This easy Chicken and Dumplings recipe makes creamy soup filled with fluffy dumplings. An easy, made from scratch homemade recipe! Now with a 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.

Photo of dutch oven filled with homemade chicken and dumplings with fluffy made from scratch dumplings.

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! You may also love my Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings Recipe. So easy!

How to Make Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

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

Step-by-Step Instructions

Two photos side by side showing how to cook a whole chicken in a Dutch oven.

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.

Shredded chicken in a mixing bowl on a marble counter.

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.

Photo of ingredients needed to make dumplings for chicken and dumplings.
Two photos showing how to make dumplings for chicken and dumplings.

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.

Photograph of chicken and dumplings simmering in a Dutch oven.

Simmer. Add the milk, stirring to combine 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 taste delicious!

Ingredient Substitutions

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

Drop 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.

Rolled Dumplings

(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.

Biscuit Dumplings

(uses frozen and thawed or canned biscuits for dumplings)

Cut canned biscuits into four pieces and drop them into the soup. 

Storage Tips

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

5 from 8 votes
Southern Chicken and Dumplings are easy to make at home with this classic, family-favorite Southern recipe. Now with 30 minute method, Instant Pot and Stovetop instructions!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3 1/2 – 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 kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk

For the Dumplings

Instructions 

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. 

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 546mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




58 Comments

  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. 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

  2. Yes, And it was great!! Making it again this,weekend for my daughter and grandkids. Thank You for a great recipe.

    1. So happy you enjoyed it Danny! Such a special recipe to me and glad to hear you are making for your family! Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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

  4. 5 stars
    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.

    1. Hi Desiree,
      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

  5. 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.

    Thanks!

  6. I add a little carrot and celery to the broth and drop the dumplings by teaspoinfuls. Can’t beat it. Yummy!

  7. 5 stars
    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!