Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread

I’ve always thought my husband and I had a very agreeable marriage. We have a lot in common and seem to enjoy the same things. About 3 months into it all I found out that he didn’t care for soup or biscuits. What?! You don’t like soup?? Who doesn’t like soup?! And no biscuits? They’re like the easiest form of bread to make! Sigh.

I’m happy to report that nearly 11 years in, I’ve managed to sway him on the whole soup thing. Not completely, but enough. However, we’ve found a compromise. Isn’t that what marriage is all about? Yep, a few years ago I made chicken and dumplings, preparing for a somewhat disinterested look when I told hubby what was for dinner. Instead, I think his eyes glazed over and he even drooled a bit. He was elated. Excited! I guess spending 2 years in England caused him to develop a real fondness for chicken and dumplings. So, here in our house, this is the closest thing to soup with biscuits I make that gets everyone excited for dinner. It’s done in about an hour and is perfect after a cold day.
I was originally inspired by this recipe here, but made quite a few changes.
Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken Stew:

  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans reduced fat cream of chicken soup {I like to use 1 can  chicken soup and 1 can mushroom soup- or equivalent, see below}
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced celery & carrots {about 2 stalks celery and 1 large carrot}
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 cup frozen peas {optional, but I always add them!}
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour {I used half whole wheat flour}
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread

Time Saving Cheats: Use 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken. Have the celery, carrot and onion already chopped. I like to buy a lot of these 3 veggies, chop them all up and freeze them. Transfer to a ziplock bag and they’re ready to go! Use a can of Pillsbury Biscuits, cut into halves, instead of making the dumplings from scratch. The homemade ones are better, but if you’re in a rush, you can shave a little more time off this way. If you need to save even more time, add the dumplings to the chicken mixture immediately after it boils and skip letting it simmer for 20 minutes. Then just turn it down to low and cook it for 20 minutes to let the dumplings cook.

Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread


Saute chicken in 1 TBSP oil until almost cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, heat up the remaining TBSP of oil in a separate large saute pan. Add onion, carrots, celery and sage. Cook on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, stirring often.
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread
I used this Progresso Recipe Starter in Mushroom flavor and it turned out great!
It added a nicer flavor than just using cream of mushroom soup itself.
Add the cans of chicken soup, broth and milk to the vegetables. Whisk to combine. Ladle out a small portion of the liquid and use to mix in with the cornstarch. If you just add the cornstarch to the larger mixture, it’s really hard to incorporate. So mix it into a small amount, then pour that into the stew.
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread

Add the chicken and the frozen peas. Heat until bubbly, then reduce to a simmer, put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes.

Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread
While the stew is simmering, you can mix up the dumplings. Add the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the butter and milk and stir using a fork or a rubber scraper.
Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread

When the 20 minutes are up, remove the lid and increase the temperature back to medium heat. Give the stew a quick stir, then add the dumplings to the stew in 2 TBSP sized balls. They don’t have to be perfect, but I like to try and get mine circular shaped that way they all fit. Remember the dough has baking powder in it, so it will cause the dumplings to rise and expand while they cook! Mine made about 12 dumplings. You can see the first few already began to rise by the time I was adding the 9th and 10th. The stew should be bubbling by this point. If it’s not, increase the heat slightly and cook, without stirring until it’s back to boiling.

Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread

If your pan is close to being full, you might want to spray the bottom side of the lid, just so that the dumplings won’t stick. Replace the lid and turn the heat down to low. I set mine at about 1-2. Now cook the mixture for another 20 minutes, with the lid on, without stirring or ever lifting the lid! You need the dumplings to cook all the way through, so if you’re constantly lifting the lid and letting heat out, it’s going to prevent that from happening.

Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread
After 20 minutes, remove lid, give it a soft stir, serve and ENJOY!

Chicken & Dumplings, Butter with a Side of Bread


  1. Thank you for giving us the shortcuts to what looks like a lovely chicken and dumpling stew... there are some days when shortcuts are just necessary, you know! I appreciate it!


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