Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup


Surprisingly easy to make at home, this chicken dumpling soup (loaded with veggies!) is hearty, wholesome and so incredibly delicious!

Blue bowl with spoonful of chicken dumpling soup.

I don’t know why, but for many years of my life, the thought of plopping homemade dumplings into a from-scratch chicken/veggie soup was always super intimidating. Like, why even go there when you have chicken noodle soup and chicken pot pie and chicken noodle stew and other chickeny, vegetabley favorites? Know what I mean? 

It wasn’t until I tried my Aunt Marilyn’s amazing chicken dumpling soup (loaded with veggies) that I kind of got it. A) it was actually embarrassingly easy to make emphasizing all the lost years of my life I had lived in intimidation and B) it’s pretty much one of the best soups ever. 

My family can attest to that. They go crazy over this soup. It’s easily one of their favorite meals of all time, and I’m sitting over here thrilled that I can fulfill all of their wildest winter soup dreams with minimal effort.

Orange cast iron pot filled with chicken dumpling soup.


This recipe has lived on my site for nearly eight years, and I figured it was high time to do a little refresh action and catapult it back into the spotlight (plus, I added a few necessary recipe notes). Many of you have made this soup over the years and have declared it a favorite, too. 

Here’s a quick comment from the thread below: I just wanted to let you know that…my family of 5 all loved it, including my picky 8-year-old who claims to not like any soup that doesn’t come out of a can! I was nervous about the dumplings, I’ve never made anything like that before, but they came out great! Thanks for once again saving dinner in my house!

So basically this chicken dumpling soup is saving picky eaters (or rather, their parents) one bite at a time. 🙂

I’m including a few tips to help you if you’ve also been in the intimidated-by-homemade-dumplings camp. 

The dumplings are made from a soft one-bowl batter. Similar to muffins, you don’t want to overmix the batter or the dumplings might be kind of dense and heavy. The recipe has always used 1 cup flour for the dumplings, but I’ve added a note below that if you want sturdier dumplings (vs super-de-duper soft), add another 1/4 cup flour to the dumpling dough. 

Side by side look at mixing the batter for the dumplings.

I use my small cookie scoop {aff. link} to drop the dumplings into the hot soup. The best piece of advice I can give for chicken dumpling soup is to LET GO OF PERFECTION. The dumplings are going to be rustic looking. Not uniform in size or shape. And quite honestly, just a little bit homely in appearance. 

That’s the comfort and joy of dumpling soup. It’s meant to be a down home comfort food that pleases the soul and the tummy without giving a flip about what an Iron Chef would say about it.

Dropping dumplings in soup with cookie scoop.

As the dumplings are dropped into the simmering soup, they’ll immediately start puffing up and expanding. That’s ok! Just work as fast as you can; all will be well in the end. 

The biggest key to success in this recipe is to put a lid on the soup while the dumplings cook, and let the dumplings cook for the full amount of time. Try to summon all your self control and don’t lift the lid while the dumplings cook!

I’m kind of against soggy foods in general, but when the dumplings in this soup are fully cooked, they are incredibly yummy. Soft on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Undercooking (or underflouring) the dumplings will result in soggy dumplings, though. So dumpling ploppers everywhere beware.

Side by side of uncooked and cooked dumplings.

Using a wider pot vs. a tall, narrow pot will increase the surface area for the dumplings, so keep that in mind, too. 

You’ll notice from the recipe that you can cook raw chicken in the first steps of the recipe OR use already cooked chicken, adding it later. Having made this soup dozens and dozens of times over the years, my preference is to use already cooked chicken. Maybe it’s just me, but I find I always end up overcooking the chicken if I simmer it with the veggies (probably a personal problem). 

I usually have rotisserie chicken meat hanging out in recycled sour cream containers in my freezer, and often, I’ll plop the whole frozen lump of chopped up, cooked chicken in this soup and let the heat of the soup thaw the tender, flavorful chicken. 

If this soup has been a long standing favorite of yours, I haven’t changed anything fundamental in the recipe below – just added a few recipe notes. But if you haven’t made this soup yet, what better time than mid-January for us northern hemispherers, huh? Chicken dumpling soup was meant to be winter’s soup. 

Top down view of blue bowl with chicken dumpling soup.

One Year Ago: Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken
Two Years Ago: Super Moist Fudge Bundt Cake

Yield:
6 servings

Prep Time:
15 minutes

Cook Time:
30 minutes

Total Time:
45 minutes

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2-3 large carrots (or 8-ish baby carrots), chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I use low-sodium)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 medium) or 3-4 cups cooked chicken (see note)
  • 1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to thicken
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (use 1 1/4 cups flour for sturdier dumplings)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chicken broth and chicken (if using uncooked chicken). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through and/or veggies are tender. Remove the chicken to a plate and cut into small pieces.
  2. In a small bowl (or blender), combine the 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Whisking vigorously, slowly add the flour mixture into the hot broth and stir until well combined. Stir in the frozen peas and cooked chicken and bring the soup back to a simmer.
  3. For the dumplings, in a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the sour cream, milk and oil. Stir just until combined (don’t overmix).
  4. Drop teaspoon-sized amounts (the dumplings should be fairly small, they’ll expand while cooking) of dumpling dough into the boiling soup, covering the entire surface of the soup. I use a #60 small cookie scoop. Cover the pot and simmer the soup and dumplings for 12-15 minutes. Do not lift the lid of the pot while the dumplings cook! Add time if the dumplings haven’t cooked all the way (or if they are bigger in size than teaspoon-sized portions).
  5. When the dumplings have cooked fully, remove the lid and gently stir the dumplings to break them apart, if needed. Serve.

Notes

Very often, I make this with leftover chicken or turkey. I just omit cooking the chicken in the broth and water at the beginning and add the leftover, cooked chicken with the peas.

The original version of this recipe used 1 full teaspoon dried thyme; sometimes I find that flavor overpowering, so I’ve given the option in the ingredients list to use 1/2 teaspoon. Also, over the years, I use all chicken broth for the liquid base, but if you have followed the original recipe and want to keep doing so, it is 4 cups broth + 4 cups water.

Recipe Source: adapted from my Aunt Marilyn
Recipe originally posted February 2010; updated with new pictures, recipe updates commentary

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Posted on January 21, 2019 by Mel



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