Dutch oven chicken and dumplings is an easy 25 minute meal with a few smart prep ahead tips. This warm and cozy chicken stew has delicate fluffy dumplings made with buttermilk and seasoned with fresh chives. This classic comfort food will warm you through and through.
I'm pretty sure Dutch ovens were specifically invented for chicken and dumplings soup. There is no better way to cook this classic comfort food in just 25 minutes.
The hearty chicken soup is loaded with carrots, celery, peas, and onions and seasoned with classic soup herbs.
The fluffy dumplings floating on top are made from buttermilk and fresh chives.
When someone in my family needs an extra dose of comfort, this is the first recipe I think to make.
Why This is the Best Recipe
Chicken soup is beloved by so many and there are countless variations out there, but I think this is the best Dutch Oven chicken and dumplings soup because:
- Just 25 Minutes: Use my prep tips and you can be spooning the finished chicken and dumplings into serving bowls for the table, with just 5 minutes of active hands-on time.
- Light and Fluffy Dumplings: The Dutch oven steams the dumplings just perfectly. They have a light texture filled with flavor from the fresh chives.
- Cozy, Hearty Stew: Underneath those fluffy dumplings is a hearty chicken stew that is loaded with healthy vegetables.
- Dutch Oven Perfection: This handy pot was absolutely designed to make this classic recipe. It softens the veggies perfectly, keeps a steady temperature for the stew, and steams the dumplings like a pro. All without having to preheat the oven which makes this a great warm dish to serve even during the warm summer months.
This wholesome chicken soup needs just a few simple ingredients:
- Shredded Chicken: I use a rotisserie chicken to keep things easy. Shred both the white and dark parts.
- Frozen Peas
- Chicken Stock
- Olive Oil
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Parsley
- Cayenne: I promise the cayenne pepper does NOT make this a spicy dish, it is just an amazing flavor enhancer that makes the entire stew taste better. If you do like spicy dishes, feel free to add more.
- Salt and Pepper
The fluffy dumplings require just 6 ingredients!
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Chopped Chives (not in the picture yet)
Why You Need a Dutch Oven
I absolutely adore my Dutch oven and I use it for some of my family's very favorite recipes.
I love that it works on the stovetop, like for this Dutch oven chicken and dumplings, but also works inside the oven like for my pulled pork.
The thick bottom of the pot maintains the heat for the stew and perfectly softens the vegetables in olive oil.
The well fitting lid is designed to trap in all the steam and helps to cook the perfect textured dumplings without burning the chicken soup on the bottom.
I've been using my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for over 20 years. They are expensive but they truly last a lifetime.
If you're not ready for that investment yet, I strongly recommend trying this budget-friendly Dutch oven on a few recipes. If you love it like I do, you could always upgrade your Dutch oven in the future.
Prep Ahead Tips
The secret to making this a super-easy 25 minute dinner on a busy weeknight is a few smart prep tips.
If you didn't plan ahead, it's not a problem, just plan for an extra 10 - 15 minutes.
- Shred the Chicken: I love cooking with shredded rotisserie chicken because it keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days or in my freezer for 6 months. Just be sure to thaw the chicken before adding it to the soup.
- Chop the Vegetables: Chop the onion, carrots, and celery up to 48 hours before cooking this recipe. You can store them all together in an airtight container in the fridge. Don't try to freeze them though, the celery will lose texture as it thaws.
With the chicken and veggies prepped, all you need to do is cook and assemble the dumplings!
Make the Chicken Soup
When you're ready to finish the dish, start by making the chicken soup.
Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it warm through for 2 - 3 minutes while you grab your prepped ingredients from the fridge.
Cook the onion, carrots, and celery with the thyme and salt & pepper in the olive oil until the onions have softened and become translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock to the Dutch oven and stir it in. Add the dried parsley and cayenne pepper and stir.
To thicken the chicken soup, you will add ⅓ cup flour to a small mixing bowl. Once the chicken broth has warmed up and is starting to steam in the Dutch oven, ladle about a cup or so of the warm broth into the flour and whisk it together:
Scrape the smooth flour + broth mixture back into the Dutch oven and stir.
Add the shredded chicken and frozen peas to the soup and stir.
Prep the Dumpling Dough
While you're waiting for the chicken broth to warm up enough to add to the flour, you can prep the dumpling dough.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chives.
Measure the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup and add the egg to the buttermilk. Whisk them together till smooth.
Pour the liquid into the flour and stir it until the dough comes together and forms a soft ball of dough.
Don't over mix it or the dumplings will be tough, just stir the dough until there are no more dry pockets of flour.
Cook the Chicken and Dumplings
Now that your chicken soup is prepped and thickened and the dumpling dough has come together, all that is left to do is drop the dough into the soup and finish cooking the chicken and dumplings in the Dutch oven.
Use a spoon to scoop portions of dumpling dough and just drop them right on top of the broth.
I like to make my dumplings about ping pong ball sized but they don't need to be perfect. Just scoop and drop.
If you like lots of little dumplings, you can use smaller scoops. Larger dumplings may have a harder time cooking through to the center.
It is important to just drop them in an even layer, not one on top of another. This helps because they will puff up and rise as they bake.
Place the lid on the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cook for 18 - 20 minutes with NO PEEKING. You want the trapped steam inside your Dutch oven to cook the dumplings properly.
The cooked dumplings are ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out neat and clean and they've puffed up and risen to the top of the chicken soup.
This classic chicken and dumplings recipe can be played with for a few easy variations:
- Spicy Chicken and Dumplings: If you like your chicken with a bit of a kick, add up to ½ - ¾ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
- Vegetarian "Chicken" and Dumplings: If you're vegetarian, you can still enjoy the fluffy dumplings. Just skip the chicken and use vegetable stock instead. You may want to consider adding more veggies to make it more filling.
Let's be honest here, if you're making chicken and dumplings, you're probably looking for some serious comfort food.
Even with the floury dumplings, I still love to serve a warm biscuit on the side when I make this soup for my family.
If you want something a little lighter, you could make my buttermilk herb dressing and serve fresh tomatoes as a simple side dish.
More Classic Comfort Food Recipes
When your family needs something warm and cozy, you just can't beat classic comfort food recipes.
If you like the dumplings in this chicken soup, you'll also love my easy matzo ball soup recipe! It was so delicious we made it twice in one week.
My husband's favorite comfort dish is a hearty split pea and carrot soup with leftover ham after a holiday feast.
Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings
For the Chicken Soup
- 1 rotisserie chicken skinned and shredded, about 3 cups of chicken
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup frozen peas
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chives minced
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
Prepare the Chicken Soup
- Shred the rotisserie chicken meat. Discard the skin and shred both the white and dark meat from the legs and thighs. This adds tons of flavor to the soup.
- Chop the onion, carrots, and celery.
- Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, salt and pepper, and stir them together. Cook the vegetables for 5 - 7 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pot and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven to release any browned bits that may have developed. Add the parsley and cayenne. NOTE: The cayenne will NOT make this a spicy dish, it simply adds a delicate boost of flavor and truly enhances the entire recipe.
- While the broth warms up in the Dutch oven, place the ⅓ cup of flour in a small mixing bowl. Once the chicken stock starts to steam, use a ladle to add about a cup of broth to the flour. Whisk it together until smooth and then scrape the mixture back into the Dutch oven.
- Add the shredded chicken and frozen peas and stir.
Prepare the Dumplings
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and chives to a mixing bowl and whisk them together.
- Measure the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Add the egg to the buttermilk and whisk them together till smooth.
- Pour the liquid into the dry flour bowl and stir everything together with a spatula until the dough comes together and there are no dry pockets of flour. Be careful to not over mix the dough or the dumplings will be tough.
Drop the Dumplings and Cook
- Use a spoon to scoop portions of the dumpling dough and drop them into the chicken soup. They may sink a little but will rise as they cook. Scatter them evenly over the surface of the soup in a single layer. They can be as small as you like but should not be larger than a golf ball.
- Immediately place the Dutch oven lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the chicken and dumplings for 18 - 20 minutes. DO NOT PEEK, the dumplings need the steam to build up inside the Dutch oven to cook properly. You can use a toothpick to prick a dumpling to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, the dumpling is cooked through.
Prep Ahead TipsYou can make this an easy 25 minute meal on a busy night by prepping the chicken and dumplings several days in advance: Shred the chicken and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight. Chop the onions, celery, and carrots up to 48 hours in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Don't freeze the vegetables, the celery will lose texture in the thawing process.
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