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Chicken Dumpling Soup (Stovetop or Instant Pot)

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Chicken and dumpling soup is an old-fashioned favorite that is just as savory, cozy and warming today as it ever was! Our chicken and dumpling soup recipe makes an easy dinner and the perfect comfort food. The whole family will love the full flavor of the tender chicken and vegetables and those irresistibly delicious parmesan dumplings.

We provided directions for the stovetop as well as the Instant Pot.

Dumplings on top of soup in a Dutch oven.

There is such comfort in a good, hearty meal that warms you to the core and fills you up. And perhaps it doesn’t get much better than homemade chicken and dumpling soup.

Tender shreds of chicken and vegetables swimming in a savory, flavorful broth, is made a whole lot better with the addition of soft and pillowy Parmesan dumplings.

This homestyle meal is not only soothing and warming, but for many of us, it offers a bit of nostalgia, too. It’s a classic, like beef stew or mashed potatoes. And it’s most welcome when the chilly weather sets in.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Browning the chicken thighs in the pot adds extra flavor to the soup. The caramelized bits in the bottom of the pot will loosen and give the soup depth of flavor.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese adds incredible depth of flavor to the drop dumplings and helps lighten the dough, adding to a tender texture.
  • Stirring warm milk into the flour mixture helps create a tender, pillowy dumpling. The warm liquid expands and sets the flour and prevents them from absorbing too much liquid as they cook in the soup (we learned this tip from CooksIllustrated).
  • We provided stovetop and Instant Pot directions to give you more options for making this soup.
  • Creamy chicken dumpling soup is a hearty, homey meal that will become a family favorite.

Ingredients for Chicken and Dumpling Soup

The best chicken and dumpling soup starts with the best ingredients. We like to use chicken thighs for this recipe because they have a delicious flavor, and the meat stays moist and tender.

The chicken is browned, the pan is deglazed (all those yummy bits add so much flavor to the soup!) and the other aromatics work their magic.

The result? A flavorful, creamy chicken and dumpling soup that will knock your cozy, knitted socks off.

A fluffy dumpling on a soup spoon.

You will need:

  • bone-in chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • butter (for the soup and the dumplings)
  • carrots, diced
  • celery ribs, diced
  • onion, finely chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • all-purpose flour (for the soup and dumplings)
  • white wine
  • chicken broth
  • whole milk (for the soup and dumplings)
  • bay leaves
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • baking powder
Milk, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, chicken thighs, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, butter, flour.

The Best Chicken and Dumpling Soup Recipe

Here is a brief overview. Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. We provided process photos for the stovetop and a video for the Instant Pot.

You’ll need a large pot or a Dutch oven for this chicken and dumpling soup recipe. Everything cooks in this pot, starting with the browning of the chicken thighs.

Yes, there is a long(ish) simmer involved and a step that requires pulling chicken meat off the bones, but we believe your first sip of this comforting soup will prove that it’s all 1000% worth it.

Browning chicken thighs in a Dutch oven then sautéing vegetables.

Working in batches, sear the chicken thighs until each side is golden brown. Set them aside. Add butter to the Dutch oven and cook the vegetables until softened, then add the garlic.

Adding flour to vegetables then stirring in wine and chicken broth.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pot. Then add the chicken broth, milk, herbs and seasonings.

Adding milk and herbs to chicken soup then adding browned chicken thighs.

Nestle the chicken (and juices) back into the pot. Reduce heat and place the lid on the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 45 to 60 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender.

Warming butter and milk then adding it to a flour mixture to make dumplings.

Make the dumpling dough. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Heat the milk and butter until melted, then fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.

Shredding chicken and adding it to soup then topping the soup with dumpling batter.

Pull the chicken from the bones and place it back into the soup. Bring the soup to a low simmer and drop walnut sized pieces of the dumpling dough right on top of the soup. Cook another 15-18 minutes or until the dumplings double in size.

Tips for the Best Results

  • When you brown the chicken, don’t crowd the pot. Cooking the chicken in batches will ensure they brown easier. If the pot is too crowded, the chicken pieces will steam.
  • The soup will only be a little thick before dropping in the dumpling dough. As the dumplings finish cooking, the soup will get thicker. For a thinner soup, simply add a little bit more chicken broth.
  • Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  • You can also substitute chicken stock for chicken broth.

More Soup Recipes

Two bowls of chicken and dumpling soup.

Homemade chicken dumpling soup is a wonderfully comforting and satisfying meal. It is warming and creamy and savory, with the perfect ratio of tender chicken and fluffy, Parmesan dumplings.

Each bite is bliss, and we highly recommend enjoying a bowl of it with a side of crusty sourdough. 😉

Helpful Tools

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Three large dumplings in a bowl of creamy chicken soup.

Some More Recipes You Will Love:

This Turkey Meatloaf is ultra-tender and flavor-packed! No more bland and dry turkey meatloaf. We’ve carefully selected the meatloaf add-ins to make sure the result is tender and juicy with incredible flavor.

Duck Cassoulet with Sausage and Pork is a medley of duck confit, sausage, pork and white beans slow-simmered with herbs, veggies and aromatics. Each bite of this stew-like dish is hearty and flavorful- another perfect meal for a cold day.

Chicken Pot Pie is hearty and filling, and this version goes beyond. Our twist on the classic favorite includes a creamy white wine sauce, plus the addition of wild rice and mushrooms to the pie itself.

Did you know you can cook frozen Game hens in the Instant Pot? It makes a great last minute dinner if you forget to thaw the birds out.

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Three drop dumplings in in a bowl of chicken soup.

Creamy Chicken Dumpling Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Chicken and Dumpling soup is savory, hearty, and warming- the perfect homestyle meal for a chilly day. Fluffy, doughy dumplings simmer in a flavorful chicken soup loaded with tender shreds of chicken thighs and vegetables.

This creamy, homestyle soup is the ultimate in comfort food. It's one of those dinners that's made for family gatherings, and it is incredibly easy to make.

The Parmesan dumplings are tender and incredibly flavorful.

We have directions for the stovetop or the Instant Pot.


For the Chicken Soup

  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Dumplings

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter

Optional thickener

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


Stovetop Directions (see below for Instant Pot)

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken to the pot and sear for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Add the butter to the pot and stir until melted. Toss the carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cook over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  4. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the browned-on bits loosened. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and milk. Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken (along with the juices on the plate) to the pot and push them down into the broth. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium or a low simmer. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender. 
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and pull the meat off the bones. Discard the bones. Shred or chop the chicken and return it to the pot. 

For the Dumplings

  1. Combine the flour, parmesan, chives, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Heat the milk and butter in the microwave or on the stovetop until the butter has melted and the milk is warm. Fold the warm milk and butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Bring the soup to a low simmer (you should see a few gentle bubbles but not a rolling boil). Drop golf-ball sized balls of the dough right on top of the soup. Do not push them down but separate them with a spoon. 
  4. Reduce the heat to low and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until the dumplings double in size. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. 

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Set the instant pot to saute. When it is hot, add the olive oil then cook the chicken thighs in batches. Cook them for about 5 minutes per side or until they are brown. Set them off to the side on a plate. 
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook until the onions are soft. Season with salt and pepper (do not add the flour).
  3. Pour in the wine, and chicken broth, then put the chicken thighs back into the Instant Pot and push them into the stew. Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper (do not add the milk).

Make the dumplings:

  1. Combine the flour, parmesan, chives, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Heat the milk and butter in the microwave or on the stovetop until the butter has melted and the milk is warm. 
  2. Fold the milk and butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Drop large balls of the dough right on top of the chicken. Do not push them down but separate them with a spoon.
  4. Place the lid on and set the Instant Pot to high for 18 minutes. 
  5. Allow the Instant Pot to release the pressure naturally, then remove the lid and remove the chicken thighs. Shred the chicken off the bones and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the 1 cup of milk.
  6. Taste and season with salt as needed. If you want the stew thicker, see the next step.

Optional: thicken the soup if desired

  1. Place the Instant Pot on saute mode.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and water in a dish. Whisk until smooth then slowly pour into the stew while stirring.
  3. Cook on saute mode for 3 to 4 minutes until thick.


  • Using bone-in chicken thighs will give the stew a deeper but boneless chicken thighs work as well.
  • To make sure your dumplings are tender and light, do not over-stir the flour and milk mixture. Just fold the ingredients together until they are combined, then stop mixing.
  • As the dumplings cook, they almost double in size and will slightly thicken the stew. If you want the stew thicker, use the optional cornstarch at the end. If you want a thinner soup, add additional chicken broth.
  • When you brown the chicken, don’t crowd the pot, or they will just steam and won’t get a brown crust. If you work in batches, they will brown easier. 
  • If you make this chicken dumpling soup in the Instant Pot, do not stir the flour in with the vegetables, and add the milk in the final step.
  • For the parmesan dumplings: Adding warm milk to the flour mixture creates a lighter, fluffier dumpling texture. However, make sure you don't overstir the dumping dough, or they can become tough.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 529Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1529mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 29g

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

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This recipe was originally published on December 26, 2018.

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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Wednesday 5th of February 2020

How many balls of dough will need to be formed, and how big of dough balls? Thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 5th of February 2020

You will get about 14 to 16 dumplings that are approximately 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

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