Get ready to cozy up to a bowl of gluten-free chicken and dumplings made with a slew of fresh ingredients and homemade gluten-free drop dumplings. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
When the winter chill comes your way, it’s time to cozy up to gluten-free chicken and dumplings. My chicken and dumplings recipe offers a flavorful, slightly thickened chicken broth served with an array of delicious vegetables and mouth-watering doughy drop dumplings. The whole dish is reminiscent of chicken noodle soup.
Today you’ll learn how to make this hearty soup, which I imagine will soon be in heavy rotation in your home during the cold winter months. All you need to make this classic comfort recipe is a few simple ingredients.
How to Make the Chicken Soup Base
To make the chicken soup base, heat a little oil or dairy-free butter in a large stock pot. Add one and one-half pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and sear them on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Next, add diced onions, carrots, celery, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and mix everything over medium-high heat for another 8 minutes.
Add 8 cups of chicken broth (or 8 cups of water + 5-6 tbsp of chicken bouillon) and bring the mixture to a boil. Add 1 bay leaf, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes to cook the chicken through.
Remove the chicken from the broth and set it aside to cool.
How to Make Gluten-Free Dumplings
While the chicken soup is simmering, it’s time to prepare the gluten-free dumplings.
Combine 1 cup of your favorite gluten-free flour blend in a medium-sized bowl. My favorite blend to use for dumplings is Lorraine’s All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour blend, which includes xanthan gum. If your mix doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1/4 tsp of it.
I’ve also made this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour, and while it works well, the dumplings are a bit firmer. Every flour blend will offer a slightly different texture. Experiment with other gluten-free flour blends to find the one you like best.
Add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt to the flour mixture and whisk together, then form a well in the center of the flour. Add 2 tbsps of melted dairy-free butter and 1/2 cup of dairy-free milk (I used cashew milk) and mix the ingredients to form a sticky dough. Form the dough into ten balls using a cookie scoop or by hand.
Bring the chicken soup base to a boil, add the dumplings, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes to cook the dumplings. You’ll notice the broth will slightly thicken as it cooks the doughy dumplings.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces with a fork or by hand. Add the chicken to the soup, heat it for a few minutes, and then ladle it into individual soup bowls. Top each portion with parsley or green onions for garnish (optional).
Why We Love Chicken and Dumplings
My kids love it when I make gluten-free chicken and dumplings.
Savory Broth: The broth is savory and bursting with deep chicken flavor. It has a wonderful taste, and the broth is slightly thicker than your average chicken soup broth.
The Texture: The dumplings come out soft and tender, offering that perfect doughy texture you miss and crave most now that you’re on a gluten-free diet.
It’s Cozy: This cozy and comforting soup will warm you from the inside out. I love to make it on a cold winter day.
FAQs and Troubleshooting
Use Leftover Chicken: This recipe is a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken, especially leftover rotisserie chicken. Prepare the broth and dumplings, then add the cooked shredded chicken. Easy peasy!
Help, My Dumplings Are Hard: Some gluten-free flours will result in denser dumplings than others. Experiment with different flour blends. Lorraine’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend works well if you crave that doughy dumpling texture. When I use Lorraine’s APF, my dumplings are always fluffy.
My Soup Isn’t Thick Enough: A lot of dumpling soup recipes are thick and creamy, and that’s because they add cream, milk, or evaporated milk to the soup. This recipe is a bit more broth-like than creamy. If you want to thicken the soup even more, add 1/2 cup milk or cream or, alternatively, add a cornstarch slurry. To make a cornstarch slurry, combine 3 Tbsp of cornstarch + 1/4 cup cold water. Add the slurry to the lightly boiling broth and stir until the soup thickens.
Is this Recipe Dairy-Free? Yes, this recipe is dairy-free. I use only dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk. You could use regular butter and milk if you’re not concerned about dairy.
Gluten-Free Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 large stock pot
- 1 tbsp dairy-free butter or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or to use leftover chicken, see notes
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 8 cups chicken broth or 8 cups water + 6 Tbsp of bouillon
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (with xanthan gum) I used Lorraine's All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dairy-free butter melted (cooled)
- 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
- In a large stock pan, heat butter or oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan. (If using leftover chicken that is already cooked, omit this step and see notes.)
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the chicken back to the pot, along with the broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk them together and form a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter and milk and mix with a spatula until a sticky dough forms.
- Uncover the broth mixture and remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Use a cookie scoop to drop about 10 scoops of the dumpling dough into the boiling broth. Cover the mixture and simmer for another 20-25 minutes.
- Shred the chicken and place it back into the broth. Stir the mixture, remove the bay leaf, and enjoy! Top each portion of soup with parsley or green onions (optional).