Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Privacy Policy.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This healthy chicken and dumplings recipe is a game-changer! It’s comforting, filling, and made with healthy, real food ingredients! Psst… you can even make it dairy-free and gluten-free!

Chicken and dumplings is soothing comfort food. A good, warm bowl of the stuff can ease a world of stress and tension.

A green crock filled with this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Stove Top Chicken And Dumplings

You have two options with this recipe. Stovetop or slow cooker. If you opt for the stovetop, you’ll want a large stockpot. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to cut the recipe in half. This makes approximately 5½  quarts.

Chicken And Dumplings In The Crock Pot

If you prefer crockpot chicken and dumplings, I have you covered! Below are instructions for making this in a slow cooker. You will need a slow cooker that is a minimum of 5½  quarts in size.

Whole Grain Dumplings

Just a word of caution. If you are not used to whole grain dumplings, they may take a little getting used to. I find these absolutely delicious, but it’s been a long time since I’ve eaten processed grains. So my taste buds are already adjusted. I will say that lots of people have tried this recipe and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I thought I should mention it because some folks really take issue with the switch to whole grains in a recipe like this.

And one more note, please avoid the use of regular whole wheat flour. Your dumplings will suffer for it. You want to use either whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour. I promise it makes a big difference in the finished texture of this soup.

And lastly, never overmix the dumpling dough. You want to make sure the flour gets totally mixed in, but you don’t want to develop the gluten too much or your dumplings will become very tough and dense. Never over mix!

Gluten Free Dumplings

Here again, these might take a little getting used to. They are slightly chewier and more coarse in texture. But still tasty!

The dough will be pretty sticky when you mix it. It’s best to just stir it the best you can with a wooden spoon.

Also, it won’t leave a film over the chicken and dumplings because of the lack of gluten. So your stew won’t be a thick as it would with wheat dumplings.

If you want your broth thicker (more stew-like), make a slurry with a ¼ cup cold broth and 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Then pour that into the stew and stir for a few minutes until things thicken up a bit.

Lastly, keep your gluten-free dumplings on the smaller side. You want small, bite sized pieces. Bigger dumplings don’t cook as well as wheat-based dumplings will.

A side view of this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings in a green crock, ready to eat.

How To Thicken Chicken And Dumplings

Wheat Flour Dumplings

If you are using gluten-based flour, you’ll want to thicken your stew with some roux. Personally, I always take a shortcut and make a “slurry” with flour and water, and whisk it into the simmering stew. But if you want to make a proper roux, that’s honestly the best way to thicken this.

Gluten Free Dumplings

If you are making this gluten-free, a little extra arrowroot powder will do the trick. But make a slurry with water first. Never sprinkle any starch powder directly into your stew or you’ll end up with little balls of starch instead of a thickened stew.

What You’ll Need

Stew Ingredients

2 tbsp. oil – This can be any oil you prefer to cook with. However, the lighter in flavor, the better.

2½ cups chopped onion – This can be red or yellow onions. This measurement is approximately 1 large onion.

3 cups sliced carrots – You can use baby carrots or regular carrots. It’s up to you.

2 cups sliced celery – Slice these thin unless you like the chunkier texture.

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth – make sure there is no sugar added (usually in the form of dextrose), and if you have the option, choose low sodium.

1 tbsp. dried marjoram – Dried works better than fresh in this case. Some folks don’t care for marjoram, but the flavor blends in pretty well here. Hard to pick out from the overall flavor.

1 tbsp. garlic powder – You can also use garlic granules.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about 4 medium chicken breasts, cut into small chunks

Dumpling Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour – Or if you need gluten-free dumplings, use 2½ cups gluten-free oat flour.

1 tbsp. baking soda – Make sure it’s fresh or newer, or the dumplings won’t turn out well.

½ tsp. salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but use what you have on hand.

3 tbsp. oil – Again, use whatever oil you usually cook with.

1 cup milk – Regular milk works well. But if you need this to be dairy-free, use unsweetened almond or cashew milk. Both flavors work pretty well here. Cashew milk will make things a tiny bit creamier than almond. But both are good.

How To Make Healthy Chicken And Dumplings

STEW DIRECTIONS

Heating the oil in the skillet for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.

In a skillet, heat the oil.

Sautéing the vegetables for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.

Combine the oil, onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

Slow Cooker Directions

Adding the broth to the slow cooker.

Pour the broth into your crockpot.

Adding the spices to the broth in the slow cookers.

Add the marjoram, garlic powder to the broth.

Adding sautéd veggies to the slow cooker.

Then add the vegetables.

Adding the chicken to the slow cooker for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.

And finally, add the chicken to the slow cooker.

Dumpling Directions

The finished dumpling dough, resting in its mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Pour in the oil and milk and mix with a wooden spoon. The dough should be very sticky.

Spooning the dumplings into the hot broth.

Turn the crockpot on high to get the broth hot. The broth MUST be hot before adding the dumplings. Depending on your slow cooker, this can take 30-60 minutes. Using two teaspoons, scoop up and round off your dumplings and scrap into your crockpot. (Just like making drop cookies)

I cooked this on high for about 3-1/2 hours total. But if you need to cook it longer because you are leaving for the day (or cooking overnight), turn the slow cooker on low, and cook until the dumplings and chicken are cooked through. (About 6 hours). It’s important to know how your slow cooker cooks here. Every slow cooker is slightly different.

If using wheat flour, the dumplings will look a little odd after they have been cooking at the top of the stew all day. They create a sort of “crust-like” layer. Just break them up with a wooden spoon and stir them into the stew to finish cooking. Stirring this in will help thicken your stew… Break one open to be sure it’s cooked all the way. At this point, your stew is done.

Stove Top Directions

  • Pour the broth into your stock pot.
  • Add the marjoram, garlic powder, vegetables and chicken to the stock pot.
  • Bring the pot to a slow boil. The broth MUST be at a slow boil before adding the dumplings.
  • Using two teaspoons, scoop up and round off your dumplings and scrap into your pot. (Just like making drop cookies)
  • Boil until the dumplings and chicken are cooked. (Break open a dumpling to see if it’s cooked all the way through)
  • Note that the dumplings can leave an odd looking film over the top of your stew as it simmers. This is totally normal. Simply break it up towards the end of cooking and stir everything into the stew. This film is just the flour which will help to thicken your stew.

What To Serve With Chicken And Dumplings

My go-to favorite is always a green salad and a side of crusty garlic bread. But honestly, this is a really complete meal on its own. You don’t have to worry too much about adding extras because this is filling stuff. But in a pinch, a nice green salad is always a good choice.

Need Supplies?

SUBSCRIBE:
Remember to subscribe to my free, Gracious Pantry Newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox! Click here to sign up!

More Healthy Comfort Food

Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Copyright button.

Recipe updated 3/10/21.

A green crock filled with this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

This classic dish gets a healthy upgrade. But shhhh!!!! It’s so good, nobody will notice!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 20 servings (5 quarts approximately)
Calories: 135kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • Slow cooker or stock pot

Ingredients

Stew Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • cups chopped onion (red or yellow onion)
  • 3 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (no sugar added)
  • 1 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (2½ cups gluten free oat flour for a gluten free version)
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond milk works for a non-dairy version)

Instructions

STEW DIRECTIONS

  • In a skillet, heat the oil.
    Heating the oil in the skillet for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.
  • Combine the, onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
    Sautéing the vegetables for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.

Dumpling Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
    Whisk to blend well. Pour in the oil and milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
    The finished dumpling dough, resting in its mixing bowl.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Pour the broth into your crock pot.
    Adding the broth to the slow cooker.
  • Add the marjoram, garlic powder.
    Adding the spices to the broth in the slow cookers.
  • Add the vegetables next.
    Adding sautéd veggies to the slow cooker.
  • Finally, add the chicken to the slow cooker.
    Adding the chicken to the slow cooker for this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings Recipe.
  • Turn the crock pot on high to get the broth hot. The broth MUST be hot before adding the dumplings. Depending on your slow cooker, this can take 30-60 minutes.
    Using two teaspoons, scoop up and round off your dumplings and scrap into your crock pot. (Just like making drop cookies)
    I cooked this on high for about 3-1/2 hours total. But if you need to cook it longer because you are leaving for the day (or cooking overnight), turn the slow cooker on low, and cook until the dumplings and chicken are cooked through. (About 6 hours). It's important to know how your slow cooker cooks here. Every slow cooker is slightly different.
    Spooning the dumplings into the hot broth.
  • The dumplings will look a little odd after they have been cooking at the top of the stew all day. They create a sort of "crust-like" layer. Just break them up with a wooden spoon and stir them into the stew to finish cooking. Break one open to be sure it's cooked all the way. At this point, your stew is done. Cool slightly and serve.
    A close up of a bowl of the finished Chicken and Dumplings.

Stove Top Directions

  • Pour the broth into your stock pot.
    Add the marjoram, garlic powder, vegetables and chicken to the stock pot.
    Bring the pot to a slow boil. The broth MUST be at a slow boil before adding the dumplings.
    Using two teaspoons, scoop up and round off your dumplings and scrap into your pot. (Just like making drop cookies)
    Boil until the dumplings and chicken are cooked. (Break open a dumpling to see if it's cooked all the way through)
    Note that the dumplings can leave an odd looking film over the top of your stew as it simmers. This is totally normal. Simply break it up towards the end of cooking and stir everything into the stew. This film is just the flour which will help to thicken your stew.
    A side view of this Healthy Chicken And Dumplings in a green crock, ready to eat.

Notes

Please note that the data below is a ballpark figure. Exact nutrition data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3289IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 10/20/2010.

Image depicting 5-star rating. Image text says, Love this recipe? Give it a star rating in a comment below.

Similar Posts

362 Comments

  1. Hi! I have mine cooking now… so I do HIGH for 3.5 hours and then finish the rest of the 20 hours on low? Or is the 20 hour cook time an error? Is it really a 3.5 hour total cook time? Thank you!!!
    Malory

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Malory – Sorry about that. It’s 3.5 hours and if it’s not done, you can cook up to 6 hours. But you most likely won’t need that much time.

  2. Not sure if this has been answered. I can’t find the whole wheat pastry flour. Would it taste terrible with 100% whole grain whole wheat flour? Will this recipe still be good?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jamie – You can order it off amazon. But if you don’t want to do that, white whole wheat is the next best thing. Regular whole wheat will work, but your dumplings will be far more coarse in texture.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been cooking clean since the beginning g of the year and my husband is loving the new variety your website brings in. I made this today, a cool Sunday in San Francisco, and we’ve enjoyed the smells coming from the crockpot so very much.

    Since it’s only the two of us, I halved the recipe, replaced the celery with fresh green beans (husband has a serious dislike for celery for some unknown reason) and used rosemary infused olive oil.

    This is an amazing and very simple recipe! I’ll add fresh rosemary to the dumplings next time. Even my husband, who isn’t a fan of dumplings, asked for seconds! We polished off the whole pot!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cheri – Hello neighbor! I’m in the east bay. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it! I wouldn’t have thought to do green beans. Interesting switch! Yum!

  4. Can I use the king Arthur’s whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sabrina – You can, but your dumplings will be far more dense and “bready”.

  5. Geraldine says:

    I’d like to use almond milk but I don’t have whole wheat flour of any kind. Can I use white flour?

    1. Geraldine – You can, but be cautious with the liquid you add to the dumplings. You may not need as much. Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Think I could subsitute brown rice flower instead of the wheat pastry flour?

    1. Diana – I do not recommend it. There will be nothing to hold the dumplings together and the ice flour will be very grainy. There are gluten free dumpling recipes on the web though. You might be able to use one of them in this recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.