This chicken and dumplings soup is a classic American dish that you should make on game day or chilly days. It's the most comforting and flavorful soup to chase a cold and flu away. It's pretty easy to prepare and makes great leftovers, too.
Today I want to show you how to make chicken and dumplings soup. It's one of my favorite Southern comfort food to have during the winter season.
Creamy Chicken and Dumplings Soup
This chicken and dumplings soup has a perfect balance of protein, veggies, and is loaded with fluffy tender dumplings.
The broth is made from scratch with no canned soup. It's flavorful but doesn't require hours of cooking time, and is actually very easy to prepare. It's so creamy and rich.
The homemade dumplings are not too complicated to make but if you are running out of time, feel free to use pre-made biscuits.
To make this chicken and dumpling soup you'll need chicken thighs, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, frozen peas, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, heavy cream, chicken broth, flour, buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, butter, and the optional turmeric.
Chicken thighs. I used skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs to make savory and flavorful broth.
If you are short on time you can use boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs for a faster cooking time. However, you may need to add a small amount of bouillon (such as Better Than Bouillon), which will add a much deeper flavor to the broth. The end result can be as good as a broth made with skin-on and boneless chicken thighs.
Poultry seasoning. It's a combination of herbs and spices, such as thyme, sage, nutmeg, and rosemary. You can purchase poultry seasoning at any grocery store for $2.33 per 0.65 oz container.
If you don't have any poultry seasoning in your pantry, feel free to use fresh or dried thyme as a replacement ingredient.
Turmeric. Turmeric is healthy and used to add a natural yellow color to food. You only need a small amount of it or else you may affect the taste of the soup. This is an optional ingredient, and you can add turmeric to the soup if necessary just before serving it.
How to Thicken Chicken and Dumplings Soup
You can thicken the soup by adding flour or cornstarch. Alternatively, you can thicken the soup without adding extra calories by reducing the amount of broth that goes into the soup.
I personally chose to add the cornstarch and water mixture after I cooked the dumplings. It's simply because the dumplings are made of flour, which will actually help in thickening up the soup as they cook.
On that note, you can always adjust the thickness of the soup a few minutes before serving by adding a small amount of cornstarch at a time and checking until it reaches the desired consistency.
How to Make Dumplings
Homemade dumplings are pretty easy to make and don't require a long list of ingredients. The preparation can be done within minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients. In a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and softened butter. Mix with a fork then add buttermilk, stirring gently to combine.
- Do not overmix. It's important to combine the flour and other ingredients thoroughly, but not overmix it as that would result in tough dumplings.
- Form the dumplings to stop them from falling apart. Fill a spoon with the dumpling dough and gently form the dough into small ball to keep them from falling apart.
- Cook the Dumplings. Gently drop the dumpling balls into pot. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting lid.
- Check the doneness of the dumplings. Cut the dumplings in half. You know the dumplings are done when the center is cooked through and are fluffy, not doughy or gummy. The dumplings should also rise to the top of the soup.
In this recipe, I only used a cup of flour because the dumplings get bigger as they cook. However, if you love dumplings and want more in the soup feel free to double the dumpling recipe.
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings Soup
Step 1. Brown the Chicken
- Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels then season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Reserve about 2 tablespoons of grease and discard the remaining.
Step 2. Make the Broth
- Add the onion into the pot the cook, stirring frequently until soft for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stirring frequently for 1 minute.
- Add a small amount of broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Add carrots, celery, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, and the remaining broth. Increase the heat and bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, simmer, covered, until the chicken is fully cooked for 20-25 minutes.
While the chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings.
Step 3. Add the Dumplings
- Remove the fully cooked chicken from the pot. Skim the white foam and fat off the top of the water.
- Gently drop the dumpling balls into the pot. Add frozen peas, heavy cream, and salt. Cover the pot and simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
- Cut the dumplings in half and check for the doness. If they aren't cooked through then cook the dumplings a bit longer.
While the dumplings are simmering, shred the chicken with forks.
Step 4. Thicken the Soup
- Mix together cornstarch and water.
- Whisk the cornstarch mixture into simmering a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
Step 5. Add the Shredded Chicken
- Put the shredded chicken back into the pot, stir to combine.
- (Optional) Add the turmeric powder into the pot to bring a nice yellow color to the soup.
FAQ and Cooking Tips
Let soup cool before refrigerating. Transfer the leftover chicken and dumplings soup to an airtight container. Properly stored, the leftover will last 3-4 days in the fridge. Food that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown away.
Place the leftover chicken and dumplings soup into the pot , heat over low heat, stirring frequently until hot; or reheat in the microwave.
Check Out More Tasty Soup Recipes
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Instant Pot Greek Chicken Lemon Rice Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Great Northern Bean Soup (White Bean Soup)
- Albondigas Soup (Mexican Caldo De Albondigas)
- Tomato Potato Soup
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Italian Bean Soup
- Creamy Ravioli Soup
Chicken and Dumplings Soup
- 6 pieces skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs, (pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels then lightly season with salt and black pepper)
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1¼ cups diced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning , (or use dried thyme)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, (use more or less according to your liking)
- 1½ cups frozen peas
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoon softened butter
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ teaspoon salt, (feel free to add more according to your liking)
To Thicken the Soup:
- 2 tablespoon corn starch , (mixed with 2 tablespoon of water)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, (to add a nice yellow color to the soup)
- Brown the chicken. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Work in batches, brown the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reserve about 2 tablespoon of grease and discard the remaining.
- Add the onion then cook, stirring frequently until soft for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add a small amount of broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.
- Add carrots, celery, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, and the remaining broth. Increase the heat and bring the broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, simmer, covered, until the chicken is fully cooked for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and softened butter. Mix with a fork then add buttermilk, stirring gently to combine.
- Remove the fully cooked chicken from the pot. Skim the white foam and fat off the top of the water. Add frozen peas, heavy cream, and salt to the pot.
- Fill a spoon with the dumpling dough and form the dough into small balls. Gently drop the dumpling balls into the pot. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. While you're waiting, shred the chicken.
- Once dumplings are fully cooked, put the shredded chicken back and the optional turmeric powder into the pot, stir to combine.
- To thicken the soup. Add a small amount of cornstarch mixture at a time, stirring and checking until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve with chopped parsley.