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Drop Dumplings Recipe

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If you want to add a touch of homemade comfort to your meals, these tender drop dumplings are just what you need.

This recipe for fluffy flour dumplings is surprisingly simple to make, and they are perfect for those chilly evenings or when you’re craving something extra special in your soup or stew. With our secret technique, they turn out beautifully fluffy and tender every time.

A spoon in a pot of soup with dumplings on top.

Not only will they impress your family and friends with their delightful texture and flavor, but they’ll also give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out, this recipe is a wonderful way to bring a homemade touch to your table. I adapted this recipe from my chicken dumping soup recipe.

Fluffy Dumplings for Stew

These fluffy dumplings are the ultimate comfort food addition, turning a simple stew into a hearty and satisfying meal. With their light and airy texture, they float on top of your stew, absorbing the rich flavors while maintaining their delightful fluffiness.

They complement a wide range of soup and stew recipes, from classic beef or chicken stews to vegetable-based options.

Why You Should Make Homemade Flour Dumplings From Scratch

  • Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor: This recipe uses everyday ingredients like all-purpose flour, Parmesan, and chives, which work together to create drop dumplings that are full of flavor. The Parmesan adds a lovely depth, while the chives bring a fresh note.
  • Tender and Fluffy Texture: The secret to these dumplings’ tender, pillowy texture lies in the technique of adding warm milk to the flour mixture. This ensures that the dumplings are light and fluffy, not dense or chewy, making them a perfect topping for your soups and stews.
  • Easy and Quick to Prepare: Despite their impressive results, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. The process is straightforward and quick, making it feasible to whip up homemade dumplings even on busy weeknights.
  • The Joy of Homemade: There’s a certain satisfaction in making a dumping recipe from scratch. It allows you to control the quality of ingredients and avoid preservatives found in store-bought versions. Plus, homemade soup dumplings have a fresh, authentic taste that can’t be matched by pre-made alternatives, making your home-cooked meals even more special and enjoyable.
Ingredients used to make old fashioned flour dumplings.

The Ingredients For Old Fashioned Dumplings

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the dumpling details. 

  • Pantry: Flour, salt, baking powder.
  • Dairy: Parmesan cheese, milk, butter.
  • Herbs: Chives.

How to Make Light and Fluffy Dumplings

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the dumpling recipe. You will see more details if you scroll down to the printable recipe card below.

  1. Mix the Ingredients: Start by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl. Heat the milk and butter then mix it into the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to blend everything together without overmixing.
  2. Let the Batter Rest: Allow the dumpling batter to rest for at least 10 minutes. You can even leave the batter in the fridge overnight if you’re planning ahead.
  3. Cook the Dumplings: When your stew or soup is simmering, scoop the dough and gently drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter in the pot. Let them float without pushing them down. Cover and cook until they double in size.

Dumping Recipe Variations

Our classic dropped dumplings recipe is a favorite addition to soups and stews. You can adapt this recipe to bring out new flavors and textures. Whether you’ve made them to accompany a hearty chicken stew or as a part to add them to chili, these variations will add a personal twist to this comforting classic. Here are some recipes to inspire you.

Herb and Garlic Dumplings

Add a burst of flavor by incorporating finely minced garlic and a mix of fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and thyme into your dumpling batter. This variation pairs wonderfully with chicken or vegetable stews, adding an aromatic and savory touch.

Whole Wheat and Honey Dumplings

For a healthier twist, replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Add a tablespoon of honey for a subtle sweetness. This version will have a nuttier flavor and a slightly denser texture and they make a wholesome addition to hearty stews.

Cheese and Cornmeal Dumplings

Give the recipe a Southern twist by substituting half of the flour with fine cornmeal and adding a generous amount of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. The cornmeal provides a pleasant texture and the cheese melts during cooking, offering a gooey, flavorful surprise. These are particularly great with beef stew or chili.

Dropping dumpling batter into a pot of simmering soup.

Ideas to Cook Your Drop Dumpling 

After you make the dumping dough, you will want to cook them to perfection in hot soup or stew. You can even cook them in a simple chicken broth or beef stock. They will enrich a chicken vegetable soup with their fluffy texture, add heartiness to beef soup, and add a twist to traditional Scotch broth.

Our potato soup with dumplings is a testament to how easy it is to make something hearty and filling with simple ingredients. But you can also add them to a more complex tasting recipe like our pumpkin and pork stew.

Storing and Reheating Soup Dumplings

  • Storing Leftovers: If you have leftover dumplings, it’s best to store them separately from the soup or stew to prevent them from getting too soggy. Place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. They will keep well for up to 2-3 days.
  • Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy the drop dumplings again, the best method is to steam them. Steaming helps maintain their texture without making them too dry or soggy. Simply place the dumplings in a steamer basket over boiling water for a few minutes until they are heated through. Alternatively, you can gently reheat them in the microwave, using a low power setting to avoid making them rubbery.
  • Reheating with Soup or Stew: If you prefer to enjoy your dumplings with soup or stew, add them back into the gently simmering liquid just long enough to heat them through. This way, they soak up the flavors again without overcooking.
A fork taking a bite from a dumpling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why aren’t my dumplings fluffy?

Overmixing the batter is the most common reason that makes drop dumplings tough. More reasons include using old baking powder, not having the soup or stew hot enough, or you removed the lid while they were cooking.

Do you simmer dumplings covered or uncovered?

You should keep them covered as they simmer in the hot soup. This will hold in the steam and help them cook evenly and rise properly. The steam created within the pot is crucial for making them light and fluffy.

These homemade drop dumplings are a delightful addition to any soup or stew. With simple ingredients and an easy-to-follow recipe, you can create fluffy, flavorful dumplings that elevate your meals to a new level of comfort.

Homemade drop dumplings are guaranteed to bring warmth and satisfaction to your dining table. So next time you’re simmering a pot of soup or stew, try dropping in these dumplings and watch as they transform your recipes into a heartier, more comforting meal.

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Drop dumplings on top of a pot of soup.

Drop Dumplings Recipe

Yield: 14 to 18 dumplings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Discover the secret to tender, pillowy drop dumplings with this simple recipe. The key lies in stirring warm milk into the flour, cheese, and chive mix, a technique that expands and sets the flour, ensuring your dumplings stay tender without absorbing excess soup. Drop them into a simmering broth and watch them transform your meals into cozy, comforting delights. Perfect for quick dinners or a warm, homemade touch on a chilly evening.

Ingredients

  • 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, cheese, chives, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients well. 
  2. Add the milk and butter to a separate bowl and zap it in the microwave until the butter melts. Pour the warm milk into the flour mixture. Use a wide spatula to gently fold the mixture just until there are no dry spots of flour. Don’t over mix. The batter should look a bit lumpy. If you mix it until it is smooth, the dumplings won’t be as tender and fluffy. 
  3. Let the dumpling batter rest for at least 10 minutes. You can refrigerate the batter overnight if desired. 
  4. When your soup (or stew) is almost finished cooking, bring it to a gentle simmer. You want to see some gentle bubbles but not a full boil. 
  5. Use a large spoon to drop golf ball sized balls of dough onto the top of the soup or stew. Don’t push them down, just let them float on top of the soup. If they stick together, use a spoon to separate them. 
  6. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the soup pot. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until the dumplings double in size. If you stick a toothpick in them, it should come out with no batter stuck to it. 

Notes

  • Drop dumplings are like little sponges – as they cook, they absorb some of the liquid from the soup. To ensure your soup doesn’t end up too dry or thick, start with more broth than you think you'll need. This way, even after the dumplings have soaked up some liquid, your soup will still have a generous amount of broth.
  • As dumplings cook, they release starch into the soup. This starch acts as a natural thickener, subtly changing the texture. Expect the soup to become slightly thicker as the dumplings cook through. If you prefer a thinner consistency, consider adding a bit more liquid after they finish cooking. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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