It’s a comfort food 9-1-1 situation, but we’re not ready to throw in the towel on healthy eating just yet. Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings to the rescue!
Chicken and dumplings is a rich, extra thick, and creamy chicken soup with tender, fluffy dumplings cooked right on top.
What’s extra magical about this dish is how the dumplings absorb some of the soup’s cooking liquid as they simmer.
The dumplings make the soup thick and provide a dimension of satisfying texture and pure comfort (similar to the effect of tortillas in Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup).
Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch are typically not considered a light meal.
Well, friends, that changes today with this easy and healthy crockpot chicken and dumplings recipe!
5 Star Review
“We have a cold spell currently so I figured the timing couldn’t be more perfect when I saw this recipe the other day. I made it tonight for my husband & it was delicious.”
— Cheryl —
Unlike other recipes with processed shortcuts—like chicken and dumplings with canned cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup—this wholesome crockpot chicken and dumplings is made entirely from scratch.
- Like my favorite Chicken Gnocchi Soup, I was determined to create a recipe that was straightforward enough to make on a weeknight, nutritious enough to be a part of a regular dinner rotation, AND that tasted special enough for a weekend feast.
- Drawing inspiration from a trifecta of recipes, including healthy Chicken Pot Pie Stew (from The Well Plated Cookbook), Healthy Chicken Pot Pie, and Chicken and Biscuits, I eventually landed on this recipe. It ticks every box and then some!
How to Make Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch
With just a few simple, everyday ingredients and a slow cooker, you can make a crockpot chicken and dumplings recipe that your family will deem a treasured recipe in no time!
(This Crockpot Beef Stew is another guaranteed family favorite from the slow cooker.)
- Chicken Breast. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are ideal for this chicken and dumplings recipe. They’re lean and stay tender and juicy after cooking in the crockpot.
- Fresh Vegetables. Carrots, celery, and onion are must-haves to create a classic chicken soup base, whether you’re making Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, or today’s chicken and dumplings.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. Deliciously buttery and creamy. The potatoes add bulk to make the dish more filling, and their starch also helps thicken the dish as it cooks.
- Spices. Poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper are the perfect combination for this recipe. Poultry seasoning is packed with dried herbs and spices, making it an easy way to add flavor.
- Roux. The roux is the secret to making a creamy chicken and dumpling recipe (and this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup) without heavy cream. It’s a mixture of butter and flour that creates a richly-flavored base that helps thicken the soup.
- Milk. 2% milk gives the soup richness while keeping it on the lighter side.
- Frozen Peas. I love using frozen veggies in recipes as an easy and delicious nutrition boost.
- Homemade Dumplings. Similar to Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings, simple ingredients and a few easy steps are all it takes to make these delightful homemade dumplings. To make them healthier, I used 2% milk and a mixture of all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour. You can also make dumplings with an equal amount of water.
- Sauté the vegetables. Add the spices. Transfer everything to a slow cooker.
- Pour the broth into the slow cooker, then add the chicken breasts and salt.
- Cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the chicken.
- Prepare the dumpling batter.
- Make the sauce by whisking the butter and flour together over medium heat.
- Stir in the milk. Let the mixture thicken.
- Add the milk mixture and peas to the slow cooker.
- Dice the chicken, and add it to the slow cooker.
- Drop the dumpling dough by the spoonful on top of the chicken mixture. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Serve and ENJOY!
Put the dumplings in the slow cooker after you’ve stirred the cooked chicken back into the soup so that they cook on top.
The dumplings will need about 1 hour on HIGH, though this time may be a little longer or shorter depending upon your slow cooker.
Short-Cut Topping Options
While the easy homemade dumplings listed in this recipe are our favorite topper, they are by no means the only option! Here are a few quick shortcuts to top your slow cooker chicken and dumplings:
- Bisquick Version. Mix 2 cups of Bisquick together with 2/3 cup milk of your choice. Once a dough has formed, drop it by the spoonful on top of the soup when the recipe calls for the dumplings to be added. Finish cooking the recipe as directed.
- Refrigerated Canned Biscuit Dough Version. Quarter about 7 to 8 uncooked canned buttermilk biscuits. When the recipe calls for the dumplings to be added, scatter the biscuit pieces over the top of the soup instead. Finish cooking as directed.
- Crescent Roll Version. To use crescent roll dough, follow the same instructions as the canned biscuit version, cutting your crescent roll dough into quarters.
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm chicken and dumplings in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tips
Chop all the fresh vegetables up to 1 day in advance, and refrigerate them in separate airtight storage containers. Pre-measure your dumpling ingredients so they come together even more quickly.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
Programmable Slow Cooker
I love this one because it will switch to a lower setting when the cooking time has ended, which helps deter overcooking.
From-scratch love, straight from the slow cooker.
This recipe is just the hug I’m craving tonight. I hope it leaves you and yours feeling loved and satisfied too.
Frequently Asked Questions
In testing, my dumplings took right around 1 hour on HIGH to fully cook in the crockpot. Depending on the model of slow cooker you are using, your dumplings may require more or less time since the exact cooking temperature does vary between brands. For best results, test your dumplings by cutting them in half to check for doneness as the 60-minute mark approaches.
While some slow cooker recipes depend on canned soups or a cornstarch slurry to thicken chicken and dumplings and make a creamy sauce, this easy recipe uses a roux. The mixture of flour and butter is a simple and wholesome way to add body to the chicken and dumpling base.
I have not tried making this recipe with noodles before, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to play around with adding egg noodles to the recipe, I would love to hear how it goes.
For the Soup:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into a 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice (about 6 medium carrots)
- 3 medium celery stalks cut into a 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium Yukon gold potato peeled and cut into a 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 14 ounces low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Chopped fresh parsley or thyme optional for serving
For the Dumplings (*see notes for a faster version):
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon 2% milk
Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet with high sides over medium high. Add the carrots, celery, potato, and onion, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften and the onion is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, and cook 30 additional seconds. Transfer to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Keep the skillet handy for later (no need to wash it yet).
Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker, then arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer on top. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool. Turn off the slow cooker and cover it.
Prepare the dumplings: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder. Pour in the milk. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine. The batter will seem stiff and should be thick enough to scoop. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
In the same skillet you used to cook the vegetables, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk and cook until the flour is golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour in the milk a few splashes at a time, whisking continuously as you go to remove any lumps. Bring to a gentle boil, continuing to whisk to smooth out any residual lumps. Let cook and bubble, whisking all the while, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Stir in the peas.
At this point, the chicken should be cool enough to handle. Dice it into bite-sized pieces, then stir it into the slow cooker.
Turn the slow cooker to HIGH. With a medium-sized scoop or a spoon, scoop the dumpling dough by generous tablespoons and drop it on top of the soup, spreading the scoops evenly; the top of the soup will be mostly covered, but you’ll see some peeking through.
Cover the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 1 additional hour, or until the dumplings are cooked through. To check for doneness, remove a dumpling and cut it in half to make sure it’s no longer raw inside (it will still be very moist). Sprinkle the fresh parsley or thyme over the top.
To serve, use a big spoon to scoop down through the top of the dumplings and into the soup underneath, ensuring each serving has a portion of both the soup and dumplings. Enjoy hot, breaking the dumplings up into the soup so that you enjoy a bit of both in each bite.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm chicken and dumplings in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- *TO USE BISQUICK: Mix 2 cups of Bisquick together with 2/3 cup milk of your choice. Once a dough has formed, drop it by the spoonful on top of the soup when the recipe calls for the dumplings to be added. Finish cooking the recipe as directed.
- *TO USE CANNED BISCUITS: Quater about 7 to 8 uncooked canned biscuits. When the recipe calls for the dumplings to be added, scatter the biscuit pieces over the top of the soup instead. Finish cooking as directed.
- *TO USE CRESCENT ROLLS: To use crescent roll dough, follow the same instructions as the canned biscuit version, cutting your crescent roll dough into quarters.
Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 506kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 38gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 92mgPotassium: 1200mgFiber: 8gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 13195IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 342mgIron: 4mg
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