Chicken and Dumplings

A serving of chicken and dumplings.

I’ve never really thought about the origins of chicken and dumplings — they’ve just been a staple on our table since I was a little girl.  Chunks of chicken and vegetables in a savory broth with big, fluffy dumplings floating on top.  Heaven!  The dumplings of my youth came together in about 30 seconds, thanks to a package of Bisquick or Jiffy baking mix.  These Chicken n’ Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings take a few seconds longer.

carrots celery and onion
chicken and vegetables in a pot

I was surprised to find that Scott had never had chicken and dumplings until he met me.  And he had no idea why I was putting a biscuit on top of the soup.  I guess it’s a Southern thing.  But it made me curious because I thought everybody ate this.  Where do chicken and dumplings come from?  There is substantial debate over its origins and frankly, so many iterations of this dish, that I don’t think there’s a pat answer about their evolution.

sautéed mushrooms
chopped chicken

The one that makes the most sense to me is the dish, with those fluffy biscuit-style dumplings, originated in the South, possibly during the Great Depression.  Adding the dumplings was a way to stretch the chicken to make the meal go farther.  

chicken and mushrooms in broth
dry ingredients

There are other “rolled” dumplings, which look suspiciously noodle-like to me and I’m told are very popular in the North.  I’m sure they’re good too, but I’m partial to this variety.

Newsletter Signup
Join our community of food lovers!

Get my latest recipes, helpful kitchen tips and more good things each week in your inbox.

dumpling dough
chicken and dumplings with peas

Of course the key to a tender dumpling, is to bring your pot of stew to a bubbling simmer, then drop the dumpling dough into the broth by rounded tablespoons before covering it tightly with the lid and letting the dough steam and puff.  Don’t sneak a peak to see how they’re doing, otherwise the dumplings will be tough (at least that’s what my Mom told me).  When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing so hearty and satisfying as big pot of this savory stew.

Chicken n' Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings in a pot
Chicken n' Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings with wooden spoon
Chicken n' Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings in a bowl.

More stews you might like:

Tried this recipe? Leave a rating and review.

Your comments and shares are invaluable to me and the thousands of readers who use this site daily. If you've made the recipe, leave a star rating and review. We want to hear how you liked it.

We'd love it if you shared the recipe with your friends on social media!

chicken n' cornmeal-chive dumplings | Garlic + Zest
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Chicken ‘n Cornmeal Chive Dumplings

This Southern-favorite is warm and satisfying.  
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, pot pie, vegetables
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6


  • 4 pound chicken
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock from rotisserie chicken low sodium store-bought
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup peas frozen

for the dumplings

  • 1 cup self rising flour or 1 cup all purpose flour +2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup milk


  • Rinse the chicken and place in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the celery, onion and carrots. Cover with chicken broth and water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until browned and tender and set aside.
  • With clean hands, pick the meat off of the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Transfer the chicken back to the pot and stir in the mushrooms. Place the pot back on the stove and hold it covered at a low simmer.

For the dumplings

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and chives. Whisk to combine. Stir in the milk and half and half to form a dough.
  • Drop the dumplings by tablespoonfuls onto the simmering liquid, cover (don’t peek) and cook for 15 minutes. Use a spoon to open up a space between the dumplings and pour the peas into the opening. Gently stir the peas into the broth and serve.


Calories: 536.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.1g | Protein: 37.36g | Fat: 27.87g | Saturated Fat: 8.51g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.61g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.39g | Trans Fat: 0.14g | Cholesterol: 117.14mg | Sodium: 404.3mg | Potassium: 849.28mg | Fiber: 4.36g | Sugar: 7.3g | Vitamin A: 5661.86IU | Vitamin C: 16.74mg | Calcium: 91.83mg | Iron: 2.76mg

Don’t Forget To “Pin It” For Later!

An authentic Chicken n' Cornmeal Chive Dumplings recipe is a classic dish w/light dumplings & savory broth. These are the BEST chicken and dumplings! #chicken #chickenrecipes #chickenanddumplings #dumplings #cornmeal #mushrooms #comfortfood #peas #carrots #peasandcarrots #soup #stew #chickensoup #chickenstew #bestchickenanddumplings #easychickenanddumplings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Do you have a gluten free cornmeal dumpling recipe?

    1. You should be able to swap a gluten free flour blend for the AP flour.

  2. Hi Lisa!
    The wait 15 minutes rule applies to matzo balls, too! We made a whole chicken last night, so I broke it down and made a broth. Using your recipe as a guide I made dumplings with the ingredients we had on hand. Instead of half and half I Used one egg and a cap of vegetable oil. They look good so far.. adding chicken now. Will let you know.

    1. Fantastic! Good to know about the matzo balls — I’ve never made them myself (had plenty of them, though).

  3. The Fashion Diva says:

    Wow not only does that look so yummy but you went into great detail with the order and photos you provide! Thank you 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This bowl of deliciousness makes me sad I’m a northerner. I’ve never had chicken and dumplings but I definitely think that’s going to change soon. This looks so hearty and beautiful and like everything I’ve ever wanted in my life.

    1. We won’t hold your Northern status against you, but you should make this a priority!

  5. The Purple Ladle says:

    I have never made dumplings before – great photos showing process!

    1. Dumplings are transformative, you must give it a go!

  6. foodhuntress2015 says:

    It’s funny, I have never made a cornmeal dumpling before but was thinking about it today and I come to your blog and there it is. Now I’ll have to try it. I ended up making a shepherd’s pie with cornbread topping.

    1. Ooh! That sounds good too. I love cornbread!

  7. Those corneal dumplings look awesome and have never seen anything like it. Love the photos too!

    1. Thanks, Sara! It’s ideal for cold, but I’d eat it when it’s hot, too!

  8. I love chicken soup. The dumplings would be a delish addtion. I like the fact that the chicken cooks along with the soup. The whole combo is so “comfort foodie”. YUM!

  9. watchlearneat says:

    Gorgeous photos! Such a great recipe – I’m totally drooling! Love that you added mushrooms too! 🙂

  10. laughingspatula says:

    I can’t believe I have never made chicken and dumplings! This has inspired me though!

  11. I have never had Chicken & Dumplings either. This looks great though. I”ll have to try it!

    1. are you serious? OMG – come over and I’ll make some for you and James!

  12. Oh my goodness those dumplings look AMAZING! I usually just pick up a box kit for kneidels (matzo balls) to throw into my homemade chicken soup but I’m gonna have to give these a go. 🙂

    1. Beth – they are ridiculously simple to make and so freakin’ good!