How To Make Quick Chicken and Dumplings



Chicken and Dumplings, like most southern food, evolved out of necessity and practicality. Back in the day, chicken was a treat and not something offered or even available on a regular basis. Whenever it was, the chicken was more often than not on the scrawny side.

So you have this woman who has a house full of kids to feed and likely a few guests after word has gotten out that chicken is on the menu, and one scrawny little chicken. This is where flour comes to the rescue yet again! Back in the old days, flour was an affordable staple and bought in twenty five pound sacks. Flour could easily be used to stretch a meager meal so that an entire family would leave the table feeling full and satisfied by making biscuits, dumplings, hoe cake, or an assortment of other improvisational breads and meal stretchers.

This recipe is dedicated to my sister in law’s trainer, Debbie (you owe me Stacey, I just made you sound so hip in that sentence). Debbie’s failed attempts to make dumplings have led her family to formally request that she stop attempting them altogether. Now I’m here to tell you that if Debbie can remain skinny and fit in the land of fried chicken, she can certainly make chicken and dumplings! Stacey has assured her that our family recipe is foolproof and I plan on proving it with this tutorial. I am also going to explain the two instances where Stacey and I managed to screw up this foolproof recipe in our earlier days of cooking so that you can avoid our mistakes and have your perfect pot of dumplings!

Gina, this is for you, too! Gina is a reader who has her hands full with summer heat and two toddlers. When I posted a teaser sentence “Anyone up for chicken and dumplings this week?” at the top of my site, Gina emailed within minutes telling me that she certainly was! Gina, I promise this will be quick and easy enough that you can manage to make it in between calls for “Mama”! After making it once, you won’t even need a recipe!

You will need: Chicken, 1 can of Pilsbury flaky layers biscuits, flour (self rising or plain, doesn’t matter), chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup.

*I usually stew a whole chicken but today I had boneless skinless breasts and no chicken so this is what we got. Feel free to drop a few chicken bouillon cubes into your water in place of the broth.

Pour your broth into a pot.

Add cream of chicken soup.

Stir and let come to a very gentle boil while you prepare the dumplings.

Put a little bit of flour, about a cup, in a bowl.

Add some pepper. I added about a teaspoon. This isn’t a science, just add the amount you prefer.

Salt it. I added about a half a teaspoon. You can just use that as a rough guideline.

Stir that up a bit.

Take all of your biscuits out of the can and set them on a plate.

Now, we’re going to take each biscuit and tear it into three layers like this.

Dip each layer into your flour…

Making sure you coat both sides…
Until it looks like this.

Be sure you don’t skip this step! If you do, your dumplings will completely dissolve in the broth. That is exactly what I did the very first time I ever made chicken and dumplings after I had gotten married. Of course it didn’t help that I had bragged all day about how good my mama’s dumplings were! I ended up with a delicious dumpling flavored soup!

Now take each layer and tear it into three pieces…

Like this.

Lower your heat so that your broth is just barely barely barely boiling and drop these pieces in one at a time. It is important that you DO NOT STIR. We are not going to stir these as we don’t want our dumplings cooking up. If you do stir, you will basically cause your dumplings to dissolve. Stay tuned, I’m going to show you what we will do instead…

This is what your pot is going to look like to begin with.

You want to keep it on a low boil.

Instead of stirring, what we are going to do is just gently push the dumplings down into the broth as they cook.
Stacey stirred hers the first time she made it. She stirred and stirred and stirred. Like me, she ended up with a delicious dumpling flavored soup!

This is going to take ten minutes or so. Your dumplings will take shape and stop looking doughy as they firm up a bit.
See? Dumplings! Continue simmering it, pushing them down from time to time, while you shred your chicken.
Like this.

Drop your chicken into the dumplings and very gently stir that up. I really just push it down a bit like I did with the dumplings but you are past the point of them being able to cook up by this time anyway. Just be gentle.

Oh I wish you could smell these, I wish you could taste these, I wish you had dumplings on your stove right this very minute!

Remember the eighties Coca Cola commercials …”I’d like to buy the world a coke…”. Forget that! I’d like to feed the world chicken and dumplings! How about we start with you?


Chicken and Dumplings
  • 3 or 4 chicken breasts
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth (feel free to use water with bouillon cubes added)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1-10 count can Pilsbury layers biscuits
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flour
  1. Cook chicken breasts in approx. 4 c. of water until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Place broth in medium to large sized pot. Stir cream of chicken soup into gently boiling broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pull biscuits apart into three layers. Dip each layer into flour and then tear each layer into three pieces and drop into gently boiling broth mixture. Do not stir biscuits a lot, or they will cook up, only gently push dumplings down into broth as they float to the top. Cook about ten minutes after last dumplings are added. Add shredded chicken and turn on low until ready to serve. added, Tear up chicken, add to broth mixture.Turn to low until ready to serve.


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  1. anne says

    people give you trouble about this recipe?!?!?, funny, it is how my mother taught me how to make chicken and dumplings, she said it was the way her mama made it too. must be a Alabama thing.

  2. Lynne says

    Thanks so much Christy for telling me why I always end up with dumplin stew LOL. I thought it was something to do with using canned biscuits, because when I made my dumplins from biscuit dough they didn’t disappear. As it has already been stated many times, thank you so much for your post.

  3. Laura says

    Hi Christy! Thank you for the step by step instructions; they are the best I’ve seen! For the first time, my dumplings didn’t dissolve. However, because I didn’t stir, they burned on the bottom – badly! I had my heat on medium. Was the heat too high? If so, what setting do you recommend? The biscuits we used were the giant-sized ones, but I separated them into 3-4 layers, and pressed them really thin. Do you think this had an effect? I am determined to make good dumplings! Thanks for any advice!

    • Carol says

      Laura, I love this simple recipe but mine have burned every time I’ve tried this, with the chicken even sticking to the bottom. I’m not new to chicken and dumplings and control the temperature, but everything still sticks, and I don’t like to use nonstick pans for boiling things. Maybe it’s my electric stove? Anyway, I’ve taken to boiling the dumplings (I make them different ways) separately and transferring them directly from the water into the very lightly boiling broth, and add the chicken last. Because the dumplings are hot and directly out of the water and into the broth, they still soak up some of the chicken broth and taste great!

  4. Jenny C. says

    Hi Christy :) I look forward to trying your recipe soon. My family loves chicken and dumplings. I’ve always used Bisquick for my dumplings like my Grandma and Mom, but I am anxious to try your recipe with the biscuits. Thank you!

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