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This easy Chicken and Dumplings recipe makes creamy soup filled with fluffy dumplings. An easy, made from scratch homemade recipe! Now with 30-minute method, Instant Pot, and Stovetop instructions!
Looking for more cozy dinner recipes? I think you’ll love my Grandmother’s Potato Soup, Alfredo Sauce, and Pot Roast Recipe.
Chicken and Dumplings make the perfect, comforting meal any time of the year.
Whenever my 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 is needed with this recipe! It’s rich, delicious, and hearty and has always been one of my family’s favorite dishes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings recipe is rich, creamy, comforting, and delicious! Made with minimal ingredients and cooked from scratch, it is a recipe I turn to time and again for my family.
I’ve also included updated variations for Grandmother’s original recipe to make this a quick and easy recipe ready in 30 minutes and for cooking in the Instant Pot!
How to Make Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Whole chicken – about 3.5 to 5 pound chicken
- Cold Water
- Self-rising flour
Cook the chicken. 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.
Shred the chicken. Then remove the chicken from the broth and shred it, returning the shredded chicken to broth, discarding all but the meat. Only the chicken meat goes back into the broth.
Bring to a boil. Add salt to the broth and increase it to medium heat to bring the broth to a boil.
Make the dumplings. Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two forks. Pour in the buttermilk and stir together until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough and drop it into the broth, as shown in the photo above.
If you prefer a rolled dumpling, 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.
Simmer. Add the milk, stirring to combine and while cooking. Simmer for 3-5 more minutes or until the dumplings are completely cooked. Remove a dumpling and cut it in half to test for doneness, if needed.
Then remove from heat, serve and enjoy!
Quick and Easy Chicken Dumplings (30-Minute Recipe)
To make this recipe even easier, you can use the following variation of the recipe. The chicken and dumpling soup will be ready in 30 minutes and still tastes delicious!
- Shredded chicken – use about 4 cups of cooked shredded chicken
- Chicken stock or broth – use 1 quart (32 ounces) of chicken stock or broth
- Self-rising flour
Step by Step Instructions
- Add the chicken stock or broth, milk, and salt to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir in the cooked shredded chicken.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Once the soup reaches a boil and you have stirred in the chicken, carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling soup.
- Stir the dumplings into the soup, reduce the heat to medium-low heat, cover the Dutch oven with a lid, and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, stir, and remove one dumpling to check for doneness. Cut the dumpling in half to see if it is cooked throughout. If it is, the soup is done and ready to serve. If it is not, return it to the soup and continue to cook.
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, slowly simmered method, and boy, is it!
But you’ll see that you do not cook the dumplings in the pressure cooker at the same time as the rest of the recipe. You may ask why not cook the dumplings under pressure, but as I tested the recipe, I found that cooking the dumplings under pressure resulted in tough, dense dumplings 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!
Three Popular Types of Dumplings Used in Chicken and Dumplings
(uses a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop and drop the dumplings)
Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or fork. Stir in the buttermilk until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Drop the dumplings into the soup. Stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.
(uses a rolling pin to flatten the dough, and cut it into strips)
Mix flour, butter, and buttermilk to form a 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 piece. 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.
(uses frozen and thawed or canned biscuits for dumplings)
Cut canned biscuits into four pieces and drop them into the soup.
How to Store this Recipe
To store. Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To serve, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated throughout.
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
- 1 (3 ½ – 5 pound) whole chicken or about 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup cold water or 32-ounces chicken stock or broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups milk
For the Dumplings
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup butter cold
- ½ – 3/4 cup buttermilk
Traditional Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
- Cook the chicken. 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.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from broth and pull into strips, returning to broth, discarding all but the meat.
- Cook the soup. Add salt to the broth and increase to a medium heat to bring the broth to a boil.
- Make the dumplings. Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or forks. Stir in the buttermilk until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Drop the dumplings in to the soup. Stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.
- Cook the dumplings. 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.
Quick and Easy Chicken and Dumplings Recipe (30 Minutes!):
- Cook the soup. Add the chicken stock or broth, milk, and salt to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir in the cooked shredded chicken.
- Make the dumplings. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Once the soup reaches a boil, and you have stirred in the chicken, carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling soup. Stir after every few additions of the dough pieces to make sure they are submerged in the broth and able to cook.Stir the dumplings into the soup, reduce the heat to medium-low heat, cover the Dutch oven with a lid, and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Check the dumplings for doneness. Remove the lid, stir, and remove one dumpling to check for doneness. Cut the dumpling in half to see if it is cooked throughout. If it is, the soup is done and ready to serve. If it is not, return it to the soup and continue to cook.
Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe:
- Cook the chicken. 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.
- Shred the chicken. 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.
- Make the dumplings. Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot and bring the chicken and broth to a boil. Mix together the dumplings. Drop the dumpling 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.
- Cook the soup. Add 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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This looks so yummy! We didn’t have a rolling pin growing up so we used the pinch a bit method for everything from making biscuits to dumplings, cookies, or whatever we cooked that required one. Thanks so much for sharing such a treasured recipe with us. I can hardly wait to try it.
Wow, this looks like a little bowl of heaven. Love your recipes!
One of my favorite southern dishes! Especially if I am not feeling well. 🙂 It just seems to settle just right on an upset tummy!
My dumpling recipe is a little different – but I agree with you, it is a treasure. I probably make it once a week during the winter. I’m German – and our version is called Nookala.
Thanks for sharing that i am going to look up à recipe for that I am from THE netherlands so i don’t know where to get crisco
Crisco is a brand name of vegetable shortening, I’m sure any kind will do.
I made the broth first with onions, celery and carrots. Strained it and then followed your recipe. I got a TON of compliments! The dumplings are a keeper! I think I would add a dash of poultry seasoning to them though. I know, grandma might cringe at that, huh?
I do the same with the broth and drop the dumplings by the teaspoonful. The best flavor and yummy!
Just wanted to say that the print feature you have here is EXCELLENT. So many options!
I’m confused. Is there butter in the dumplings dough AND the broth. The recipe states mix flour crisco, buttermilk, water and butter to form dough. Then later it says add milk and butter and boil. I don’t see where amounts are specified. Am I missing something?
Thanks so much for your question, Kari. Sorry it was confusing. The butter is only in the broth. I’ve updated to clarify. Thanks so much!
What a touching story! Makes me miss my Great Grandma, she made the most phenomenal chicken and dumplings.
Love chicken and dumplings. Had to laugh….I grew up with a dropped dumpling. Husband grew up with rolled out dumplings. He accuses me of being a Yankee. I then demand to know why he doesn’t eat grits! LOL Running gag for 25 years of marriage.
There’s something almost magical about learning a treasured family recipe from our Grandmothers – now that mine’s gone, it always makes me feel closer to her to make one of our family’s recipes. I can’t thank you enough for posting THIS recipe – I grew up with drop dumplings and have been looking for the true Southern styled rolled dumplings. This looks positively heavenly!
I hope you enjoy it, Dana. Preparing our family heirloom recipes definitely makes them feel close. xoxo
When we make ours instead of adding water to the dough we add some cool chicken broth … Just adds more flavor.. My aunt the dumpling lady .. I have made them a few times though we are a rolled dumpling kinda of bunch in the south…
How much water do you recommend using to cook the chicken in?
This looks delicious!
How much broth do you use? I pre-cooked my chicken so wanted to start after the boil chicken step but am not sure how much broth to add the chicken to.
What is a instant pot?
It’s a type of pressure cooker. Thanks Deborah!
do you boil the chicken in just water or in broth? and how much?
Thank you, I cant wait to try this as well as your slow cooker beef stew!
I know this might sound strange but I add some white peppered gravy mix to my broth after dumplings are added. This makes it so good.
How much broth should be in the pan when you start dropping dumplings in?
About how much water should I cook the chicken in?
Robyn, when my grandmother died, her dumpling recipe went with her. I have tried many times to replicate her recipe. While the recipes I tried were good, they were never like granny’s. Well, that is until I found your recipe. Your picture captured me first. I thought, that looks like my granny’s dumplings. So, I had to try your recipe. Girlfriend, when my daughter took a bite, she said, “Mom, these are like granny’s”. I love to cook and so does my daughter (age 24). I really enjoy your blog. Chicken & dumplings were always a tradition at Thanksgiving and Granny’s were the best. Now, thanks to you, the tradition lives on. Happy Thanksgiving Robyn!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me! I know how important those family recipes are and am so glad that I was able to help you to recreate one! Have a wonderful Christmas season! xo
I was wondering because the recipe does not say what size whole chicken to start out with, can the dumplings be frozen if there are too many?
Thanks so much for your feedback, Cathy! I’ve updated the recipe to answer the questions you brought up. Great points! I appreciate it!
I can not thank you enough for sharing this recipe! I made it over the weekend and it was out of this world. My whole family enjoyed it so much that my 9 year old asked me to make it again tonight for our dinner. THAT never happens!
What size Dutch oven do you use?
I add a little carrot and celery to the broth and drop the dumplings by teaspoinfuls. Can’t beat it. Yummy!
Are you cutting in the shortening when making the dough for the dumplings, or just mixing them together? I have no idea how to cut in shortening, but a lot of these classic recipes usually say this, so I just wanted to ask. I have found that a lot of recipes will not mention some basic steps because most people are aware of the steps inbetween, but this cooking noob is not.
My family loved your grannys recipe wonderful clean simple flavors will make again! my dumplings fell apart more then I would like I think I underworked my dough.
Grandmother Verdie would be thrilled that you loved her recipe. One tip for making sure that the dumplings do not fall apart is to make sure that the soup has come to a boil (bubbling) before you add them to the pot. Otherwise, they can fall apart easily on you! I hope that trick helps! xo
I have been working on Chicken an dumplings my entire married life. I LOVE your recipe. My question is mine often become too much like soup an not a thick broth. I am sure it has to do with the amount of water I start with…and then sing two cups of milk. The next time you make it, could you give me an idea of the number of cups of broth you have before you ad the dumplings? I would greatly appreciate it.
Absolutely! Great idea! I’ll be sure to pour off the broth and measure it as a reference the next time I make it. xo
Yes, And it was great!! Making it again this,weekend for my daughter and grandkids. Thank You for a great recipe.
So happy you enjoyed it Danny! Such a special recipe to me and glad to hear you are making for your family! Thanks!
Agree!! This soup is perfect for winter days. Yummy~~ XD
What is the measured amount of broth before adding the dumplings in?
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
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
Hope you enjoy it, Wayne. Thanks!
Very good. Brings back happy childhood memories.
Thanks, Cathy. Every time I make this, I think of my grandmother making this when I was a little girl. Such sweet memories! xo
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
Carolyn, the dumplings made with self-rising flour should cook faster. Next time you need self-rising flour and only have all-purpose, try making your own with this recipe: How to Make Self-Rising Flour. Hope this helps!
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!!
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!
I printed this but do not see the amount of crisco to use listed. Looks good!
Deana, it is one heaping tablespoon shortening, next ingredient under self-rising flour. I hope you enjoy!
Robyn, thank you for sharing all of your cooking magic. At 70 I’m still learning. LOL. I did want to share one great thing I learned about carrot cakes, at least for me. By adding a can of crushed Pineapple, it gave that special something that made everyone want to eat the whole cake! Hugs
Thanks so much, Elaine!
I’m trying this
Hi! I have your book “Add a Pinch,” and noticed another chicken and dumplings recipe. Which do you prefer between this and your grandmother’s chicken aka dumplings?
Christina, about the only difference in these two recipes is the biscuit dough for the dumplings. I really don’t have a preference. I hope you enjoy the chicken and dumplings, whichever you decide to make.
Robyn – These are so good!! I lost my mom in October, and remember her making this dish for my sister and me quite often growing up, using refrigerator biscuits (which is how I made it). I was really missing my mom yesterday when your email hit my inbox, and I knew this had to be dinner last night! I have never made them before, and was so comforted by them with the first bite! Thank you for helping sooth my soul with a dish that tastes just like mom used to make!! What a blessing! 🙂
Bobbie, I love that these chicken and dumplings tasted like your mom’s and gave you a little comfort.