Southern Chicken and Dumplings are easy to make at home with this classic, family-favorite Southern recipe. Now with Instant Pot and Stovetop instructions!

Blue enamel Dutch oven with Southern Chicken and Dumplings being spooned for serving - from addapinch.com

Chicken and Dumplings make the perfect, comforting meal anytime of the year, but especially when the weather is chilly.

Growing up, whenever Grandmother Verdie said she was making her Chicken and Dumplings recipe, we begged to be able to eat dinner with her that night. Thick and creamy, full of moist, tender chicken, and dumplings that were light as a feather. Her recipe is a prize. No fiddling necessary with this recipe! It’s so rich, delicious and hearty and has always been one of my family’s favorite dishes.

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

As I made her recipe for chicken and dumplings, I remembered how she would hum as she cooked. As she rolled her dough and gently dropped it into the soup, she would just hum away. Usually it was whatever song had been played in church the Sunday before and then sometimes it was the song, “Babies Got Her Blue Jeans On.” I have no idea why she loved that song so much, but I loved to watch her when it came on the radio. She’d always get the biggest grin.

Her kitchen wasn’t as big as a minute, but there she’d be cooking and humming and showing me how to get the dough just right. “It’s not the same as biscuit dough, now, ” she’d say. “Be sure not to overwork it. You don’t want the dumplings to sink.” She always gave the best advice – for recipes and everything else.

How to Make Southern Chicken and Dumplings

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Stovetop Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

First, add the chicken to a Dutch oven. Cover chicken completely with water, plus about 3 inches. Bring the chicken to a boil over low heat until the chicken is very tender, approximately 2 hours.

Then remove the chicken from broth and pull into strips, returning to broth, discarding all but the meat. Only the chicken meat goes back into the broth.

Add salt to the broth and increase to a medium heat to bring the broth to a boil.

To make the dumplings, mix together flour, Crisco shortening, buttermilk, and water together to form dough. Pour the dough onto lightly floured paper towels and roll to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1 inch strips and pinch off 1 1/2 inch pieces. Drop the dough pieces into boiling broth. Gently stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.

Next, add butter and milk, stirring to combine and often while cooking. Allow to gently boil for 3-5 more minutes, or until the dumplings are completely cooked. Remove a dumpling and cut in half to test for doneness, if needed.

Then remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

So many of you have been requesting how to make Grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings Recipe using your Instant Pot. I’ve tested and retested to make sure that the Instant Pot method was just as delicious as Grandmother’s stovetop, slow simmered method and boy, is it!

But you’ll see that you do not cook the dumplings in the pressure cooker all the same time as the rest of the recipe. You may ask why not to cook the dumplings under pressure as well, but as I tested the recipe, I found that cooking the dumplings under pressure resulted in a tough, dense dumpling that Grandmother wouldn’t have approved of at all! These dumplings are meant to be delicate and light. I’ve given the instructions in the Instant Pot instructions part of the recipe to make these dumplings taste the absolute best!

So, here’s our family Chicken and Dumplings recipe. I’m sharing a family treasure. And please, be sure not to overwork your dough.

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Southern Chicken and Dumplings are easy to make at home with this classic, family-favorite Southern recipe. Now with Instant Pot and Stovetop instructions!
5 from 8 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 8
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 1/2 – 5 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon shortening
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup butter cold
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions

  • Add the chicken to a Dutch oven. Cover chicken completely with water, plus about 3 inches. Bring the chicken to a boil over low heat until the chicken is very tender, approximately 2 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from broth and pull into strips, returning to broth, discarding all but the meat.
  • Add salt to the broth and increase to a medium heat to bring the broth to a boil.
  • For the dumplings, mix together flour, Crisco, buttermilk, and water together to form dough. Pour the dough onto lightly floured paper towels and roll to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1 inch strips and pinch off 1 1/2 inch pieces. Drop the dough pieces into boiling broth. Stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.
  • Add butter and milk, stirring to combine and often while cooking. Allow to gently boil for 3-5 more minutes, or until the dumplings are completely cooked. Remove a dumpling and cut in half to test for doneness, if needed.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe:

  • Arrange the rack insert inside the Instant Pot. Place the whole chicken onto the rack and sprinkle with the salt. Add 3 cups of clean water to the Instant Pot. Secure the top to the Instant Pot, close the vent at the top of the Instant Pot lid. Set the time using the Poultry button and reduce the amount of time to 25 minutes. 
  • Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure, the chicken will cook for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release over the next 15 – 20 minutes. Carefully remove the lid of the Instant Pot and lift the rack insert out of the Instant Pot carefully transferring the chicken to a cutting board or platter. Remove the meat from the chicken and return it to the Instant Pot broth. 
  • Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot and bring the chicken and broth to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, Crisco, buttermilk, and water to form your dumpling dough. Pour the dough onto lightly floured paper towels and roll to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1 inch strips and pinch off 1 1/2 inch pieces. Drop the dough pieces into boiling broth. Stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.
  • Add butter and milk, stirring to combine and often while cooking. Allow to gently boil for 3-5 more minutes, or until the dumplings are completely cooked. Remove a dumpling and cut in half to test for doneness, if needed. 
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And that’s how you make the best chicken and dumplings you can imagine.

I promise you, if you like chicken, you are going to love these chicken and dumplings. Without a doubt!

But I do wonder what memories Little Buddy will have of me when I’m cooking? It’s definitely my happy place. I think I’ll crank the music up a little louder when we’re cooking tomorrow. And hum a little more.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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51 Comments Leave a comment or review

    1. Hi Joanne,
      As noted in the first part of the recipe instructions, you will cover chicken completely with water, plus about 3 inches more water.
      I hope you enjoy the chicken and dumplings, Joanne! It’s a family favorite and perfect for cold days! Thanks! xo

  1. This looks fabulous your story of your grandmother reminded me of mine I miss her so I really wish I would have paid more attention to her cooking for I miss her food so much thank you for sharing I can’t wait to try this recipe

    1. Thanks, Cathy. Every time I make this, I think of my grandmother making this when I was a little girl. Such sweet memories! xo

  2. Hi Robyn. I tried your recipe today and it was absolutely delicious. I had never used milk and butter in my chicken and dumplings but I now have a new way of making it. I do have one question though… it says that it only takes about 10 minutes here or there to cook the dumplings and mine have taken much longer. All I had was all purpose flour. Would that make the difference, because I see the recipe calls for self rising. I even measured the dough to make sure it was a quarter inch thick just to be sure. Would appreciate your feedback. Thank you

  3. So many times I hear people say they wished they would have paid more attention when mom or grandma were cooking the favorite things and I unfortunately am no different. My sweet Mama went to be with the Lord in 2014 and I haven’t had those comforting dumplings since. (Her recipe was handed down from my great grandmother). You have no idea how happy I am to have run across your recipe. Today is the second time in a week I have made it and it tastes so much like hers I COULDNT BE HAPPIER! My husband loves it also. I think I will treat my dad and make it for him! Thanks so much!!

    1. I know I am so fortunate that I have my grandmother’s and mother’s recipes. I’m so happy this recipe brought back good memories for you, Becky!

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