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Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings made from scratch is pure southern comfort food and it is not at all difficult to make. Tender dumplings, lots of shredded chicken, and a super flavorful broth make this an unbelievably delicious meal.

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings


Food always tastes better from scratch and Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is no exception. It takes a little time to make, but it is not at all difficult. It will taste just like your grandmother made. This is food that is good for the soul.

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings from scratch


This Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe starts with a whole chicken simmered with carrots, onion, and celery, plus a bay leaf. The chicken is removed from the pot once cooked and the meat is shredded.

Homemade dumplings are super easy to make from flour, baking soda, vegetable shortening, and buttermilk. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and pinch off pieces that are about 1 1/2 inches across. Drop the dough pieces into the simmering broth and watch them puff up into tender, doughy dumplings that are so soft and good. They are the best part for sure!

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe


Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings from scratch

Love using your slow cooker? Try this Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe.

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings made from scratch is pure southern comfort food and it is not at all difficult to make. Tender dumplings, lots of shredded chicken, and a super flavorful broth make this an unbelievably delicious meal.
PREP: 30 mins
COOK: 1 hr 10 mins
TOTAL: 1 hr 40 mins


  • 1 (3-pound) whole chicken
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  • Place chicken, celery, carrots, onion and 2 teaspoons of salt in a Dutch oven. Add water and bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken from pot. Let cool 15 minutes and then remove chicken from bone, discarding the skin and shredding the chicken.
  • Add pepper to pot and bring broth to a boil.
  • Meanwhile combine flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
  • Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut shortening into flour until it resmembles coarse meal.
  • Add buttermilk and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kead 4 to 5 times. Roll out to a 1/2-inch thickness.
  • Pinch off dough in 1 1/2-inch pieces and add to boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chicken.
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Bowl full of Chicken with Dumplings


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28 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings”

  1. Brittany Anderson

    Dont seek a recipe if you think you know it all, stop leaving rude comments. Do it yourself, and your own way 😫🤦‍♀️

  2. I’ve been trying to eliminate the aluminum from baking powder in my diet and stumbled on this recipe. Wow! I made them as drop dumplings (added an extra 1/2 cup of buttermilk) and I think I’m in love! These dumplings are awesome!

  3. I say to each their own & there’s nothing wrong with putting your own twist to any dish. That’s the best thing about being in the kitchen. Be creative. Don’t knock it until you try it. I love Chicken N Dumplins and will give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve made chicken and dumplings like this my entire life (the recipe – not your Utah/Vegas way). Whatever flips your trigger I suppose.

  5. Yea so Utah/Vegas boy is here to school you all, veggies go in but they should never be eaten. They are for flavor, chicken stays ON the bone, stock gets made into gravy for mashed taters, dumplings NEVER touch the water. They should be dropped into a strainer pan with the stock steaming them

  6. Sharon Jarvis

    My chicken and dumplings have celery, garlic, and onions. Sometimes slivers of carrots for color. I use unsalted butter .instead of shortening. My question is lid on or off to cook dumplings?

  7. Rhonda Chatham

    I have never made chicken and dumplings before. My husband loves it and I want to surprise him with a pot. I never liked it and this sounds good so I’m going to try it. Wish me luck, I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  8. In Florida, we put veggies in the chicken while it is cooking for added flavor. Celery and onions are a must for full flavor.

  9. Ruth Wodarcyk

    Veggies other then onions do not belong in chicken and dumplings add the onion while your chicken is cooking it just adds flavor, salt & pepper too, add to the pot & then drop the dumplings in. Yum 😋

  10. Looks great except for the carrots… my great gramma was from Alabama! I’m from Chicago… but her chicken and dumplings were just that, chicken and dumplings!!
    I remember standing on a little step stool so I could help drop the rolled out homemade dough into the pot. She boiled a whole chicken than shredded the whole thing by hand, threw the shredded chicken back in the stock she just created, rolled out the homemade dough about a quarter inch thick and sliced with a knife. I was so excited to drop the 3×2 flat dough dumplings into the stock and watch them thicken and make the broth more thick!!
    It was wonderful… so southern and so comforting. I will absolutely try this minus the veggies because this is the closest I see to my great gram’s.

    1. Most Southern cooks, especially the African Americans do not put veggies in their chicken dumplings/pastry. I know, I’ve lived all over the south and been feed by some mighty good church ladies from all walks of life.

  11. For what it’s worth, I don’t add vegetables to my chicken and dumplings, I add them as sides.

  12. Well, my granny never had access to celery or bay leaves. The carrots and onions have no place in this dish either! My aunt would have complained about these ingredients as well. If you have chicken and dumplings, that is all you should have!

    1. Strongly disagree. Your entitled to your opinion, but chicken and dumplings is not the same without the vegetables.

  13. do you cover the pan with a lid? When I have made dumpling they melt into the broth, I want to try your recipe but don’t know what I do to cause it. Need help

    1. You’re right Blake and my Mom was from Mass & she cooked it exactly the same and I have too for 47 years except now I add chopped cilantro to the dough … I think I’m going to pull the whole chicken from the freezer tonight 😉

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