Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

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Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is a family favorite meal that is both comforting and delicious! This easy recipe is created from scratch including the tender dumplings and juicy chicken in an easy homemade broth.

This recipe starts with a whole chicken simmered to tender perfection with veggies and seasonings.  Simple dumplings made with pantry ingredients are simmered in the broth until plump and tender.  This is a family favorite that will be requested again and again!

Chicken and dumplings in a white bowl with veggies in the background

Homemade Chicken and dumplings is good ol’ comfort food at its best. While I love quick and easy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings, there is nothing quite like a meal that is completely homemade.

Making old fashioned chicken and dumplings from scratch is much easier than you’d think. Most of the time is spent letting the broth simmer until it is flavorful and the chicken is cooked to tender perfection.

A pot of chicken and rolled dumplings ready to be served

This recipe starts with chicken, onion and carrots simmered on the stove. When making the broth I choose a large onion and leave the skin on to add extra color and flavor to the broth. Feel free to add in your favorite herbs such as bay leaf, a pinch of poultry seasoning and fresh parsley. Once the chicken is cooked, it is removed from the broth along with the vegetables.

We like to eat the veggies as a side dish but feel free to chop the carrots & celery and add them back into your broth.

Rolled homemade dumplings dusted with flour on a cutting board ready to be cooked in chicken broth

If you’ve ever wondered how to make dumplings from scratch, you’ll love how easy they are! While some people like to make them with Bisquick, I find they’re just as easy to make with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry!

Don’t get too caught up in making your dumplings perfect, it doesn’t really matter how they’re cut. The only thing you’re going to want to be sure of is that your dough is rolled out to about 1/8” thick. This gives the dumplings the perfect consistency.

Tender homemade chicken and dumplings in a bowl

At the end of cooking, we like to thicken the broth with a little bit of cornstarch and water once the dumplings are cooked. Just mix equal amounts together and add a little bit at a time until the broth reaches the desired consistency. If you prefer a creamier broth, feel free to add a little bit of milk or heavy cream once the dumplings are cooked.

4.93 from 27 votes
Review Recipe

Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is a family favorite meal that is both comforting and delicious! 


  • 1 chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large carrots cut into thirds
  • 3 stalks celery cut into thirds
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • bay leaf or a pinch of poultry seasoning optional
  • 1 3/4 cups flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • parsley for garnish

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  1. Combine chicken, onion, carrots and celery in a large pot. Season to taste.
  2. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. While broth is simmering, prepare dumplings below.
  3. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Discard skin and bones and chop remaining chicken, set aside.
  4. Gently add dumplings to broth. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir chicken (and vegetables if desired) into broth and cook about 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and shortening with a fork until shortening is mixed in.
  2. Add milk a little at a time and mix until combined (you may not need all of it, you want a soft but not sticky dough).
  3. Knead a few times on a floured surface until dough is smooth.
  4. Generously flour your surface and roll the dough out to 1/8″ thick. Cut dough into 1″ x 2″ strips. Flour generously to avoid sticking.
  5. Cook in broth as directed above.
  1. In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water.
  2. Add to boiling broth a little bit at a time stirring to reach desired consistency.

Recipe Notes

Carrots and celery can be served on the side or chopped and added to the broth along with the chicken.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 464, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 599mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 26g, Vitamin A: 81.2%, Vitamin C: 5.3%, Calcium: 7.7%, Iron: 15.3%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword chicken and dumplings, from scratch, homemade, Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. This recipe is spot on and makes yummy, tender dumplings every time! Thank you VERY much, Ms. Holly!

    I’ve tried what seems like hundreds of recipes since I lost my German/Irish great-grandma’s recipe and this is the closest I’ve found. This IS THE KEEPER! I made them exactly as directed and they turned out great the first time, as well as when I subsequently added one egg yolk (because I remembered my grandmas being a bit more golden yellow in color and I like the richness). BOTH ways turn out great. This recipe is solid! I have made it with a bit more salt, but I tend to like more salt in most recipes. A couple of other additions, if you’re a fan of German food, is a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a couple of shakes of white pepper to the dumpling dough, but that’s just an ethnic thing. I also add a bay leaf of two to my broth. These are great either with or without.

    Make sure to follow Holly’s instructions on rolling them out thin enough … that way they cook fast enough to “set” and keep their shape and don’t get tough and end up with a “doughy” inner core.

    I always dust mine liberally with flour when rolling out, just as Ms. Kelly directed in this recipe. Because of that, I have never found it necessary to add the corn starch. When you let it simmer long enough, (not a rolling boil!), after adding the dumplings it will thicken just from the flour. I always add half-and-half or whole milk about 5-10 minutes before serving which makes the broth nice and creamy, but try to remember to NOT let them boil after adding the cream if you do that, as we don’t want the cream to separate and curdle, right? Also, keep in mind that the broth is going to thicken a LOT after refrigerating left-overs, so you will likely have to thin the broth the second serving time and that’s with not even adding any corn starch.

    Happy cooking and eating! You have a definite winner recipe here, Ms. Holly! Again, thanks for sharing it!

    This recipe will always cook up a tender, yet well defined dumplings that don’t just dissolve and disappear. That’s the right balance in my book

    1. Thank you for sharing your ideas Bertie! It’s great to hear about your additions, and I’m so glad you found THE KEEPER :)

  2. This is wonderful! Identical to my Grandmothers! She was known for her cooking and her chicken and dumplings! Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  3. I use help from a rotisserie chicken for my version of chicken and dumplings, but I’ve also been wanting to do it the old fashioned way – with a whole chicken! This is a great recipe and I’m going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love the way you make the dumplings. I can feel it’s so much easier to eat than ones in scoop shapes. Can’t wait to try next time!
    – Natalie

  5. The dumplings were spot on! Used my own recipe for the rest. I am sure it’s relative to making bisquits thou. I always make so sticky then use dusting to roll out and cut. The inside sticky dough will get maximum rise while the dry outside will prevent clumping.

  6. Dumpling is so delicious and its good for the dinner I haven’t made in years but after going through the blog I feel like making it tonight for the dinner for my family I’m sure my husband will like dumplings and chicken

  7. So add the cornstarch thickener to broth while boiling? Like when we first start, or after we’ve removed the chicken/veggies, and before placing in the dumplings? Also if we use butter instead, is the amount the same or different?

    1. At the end of cooking, thicken the broth with a little bit of cornstarch and water once the dumplings are cooked. The dumplings may thicken the broth a little. Add a little bit at a time until the broth reaches the desired consistency. Hope that helps Heather! I’m not sure what you mean by using butter instead.

  8. I smells super good so I hope it’s as good as it smells.

    I’m a beginner in the kitchen – should it be covered or uncovered after the dumplings go in?

  9. If you want to skip the cornstarch just make sure the dumplings are well floured before you slip them into the boiling broth. I dust mine with a flour while the are on the cutting board and cut them with a pizza cutter then use a spatula to slide then into the broth. I’ll confess, the idea is not original, I learned from watching my grandmother make these years ago.

  10. DELICIOUS! Have made many recipes for dumplings over the years and this is the best. Love how quick this recipe is to make. Rolls so easily to 1/8th inch. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  11. Hi Holly, can we substitute self rising flour in place of the all purpose and baking powder, trying to use whats on hand.

    1. While I haven’t tried it myself, I do think that would work just fine. Please let us know how it goes if you do try it!

  12. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I liked how easy and quick it went together. Since there are just two of us, I halved, then halved again, the dumpling recipe and it was a perfect amount to use with 2 1/2 breasts that I had in the freezer that were already cooked, along with the broth. My old recipe is out…..this is what I’ll be using from now on. Thank you.

  13. Infollowed the directions, but the dumplings were little disintegrated balls of dough.  Going back to bisquick!

  14. I have been craving home made chicken and dumplings for some time and am thrilled to find a recipe that so many people are raving about. I can’t wait to give this one a try! :)

  15. I am making this for the second time and I will make it again soon I’m sure because my whole family enjoyed it. I sometimes use a rotisserie chicken and sometimes throw in whatever veggies I have in the fridge or freezer. It’s a great way to use up some chicken I have and I usually make my own broth with the bones. Thanks for the dumpling idea I was intimidated to make them at first but its so easy.

  16. Soooo good. It’s a good amount of work with chopping, boning, making the dumplings. That said if you muster up the motivation it’s definitely a great pay off!

  17. I have searched high and low for Chicken and Dumplings with dumplings like these, somewhere in between a noodle and spatzle. I really don’t like the fluffy lumpy puffy kind. This recipe  is perfect!!! Search is over. Couldn’t wait to make it so I didn’t have carrots or shortening. Followed everything else to the letter and just subbed in frozen peas at the very end and used bacon grease in the dumplings. This will be a new family favorite, it’s so so good!!! 

  18. So yummy! Made this just as the recipe directed, except with Gardein chicken (vegetarian chicken) instead of regular. It’s easy, straight forward and was the perfect comfort food for a rainy weekend. 

  19. This was really awesome it made me feel like a kid again think you but it made me miss my grandmother that was her favorite

  20. Made these dumplings today…..amazing!  Had the tenderness that I remember from my grandmothers. SO DELICIOUS!  Thank you!!!!

  21. I have tried many recipes and most fall short, but I knew the minute I rolled out these dumplings this was going to be a winner. The aroma filled the kitchen with much anticipation and this recipe did not dissapoint , when my fiancé says tastes just like my moms , I knew we had a winner. Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. I followed the dumpling recipe to the letter–and they were just what I wanted. (I used Kerry Gold salted butter for the shortening.) I think this recipe can also (if thinly rolled) be used for a pie-crust-like cover for a cobbler or a chicken pot pie. I think it would have a flaky biscuit-y quality, unlike the short-flakiness of a pie crust.

  23. This looks really good and reminds me of my Granny’s recipe. I want to cook it in the instant pot to save time. Any idea how long to cook the whole chicken on high pressure instead of 60 minutes? Maybe 20?

    1. For a whole chicken, I use the meat setting and cook it 25 minutes depending on the size (25 for a 3-4lb chicken, 30 for a 4-5lb chicken). The pressure cooker will require a little bit of broth in the bottom.

  24. I already had my own chicken stock, but made a roux of veggies and then boiled the dumplings in it. The dumplings were fantastic!

  25. Instead of using shortening or butter, add just enough broth from your cooked chicken to the dry flour mixture, which gives you the shortening plus the liquid..

  26. Can I just ad chicken broth and condensed milk to water used to boil chicken , add all the veggies then use canned biscuits cut into 4ths ?

  27. This is a wonderful recipe, but the best part is the dumpling. I made these a bit thicker than directed in the recipe, more dumpling than noodle-like. I have been looking for a dumpling recipe that tastes like my grandmother’s (whose recipe I do not have) and this one does. Well done and thank you.

  28. What can be used instead of shortening? Also, this reminds me of the way my mom used to make it, I just don’t recall her using shortening. Butter, I think?

    1. Butter can be used, yes, but its lower melting temperature should be kept in mind when making the dumplings. For all it tastes great, butter can be finicky to work with. That said, these dumplings shouldn’t take long enough to have a problem! :)

      I make chicken and dumplings every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas with my mother, so it’s a food I really love.

    1. Hi Shannan,
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  29. delicious recipe.
    A couple of hints – Be sure to mix the dry ingredients together before adding shortening.
    Also, don’t overcook it, dumplings will start to disintegrate.
    Also, I figured putting in a whole chicken would be way too greasy. So I cooked up a couple of chicken breasts instead. That worked well.