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Southern Chicken Stew with Dumplings

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Dive into a bowl of pure comfort with our Chicken Stew with Dumplings!

Imagine pulling together a no-fuss recipe with the ease of chicken and vegetables. It’s all simmered in a light, herb-laced broth and topped with fluffy, homemade drop dumplings that promise to warm you from the inside out.

stew ready to be served.
A warm, comforting classic recipe

Ready to whip up some homestyle goodness? Let’s create a meal that’s as easy as it is comforting—no experience necessary.

What is chicken stew?

Chicken stew is a classic dish with a rustic and hearty appeal. It is a comforting, delicious meal in a bowl, perfect for those cold winter nights or whenever you’re craving something cozy.

To make this dish, you can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts in crockpot or even a combination of both. The chicken is first browned in a Dutch oven or a large pot over medium-high heat to develop a deep flavor and then simmered with aromatic onions and garlic cloves.

old fashioned southern chicken strew in a stockpot.

Southern Chicken stew is often served with crusty bread or fluffy dumplings, adding the perfect accompaniment to soak up the flavorful broth. The dumplings can be made from a simple dough mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and butter.


  • For the Stew: Unsalted butter, onion, celery, flour, broth, carrots, peas, potatoes, chicken, salt, thyme, basil, and black pepper
  • For the Drop Dumplings Recipe: Flour, dill, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk

Step 1: Sautéing the Vegetables

Prepare your vegetables: Finely chop your onions and celery.

Cooking Process: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add the chopped onion and celery.

Monitoring: Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and celery become tender and slightly translucent.

add butter, celery, and white onions to a stockpot.

Step 2: Forming and Cooking the Roux

Creating the Roux: Add flour, whisk, and cook for 2 minutes until the roux forms.

create a flour roux.

Step 3: Integrating Additional Ingredients

Pouring the Broth: Gradually add the broth and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and well-integrated.

Incorporating Remaining Ingredients: Add the carrots, peas, potatoes, tender chunks of chicken (already cooked), thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir well.

Simmering the Stew: Cover the stock pot and allow it to simmer over medium heat for 20–25 minutes. Periodically stir to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking, continuing until the vegetables become tender.

adding stew ingredients into stockpot
Add chicken, vegetables, seasonings, and broth to stockpot.

Step 4: Preparing the Dumpling Dough

Dry Ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, dried dill, baking powder, and salt.

Integrating Butter: Utilize a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Adding Milk: Pour in the milk and gently mix until just combined, being mindful not to overmix.

creating drop dumplings.
Make stew dumpling dough. Remember, dumplings should be small.

Step 5: Introducing Dumplings to the Stew

Adjusting the Heat: Ensure the stew is at a gentle simmer.

Forming Dumplings: Utilize a tablespoon to scoop the dumpling mixture, gently placing each dollop into the simmering stew.

Cooking the dumplings: Allow them to cook, uncovered, for around 10 minutes or until tender and fully cooked through, offering a gentle stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

homemade dumpling dough
Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to form drop dumplings.

Step 6: Serving the Dish

Ensure the dumplings are thoroughly cooked and the vegetables in the stew are fork-tender. Ladle the stew and dumplings into serving bowls and serve immediately.

finished stew in bowls.
This easy stew recipe is just like Grandma used to make!

How to Tell When the Dumplings Are Done

Ensuring Your Dumplings Are Perfectly Cooked

To confirm your dumplings are done cooking in a chicken stew, check for two key signs: they should have puffed and risen and exhibit no liquid batter inside.

  • Checking Method 1Pierce with a fork or toothpick. If it comes out clean, the dumplings are ready!
  • Checking Method 2: Observe their appearance; they should be light, fluffy, and not dense or have raw dough in the center.
chicken stew with homemade dumplings.

How To Thicken Chicken Stew

To thicken chicken stew (or any soup or chili recipe), the only method I personally use is to create a cornstarch slurry. This simple technique helps to achieve a thicker and more velvety texture in the stew.

Add 1/2 cup of cold water to a glass or a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk. Make sure there are no lumps. Pour into the stew and continue heating. The stew will thicken as it warms. Add more slurry if necessary (wait about 15 minutes before deciding).

Recipe Notes:

  • It is recommended to use fresh herbs instead of relying on Italian seasoning for flavoring. Fresh herbs like thyme, sprigs fresh rosemary, and parsley add a wonderful aromatic element to the stew.
  • For extra flavor, white wine in a hearty stew is pretty standard.
  • To achieve a tender and flavorful chicken, it is recommended to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. These cuts of meat have enough fat to keep the stew moist and flavorful.
  • If you have any leftovers, make sure to store them properly. Cool the stew, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate it. It should last up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop, adding chicken broth if it has become thick from being in the fridge.
stew with potatoes steaming in a bowl.

Tips and Tricks for Old-Fashioned Stew

First, consider making a larger batch of hearty chicken stew for those who love leftovers. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For seasoning the stew, using kosher salt can bring out the flavors of the ingredients without overpowering them.

If you prefer a creamy chicken stew, consider substituting heavy cream for some of the broth. The cream adds a rich and velvety consistency to recipes like crockpot tortellini.

Try sifting the flour mixture before adding the wet ingredients for a lighter and fluffier texture to your dumplings. This will help create a finer consistency and produce airy, tender dumplings.

What is the difference between chicken and dumplings and chicken stew with dumplings?

Honestly, both are comforting meals with tons of depth of flavor.

  • Chicken and Dumplings focuses more on shredded chicken, creamy sauce, and soft, comforting dumplings as a duo.
  • Chicken Stew with Dumplings often provides more complexity in terms of ingredients and flavors. The cozy stew is the star, with the soft dough dumplings being just an addition to make it more hearty (like adding bread as a side).

—-> Short on time? To make this quick, try using leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken instead. 

What side dishes go with chicken and vegetable stew? 

We rarely admit defeat when it comes to picking a side dish recipe. And it’s tough not to recommend a crispy roasted parmesan potato recipe or some green beans

But in this case, other than some optional dipping bread or salty crackers, you don’t need a side. It’s a filling dish with homemade dumplings that typically keep everyone full—or after another bowl. 

this stew in a bowl is ready to be eaten.

Want more classic comfort foods?

We’ve got you if you’re hunting for classic, soul-hugging dishes!

How about diving into some classic chicken and dumplings or twirling your fork in slow cooker garlic parmesan chicken pasta? Or cozying up with a bowl of lasagna soup? Yum, right?

Take advantage of other hearty delights like cottage piechicken tater tot casserole, easy chicken vegetable soup, and filling sausage and grits casserole.

And here’s a little nugget of wisdom: your comments and ratings on these recipes? They’re gold! 💛

 When you drop a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating or a quick thought on a blogger’s recipe, you’re helping fellow foodies pick their next ultimate comfort food recipe and giving bloggers a little virtual high-five- we love it!

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Southern Chicken Stew and Dumplings

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 39 minutes
From its velvety gravy to its pillowy dumplings, discover why this Southern chicken stew is the comforting dish you didn’t know you needed in your life!


  • Stock Pot or dutch oven


Chicken Stew

  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup baby carrots sliced thin
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¾ lb. russet potato skin peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3-4 cups chicken cooked and chopped (shredded rotisserie chicken is also fine to use)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Drop Dumplings for Stew

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter kept cold until use and cut into small chunks
  • ¾ cup milk


  • Sauté Vegetables:
    In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes or until they become tender.
  • Make the Roux:
    Add flour to the pot. Whisk continuously for 2 minutes, until a roux (thick paste) forms.
  • Add Broth:
    Gradually add the broth, continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients:
    Incorporate thinly sliced carrots, frozen peas, 1/2 inch chunk of peeled potatoes, cooked chicken, salt, dried thyme, dried basil, and black pepper into the pot. Stir thoroughly to mix.
  • Cook the Stew:
    Cover the pot and let it cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ensure vegetables are tender before proceeding to the next step.
  • Simmer:
    Once the vegetables are tender, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and keep the pot covered.

Make stew dumpings

  • Mix Dry Ingredients:
    In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, dill, baking powder, and salt.
  • Incorporate Butter:
    Add cold butter pieces to the dry mix. Utilize a pastry blender to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add Milk:
    Add milk and stir until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Combining Stew and Dumplings

  • Add Dumplings to Stew:
    Remove the lid from the simmering stew. Use a tablespoon to scoop dumpling dough, and gently drop the scoops into the stew.
  • Cook Dumplings:
    Allow the stew to cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until the dumplings are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve the stew with dumplings immediately, while hot and flavorful.


Chicken should be cooked before making the stew. We recommend using leftover chicken breast or simply purchasing a premade rotisserie chicken and chopping or shredding.  You can add 3-4 cups of chicken. 
Do not overmix the dumpling dough or it will become hard. Chicken stew can be made and eaten without dumplings as well. 


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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