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Southern Chicken and Dumplings (The Best!)

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Chicken and dumplings are a quintessential Southern food. Pillowy soft dough dumplings and tender chicken are covered in a savory and thick broth. This homemade chicken and dumplings recipe yields the most perfect old fashioned chicken and dumplings that every Southerner grew up enjoying. Grab a glass of sweet tea and take a stroll down memory lane with these Southern chicken and dumplings!

Pillowy soft dough dumplings and tender chicken are covered in a savory and thick broth.

What are Chicken and Dumplings

Dumplings are a flour based dough that is boiled until cooked and tender. They are kind of like a Southern ravioli, if you will. The exception here is that they are not stuffed with anything before cooking. Some folks will pinch the dough and cook it in the shape of a ball that resembles matzah when cooked.

Other recipes, like this homemade chicken and dumplings recipe, will roll the dough out and cut into small squares before cooking. The dumplings are boiled in a savory (preferably homemade) chicken broth before adding cooked chicken. The excess dough from the dumplings will thicken the broth in to a rich and thick soup. The result is a luxurious bowl of comfort food!


Are Dumplings Hard to Make from Scratch

Dumpling dough is very easy to prepare. If you’ve made homemade biscuits before, this is similar but even easier! A basic dough is formed with flour, butter, and water. You can use a food processor to do this but I find solace in working with the best God given kitchen tools, my hands. Once the dough is formed, it gets rolled out to about 1/2″ thick on parchment paper. (This is the best rolling pin ever!) Then they will get cut into small squares or rectangles before being dropped into boiling broth! When they float to the top of the pot, you know they’re done. 

What Kind of Chicken is Used in this Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Both chicken breasts and chicken thighs work well in this old fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe. Whatever you have on hand should be fine. If you need to cook your chicken first, follow this tutorial for cooking chicken in your Instant Pot! The chicken may be shredded or cubed, whichever you prefer. 

What Do Southern Chicken and Dumplings Taste Like

Dumplings taste similar to noodles. In fact, we tell our young children that they are noodles so they aren’t afraid to try them. Dumplings are soft and doughy, somewhat of a cross between ravioli and an Asian dumpling. Their thickness will depend on how thin you pinch or roll your dough when cooking.

These really are the best chicken and dumplings. They’re nothing fancy but they certainly never miss the mark. If you need a taste of home, that’s what chicken and dumplings are for.

Bowl of homemade southern chicken and dumplings.

Can These Southern Chicken and Dumplings Be Made Keto

Unfortunately, no they cannot. I have been creating keto and low carb recipes for a few years now and this is just one recipe that cannot be authentically replicated. Trust me, I have tried all the ways and nothing maintains the integrity of a true dumpling. I plan to attempt it one more time with a gluten free flour that is lower carb so stay tuned!

What Do You Eat with Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Sometimes Southern chicken and dumplings are served as a side dish, like at Cracker Barrel, but most of the time they are the main meal. I tend to serve something green with every meal I make. In this instance, I would probably toss together a salad for the adults and serve broccoli or green beans to my kids. Collard greens are also a fabulous side for your chicken and dumplings. If you have my cookbook, I have a fabulous recipe for Southern green beans in it!

Southern Chicken and Dumplings (The Best!)

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
Pillowy soft dough dumplings and tender chicken are covered in a savory and thick broth for the ultimate Southern comfort food.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Heirloom Recipes
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting and rolling
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • heavy pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup of milk whole or 2% works best
  • 3 cups cooked chicken


  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork to stir it together until everything is combined.
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add the the flour mixture. Use the fork to cut the butter into the flour. A pastry cutter or food processor may also be used. Do not over work the butter to prevent melting.
  • Slowly stir in the milk with the fork until a dough starts to form. Use your hands to fold the dough into a ball. Dust extra flour onto your hands and the dough ball to prevent sticking.
  • Heavily flour a piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a thin sheet, about 1/2" thick. Make sure the dough is covered well enough with the flour. Cut the dough into small squares, about 2"x2". Precision is not necessary.
  • In a dutch oven, bring the broth to a boil. If you do not have enough broth, top it off with water. Season the broth with salt and pepper. Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling broth one at a time. They will begin floatig to the top after just a minute or two. Repeat until all dumplings are used.
  • Add the cooked chicken and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and let it all simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The broth should thicken from the excess flour on the dumplings.
  • Serve hot.


Well seasoned broth will elevate these chicken and dumplings immensely. To make your own homemade broth and cooked chicken, follow this recipe.
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