Southern Chicken and Cheddar Chive Dumplings

Southern Chicken and Cheddar Chive Dumplings, a healthy twist on traditional old fashioned southern chicken and dumplings recipes with onions, carrots, celery, and thyme and cheddar chive dumplings. Cold weather comfort food!

two bowls of chicken and dumplings with cheddar and chives

Chicken and dumplings sends me back to my childhood, growing up in the Midwest. My mother perfected her version of the classic southern recipe and it was a family favorite through the cold weather months.

Jump to today and I still love the hearty, homemade southern soup. Except, me being me, I have to get extra with it and add my favorite herbs and cheeses: fresh chives and thyme with a sprinkle of cheddar mixed into the drop biscuit dumplings.

There are many different variations and camps of chicken and dumplings lovers (long and think dumplings, grandma’s old fashioned, no added vegetables, all the added vegetables) but my favorite is to make a classic stove top chicken soup and drop in cheddar chive drop biscuits for an herb-y and cheesy flavor.

Ready to learn how to make classic Southern Chicken and Dumplings in under an hour? Let’s do it!

a side view of a bowl of chicken and dumplings

How to make Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Growing up we made chicken and dumplings with frozen dumplings, not from scratch. However, it super easy to make homemade dumplings from scratch and this simple recipe will make you a homemade dumpling convert.

To make Southern Chicken and Dumplings you first need to make the chicken soup. Add a bit oil to a large soup pot and cook the chicken breasts until each side is seared, about three minutes. Then add the carrots, onion, celery, and herbs and cook until soft.

Next you’ll add the chicken broth (try a homemade chicken broth!) and season with a little salt and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. When chicken has cooked throughout, about 10 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and let cool, then shred it with a fork and add the chicken back to the pot.

Meanwhile, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and chives until well combined. Then slowly add your buttermilk and shredded cheese, stirring until the mixture is well combined but still loose and slightly wet. You don’t want to over mix the dumpling batter or else they’ll be tough.

Finally, bring the soup back to boil and carefully drop in your dumpling batter into small balls with a spoon. Boil until dumplings are cooked throughout, about eight minutes. Serve soup in a bowl with one or two dumplings and top with cheddar and a sprinkled of chives.

Two black bowls of chicken and dumplings on a blue napkin

Southern Chicken and Cheddar Chive Dumplings: Tips, tricks, and tools

This twist on traditional Southern Chicken and Dumplings is super simple to make, but there are a few tips I recommend to make preparing it a bit easier:

  • A large soup pot or dutch oven: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a dutch oven or large soup pot is essential in your green kitchen. It truly is a workhorse so it’s worth spending a little money on it, I promise you’ll use it weekly
  • Other helpful tools: glass mixing bowls, soup ladle, soup bowls
  • Prep ahead: make the chicken soup ahead of time and reheat to cook dumplings right before serving
  • Leftovers and storage: bring the chicken and dumplings to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. For best results, eat within 1-2 days of making or else dumplings will get very soft.
  • Crockpot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot: the chicken soup foundation can easily be made in the Crockpot, Instant Pot, or other slow cooker and the dumplings can cooked right before serving
  • Experiment with flavors: experiment with different herbs (sage, oregano, basil) and cheeses (parmesan, spicy jack) in your biscuits

chicken and dumpling soup with fresh carrots and herbs


Love this simple old fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe? Check out our other seasonal soup recipes, like this Spicy Butternut Squash Chili or Roasted Tomato Leek Soup.

Did you make this Southern Chicken and Dumplings? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this seasonal soup recipe for later by pinning to your favorite winter Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Roadโ€™s Instagram to show me your dumpling creations!

Print

Southern Chicken and Cheddar Chive Dumplings

chicken and dumpling soup with fresh carrots and herbs

Southern Chicken and Cheddar Chive Dumplings, a healthy twist on traditional old fashioned southern chicken and dumplings recipes with onions, carrots, celery, and thyme and cheddar chive dumplings.

  • Author: Kristina Todini, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings (1.5 cups each) 1x
  • Category: Soups and Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs)
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup or dutch oven over medium heat. Add whole chicken breasts and cook until both sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add chicken broth and a pinch of salt of pepper and bring to a low boil, cooking until chicken is cooked throughout, about 10 minutes.ย  When chicken is cooked completely, remove and place on a cutting board. Once cooled, use a fork to shred and then add back to pot.
  3. To make cheddar sage dumplings: In a large glass mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thinly chopped chives. Then slowly add the buttermilk and shredded cheddar, mixing with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be loose, sticky, and wet–don’t over mix or dumplings will be tough!
  4. Add dumplings to soup: bring soup back to a low boil and drop a large spoonful of dumpling dough into the pot until all dough has been added. Cook covered until dumplings are cooked throughout, about 8 minutes.
  5. To serve: spoon soup and 1-2 dumplings into a soup bowl. Top with a bit of cheddar and sprinkled chives and enjoy!

Notes

  • Notes: experiment with different herbs (sage, oregano, basil) and cheeses (Parmesan, spicy jack) in your biscuits
  • Tools Needed: large soup pot or dutch oven, glass mixing bowls, soup ladle, soup bowls
  • Prep Ahead: make the chicken soup ahead of time and reheat to cook dumplings right before serving
  • Leftovers and Storage: bring the chicken and dumplings to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. For best results, eat within 1-2 days of making or else dumplings will get very soft.
  • Nutrition notes: this southern-style chicken and dumplings recipes is a seasonal comfort food, meaning it’s calorie dense and meant to be an occasional savory treat. It is low in fat, high in fiber, and the extra vegetables and low sodium make it a healthier options than traditional chicken and dumplings, however to make it even healthier try omitting the cheese.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (1.5 cups)
  • Calories: 544
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 62g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 65mg

Keywords: southern chicken and dumplings, healthy chicken and dumplings, chicken soup

Kristina Todini, RDN of Fork in the Road cutting vegetables in an outdoor kitchen.

Author: Kristina Todini, RDN

I'm a registered dietitian who believes that food should be good for you AND good for the planet. Join me in taking the "fork in the road" to eat green and live sustainably.

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