With mushrooms for big umami flavor and bright lemon zest in the dumpling dough, this is the best Homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe that you’ll want to make again and again!

A black cast iron pot filled with chicken and dumplings, with a ladle lifting some out.

Does old fashioned Chicken and Dumplings evoke a sense of nostalgia for you? I didn’t grow up eating it, but it was one of my first favorite things to cook when I started cooking as an adult.

While classic dish is great, I’ve put a few signature touches on it to make it my own. First of all, I add mushrooms! This isn’t traditional for most homemade chicken and dumplings recipes, but it adds so much flavor and umami.

And because I hate a bland dumpling, I spike mine with lemon zest. The bright citrusy flavor makes it so the dumplings really complement the rich, creamy stew in the best possible way.

Why you’ll love Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

  • It’s kind of a one-pot wonder! I say that because you will need a bowl to stir together the dumpling batter, but beyond that, there’s very few dishes required, so there’s also minimal cleanup.
  • The combination of savory broth, succulent chicken and fluffy dumplings truly feels like a hug in a bowl. Great for a cold day or an under-the-weather friend.
Ingredients laid out on a light surface, including poultry, mirepoix vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, butter, flour and spices.

Ingredients for the Best Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

  • chicken thighs – the main protein for the stew.
  • unsalted butter – used for sauteeing the chicken and vegetables.
  • flour – used for creating the roux that will thicken the stew, as well as making the dumplings.
  • button (white) mushrooms – adds an earthy and umami flavor.
  • garlic – enhances the overall flavor profile of the stew.
  • carrots – contribute sweetness and texture.
  • celery – add a mild texture and subtle flavor the stew.
  • onion – provides a sweet and savory base flavor for the stew.
  • white wine – adds brightness and complexity.
  • bay leaf – infuses a subtle herbal aroma.
  • chicken stock – the main liquid of the stew, creating a rich and savory broth.
  • salt and pepper – for seasoning the stew and dumplings.
  • fresh thyme – adds a fresh herby flavor to the stew.
  • baking powder -the leavening agent for the dumplings, giving them a light and fluffy texture.
  • dried parsley – adds a mild herbal flavor and color to the dumplings.
  • lemon zest – the bright citrusy flavor added to the dumplings complements how rich the stew is.
  • cream – binds the dumpling ingredients together and adds richness to the stew.
A gray bowl filled with homemade chicken and dumplings, with a black spoon lifting some out.

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Easy Substitutions

  • CHICKEN – Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of thighs if you prefer.
  • HERBS – You can use rosemary or sage in place of the thyme for the stew.
  • MUSHROOMS – I use white button mushrooms here because they are the most affordable, but if you’d like to use something more exotic like cremini or shitake, you can!

How to make Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with sauteed pieces of chicken thigh.

1. CHICKEN. Cook the chicken in butter in a large Dutch oven until no obvious raw spots remain on the chicken, then transfer the chicken to a plate.

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with mirepoix and mushrooms.

2. VEGGIES. Add the remaining butter to the pot and saute the mushrooms until they start to soften. Then, add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion and cook until all the vegetables are softened.

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with a mixture of mirepoix and mushrooms, with a bit of flour on top.

3. FLOUR. Add the flour and cook 30 seconds to form a roux.

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with mushrooms, chicken, broth and herbs.

4. LIQUID. Stir in the wine, then add the bay leaf, chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper, along with the chicken. Heat the mixture to boiling, then reduce the heat.

A glass bowl filled with flour, lemon zest and herbs.

5. WHISK. While the stew simmers, prep the dumpling dough by whisking together the flour, baking powder, parsley, lemon zest and salt.

A glass bowl filled with dumpling dough.

6. CREAM. While stirring, gradually add the cream until all the cream is incorporated into the dumpling dough.

A hand scooping dumpling dough over a cast iron dutch oven filled with stew.

7. DOLLOP. Spoon the dumpling dough over the surface of the stew in big dolllops.

A cast iron dutch oven filled with stew covered in dumplings.

8. SIMMER. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.

Home Chef Tips for making this recipe for Chicken and Dumplings

  • Since the chicken stock makes up so much of this dish, by volume, choose a good quality brand for the best flavor. If you have homemade chicken stock, now’s the time to use it!
  • Don’t overmix the dumpling batter to ensure a light and fluffy texture.
  • When dropping spoonfuls of dumpling batter over the stew, try to maintain more or less uniform sizes so that the dumplings cook evenly.
A black cast iron dutch oven filled with the best chicken and dumplings recipe.

What to serve with Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Homemade chicken and dumplings are truly a complete meal on their own, but consider adding a green salad tossed with citrus vinaigrette for a light counterpoint to the rich main dish.

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with old fashioned chicken and dumplings.

How to store this Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Allow any leftover chicken and dumplings to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container in the refrigerator. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Reheating Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

My favorite way to reheat old fashioned chicken and dumplings is to place it in a small baking dish, cover it with foil, and reheat it in a 350 degrees oven until it is warmed through.

It can also be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.

No matter the reheating method, you may need to add some additional broth, as the stew will have thickened up quite a bit.

A black spoon digging into chicken and dumplings.

The Best Chicken and Dumplings Recipe FAQs

What are the 3 component of dumplings?

Dumplings typically consist of flour, fat, and a liquid. In the case of this recipe, heavy cream acts as both the fat and the liquid.

How can I thicken my Chicken and Dumplings?

The flour that is added in Step 3 below forms a roux, which is the thickener for this chicken and dumplings recipe.

Why do my Chicken and Dumplings fall apart?

Overmixing the dumpling batter or cooking the dumplings too long can cause them to fall apart. Be gentle when stirring the batter, and cook the dumplings only until they are just fluffy and cooked through.

A black cast iron dutch oven filled with a homemade chicken and dumplings recipe, with a ladle spooning some out.
A black cast iron pot filled with chicken and dumplings, with a ladle lifting some out.

Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

With mushrooms for big umami flavor and bright lemon zest in the dumpling dough, this is the best Homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe that you'll want to make again and again!


For the Chicken Stew:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Dumplings:

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream


  1. Make the Chicken Stew: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until no obvious raw spots remain on the outside of the chicken, stirring frequently (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point). Transfer chicken to plate.
  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to pot and lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms and cook 4 minutes or until they start to soften, stirring frequently. Add garlic, carrots, celery and onion. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
  3. Add flour and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and cook 30 seconds. 
  4. Stir in bay leaf, stock, thyme, salt, pepper and chicken. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. 
  5. Allow the stew to simmer while you prep the Dumplings: In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, parsley, lemon zest and salt until well combined. 
  6. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add cream until all cream is incorporated.
  7. Spoon dumpling dough in big 2 tablespoon-ish dollops over stew, covering the entire surface of the stew. 
  8. Cover pot and simmer on medium-low 20 minutes or until dumplings are firm to the touch and cooked through.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 688Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 205mgSodium: 1056mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 36g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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