This easy chicken and dumpling soup recipe is filled with vegetables, shredded chicken, and delicious sage and thyme herb dumplings. Completely homemade and made from scratch, this soup is the ultimate comfort food for sick days or when you need something extra special.
What is chicken and dumpling soup?
It is a traditional American dish that consists of gut-healthy chicken broth, hearty, nutritious vegetables, and dumplings.
The dumplings themselves are often made from flour or biscuit dough. Letting them cook in the soup itself leaves you with plump, soft, homemade dumplings that melt in your mouth.
Chicken and dumpling soup is comfort food with a delicious blend of flavors that can be enjoyed any time of year. There are many variations of the classic recipe, such as adding herbs and spices to the soup or cooking the dumplings separately from the broth.
Tip: It tastes even better with some homemade crusty bread to dip into it!
Why this chicken and dumpling soup works
There’s just nothing better than a bowl of piping-hot homemade soup! This is going to become one of your favorite types of soup. Here’s why:
- It’s ready in less than an hour – that includes the time it takes to make the dumplings.
- The homemade dumplings literally melt in your mouth.
- Fresh herbs fill your kitchen with smells that will bring everyone to the kitchen.
- Large, whole vegetables are tastier and better for you.
- Tender chicken breast is easy on your stomach and fills you up at the same time.
Ingredients needed to make homemade chicken & dumpling soup
All great soups start with a flavorful base and are very similar to my chicken noodle soup recipe. There are two parts to this incredible homemade chicken soup – the base and the dumplings. Here’s what you’ll need for both:
Soup base ingredients
- Chicken breast
- Olive oil
- Veggies (carrots and celery)
- Freshly chopped herbs (sage and thyme)
- ‘Better Than Bouillon’ chicken base
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
Note: For an optional garnish, you can use some fresh chives or parsley.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh herbs (chopped sage and thyme)
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
How to sear chicken breast
To begin the soup, we are going to start by searing some chicken breast. I season it simply with kosher salt and black pepper for an added flavor boost.
Searing is key here; not only does it enhance the blandness of a typical chicken breast, but it also adds savory notes that will be carried through in each bite- plus, there’ll be crunchy bits left behind, which can help infuse more tastiness into your vegetables and broth!
How to prep the soup base
To create a flavorful base for the soup:
- Heat a pan to medium and add olive oil, carrots, celery, and shallots.
- For 5-6 minutes, sauté until the vegetables become tender before adding in pressed garlic, thyme & sage; stirring for an additional minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- To take this recipe to another level of flavor, add in the ‘Better than Bouillon’ chicken to the soup base!
Add the chicken to the soup
Once you’ve got the veggies nice and tender:
- Pour in the chicken broth, followed by two bay leaves, then bring to a gentle bubbling.
- As you wait for it to boil, place your seared chicken breasts into the soup and simmer until completely cooked through – approximately 15 minutes.
How to make homemade herb dumplings
While the chicken cooks through, let’s assemble our herb dumplings!
- Start by gathering your ingredients: flour, baking powder, kosher salt, chopped thyme, and sage.
- Place them in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Grate the parmesan cheese into the mixture and stir everything together.
- Gradually pour in the buttermilk while stirring with a silicone spatula until you have created a thick mashed potato-like consistency.
Use a tablespoon to scoop out portions of dough when ready to add to the soup!
How to shred chicken for soup
Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the soup using a pair of tongs. Then, use two forks to shred the chicken and set it aside for later.
The internal temperature should be 165°F.
How to cook homemade dumplings
Now, this is my favorite part – cooking the herb dumplings!
- Bring the soup to a gentle simmer, then carefully spoon in half of the dumplings and make sure not to overcrowd them.
- Place a lid on top and let them cook for around 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from the broth and repeat with the remaining batch of dumplings.
- When finished cooking, move all cooked dumplings onto a plate nearby.
Finish putting together chicken and dumpling soup
For the last step, we will now combine everything together.
- Add the shredded chicken and dumplings back to the soup.
- Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld together.
Once the soup has simmered, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, with kosher salt and black pepper.
How to serve
Garnish the soup with parsley as well as some salt & pepper. Serve warm with a side of crusty bread or mashed potatoes – perfect for those chilly winter nights!
If you have some extra time, I highly recommend making a batch of my buttermilk cast iron biscuits. The flakey buttery biscuit tastes so good dipped into the chicken soup.
How to store
Chicken and dumpling soup is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you have leftovers, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat on the stovetop or microwave when ready to serve!
Looking for more soup recipes?
I hope you enjoy this comforting one-pot chicken and dumpling soup!
Made this recipe and loved it? Leave a star rating below!
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced (1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery sliced (½ cup)
- 1 large shallot minced (¼ cup)
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and pressed (or minced)
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken base
- 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Optional garnish: fresh chives or parsley
- 1 ½ cups All purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Freshly chopped sage
- ½ tablespoon Freshly chopped thyme
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Season both sides of chicken breast with kosher salt and black pepper. In a dutch oven or soup pot over medium/high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Sear both sides of chicken until a browned crust forms (about 4 minutes each side). Once seared, remove from pot and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add in the shallot, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add in the pressed garlic, thyme, sage, and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant (about a minute). Add in better than bouillon base and mix until vegetables are coated. Add in the chicken broth and two bay leaves. Bring to a gentle boil. Return chicken to pot and cover. Allow the chicken to fully cook through, about 15 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, prepare the dumplings. In a large bowl add: flour, baking powder, kosher salt, black pepper, chopped thyme, and chopped sage. Add in grated parmesan and mix to combine ingredients. Slowly add in the buttermilk while stirring. Use a silicone spatula to gently get dough together. The consistency should be similar to a thicker/drier mashed potato. Set aside.
- Use tongs to remove the chicken breast from the soup. The internal temperature should be 165F. Using two forks, shred the chicken and set aside.
- The soup should be at a boil. Using a heaping tablespoon for each dumpling, spoon and drop the dumplings into the soup. (Only do half of the dumpling dough, you don’t want to put too many or they will stick together). Cover with lid and allow them to cook for about 8-9 minutes. Remove from the soup and repeat with remaining dumplings. Set aside the cooked dumplings on a plate.
- Add the shredded chicken and dumplings back to the soup. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld together. Once the soup has simmer, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary with kosher salt and black pepper. Ladle soup and dumplings into a bowl. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and consume within 3 days. To reheat, use reheat function on microwave or simmer on stovetop till warmed through.
Can I use reg milk instead of buttermilk?
Hi Carm, I haven’t tried this recipe with regular milk so I cannot say for sure. If you are going to use milk, use whole milk. Also, the flavor of the dumplings will not be the same.
Thank you for this great recipe. It creates a wonderfully delicious dinner! I confess to using Bisquick baking mix for the dumplings… And it works really well. But both times I have made this soup I have so little broth remaining after all is cooked, I I have had to add more chicken broth to make it soup-like again. It’s still delicious, but I wonder if my Bisquick hack is making too many or more absorbant dumplings.
Hi Mary Lynn, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the soup! I haven’t used the bisquick myself, but I think you’re right that it’s pulling more liquid. I would just keep adding another quart of broth or so if you continue with the biquick. I’ll have to try it myself soon!