Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

$5.87 recipe / $0.98 serving

It’s time to stock my freezer with some portions of homemade chicken soup for the cold winter ahead. I’ve made a classic chicken noodle soup in the past, but I wanted to try a little something different this time.

The word “dumpling” has a million different culinary definitions. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but just about every culture has its own version of dumplings and they’re all different. The dumplings that I grew up with were fluffy biscuit-like lumps that floated on top of soup like little delicious clouds. I wanted some of those dumplings. This is not a recipe for the thick, noodle-like dumpling similar to what you’d get at Cracker Barrel.

I started with a basic chicken noodle soup recipe, but made it in the slow cooker instead of on the stove top and with less broth so that it would have more of a stew-like consistency. Instead of adding noodles at the end, I simply mixed up a batch of drop biscuits and dropped them by the spoonful on top of the “soup.” The heat from the soup steams the biscuits, turning them into fluffy, broth soaked dumplings. The part of the dumpling touching the soup does get soggy, but IMHO that’s half of the beauty. If you’re not into that sort of texture, you can simply substitute your favorite noodle and turn it into a slow cooker chicken noodle soup!

I got about six servings out of this – approx. 1 cup of the soup part and 1-2 massive dumplings. It was very filling!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4.8 from 34 reviews
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $5.87
Cost Per Serving: $0.98
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Soup
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 medium yellow onion $0.57
  • 3 ribs celery $0.80
  • ½ lb (3-4) carrots $0.55
  • 1 large (3/4 lb.) chicken breast $1.49*
  • 1 whole bay leaf $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 4 cups water $0.00
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste) $0.05
Dumplings
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour $0.21
  • 1½ tsp baking powder $0.15
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • ½ Tbsp dried parsley $0.15
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter $0.90
  • ¾ tsp sugar $0.01
  • ⅔ cup milk $0.41
Instructions
  1. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, basil, thyme, chicken breast, water, and some freshly cracked pepper to a slow cooker. Stir to combine and then cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  2. After cooking for four hours on high or eight hours on low, remove the chicken from the broth and place it on a cutting board (if you cooked on low heat, turn it to high now). Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in 1 tsp of salt to the soup. Keep the slow cooker covered as much as possible during this process to retain heat and maintain the temperature.
  3. Allow the soup to continue to cook on high while you mix the dumpling batter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, and sugar. Mix well. Add butter in small chunks and cut it in or work it in with your hands until the mixture resembles damp sand. Add the milk and stir until a very soft paste-like mixture forms.
  4. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and drop the dumpling batter into the soup by the heaping spoonful. Return the lid to the slow cooker and allow the dumplings to steam for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they should have fluffed and expanded from the heat. Although they may look moist on the outside, they will be light and fluffy on the inside. Serve hot.
Notes
*I buy my chicken breast when they're on sale and save them in the freezer for later.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Step by Step Photos

Vegetables

I like to add a lot of vegetables to my chicken & dumplings to round out the meal. I used half of a sleeve of celery, half of a one pound bag of carrots, a medium onion, and a couple cloves of garlic. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and cut the celery and carrots into slices.

Soup Starter

Most of the soups that I make start with this same mix of carrots, celery, and onion. So, instead of letting the second half of the celery and carrots go to waste, I just chop them up, put them in a freezer bag, and then save them for my next batch of soup. Next time I’ll only have to do a fraction of the chopping!

Ingredients in Slow Cooker

Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, chicken breast (it’s hiding under there), bay leaf, basil, thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper to the slow cooker.

Ready to Cook

Add four cups of water and give it a good stir. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Finished Cooking

After which, it will look like this. From this point forward, you want to keep the lid on the slow cooker as much as possible to hold the heat in. The hotter the liquid, the lighter and fluffier the dumplings will be. If you cooked yours on low, turn the heat to high at this point.

Shred Chicken

Quickly remove the chicken breast and replace the lid on the slow cooker. Using two forks, shred the chicken breast. It will be extremely tender, so this should only take second.

Add Chicken and Salt

Return the chicken breast to the slow cooker and add a teaspoon of salt. Again, try to keep the lid on as much as possible, so work quickly. Allow it to continue to cook on high (with the lid on) while you mix up the batter for the dumplings… (or you can add some noodles at the point and just let them cook until tender).

Dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl: flour baking powder, salt, sugar, and dried parsley. Stir until they are well combined.

Add Butter

Add small pieces of the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Work the butter in using a pastry cutter or your hands until it resembles damp sand.

Add Milk

See how it kind of looks like clumpy, damp sand? Add the milk and then stir just until it forms a wet paste-like mixture.

Dough

It should be very soft and easy to scoop with a spoon. If your dough is too stiff (not enough milk) the dumplings will be dense and not light and fluffy.

Drop Dumplings

Drop the batter onto the soup by the heaping spoonful. Hopefully the soup will be very close to, if not simmering at this point. The hotter the soup, the better the dumplings. Unfortunately I had kept the lid off a lot to take photos, so mine had cooled off significantly.

Puffed Dumplings

Keeping the lid on and the heat turned on to high, let the dumplings cook for 20 minutes. They’ll puff up like this as they cook.

Break Apart Dumplings

I like to break the dumplings apart a bit because it also allows the bits of soaked dumpling to mix into the broth and make it a little creamy. Now it’s ready to serve!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Hearty, delicious, and 100% homemade! 

102 Comments

  1. George Gilceava says:

    Love the Website , you guys are great , love the way you show everything step by step !

  2. Victoria says:

    This recipe is one of my favorites! It’s just simply amazing and delicious! I modify it by substituting 2 cups of water with 2 cups of chicken broth, or even just a 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth for convenience. It makes the soup just that more flavorful! Either way, this recipe is a keeper! Thank you soooo much!

  3. Jessica says:

    This site is amazing. Every recipe I’ve made from here turns out awesome. Well done!

  4. Jocelyn says:

    This is simmering away as I type this! My house smells delicious =]

    For those out there having trouble with the dumplings, I usually cover the top of my slow cooker with tin foil after putting the dumpling batter in. My lid doesn’t fit snugly on my slow cooker, and that helps to keep the steam where it should be.

  5. Esther says:

    Every single recipe I make from this site is out of the park.

  6. This recipe worked out well. I used vegetable broth (3 cups) and 1 cup water and it worked well but was a tad saltier than I’d intended. Next time I’ll do 2 cups of each. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Janet says:

    This was fantastic! I used 6 cups homemade chicken stock instead of the four cups of water and added 1 cup of peas when I took out the chicken for shredding. This fed me, my husband, and my two young girls dinner and there were 3 portions leftover for my husband to take to lunch. What a bargin! I have been combing the rest of the site all day looking for my next meal. Thanks for the real, affordable, family friendly food!

  8. Melissa says:

    My family loved this! I altered the seasonings to our tastes but the cooking process was great! My crockpot didnt quite cook the dumplings properly but i just ladeled out some of the broth into another pot then added the uncooked dumplings to boiling broth. Then I added back to the chicken. My family loved it!

  9. Taiya says:

    Love all your recipes! will you please please please do a german dish with spaetzel noodle?

  10. Amanda says:

    This was really good and both my husband and toddler liked it a lot, too. My broth was pretty bland, so I think I’d need to do something nice time to up the flavour factor there. The dumplings worked out perfectly. We are in the UK, so (for anyone else on metric/without all purpose flour) I used 125-ish grams of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 60 grams of butter. I just poured the milk in until I got the right consistency. They rose and fluffed perfectly.

  11. Stefanie says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I made it tonight and it came out great! Personally, I cooked the chicken soup in the slow cooker overnight (because I’m too scared to leave it on while working) then I refrigerated the soup in the morning when it was done. When I came come I heated up the soup on the stove top, made the dumplings (I also added some half and half I had and chicken boulion). It was easier to get the dumplings going on the stove top. Amay-Zing!

  12. Jackie says:

    This was such a delicious meal… I would put a little bit more water next time because the dumplings really soaked up a lot of the broth. Super delish and makes a ton. We got 7 servings out of the recipe.

  13. Jennifer says:

    This was delicious and so easy! I needed a recipe of Chicken and Dumplingsin the slow cooker that did not require cans of soup- yuck. This was so simple- I threw everything in the slow cooker sunday around lunch time and by dinner it was ready, made the dumpling mixture, plopped them in and done! We had leftovers for dinner last night! YUM.

  14. This is probably the 7th or 8th recipe I’ve tried from your site, and once again, a hit! Before we were even finished, my 9yr old asked if there would be enough leftovers to have again for dinner the next night. Thanks!!

  15. I usually make something similar to this on the stovetop with bone-in chicken.
    I have never made dumplings from scratch before.
    This turned out delicious – it is the only recipe I am going to use from now on!!

  16. Ashley says:

    Thank you I’m makin this for dinner tonight. Which is better for cooking the chicken low or high?

  17. Ciara says:

    Tried this recipe tonight. Excellent. DH loved the dumplings!
    Thanks

  18. Kezia says:

    THANK YOU! I don’t consider myself a good cook by any means, but this was the first recipe that I tried in my new crockpot and it was absolutely delicious. After reading other people’s comments, I made sure to grate the butter and transfer the soup to a pot for more heat at the end. It worked perfectly! The dumplings were moist on the outside but fluffy on the inside, and the soup had a heartiness to it that can’t be beat on a cold, wintry day. Not to mention, my boyfriend couldn’t get enough!

    I’m definitely going to come to this blog first for future recipes. :)

  19. Made this for dinner today with a few tweaks – my fiance really wants his protein so I used 4 chicken breasts (BOGO for a pack of two at my local grocery), added two cups of water and 6-8 chicken bouillon cubes, and omitted the garlic (we don’t care for garlic in our chicken soup). Plus, I bought a bottle of sherry a few weeks back for another recipe so I put a tablespoon or so in for flavor (I’m trying to use this wherever I can!). My dumplings took about an hour to set as my crock doesn’t run very hot even on high. It was OUTSTANDING!!! Love the flavors and how the dumplings make the soup a little thick. Thanks for the awesome recipe, I’ll be making this again.

  20. ashley says:

    this literally just came out of the crockpot and i am eating a bowl! it’s soooo good! the dumplings turned out perfect, and it’s my first time making them. thanks so much!

  21. Katherine says:

    This is what we’re having for dinner tonight. Great site. I bookmarked it, so I’ll be back!

  22. I just wanted to thank you for posting such a great recipe! I have some serious health problems and frequently jones chicken and dumplings when I get sick. My Mom, who is full of awesome, tries a new chicken and dumplings recipe every time I get sick, and presents me with a huge pot of gluey mess and an apology. I try to eat it. It is gross and disappointing, so down the drain it goes.

    Then, I found this recipe. Soon after that, I had a horrible sinusitis/strep throat/ respiratory infection combo, and I printed your version of chicken and dumplings out and handed it to my Mom with a polite request that this be the next one she try. What did I get? A beautiful, fragrant pot of cloud-like fluffy dumplings with tender bites of chicken and delicious (glue-free) broth. It turned out so well that she made 3 more batches and portioned them into 1-serving containers and froze them, so I can just heat one up each time I’m feeling under the weather. She says she also added a few TBSPs of Better than Bullion Chicken stuff to each batch, which made it really flavorful and delicious, though that does raise the price a bit. It was worth it.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! :D

  23. Allye says:

    Hint: when it comes to the dumpling part, working the cold butter into the flour is a MILLION times easier if you grate it with a cheese grater instead of just cutting it up…. it makes it MUCH easier to work with!

    Great recipe, by the way! :)

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