This Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings has rich dark meat, lots of tender carrots, big ol’ dumplings, and tons of gravy to pour on top. Heaven! I adapted it from my Grandma’s Georgia’s famous recipe. Originally posted March 22, 2018.
Table of Contents
- What is Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings?
- Why you’ll love Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Ingredients
- Substitutions and Alterations for Chicken & Dumplings in Crock Pot
- How to make Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- How to serve this Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Recipe
- How to store Chicken and Dumplings in Crock Pot
- Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot FAQS
- Grandma Georgia’s Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Recipe Recipe
I just managed to pull off the biggest con in the history of motherhood: I introduced a chores system that my kids are so excited about, they’re asking to do EXTRA chores.
Can you high five yourself?? I guess that’s just called clapping. Well whatever. I pretty much deserve a round of applause over here anyway.
My friend Tawna has 5 siblings, and her mom had a chore jar all growing up. Pull out a slip of paper with a chore on it, get it done. Then put it back in the jar. Thaaaat’s it. I know, really ground breaking stuff going on here.
When I tell people the system they ask two things: what if you pull the same chore 2 days in a row? The answer: who cares! It’s almost like a free day because it will be so easy to get done. That’s actually my favorite way to clean (cleaning clean things). You know what’s gross? Scrubbing a dirty shower. You know what’s not gross? Wiping down a clean shower every day. (I actually do this. I’ve come a really long way from this post. Don’t judge me if you read that!!)
The second thing everyone asks about is rewards. No rewards! No one puts a sticker on a chart when I do the dishes, darn it! (Although sometimes I give myself ice cream afterward…)
Today was only our third day, but I have high hopes. Another friend of ours started the chore jar 3 weeks ago and her son is still super excited about it. Out of the 20 slips of paper I put in the jar, 16 have chores and 4 have fun things, like, Free Day, read a book, or bake cookies with Mom. The kids are really excited about that one!
What is Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings?
I couldn’t find the recipe my Grandma made anywhere online, which is odd because it’s based on the classic Better Homes and Gardens recipe. All the recipes I found on Google searches and Pinterest were basically chicken soup with some dumplings tossed in at the end. Chicken and Dumplings is not soup! Oh, and a ton of them used cream of chicken soup (even Paula Deen’s recipe! Come on Paula!!).
Some recipes I found had dumplings that were more like homemade noodles, rolled out and cut, like the ones in this Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles. I think that might be a southern thing. My grandma always just mixed up the batter in a bowl and spooned it on top of the chicken to cook. Sounds a lot faster than rolling it out! I just did this right in the slow cooker.
Why you’ll love Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
Here are some things that this recipe does NOT have:
- Cream of chicken soup (I’m no hater. But that’s not what Grandma Georgia used.)
- Frozen carrots and peas
- Canned biscuits (There is a time and place for canned biscuits…but dumplings are not biscuits.)
- It is not brothy chicken soup with biscuits floating in it. It’s CHICKEN with DUMPLINGS. Not chicken soup. Get that broth outta here. (In fact, turn it into gravy!)
Here are some things this recipes DOES have:
- Gravy. LOTS OF GRAVY.
- Carrots. Fresh ones. The more the better!
- Chicken thighs. My Grandma used a whole fresh chicken of course, but I had to draw the line somewhere. (The line: cooking a whole chicken kinda scares me. Eep! did I just say that out loud??) Honestly I feel like chicken thighs get the job done just fine. You are welcome to use some breast meat in lieu of a couple thighs, but to get authentic flavor you need at least SOME dark meat.
- Fresh homemade buttermilk dumplings that take literally 5 minutes to throw together. They are worth it.
Everybody loves comfort food. It’s the absolute best when you’re sick, sad, or lonely, but it’s also delightful for sharing with friends and family and celebrating good times. Grandma Georgia’s Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect comfort food with tender chicken, savory vegetables, fluffy dumplings, and warm gravy. It comes together pretty quickly and has a lot of hands-off time since the crockpot does so much of the work for you. I’ll show you all the steps to getting it right!
What is the secret to good dumplings?
When dumplings are good, they are so good…and when they’re bad, they are a gluey, gummy mess you want to throw straight in the trash. Good dumplings need two kinds of fat (butter for flavor, shortening for fluffiness) and need to be put right on top of your hot chicken and vegetables so they start cooking immediately. Putting them in liquid can make them soggy and flat, so we’re going to avoid that here. “A good dumpling is a joy forever,” that’s what Keats said right??
Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Ingredients
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (or chicken stock)
- Bay leaves
- Poultry seasoning
- Dried parsley
- Dried sage
- Baking powder
- Buttermilk (cheater version is ok)
Are dumplings better with butter or shortening?
I love how butter tastes, but I love what shortening does. Butter brings the flavor, shortening makes them fluffy. I use both!
What is the best flour to use for dumplings?
These dumplings are a lot like biscuits. We want them soft and tender, not chewy and crusty. All purpose flour is best for tender fluffiness. If you use bread flour, they won’t be the same.
Substitutions and Alterations for Chicken & Dumplings in Crock Pot
Switching things up with Grandma’s classic? HOW DARE YOU!? Just kidding, it’s totally fine. Our grandmas adapted recipes to their liking and we can do the same. Here are some ideas for changing up this recipe to suit your tastes.
- If you’d prefer to use a whole chicken, just like Grandma did, go for it! You can use the thighs, breasts, and legs in place of the boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- If you’re in a rush, feel free to grab a bag of baby carrots and use a comparable amount instead of the sliced whole carrots.
- Already dinnertime? If the slow cooker is no longer an option, feel free to make the stovetop version. Be aware that I posted this a long time ago…that means get ready for the ugly photos (don’t worry, the recipe is still great).
- The water and Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base can be replaced with 4 cups high quality chicken stock.
- You can use all butter or all shortening in the dumplings if you want! Or any ratio. You need 6 tablespoons total fat.
- If you don’t have buttermilk for the dumplings, you can make cheater buttermilk. Start by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to a glass measuring cup. Fill it to the 1 and 1/2 cup mark with milk, the higher fat content the better. Stir and let sit 5 minutes, then use like regular buttermilk.
How to make Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Here’s a brief overview of the steps you’ll need to follow to make Chicken and Dumplings. Scroll down to the recipe card below for complete instructions!
- Add ingredients to the crockpot: chicken, water, chicken base, peeled and chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped onions, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for about 7 hours.
- Make the dumplings by whisking together flour, salt, baking powder, parsley, and pepper. Cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients, then stir in the buttermilk.
- Turn the crock pot to high. Remove the lid and remove 2 cups of cooking liquid (set aside). Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Drop in dumplings on top of the chicken. Immediately cover with the lid. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Make the gravy by separating the fat from the 2 cups of cooking liquid you took from the crock pot, and discard the fat. Add the cooking liquid to a small pot and turn to high. Meanwhile, mix cold water and flour in a bowl. When the cooking liquid has come to a boil, gradually whisk in the flour mixture. Add the chicken base. Lower the heat to medium and continue stirring until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the dumplings onto a serving platter when done. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and vegetables to the serving platter. Serve with the gravy.
Have you ever had Chicken and Dumplings? My Grandma Georgia made this for our family when I was growing up, and it is pure comfort food to me. In fact, the stovetop version is the 4th recipe I posted on the blog, back in 2011. When you start a food blog, you start with all your favorites.
I feel like Chicken and Dumplings is one of those forgotten recipes. Have you ever seen it on a restaurant menu? Maybe you can find it in the south, but I’ve never seen it in California (where both Grandma Georgia and I were born and raised). It’s such a shame because everyone loves this meal. It’s so satisfying.
If you have never had Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings, I hope you get to try this recipe out soon! I know you will love it as much as we do! I tested this a number of times and got to serve it to my dad, who I knew would be honest. He said it really tastes just like Grandma Georgia’s. Success! Hooray!
How to serve this Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Recipe
This Chicken and Dumplings recipe is a complete meal on its own, but if you’d like to add something else, I recommend a nice salad. Here are some of my favorites!
Avocado and Grapefruit Salad << a unique and refreshing complement to your dumplings.
Apple Gorgonzola Salad (Buca di Beppo) << crunchy, sweet, nutty–I love this one so much!
Green Salad with Feta and Beets << no chopping required! Yessss
Sea Foam Salad (Creamy Pear Jello) << I mean while we’re making Grandma food…this is a total blast from the past.
Mandarin Orange Ambrosia Salad << Did your Grandma make this? This one is kind of, like, more dessert than salad, but just go with it.
How to store Chicken and Dumplings in Crock Pot
Chicken and dumplings can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. After you first serve them, the dumplings do absorb more moisture and may not be as fluffy as they were on day 1. This doesn’t bother me and I happily enjoy them anyway.
This recipe doesn’t freeze well. I recommend enjoying it fresh. Invite some friends over!
Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot FAQS
These dumplings take about 25 minutes in the slow cooker on high, but you’ll want to check the center of a couple with a toothpick. It should come out clean. Just say no to gooey dumplings!
Yes, definitely. The slow cooker can completely cook meat or poultry from its raw state.
It depends on your time requirements. If you’d like to be gone for several hours, or you’re starting this recipe 7 hours or so before dinner, then I recommend cooking the chicken on low. If you’re remembering about that pesky thing called dinner around lunchtime (this is me at my BEST btw, I usually remember around 5 PM), then feel free to cook for about 4 hours on high. Both will turn out great.
You don’t actually need liquid in the slow cooker to cook chicken! I know, it seems crazy. You can actually roast a whole chicken in the crockpot without any liquid. In this recipe, we’re using chicken broth to cook the vegetables, but if we were JUST cooking chicken, the liquid would not be required.
No, you don’t need to flip chicken when you’re cooking it in the slow cooker or crock pot. It will cook your chicken from all sides. That’s the great thing about slow cookers – they’re very hands off, and you can leave them alone for hours without even having to think about it. Your dinner, cooking by itself–if that’s not magic I don’t know what is.
This chicken and dumplings recipe doesn’t require a thickener: we’re not serving it as a chicken soup. It’s chicken and dumplings, NOT chicken soup and dumplings. What we are doing is making a separate gravy, which we thicken with flour. I bet you’re going to love it this way!
More comforting Grandma food!
Classic Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie: << I spent years on this recipe!
Chicken Pot Pie with Flaky Biscuit Topping <<basically the same as above, but with flaky biscuits on top instead of pie crust.
Mini Chicken Pot Pies (Quick and Easy!) < Now this recipe DOES make use of canned biscuits. Sometimes you just gotta get er done!
Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles << it’s not just for sick days.
Tex Mex Chicken and Dumplings from Taste and Tell
Lemon Chicken and Dumplings from The Noshery
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Grandma Georgia’s Chicken and Dumplings Crock Pot Recipe
For the chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 cups water*
- 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base*
- 5-10 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 cups celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the dumplings
- 3 cups flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley , OR 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons cold butter**
- 3 tablespoons shortening**
- 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk, cheat version is ok***
For the gravy
- 2 cups cooking liquid
- 3/4 cup COLD water
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- salt and pepper
- Add chicken, water, and chicken base to a large crock pot.
- Peel and chop the carrots. I like a LOT of carrots, so just take a look and see how many looks good to you. Remember they will shrink when they cook. I cut mine into pretty big 3-4 inch chunks.
- Coarsely chop the celery, and chop the onion. Add all the vegetables to the crock pot.
- Add the bay leaves, poultry seasoning, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons parsley, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Stir together, then cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for about 7 hours. Don’t go too much longer than this or your chicken will start to lose flavor.
Make the dumplings:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, baking powder, 2 teaspoons parsley, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients. Leave pea-size chunks of butter.
- Use a spatula to stir in the buttermilk until just moistened. Don’t over mix!
- Turn the crock pot to high. Working quickly, remove the lid and remove 2 cups of cooking liquid (set aside). Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Use a spoon or your hands to scoop up a golf ball size piece of batter. Drop the dumpling on top of the chicken. Try not to dump it straight into the liquid (I know, kind of impossible, but do your best.) Continue until the batter is all in the crock pot.
- Immediately cover with the lid. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
Make the gravy:
- Separate the fat from the 2 cups of cooking liquid you took from the crock pot, and discard the fat. (I like to use a fat separator.)
- Add the cooking liquid to a small pot and turn to high.
- Meanwhile, add 3/4 cup COLD water (OR cold chicken broth) to a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisk in 1/3 cup flour until no lumps remain.
- When the cooking liquid has come to a boil, gradually whisk in the flour mixture. Add the teaspoon of chicken base. Lower the heat to medium and continue stirring until the gravy thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- When the dumplings have cooked for about 25 minutes, check the center of one with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the dumplings are done.
- Spoon the dumplings onto a serving platter. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and vegetables to the serving platter.
- Serve with the gravy to pass at the table.
- Save the remaining chicken broth to make soup or anything else that calls for chicken broth!
I make a very similar recipe up here in Canada my grammas recipe also, but on a much smaller scale. She had 12 children but I was not around then. My mom taught me how to make it. One of my favorite recipes, most people I know have never had this. It is so yummy…thanks for sharing. Never made it in a slow cooker….
Well done for posting a ‘real’ Chicken and Dumplings recipe. I’ve been making this for 40 years pretty much the same as yours….absolutely no canned anything…and real dumplings. My hubby is from California…up in Canada we had never heard of such a thing. lol And yes, I do put veggies in mine so even if it’s not real traditional it’s still amazing. Have gotten tons of compliments and his cousins, etc love it when we serve that or Biscuits and Gravy for family dinners. I’m giving it five stars just because I know it’s awesome. :)
It’s so much better when it’s completely homemade, right Vicky?? Love family favorite meals like this :) Thanks so much for reviewing!
I made your Grandma Georgia’s chicken and dumplings tonight for dinner and my husband said it was the best meal I’ve made for some time I thought of all the dinners I’ve been making lately from scratch and he liked all of those, so that’s a big compliment for you and your grandmother! Thanks for another great recipe.
Has anyone tried this in the instant pot?
Could breast meat be used in place of the thighs?
Hi Judy, yes definitely!
The only place I’ve ever had chicken and dumplings is in California although now that I think of it one of them may have been Oregon. But you would be disappointed with all but the latter place Dad’s near Curtis Park is soup with dough bits and the one at Knott’s Berry farm has gone down hill in a big way (maybe they use cream of chicken soup?) The place in northern California (possibly Oregon) was a gem though. Wish I could remember what it was called.
Thanks for the report Nikki! I always look out for chicken and dumplings on menus! Don’t know why it’s not more popular. It’s pure comfort food!
True Southerners do not put vegetables in Chicken N Dumplings. That is Chicken Pot Pie. My grandmother used a 100 year old recipe and there were no vegetables.
Well there must be a lot of false Southerners out there Tina! ;) Also, I’m not Southern and neither is my Grandma Georgia. This is her recipe. Bring on the carrots!
OMG! This recipe is the best chicken and dumplings ever. It is definitely going in my cook book, can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother recipe
It really is the best, right Connie?? I’m so glad you liked it :) Thanks for commenting with a review!
I just made this and it is very good! The dumplings took a little longer to cook. But that’s my fault because I pulled the chicken to shred it a bit early. So put it back in right before adding the dumplings, and I think it dropped the temp of the pot too much. But! It was still very very good! I’m going to save it. Thank you!
Hey April! Yeah, I’ve heard that every time you remove the lid from your slow cooker, you should add about 20 minutes to your cook time. Crazy right?? I’m so glad the chicken and dumplings turned out! Thanks for coming back to review, you are awesome!
This turned out amazing!!! Nice for the rainy, cold day today!!!
yes I agree, it’s perfect rainy day comfort food! I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment and review Darcie!
Could I make this early in the morning with the dumplings and still be good to eat in the evening? Wll the dumplings keep well?
Hey Mana! I definitely recommend making the dumplings last minute. If you add them in the slow cooker and cook them all day, they will be dry and tough. If you make the recipe as written completely ahead of time and then refrigerate for later, that would work.
Oh, my stars! First off, a company like Glade needs to make an aerosol stray or plug-in of the aroma this dish creates while its cooking. Just breathing is delicious! Secondly, I make several versions of chicken and dumplings but this recipe is hands-down the most flavorable of them all. I am a fan of fluffy dumplings although I do make the rolled ones and even ones that get torn into pieces and dropped in the pan. These were wonderful. With an abundance of good chicken stock on hand, I used that instead of water. With no poultry seasoning, I substituted the same amount of chicken rotisserie rub and it worked just fine. Thank you so much for this very tasty recipe. Yum!
Okay Riley you are really onto something here with the Glade plugin idea. Except I think every time I used it I would become very bitter about the fact that it was all a lie and Grandma’s dumplings were NOT in the kitchen waiting for me, haha!! I’m SO glad you were happy with the recipe and enjoyed dumpling success. There’s nothing better. Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review! Seriously, this is the way to make a food blogger’s day :)
So comforting ! Grandmothers know the best, right ? :-)
Not sure how but I’ve never had chicken and dumplings! With soccer coming up I’m wanting more slow cooker recipes.
thanks for sharing.
I hope you get to try it out Neeraj! :)