Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings

Updated October 06, 2017

This image courtesy of Sarah Remington

Editor’s Note: Learn how to make authentic Italian dumplings with this recipe for Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings. Ricotta is combined with breadcrumbs, cheese, and eggs to make the dumplings dough. Shaping the dumplings takes both time and effort, but it would make a great family or date night activity. Once the formed ricotta dumplings have rested, they cook in hot chicken broth. Using homemade chicken stock or broth will give this simple soup the best flavor. This luscious soup recipe makes for a great first course or a light main dish. 

Another example of the Calabrian propensity to make “meatballs” out of almost any ingredient, these dumplings are featherlight and about the size of a large olive. Poach them in rich chicken broth to make a delicate first course. 

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

Type of DishChicken Soup, Soup


  • 1¼ cups (285 grams) Homemade Ricotta or store-bought whole-milk ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (40 grams) fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (50 grams) freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (5 ounces/140 grams) all purpose flour for coating
  • 2 quarts (2 liters) chicken broth, preferably homemade


  1. Prepare the Dumplings: If using store-bought ricotta, put it in a sieve set over a bowl for about 30 minutes to allow any excess moisture to drain. Homemade ricotta does not need additional draining.

  2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, breadcrumbs, pecorino, parsley, and several grinds of black pepper. Mix thoroughly with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the mixture so the dumplings will be easier to shape.

  3. Make a bed of flour on a dinner plate. For each dumpling, use 1 heaping teaspoon of the ricotta mixture and roll it between your palms into a ball about ¾ inch (18 millimeters) in diameter. Roll in flour to coat lightly, then arrange on a tray. You should be able to make sixty to sixty-five balls. You can make the balls up to 4 hours ahead. Refrigerate uncovered on the tray.

  4. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a 4-quart (4-liter) pot. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and add the balls. Cook until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes; do not allow the broth to boil or the dumplings may break apart. Divide among eight soup bowls and serve at once, garnishing with chopped parsley.


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