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Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumpling Soup

A Southern farmhouse favorite, this Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumpling Soup is classic comfort food!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword chicken and dumpling soup, homemade chicken and dumplings, old fashioned, southern
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 373kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 (3-4 lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or use 3-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts of your choice, such as breasts and/or thighs)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups (226 grams) self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons very cold butter
  • ¾ cup very cold whole buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley or chives, plus extra for garnish


  • Place chicken pieces in a large Dutch oven; add enough cold water to cover the chicken. Add carrots, celery, onion, salt, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Bring to boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low or low, so that the liquid is at a simmer.
  • Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the broth. When the meat is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones. Shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  • Taste the broth and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat.
  • While the broth comes to a boil, prepare the dumplings. Place self-rising flour in a large bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender (or your fingers) to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and parsley; stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead 4-5 times, then pat to ½ inch thickness. Pinch off dough in 1 ½ inch pieces, dropping the dough pieces into the boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium-low so that the broth is at a gently simmer. Let the dumplings cook for a few minutes undisturbed, then gently turn them with a fork or spoon so that they cook evenly. Continue simmering until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
  • Stir in the chicken.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls; garnish with additional fresh parsley.


  • Instead of cutting up a whole chicken, you can substitute with 3-4 lbs. of your favorite bone-in, skin-on chicken parts. For instance, use only chicken breasts, only chicken thighs, or a combination of the two.
  • Add extra herbs and seasoning to the broth, as desired. Fresh herbs are a great option when they're in season, too!
  • For a shortcut, use Bisquick to make dumplings (or cut up store-bought biscuit dough as shown here).
  • Don't have time to simmer chicken and make a homemade broth? Substitute with a high-quality store-bought chicken broth and 3-4 cups of meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • If you're using chicken parts instead of a whole cut-up chicken, use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for the richest flavor in your broth.
  • To help the dumplings cook evenly, I like to use a fork or spoon to gently turn them over about halfway through the cooking time.
  • To keep the dumplings from falling apart, give them time to cook for a few minutes before you stir the pot. Also, do not let the simmer go too fast. If you bring the broth to a rolling boil or a fast simmer, the dumplings may break.


Serving: 1/6 of the soup and about 3 dumplings | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3710IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg