Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (2023)

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Our old-fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe features tender chicken, hearty homemade dumplings, and is loaded with fresh carrots, celery and onions.

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (1)

Mémère’s Old Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is an easy, filling, and delicious recipe! Tender white meat chicken, soft from-scratch dumplings, and fresh vegetables combine to create a hearty soup that just tastes like home.

Growing up in the sixties, my mom (Granny) would often make chicken and dumplings. Chicken and dumplings is such a timeless comfort food! It was always an eagerly awaited dinner in our home.

This dish is made from such simple ingredients, but it packs so much flavor!

My mom had two different dumpling recipes:

  • Dropped dumplings — Made with Bisquick, these are “dropped” so that they float on top of the soup and steam to cook.
  • Rolled dumplings (this recipe) — Straight from my grandmother’s recipe box! It is a simple, from-scratch dough that is rolled out, cut into strips, and cooked in the broth.

The main difference between the two versions is the texture. Dropped dumplings become puffy while cooking, but they are more prone to falling apart or dissolving. Rolled dumplings are denser and have a texture almost like pasta. This is what I think of when I picture old fashioned chicken & dumplings.

Even though this recipe is made from scratch, it’s fairly easy to make.

While the broth is heating up, you make the homemade dumplings (they are so easy!) and drop them in the broth. They only need to cook for about 20 minutes and then you have a classic homemade chicken and dumplings.

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Where Did Chicken and Dumplings Originate?

Chicken and dumplings is commonly thought of as a Southern food. But interestingly, the dish as we know it today likely originated in Quebec, Canada during the Great Depression.

I actually did not know this until doing a little research for this post. However, it makes complete sense because my Great-Grandmother (Mémère) was from Montreal, Quebec. Very cool! — Stacey

Related: Try Mémère’s Garlic Roasted Pork Loin recipe too!

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (3)


For your convenience in re-creating this recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policyhere.

For the Soup Base

  • 1-2 quarts of chicken broth
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 TB oil for sautéing onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, bone-in, with skin

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (4)

(Video) Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

For the Dumplings

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of chicken broth with a little fat (the broth will have fat if you cooked your chicken with the skin on. If not, add a TB of melted butter.)

Kitchen Tools Used

Instructions for Chicken and Dumplings

To make this dish, we first prepare our soup base using chicken broth and vegetables. While the broth heats, we prepare the dumpling dough. Then we put it all together.

How to Prepare the Soup Base and Vegetables

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onions and sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the sliced carrots and celery and let them cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat if needed, to prevent scorching.
  3. Pour in one quart of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer with the vegetables.
  4. Add the chicken breasts. Add more broth to cover the chicken if needed. Cook at a simmer for about an hour until the chicken is tender.
  5. Remove chicken from the broth and let it cool until it can be handled.
  6. Remove 1 cup of the cooked broth and allow to cool while you prepare the chicken.
  7. Remove the skin from the chicken and debone. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then return the chicken to Dutch oven pot with broth and veggies.

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (5)

How to Make Rolled Dumplings

  1. Whisk together the 3 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  2. Add one egg and the cup of chicken broth you set aside earlier to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  3. Stir gently to create a dough that is tender and light. Form the dough into a ball and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into strips, no more than an inch wide.
  4. Drop the strips of dough into the simmering broth, cover, reduce heat, and let cook for 20 minutes.

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To serve: scoop into large soup bowls, making sure to get some of everything: chicken, dumplings, vegetables, and broth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know When Dumplings Are Done Cooking?

An easy way to test for doneness is the “toothpick test,” like you’d do for a cake. Simply stick a toothpick through the middle of one of the dumplings — if it comes out clean, they’re ready. However, 20 minutes is a pretty reliable cook time.

Can You Use Rotisserie Chicken?

For this soup, I started with a base of store-bought broth that I gave a homemade taste by cooking the vegetables and chicken in it. The cooked chicken is removed, cooled, and chopped up before adding back to the chicken broth.

To save time, you could simply cook the vegetables in broth and add pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the end. Substituting rotisserie chicken will save about an hour of cook time, shortening the total time for this recipe from about 1 hour 40 minutes to just 40 minutes.

Why Are My Dumplings Tough?

If your dumplings are on the dense side, you may not have done anything wrong at all!

Rolled dumplings are supposed to be denser and a bit chewier than dropped dumplings, so keep that in mind.

One of the benefits to this denser texture is that the dumplings hold up better in the broth. They are less likely to dissolve and fall apart than dropped dumplings.

However, I would recommend taking care not to over-work the dough when you’re rolling it. Kneading dough more than necessary can toughen it a bit.

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Chicken & Rolled Dumplings Recipe (Printable Copy)

If you tried this recipe and loved it, please rate it!

Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (8)

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Sara Garska

(Video) Old Fashioned Chicken N Dumplins'

Our old-fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe features tender chicken, hearty homemade dumplings, and is loaded with fresh carrots, celery and onions.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins

Total Time 1 hr 40 mins


  • Large heavy-bottom pan or Dutch Oven



Dumpling Ingredients

  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Chicken broth (with a little fat from cooking chicken in the broth)

Broth Ingredients

  • 1-2 quarts Chicken broth
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil for sautéing onion
  • 2 Carrots peeled & sliced
  • 2 stalks Celery sliced
  • 3-4 Chicken breasts bone-in, with skin


How to Make the Chicken Broth

How to Make the Dumplings

  • Mix the 3 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt

    (Video) COOKING Chicken And Dumplings with White Lily All Purpose Flour… oki

  • Add the one egg

  • Add 1 cup of the chicken broth

  • Mix the dough up gently to create a dough that is tender and light.

  • Make into a ball and roll out to about ½ inch thickness.

  • Cut into strips.

  • Drop into the simmering broth, cover, reduce heat, and let cook for 20 minutes.

    Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (10)


Nutrition information is an estimate only. Your actual values will vary based on exact ingredients used and serving size.


Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 33gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 900mgPotassium: 846mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3534IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 4mg

Keyword chicken, dumplings, soup

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Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings (11)

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What can I add to my chicken and dumplings to make it thicker? ›

If you want to thicken the soup base on your chicken and dumplings, you'll need to do it BEFORE you add in your dumplings. Take about 1/3 cup of the liquids and place it into a bowl. Whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into this liquid. Once the mixture is smooth, pour it back into the soup pot and stir in.

What is the ratio of flour to water for dumplings? ›

  1. 10 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour.
  2. About 3/4 cup just-boiled water (see note)
31 Oct 2009

What is the secret to good dumplings? ›

Don't Overwork the Dumpling Dough

Stir everything together until the wet and dry ingredients are combined and you don't see any more dry flour. The dough might look a little lumpy, but that's okay! Overworking the dough is one of the easiest ways to end up with tough dumplings.

Should dumplings be cooked covered or uncovered? ›

Once your water is boiling, let your dumplings cook in the steam for about ten minutes. Don't remove the lid as letting the steam escape will disrupt the cooking process and result in undercooked dumplings, so keep that lid on!

Should chicken and dumplings be covered or uncovered? ›

Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover and peek while the dumplings are cooking! In order for the dumplings to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil. Uncovering the pan releases the steam.

How do you make perfect dumplings? ›

It's best to have your lid ready: Immediately add about 3 tablespoons of water to the pan, just enough to cover the base of the dumplings, then cover and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Lift the lid and allow the dumpling to cook for another 30 seconds, to allow the bottoms to get extra crispy.

How much flour do I use to thicken chicken and dumplings? ›

If you end up adding too much broth and the soup seems too thin, or if you prefer the broth to be more like gravy, you can make a slurry to help thicken it. Add about 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to a small bowl and stir in enough cold water or cold milk to form a thin paste with no lumps.

How long should dumplings boil? ›

To Boil Dumplings:

Bring back to a boil, and boil for 6-8 minutes, depending on their size, until cooked through. Ideally, anytime the water comes up to a vigorous boil, add 1/4 cup of cold water. This cools the water down and prevents the dumpling wrappers from overcooking and becoming starchy.

Should dumplings float or sink? ›

If they are still sticky and cling to the toothpick, they are not done. The outside will look moist, but the inside will be cooked through. 3. The dumplings will float to the top of the broth, even though at first they may plop under the broth.

How do you make chicken and dumplings a little thick? ›

Use Cornstarch to Thicken Chicken and Dumplings

To give that a little thicker texture we're going to add 1 cup of cool water to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir it up well. Make sure the soup is brought back to a good boil and go ahead and stir in the cornstarch mixture.

Are dumplings better with butter or shortening? ›

You can use either one. Shortening produces a slightly more tender dumpling, but I love the flavor from butter.

What is the sauce for dumplings made of? ›

Start by dissolving a teaspoon of sugar into a tablespoon of water. Then add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon chili oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. And serve this sauce with your dumplings!

How do you know when chicken and dumplings are done? ›

The basic ingredients are rolled into doughy balls about the same consistency as a thick cake batter. Once they're rolled and ready to go, just drop them into your chicken stock and boil until they're cooked through. To test the dumplings, run a skewer or a toothpick through one. When it comes out clean, it's ready.

How do you know when dumplings are finished? ›

Remove a dumpling and insert the fork in the center to split the dumpling. They are finished when the center is cooked through and fluffy, not dense and doughy.

Do you boil dumplings or simmer? ›

The Easiest: Steam or Boil

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add as many dumplings as can fit comfortably in a single layer in the pot and cook them until they float. Let them cook an additional two to three minutes. Fish them out with a strainer, drain them, and serve.

How many folds should dumplings have? ›

Basically, pleats are folded in towards the middle of the dumpling. This means that the folds are going in two directions—left to right and right to left (again, with all folds going in towards the middle). The easiest way to do this is to do two pleats on each side, so you have four pleats total.

Do you cook dumplings in water or oil? ›

Pan frying

Cook in oil for about three to four minutes, turning once to sear multiple sides. Then add just enough water to cover dumplings about halfway, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam until all of the water has evaporated.

Can you overcook dumplings? ›

Yes, you can overcook dumplings. They will start to disintegrate if they are being overcooked, it does take a while.

What makes dumpling juicy? ›

For a juicy, flavorful dumpling, you want fatty pork. The fattier, the better. So buy the fatty grind from a Chinese butcher, or have your butcher grind some fat along with the meat.

Do you put eggs in dumplings? ›

To make dumplings, combine flour and salt. Make a well in flour; add egg. Gradually stir 1/4 cup reserved broth into egg, picking up flour as you go.

Can I use plain flour in my dumplings? ›

If you don't have any self-raising flour, you might be wondering whether you can use plain flour to make your dumplings instead. Technically you can, but your dumplings will definitely end up being pretty dense.

How do you keep dumplings from dissolving in chicken and dumplings? ›

Lower your heat so that your broth is just barely barely barely boiling and drop these pieces in one at a time. It is important that you DO NOT STIR. We are not going to stir these as we don't want our dumplings cooking up. If you do stir, you will basically cause your dumplings to dissolve.

Should I sift the flour for dumplings? ›

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and slowly add enough cold water to make a stiff dough. (A sticky dough makes a soft pasty dumpling.). Knead in the bowl or on a lightly floured board until smooth.

Why are my dumplings hard and not fluffy? ›

The trickiest part of the dumplings remaining fluffy lies with the cooking time. If the dumplings are cooked for too long, then they will become hard. If they are cooked and allowed to remain in the heated environment – in the hot liquid or covered in the hot pot, then the dumpling will contract and get hard.

How long does chicken dumplings take to cook? ›

Let dumplings cook

Allow dumplings to cook for about 15-20 minutes. You should notice your broth starting to thicken (from the extra flour) and your dumplings may start to sink a little to the bottom because they are soaking up the broth. Take one out and taste test it.

How do you tell if dumplings are cooked when boiling? ›

When fully cooked, the dumplings should be plump and floating on the surface. Transfer the dumplings to a colander. Briefly run tap water (make sure it's drinkable water) over.

Why do you add cold water when cooking dumplings? ›

The reason for this has to do with the filling inside. Most likely inside is still raw so you add the cold water to slow down the cooking process of the dough so it doesn't break apart while allowing the filler to finish cooking. Continue to cook until those wonderful dumplings start floating again.

What keeps dumplings from falling apart? ›

Place 1 cup of flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. This is the coating for the dumplings that will prevent them from dissolving in the broth.

Why do you put cornstarch in dumplings? ›

Instead of steaming these dumplings in water, we simmer them in a vinegary cornstarch and flour slurry that creates a lacy, crunchy golden crust as the water evaporates and the dumplings brown.

Why are my chicken and dumplings mushy? ›

You can tell if the temperature is hot enough when the liquid is gently boiling with bubbles breaking on the surface. If you add the dough before the liquid is hot enough, the dumplings will end up soggy and undercooked. 3.

What is the most common filling for dumplings? ›

Some of the most popular ingredients for the filling include shrimp, cucumber, purple cabbage, ground pork, bean sprouts, vermicelli, and rice.

What oil is best for cooking dumplings? ›

For these reasons, refined peanut oil is ideal for both stir-frying and deep-frying. For the latter technique, aim for a temperature of 180-190 degrees celsius for perfect golden crispiness.

What are dumplings filling made of? ›

Chinese cabbage, Chinese chive, fennel leaves, courgette, carrot, daikon, stem lettuce, aubergine, tomato, cucumber, celery, spinach, coriander, bamboo shoot…… The list goes on. For vegetarian versions of dumpling fillings, egg and tofu are popular sources of protein.

What vinegar is best for dumplings? ›

For this dumpling dip recipe, there's a specific type of Asian black vinegar in Asian cuisine that I highly recommend. It's called Chinkiang Vinegar and it comes in this yellow bottle.

What is traditionally in dumplings? ›

Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources), often wrapped around a filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour, buckwheat or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, fish, tofu, cheese, vegetables, fruits or sweets.

How long should you let chicken boil for? ›

As a general rule of thumb, boil a whole chicken for 90 minutes and boil chicken breasts for 15 minutes, or until no longer pink.

Do dumplings float when done? ›

Again, when they start to float they should be done. Taste and if not done, add some more cold water and wait until they float again. When they are done, strain and serve with your favorite dumpling sauce. If you pan-fry a dumpling, they are called Pot Stickers.

How long does it take for dumplings to get ready? ›

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook dumplings in batches of about 8 until they are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

Do you cook the meat first for dumplings? ›

If the filling is wet (i.e., watery) rather than sticky, as is the case with already cooked meat, the filling will pull away from the wrapper during steaming or frying. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. When the meat is gelatinous, it is possible to mince it after cooking and use it as dumpling filling.

Do you cook dumplings in oil? ›

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add dumplings in a single layer and cook until bottoms begin to brown, about 30 seconds.

How can I thicken my chicken and dumplings without cornstarch? ›

Cornstarch is used to thicken liquids in a variety of recipes such as sauces, gravies, pies, puddings, and stir-fries. It can be replaced with flour, arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca, and even instant mashed potato granules.

How do I make my dumplings less watery? ›

FIX: Easiest thing to do is drain off the excess liquid. If it's still too wet, add a little cornstarch to soak up the liquid and turn it into yummy juices once the dumplings are cooked.

Can you add flour to chicken and dumplings to thicken it? ›

With the traditional chicken and dumplings recipe, you also can add cornflour or purpose flour to thicken the pot of simmer chicken. We recommend using a tbsp of flour for each medium bowl of soup and mixing them well. As a result, you will receive a smooth soup thanks to the flour mixture.

How do you make a stock thicker? ›

You can also use flour or cornflour to thicken a soup. Put a tablespoon of either into a small bowl and stir in 2-3 tbsp of the soup until you have a smooth mixture. Stir this back into the soup and bring it to a simmer.

How long do you have to cook dumplings? ›

Depending on the number of dumplings you're cooking, bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the dumplings, and stir immediately so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Bring back to a boil, and boil for 6-8 minutes, depending on their size, until cooked through.

Is it better to thicken soup with flour or cornstarch? ›

It's important to note that cornstarch has twice the thickening power of flour. If you need to substitute cornstarch in a gravy recipe that calls for ¼ cup (four tablespoons) flour, you would only need to use two tablespoons cornstarch.

What does cornstarch do in dumplings? ›

Cornstarch is often used as a thickening agent when added to soups, stews and gravies. Denser than flour, less cornstarch is needed to thicken a liquid to the desired consistency. Here's how it works: when cornstarch is added to a recipe, the starch molecules work to absorb water and thicken the mixture.

Do dumplings sink or float when done? ›

So, altogether, the starch molecules do not absorb much more water as they are done, so the remaining water can vaporize and fill the air pockets, which makes the dumpling float then. Or, in other words, a floating dumpling is actually overcooked and so guaranteed to be ready (if the preconditions are met).

Should dumplings be submerged? ›

They should be pushed down slightly, so that they are half submerged in the liquid. Add them only to simmering dishes (not boiling), or risk them disintegrating. Keep the lid on during the cooking time to ensure the dumplings are kept as light as possible.

Is butter or shortening better for dumplings? ›

You can use either one. Shortening produces a slightly more tender dumpling, but I love the flavor from butter.

How do I get my flour to stick to chicken? ›

Dip in Beaten Eggs

Dip the flour-coated chicken into a bowl of beaten eggs. (If you prefer, you can also use buttermilk or add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or a few drops of hot sauce to the mixture for a little kick.) You want the eggs to coat the flour thoroughly.

Can you add flour directly to sauce to thicken? ›

So long as you're not gluten-free, flour is an excellent option that you'll likely always have on hand. Not only can you use it to thicken sauces, but it makes an excellent thickener for gravies and soups as well. When added to liquid, the starches in the flour expand, helping to thicken whatever you add it to.

How do you make stock taste richer? ›

"If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says.

What is the secret of having a thicken sauce? ›

Add an egg yolk

Egg yolks are a classic way to thicken salad dressings and custards, but they also work wonders for thickening rich cream sauces. To prevent the egg from scrambling, place the egg yolk in a bowl and slowly whisk in about a cup of the hot sauce.


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