This recipe has all the delicious flavors of the classic Chicken and Dumplings, made just a bit healthier. I’ve recreated it here without dairy or eggs, and you have the option of also making it gluten free. It’s easy to make, and leftovers reheat perfectly!
You can enjoy this Dairy-Free Chicken and Dumplings with a thin, soup-like broth (as pictured) or you can thicken the broth to give it a more traditional, gravy-like thickness. Technically what I’ve pictured here would be called Chicken Soup with Dumplings, but it’s worth including with this recipe. We enjoy it both ways in my house, so feel free to make it to your personal taste and what you’re in the mood for. If I’m craving stick-to-your-ribs, hearty comfort food, I’ll thicken up the broth and make it the traditional way.
You can use either chicken thighs or chicken breast in this recipe. If you’re looking to make it healthier or cut prep time, use some skinless boneless breasts. If using breasts, skip the first step and add your chicken in step 2. This will poach the chicken in the broth with the vegetables, and it will easily shred into smaller bite sized pieces. Chicken thighs will give you a deeper flavor from the dark meat, but it will also add more calories.
The Dumplings And A Gluten Free Option
I’ve had great success making these dumplings both the traditional way as well as gluten free. It’s important to note that not all gluten free flour is created equal. I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour with great results, but using a different brand of flour could result differently.
You can make this using a frozen mixed vegetable medley that contains green beans, corn, peas, and carrots. I’ve also made it with fresh vegetables including carrots, green beans, and leaks. Both ways are tasty, so feel free to use what you like or have on hand.
Dairy Free Chicken and Dumplings
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs Chicken breasts will also work.
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- olive oil for browning your chicken
- pinch of dried thyme
- bay leaf
- 11 cups chicken stock low sodium
- 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
- salt and pepper to taste
For the dumplings:
- 2 cups flour gluten free flour can be used
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley a bit more for garnish
- 1 cup or so additional chicken stock
- (Skip this step if you're using chicken breast.) Heat your oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Dab the moisture off your chicken skin with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Add your chicken to the pot, being sure not crowd the pan, and brown well on both sides (do this in batches if need be). When the chicken is browned, set it aside.
- Add your onions and celery to the pan, and cook until softened. Add your garlic, stirring constantly, and cook for about 1 minute. Add in your bay leaf and thyme, and your chicken and any juices from the plate. (Add in your raw chicken breast here if using.) Stir in your chicken stock.
- Cook this over a simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and come off the bone easily. Remove your chicken, discard the skins, and shred the meat off the bones. Add the meat back to the pot, and cook for about another ten minutes. Add in your vegetables and let them cook while you prepare your dumplings.
- In a large bowl, prepare your dumplings. Whisk together your flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, and parsley. Slowly stir in your chicken stock, just until the mixture is moistened. Drop dumpling batter by the spoonful into your simmering pot, and let them cook until they float to the surface. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley to taste.
- You can thicken the broth if you’d like by creating a slurry of 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water whisked together, and add that a bit at a time to your soup until it’s thickened to your liking. Check for seasoning after you’ve thickened.