this creamy soup is quite brilliant.  There’s no adding flour and making a roux or anything like that.  It’s an easy-peasy can of evaporated milk, and you can even use low-fat.

The best chicken and dumplings ingredients

Now when it comes to the dumplings, you have a couple options.  You can easily mix up some Bisquik dumplings.  No shame in that!  I’m also providing a quick homemade version that is almost just as fast.  Both will be soft, tender, and delicious.  It’s just a simple dough, and you drop it right in the simmering soup to cook.

The best chicken and dumplings

The flour from the dumplings thickens the soup just enough and it’s the perfect one-dish dinner.

The best chicken and dumplings ready to eat

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Chicken & Dumplings in a bowl

Chicken and Dumplings

  • Author: kate jones


This recipe for homemade chicken and dumplings will be a family favorite on chilly nights!



1 cup sliced carrots
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
23 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth (homemade if you really want to be a domestic goddess)
1 lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (I use 1/2 of a fauxtisserie chicken and it’s FABULOUS! You could also use leftover rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 14-ounce can evaporated milk (fat free is fine)
1 recipe of Bisquik dumplings (recipe is on the box) or homemade dumpling recipe below

Homemade Dumplings

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter


In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat and add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and then add chicken broth, bay leaf, and basil. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until carrots and celery are tender.

When carrots and celery are almost done, add chicken and chopped parsley. Add evaporated milk and remove bay leaf.

Increase heat to boiling and add dumpling dough by the small spoonful (they’ll puff up).  Cook until until dumplings are cooked through (they should appear moist but feel firm; this is after about 4-5 minutes).  If you’re using raw chicken, simply add it in when the soup originally comes to a simmer and cook until internal temp reaches 165 degrees.

One other thing–if you know you’ll have leftovers, only add dumplings or noodles to what you know you’ll eat immediately. The noodles/dumplings will soak up all the liquid in the soup when you store it as leftovers, so you’ll have overly-mushy noodles and chicken with no broth if you don’t. The other thing you can do is add all of the dumplings or all of the noodles, and then store the dumplings or noodles separately from the rest of the soup. That’s easy to do with dumplings, not so much with noodles.


  1. My husband had a horrible experience on his mission with dumplings that weren't cooked enough, and he had to eat them anyway. He begged me years ago to never make chicken and dumplings. I wonder if he has forgotten by now?

    Homemade mac & cheese – my comfort food!

  2. my ultimate comfort food…other than chicken and dumplings….is homemade mac and cheese.(erin and I must be related!) Though I haven’t found the perfect recipe…ya got one?

  3. We made your chicken and dumplings last fall for the first time and loved it. So yummy! Perfect fall food.

    I have so many comfort foods. Many of them are things my Mom used to make growing up. But also black beans, homemade ice cream, fresh bread…

    adrienne- I have a good mac and cheese, but it’s not really the “classic” type. It’s more Italian. And it’s horrible for you, lol. But unlike *caugh* Kate, I actually like homemade mac n’ cheese, so maybe I can come up with a fantastic one!

  4. Adrienne, Sara's partially right–it's not that I don't like homemade mac and cheese, it's just that I haven't found a recipe that I love. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the macaroni and cheese from Noodles & Co. and I've tried many times (unsuccessfully) to replicate it. Homemade mac and cheese always comes out gritty and/or too heavy for me. And I don't like baked mac and cheese. I'm kind of starting to give up; I know this gal who's a fabulous cook and she's spent years perfecting her mac and cheese, and I don't like hers, either. Sigh. Maybe someday…

  5. Bread. Always bread. I’d love to figure out sourdough, so if you girlies have loads of time on your hands…feel free to indulge me : ).

    Of course, with said bread, soup is the perfect pairing.

  6. I’ll add mine, I just wasn’t thinking well. I LOVE Kate’s Choc. chip cookies, I make them all the time. Until I found them, my mom’s Choc. Chip cookies were totally one of my comfort foods. I love soups too. So yummy. My mom never ever made them though, lol

  7. “Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie”… oh, I guess you have to have seen that episode of ‘Just Shoot Me’ to find that funny. Really though, chicken pot pie is the ultimate of comfort foods for me, I love how it’s a perfect combo of vegi’s, crust, and soupy gravy that makes me want to lick the bowl.

  8. A hundred reasons why I love this blog – but I’ll just name one.

    YOU ARE SO PRACTICAL! I loved your chicken broth explanation. Homemade chicken broth etc. is the very thing that scares me out of the kitchen!

    I also love that you suggest the *best* product brands – it always gives me a heads-up while shopping at the grocery store (where I am also totally incompetent)

  9. I saw this recipe while at work yesterday morning. I went home and made it at lunch then ate the leftovers for dinner. It was a horrible windy/rainy/stormy day and it just hit the spot! Oh how I wish I wasn’t avoiding carbs- I had to leave out what is probably the best part- the dumplings 🙁

  10. This is very timely. I had just put chicken and dumplings on the meal list for this week, and was debating whether it was worth it to make the homemade stock or not. You’ve convinced me not to 🙂

  11. I made this for dinner tonight, and all I can say is YUMMY! it it the spot and was just pretty darn close to perfect.

    I ended up using pop biscuits instead of bisquick stuff – it worked great.

  12. I don’t know if I’m just crazy, but the dumpling recipe isn’t on the back of the bisquick box anymore. So if anyone is looking for it…
    * 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
    * 2/3 cup milk
    mix until soft dough ball forms
    drop into stew or soup

    Wish me luck, I’m attempting this tonight!

  13. I was looking for a recipe for good macaroni and cheese and I want you to know that I came here first, and searched for it.

    I want your mac and cheese recipe Sara!

    Thanks for this awesome blog, you obviously work hard on it. It's really awesome.

  14. We have some folks who already have colds this season, so I made this tonight. I used Costco's Kirkland canned Chicken Breast and had to make my "Bisquick" from scratch, and it still was De-Licious. This one is a keeper. Thanks!

  15. I made this for my family the other night and everyone loved it. My ussual atempt at homemade chicken noodle soup is not well received. I'm happy that I will be making this one again! Thanks.

  16. Those are the best noodles ever. I buy 3-5 bags at a time because I am afraid they will not be available any more! A friend made me some homemade chicken noodle soup after I had one of my babies and I thought they were homemade. And Kate- if you ever figure out that Noodles Mac & cheese recipe, I would love it!

  17. first time to post on the BLOG. I LOVE this recipe, but have always had a problem cooking my bisquick dumplings all the way through. suggestions? They are always doughy/floury in the middle. This recipe only calls them to cook for 5 minutes and i can cook mine for 20 and they're still not done. suggestions??

  18. Hi, Rachel! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! You know…you could try just making smaller dumplings, like maybe just teaspoon-sized, you know? Also, you could try popping the pot under the broiler for a few minutes to try and brown things up a little and maybe cook them a bit more.

    Hope that helps!

  19. Kate-

    Re: homemade mac-n-cheese. Do you like the box kind? I do, but am anti-artificial food coloring so I won't give it to my kids (at least at my house – I try not to be a freak about it at other people's houses and/or school). Sooo, since my kids liked it (before I discovered it's dirty little secret), I've spent some time trying to replicate it. As best as I can, I just boil a half a box of elbow macaroni. I add a half a stick of butter, milk (don't measure, sorry) and Kraft deluxe american cheese (not cheese product, but the real stuff), and a dash of salt. I add 5-6 slices of cheese, to taste. It's pretty close to the box of kraft w/o the food coloring :). Have I mentioned how much I HATE, HATE, HATE artificial food coloring?? LOL

  20. The only thing I wish your blog had are the cook times…. I suck at just watching/waiting/guessing haha. I am going to attempt this tonight though I have never even had chicken and dumplings before *fingers crossed*

  21. RE: Homemade mac and cheese. Use two table spoons of butter to every cup of milk and 1/4 cup of flour. Double or triple depending on the amount. And 6-8 ounces(or more or less)of shredded cheese. Start by melting the butter, then slowly add milk until it begins to boil gradually stir in flour. Continuously stir until it thickens to preferred consistency then sprinkle in cheese while continuing stirring until all the cheese is added and melted. Poor over a cup of cooked macaroni noodles and bake in 350 oven uncovered for 30 minutes, salt and pepper to taste.

  22. Last night as my family was enjoying this comfy cozy meal in the middle of a bout of the flu, I told my husband that, again, I'd gotten this recipe from you ladies. And it hit me, YOU HAVE NEVER STEARED ME WRONG! (Steared looks weird there, hmmm, spelling?)
    Anyway, thanks. We all felt better after eating this, and it was way yummier than the last recipe for ck dumplings I tried. Thank you thank you!

  23. I made it! Added a pinch of black pepper and homemade italian tagliolini, cream instead of evaporated milk. Delicious! Thanks ;***

  24. Looks declicious, just wondering if you know of any recipes for homemade dumplings rather than useing Bisquik?

  25. Instead of trying to separate the cooked noodles from the soup (to keep them from soaking up all of the liquids when stored in the fridge), you could just separate all of the solids from the broth. I’ve done this with other soups with good results.

  26. Hi- I was wondering when cooking it in the crock pot when do you add the evaporated milk ? I made it tonight and forgot about it. Whoops. It was still delicious though. I couldn’t find the answer in the cookbook. Thanks

  27. Am just eating this now. Excellent flavor! 5 stars in my book!! I used heavy cream instead of evaporated milk. The dumplings take 10 mins uncovered and 10 mins covered. They’re delish!! One thing you forgot to add to recipe…don’t forget to REMOVE the bay leaf before serving? Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be making again SOON!! <3!

  28. I found a good recipe for mac and cheese, you should try it! It’s from Katie Brown, and it’s the best I’ve found. And I’ve tried quite a few. I made a few changes to suite my tastes, ie medium cheddar–and about half of what she calls for. I’ve found that her idea of boiling the macaroni in half chicken broth, half water is a brilliant idea. I also really like the addition of cream cheese for a smooth texture. Here’s the link, she calls it Zebra Mac and Cheese. You have to scroll a little..

  29. I made this yesterday with noodles instead of dumplings. I wasn’t sure if I would like it because I don’t like celery and carrots, but this was great!! Although I didn’t put quite as much in as the recipe called for lol. Thanks for another great recipe! It was perfect on these cold days!

  30. My soup was a disaster! 🙁 I guess you weren’t kidding about the noodles absorbing the broth. I made it in the crock pot early in the day but waited to add evap milk and noodles. I put them in about an hr before we ate and the broth was gone! The noodles were mush! So sad! I’ve got a rotten cold and have been looking forward to this all day. Luckily my (your recipe) breadsticks turned out awesome. Better luck next time I hope.

  31. I’ve made the stove top directions and LOVE this soup, but I would really like to make it in a crockpot. Instructions, please?

    1. Honestly, I don’t know if the crockpot would cook the dumplings fast enough. One thing you could do is pop everything into the crockpot (except the dumplings, obviously) first thing in the morning and then transfer it to the stovetop when you’re ready to eat and cook the dumplings that way. Or you could live on the edge and add the dumpling dough about an hour before dinner, turn it on high, and pray for the best. 🙂

  32. I found out the hard way many years ago with cooking the noodles in the soup. I now pre cook the noodles and then add. They don’t soak up nearly all the broth.

  33. I make homemade mac and cheese and this is my recipe. 1 pound of noodles. Cook by directions to Al-dente. In a 2 cup measure cup put in about 1 1/2c. of cubed Velveeta cheese,add 1/2 c. of milk, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. pepper, microwave until melted.Stir,should make 2 cups if not add more milk. When noodles are done drain water, add cheese mixture and stir. Ready to serve. Easy and good. my son no longer likes the boxed stuff he says it’s too plain. There is no flavor. 🙂

  34. great recipe, didnt have canned milk but used whole milk very good and hearty, just what we needed? thanks planning on making your orange beef recipe tomorrow… cant wait, love your site!

  35. Homemade Chicken stock *is* a lot better – and it is so easy in a slow cooker –

    3 lbs chicken wings , 1 onion , i clove garlic and some salt. And time. That’s all– my slow cooker is too small so I put it in a covered pot overnight in the oven at 225. Or all day at work. Then strain it. That’s all. Because the wing meat is so stringy you can pitch it in the trash without remorse.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT feed the waterlogged chicken meat to your dogs unless you really want to spend a number of gross hours with a wet vac and then pay to have your carpets cleaned. DO throw that waterlogged stringy chicken away.

    That said, if you have a lot of *other* stuff ( like lots of vegetables, cream and dumplings ) going on in your soup – you can really safely use the box/can stuff.

    But don’t hate on homemade stock. It is easy and delicious. But you are 100% correct it is not needed for chicken and dumplings.

  36. Anyone figure out how to make this in the crock pot? I am assuming to put everything except the noodles and evaporated milk in, cook for a few hours and then add the soup to the stovetop, allow to boil and add the noodles and evaporated milk? Anything different? Should I cook the onions first per the recipe? Has anyone tried it in the crock pot? I am worried that the veggies will be way too soft and mushy…

  37. I just wanted to throw this idea out there if any of you needed an idea for leftovers. My best friend often makes a big batch of chicken and dumplings and then the next day after things have thickened up, etc, she makes a chicken (and dumpling) pot pie! It’s one of my favorite things ever!

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