Homemade chicken and dumpling soup is the perfect comfort food. Rich, savory soup, tender chicken, and light and fluffy dumplings feel like a warm hug. It’s also easy to make and stores well in the freezer if you want to make it ahead of time!
What Is in Chicken and Dumplings?
There are four components to chicken and dumplings soup:
Broth: A savory broth is at the heart of any great soup, and the broth is the foundation for the meal and can make or break the dish. A blend of chicken stock, herbs, spices, and other ingredients in the soup adds depth and richness.
Vegetables: A medley of vegetables is vital in chicken and dumplings. The vegetables enhance the flavor and nutritional value. The most popular options are carrots, celery, and onions. They add complexity and complement the chicken and dumplings.
Chicken: Tender chicken is a key component of this hearty creation. Whether shredded, cubed, or simmered on the bone, the chicken provides protein and adds substance and richness.
Dumplings: What is a dumpling made of? A dumpling is a simple yet versatile combination of flour, water, seasoning, and eggs (sometimes). You can use milk instead of water and add any extras you desire, like cheese or herbs. These ingredients may seem basic, but they combine to make a light, fluffy dumpling. The dumplings are the perfect vessel for soaking up the broth.
How To Thicken Chicken and Dumplings
When your soup isn’t giving you the creaminess or thickness you desire, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to thicken up chicken and dumplings.
Step 1: Allow your dumplings to cook completely in the soup. The flour in the dumplings will help make the broth thicker. Once the dumplings are done cooking, you can decide if your soup needs to be thickened. If you add thickening agents before waiting for your dumplings to cook, your soup may be too thick.
Step 2: Cornstarch is one of the best thickening agents. Combine cornstarch with milk and make sure there are no lumps. Place the slurry into the soup and stir. Once the mixture is combined with the soup, allow the soup to simmer for a minute. Stir the soup as it’s simmering to ensure nothing burns. Once the cornstarch has been heated, it will thicken up the broth.
Step 3: Adding in dairy can help add richness and thicken up the soup. Pour in a little heavy cream or half-and-half into your soup. Avoid boiling your soup after adding the dairy to prevent curdling.
There are many little adjustments you can make to thicken your soup, and luckily, chicken and dumplings are hard to mess up and easy to fix. You’ll be enjoying a delicious bowl of soup in no time!
Freezing Chicken and Dumplings
Freezing chicken and dumplings is a two-step process. Remove the dumplings from the pot once the soup cools to room temperature. You want to freeze the components separately to preserve the dumpling’s texture when reheating.
Store the soup in a freezer bag and squeeze out any extra air. Removing the air helps prevent the soup from developing oxidative, unpleasant flavors. Your soup will taste much better when you eat it later, and you won’t have any of that freezer-burn taste.
Freeze the dumplings in a separate bag. You may want to freeze the dumplings on a baking sheet before placing them in the bag–this step will help ensure your dumplings don’t all stick together in the freezer.
When you want to reheat the soup, place it in a pot and bring it to a simmer. Allow your dumplings to defrost partially before adding them to the pot. After about ten minutes, your chicken and dumpling soup will be ready to serve!