Dinner Tonight: Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Homemade cream of chicken soup with shredded chicken, tender veggies, and fluffy sour cream dumplings, in under 1 hour. Now that’s something to crow about!
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Growing up, my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings was right up there with grits in terms of my favorite comfort foods. Her process took several hours, and I always knew I was in for a treat. First she would simmer a whole chicken and veggies in water to create a delicious chicken stock. She’d skin and shred the chicken, thicken the chicken broth, and make homemade dumplings from scratch. Her dumplings were more of a noodle dough — buttermilk mixed with flour and rolled out flat to cut into strips.
Recently I had a craving for my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, but I certainly didn’t have the hours to spend making her recipe. So I came up with a quick chicken and dumplings recipe featuring some handy shortcuts. Instead of boiling a whole chicken, I used a rotisserie chicken. I skipped the process of making my own chicken stock and went with a box of chicken broth. For the ultimate fluffy dumplings on top, I did take a few minutes to stir up a from-scratch sour cream drop biscuit dough. But the dumplings feature a few shortcuts, too.
The results still satisfy my comfort food craving, but in a total time of under an hour from start to finish.
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Quick chicken and dumplings Q&A
Before we get started making my recipe, it may be helpful to go over a few questions.
How to make chicken and dumplings quick and easy
Homemade chicken and dumplings can be time-consuming. To cut down on prep time and cook time, this easy recipe starts with rotisserie chicken. Feel free to use leftover cooked chicken if you have it on hand (bone-in cooked chicken breasts, boneless skinless chicken breasts, bone-in or boneless skinless chicken thighs, or a mix of types of shredded chicken).
As for the dumplings, for the best flavor I created from-scratch biscuit dough with sour cream and fresh thyme. To keep it quick, I used self-rising flour, made it a soft, drop biscuit dough (instead of making rolled biscuits), and shaped the dumplings quickly, using an ice cream scoop. To save even more time, you could make the recipe with canned biscuits (aka refrigerator biscuits).
If you don’t have self-rising flour, the recipe tells you how to substitute all-purpose flour plus baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
What’s the difference between dumplings and biscuits?
In this recipe for quick chicken and dumplings, the dumpling dough is a quick biscuit dough. The only difference is that the biscuits, or dumplings, are steamed in the chicken soup, whereas traditional biscuits bake in the oven.
What’s a good thickener for chicken and dumplings?
For this rotisserie chicken and dumplings recipe, I like to use all-purpose flour as the thickener for the cream of chicken soup.
What goes with chicken and dumplings?
One of the great things about this easy chicken and dumplings recipe is that it’s a one-pot meal. If you’d like to add some more veggies to the chicken broth mixture, I recommend stirring in thawed frozen peas at the end. Or serve a simple green salad on the side.
How to store chicken and dumplings
Store any leftover chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze chicken and dumplings?
Yes, you can freeze chicken and dumplings, but I recommend freezing the creamy chicken mixture on its own and waiting to make the homemade dumplings until right before you’re ready to eat. You can reheat the homemade cream of chicken soup in a Dutch oven and then add the dumpling dough to the hot soup.
How long do chicken and dumplings last?
Leftovers from this easy chicken and dumplings recipe will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If you freeze the cream of chicken soup portion, it’ll last up to 6 months.
How to reheat chicken and dumplings?
You can reheat chicken and dumplings in the microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute. Or you can reheat the recipe in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat until hot.
How to make chicken and dumplings the easy way
Ready to get cooking? Let's get into this rotisserie chicken and dumplings recipe.
1. Prep the chicken and veggies
Photo by Ashley Strickland Freeman
To get started, skin and shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Chop a yellow onion, peel and slice a couple of carrots, and slice a stalk of celery.
2. Cook the vegetables
Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to some melted butter in a Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is tender.
3. Make the cream of chicken soup
Making homemade cream of chicken soup sounds impressive, but it’s super easy. Just add some all-purpose flour to the melted butter and softened veggies in the Dutch oven and stir until the vegetables are coated. Add milk and broth and stir to combine. Then stir in some salt, black pepper, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Make the dumpling dough
While the soup is simmering, create the dumpling dough. In a medium bowl, cut butter into self-rising flour, using a fork or pastry blender, until the mixture looks crumbly. Stir in some sour cream, milk, and thyme leaves until a soft dough forms.
5. Cook the dumplings
Photo by Ashley Strickland Freeman
Here’s the fun part, where the dumplings magically cook and expand in the soup! Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the cream of chicken soup base. Stir in the shredded chicken. Use a 1 1/2-Tbsp. cookie scoop or rounded soup spoon to drop 2-Tbsp. portions of the biscuit dough into the soup and make 16 dumplings.
Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until a toothpick inserted into the dumplings comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes.
Get the recipe: Shortcut Chicken and Dumplings
Ready to try my ultimate comfort food dish? Just pick up a rotisserie chicken and a few more ingredients the next time you’re at the grocery store and you'll be ready when the craving strikes.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner
Yummly home cooks love chicken, and it's one of the most versatile proteins around. Once you have chicken & dumplings down, we've got plenty more ways to cook it, in a cast-iron skillet, slow cooker, Instant Pot, the oven, and more.