This Southern Chicken and Dumplings recipe is a thick soup with juicy chicken, creamy broth, and a dense dumpling dough. Made in a Dutch oven, this easy recipe is so satisfying and delicious; the ultimate comfort food! This Southern old-fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe not only fills your belly but warms your soul. It’s a family favorite and a comforting meal that everyone will love. This is one of those classic recipes that families tend to have and pass down from generation to generation.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings Made from Scratch
If you’re looking for a fantastic tasting, smelling and filing soup, this easy Chicken and Dumplings dish is what you’ve been looking for.
What Makes This Recipe Southern?
The style of the flat dumplings is the main characteristic of Southern Chicken and Dumplings. This recipe is made with a whole chicken, and has simple ingredients. If you don't have a whole chicken, don't worry, you can use chicken pieces.
What are Southern Dumplings Made of?
These amazing dumplings are made of cold butter or shortening, all-purpose flour. salt, pepper, and buttermilk.
What Type of Dumplings Can I Use?
There are 3 common kinds of dumpling recipe: drop dumplings, rolled dumplings, and biscuit dumplings.
- Drop dumplings are dumplings that you make the dough in the bowl and then drop the dough into the soup broth to cook in it. These kinds of dumplings end up light and fluffy.
- Rolled dumplings are flat dumplings made in a bowl, similar to drop dumplings but then they get rolled out and cut into pieces and then cooked in the soup. They’re more of a flat and dense kind of dumpling, like the one we make in this recipe.
- Biscuit-style dumplings are the most simple of them all. You just use canned biscuit dough and cut them into quarters and drop them into your soup base mixture to cook.
What is the Secret to Good Dumplings?
- When handling and creating your dumplings, the most important thing is to mix them only until the ingredients are combined, don’t over mix or overwork the dough or you’ll end up with tough dough pucks for dumplings.
- When rolling out your dough in the flour, don’t over-flour them which can make them hard dumplings too.
- Roll the dough twice as thin as you want the finished dumplings to be. If you want the cooked dumplings to be about 1/4-inch thickness, roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. The dumplings will soak up the broth as they cook, so they will expand.
How to Keep Your Dumplings From Falling Apart
- When you make your own dumplings from scratch, you want to keep them from falling apart.
- Stir gently and minimally. Stirring too much will speed up the dumplings dissolving.
- Don't let them cook for too long. If you bring your soup up in heat too quickly when reheating leftovers, they’ll start to fall apart then, too.
Can I Add Vegetables to Chicken and Dumplings?
Yes you can. The easiest way is to add in some frozen mixed vegetables when you add the cooked chicken back into the hot broth, before adding the dumplings (make sure it heats up to a simmer before adding the dumpling dough).
Ingredients You Will Need:
For the Dumplings
• All-Purpose Flour
• Cold Butter or Shortening
• Black Pepper
For the Flavorful Chicken Soup Base
• Black Pepper
• Whole Young Chicken, cut up (or chicken thighs, chicken pieces, chicken breasts, or a cooked, shredded chicken)
• Whole Milk
• Melted Butter
This Southern homemade Chicken and Dumplings Soup is easy to make. Start out by making your chicken broth with veggies, seasonings, and a whole chicken. Then you’ll make your homemade dumpling dough before cooking them in the freshly made broth.
Add the shredded cooked chicken to the soup broth and combine it all, thicken it up, serve, and enjoy a hearty bowl of the best Chicken and Dumplings.
How to Make Southern Chicken and Dumplings
• Gather All of the ingredients together.
Make the Dumplings
• Add dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
• Whisk dry ingredients together.
• Cut in butter or shortening (I use a pastry blender / cutter). You can also use two butter knives.
• Add buttermilk and mix until combined into a dough.
• Transfer dough onto a work surface surface with a little flour on it and flatten the thick dough into a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick rectangle, using a rolling pin.
• With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 20-40 (4-inch) squares.
• Set the cut dough squares aside, but don't stack them (you can leave them on the floured surface). You could also cut the dough into long strips that resemble thick noodles.
Make the Broth Base
• In a large pot or Dutch oven add onions, celery, salt, and pepper.
• Add the chicken and water and bring to a boil and then simmer until chicken is done.
• Remove chicken from liquid and let cool.
• After the chicken is cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred.
• Add the milk to the pot.
• Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and add dumplings slowly and carefully into the boiling broth. Cover and cook until dumplings are done and firm.
• In a small bowl, whisk together the melted stick of butter and flour, then stir mixture in to the pot and cook until thickened (or make a cornstarch slurry with cornstarch and cold water).
• Add chicken back into the pot, stir and serve.
How Do I Know When My Dumplings are Done Cooking?
Remove a dumpling from the soup and poke a fork into the middle of it to see if it’s done cooking. If the dumpling is cooked all the way through, they’re done.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings Tips and Variations
- For a really creamy old fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe, use evaporated milk or heavy cream in place of the whole milk.
- To save time, and to use a shortcut, you can use rotisserie chicken and an already made chicken broth or chicken stock. However, I must say that this made from scratch recipe is best when you don’t cut corners and use the whole chicken. It releases the most flavor that way.
- I recommend using unsalted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, reduce the salt in the soup and don't add more until you give it a taste test.
- Always let your Chicken and dumpling soup cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you have a dumpling loving family, you’ve gotta make this great recipe for delicious Slow Cooker Beef and Dumplings. It’s amazing and the fluffy dumplings are made from scratch in that dish, too!
What to Serve With Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings is one of those good ole’ home cooked meals that goes with just about anything.
Southern Green Beans Bacon and Potatoes
Texas Roadhouse Rolls
Peach Salad with Blueberries and Feta
How to Store Southern Chicken and Dumplings
Leftover Chicken and Dumplings soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep in mind that the longer the dumplings are in the soup, the faster they will deteriorate and fall apart in your soup. For this reason, some people choose to strain their dumplings out when storing the soup and store them in a separate container.
Can You Freeze This Soup?
Yes, you can. Be sure to let the soup cool off thoroughly before storing it in a freezer safe container or freezer safe zip top bag. Be sure to label your soup and use it within 3 months of freezing it.
How to Reheat Chicken and Dumplings
You can reheat the soup on the stove until thoroughly warmed through. Or you can reheat it in the microwave in interval bursts making sure to stir it in between rounds of reheating. Be careful reheating too quickly as this will speed up the dumpling dissolving process.
Some More Great Chicken Recipes
If you’re looking for a fantastic tasting, smelling and filing soup, this easy Chicken and Dumplings dish is what you’ve been looking for. Southern Chicken and Dumplings made from scratch is a wonderful recipe that will bring back memories of your mom's recipe.
Or maybe this is the beginning of a new family tradition that you can pass down!
If you make this easy chicken and dumplings recipe, please let me know. You can leave a comment with a star rating below. I'd love to know how you liked it.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings
- Dutch Oven
- Sharp Knife (or pizza cutter)
- Mixing Bowl
- Whisk and Spoon
- Rolling Pin
For the Dumplings
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 4 oz Cubed Cold Butter or Shortening (unsalted butter)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 cup Buttermilk
For the Base
- 2 cups Diced Onions
- 2 cups Diced Celery
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 Whole Chicken, cut up
- 1 quart Water
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- ½ cup Melted Butter
- ½ cup Flour
Make the Dumplings
- Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
- Cut in butter or shortening (I use a pastry cutter). You can also use two butter knives.
- Add buttermilk and mix until combined into a dough.
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick rectangle using a rolling pin.
- With a pizza cutter or knife, cut into 20-40 (4-inch) squares and set aside (don't stack them).
Make the Soup Base
- In a large stock pot add chicken, onions, celery, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until chicken is done.
- Remove chicken from liquid and cool.
- After the chicken is cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Set aside.
Cook the Dumplings
- Add the milk to the pot and bring to a simmer and add dumplings slowly and carefully. Cover and cook until dumplings are done and firm.
- In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter and flour, then add to the pot, stir very gently, and cook until thickened.
- Add chicken back into the pot, stir gently, taste and adjust salt, and serve.