Southern-Style Chicken and Dumplings

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Chicken and Dumplings straight from a Southern gramma’s kitchen.

Southern-Style Chicken 'n' Dumplins recipe straight from "Meemaw's" kitchen by

I have this friend.  Although she’s not even 30 years old, she has three (almost four!) kids and a husband to feed.  This is no problem for her because she is an amazing Southern cook.  She grew up in the Mississippi Delta.  Have you seen or read The Help?

Almost two years ago (wow, has it been that long?) she invited us over for some good ol’ Southern cooking.  She served us this Chicken and Dumplings recipe along with a few southern sides.  I really can’t remember the sides (although I do remember they were also delicious) because this dish blew me out of the water and stole the show.

Chicken 'n Dumplings from

Right then I knew I had to add this recipe to my new Southern collection (that is still pretty bare-bones).  But, it took me until now to finally share it with you.

This is a slight adaptation from her grandmother’s recipe.  I’m sure her grandmother boiled an entire chicken and made her own homemade stock.  You can very easily do that, too, if you want!  Since I boil chicken breasts at least once a month, I did use homemade stock and the shredded chicken in my recipe.  You can use store-bought stock and a rotisserie chicken instead, but I highly recommend doing it all homemade.  It is really very simple.

Chicken and Dumplings #recipe from @seededtable

Let’s talk about the dumplings.  A quick floury mixture rolled out flat and cut up into squares or rectangles or whatever you want, really.  Maybe you want to take some cookie cutters and cut them into fun shapes for your kids? 🙂  Don’t let my photos deceive you.  I’ll be honest and admit that I photographed the reheated leftovers the next day, so it doesn’t look quite as good.  Then again, are chicken and dumplins’ ever pretty?

This is the real deal, friends.   Good ol’ Southern comfort right in your bowl.

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

A truly southern Chicken 'n' Dumplins recipe from the Mississippi Delta. Easily double this recipe to serve a crowd.

  • 10 cups (80 ounces) chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • For the dumplings:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • For the thickener:
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Bring the chicken stock to a rapid boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the lemon pepper, salt, basil, bay leaves, garlic powder and pepper; stir. (Make sure you season it to your tastes...the above measurements are to our liking but might not necessarily be yours.)

For the dumplings:

Prepare the dumplings dough while waiting for the stock to come to a boil above. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and buttermilk until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface generously dusted with flour. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, then cut into 2-inch squares or rectangles, or whatever shape you want. Drop dumplings into the boiling stock then allow to boil, while stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.

Once the dumplings are cooked, add the 3 cups of shredded chicken and heat through while stirring. If the soup needs to be thickened, mix together the 1/4 cup buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly stir into the soup until desired consistency is reached.

Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately in bowls with a side of warm cornbread and southern greens!

Recipe Source: Little Morgan People


I recommend using homemade chicken stock and shredded chicken using these easy boiling instructions: Homemade Shredded Chicken and Broth. You can make the broth and shredded chicken the day before, just make sure to skim the fat off the top of the cooled broth before using.

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  1. Oh my gosh, does it get any more perfect than this??

    The answer is no. No it does not.

  2. Angie Landon says:

    Yum! I think I’ll make this tonight!

  3. Hated “The Help,” but love Southern food! I moved to California from North Carolina last month, and I miss NC food already.

  4. You just can’t beat this. I don’t like those fluffy type dumplings of no substance. I prefer the slick dumpling every time. Thanks for this recipe.

  5. Hi, Nikki! I’ve been following your wonderful blog for a while now. Callie is actually the one who introduced me to it. She was my favorite babysitter growing up, and when she found out how food-obsessed I am (it’s no joke. I plan on majoring in nutrition in college), she told me to check out Seeded at the Table. I love reading your posts, especially when they involve MS and letting people know how it’s not such a bad place to live- most of the time. Keep up the great work!
    Mary Clay Kline

  6. Yum!! This is not at all how I my Mom made chicken and dumplings growing up. But that is one of the things I love most about southern cooking, the various adaptations of the same meal…and all of them delicious!

  7. I made this tonight and the taste was very good. But my dumplings boiled away by 8 minutes in. Not sure why. I guess my dough was too thin. But I will try it again.

  8. Telisa Killion says:

    Thank you Finally perfectly seasoned dumplings and easy my life is complete

  9. Just made these tonight!! They where great!! Sticking with this recipe.

  10. This is pretty much how I make mine ! 🙂 I’m a Pennsylvania girl but lived in the south for about 10 years and learned a brand new way of cooking-ya’ll have to try this it’s one of the best !!!!

  11. I happened upon this recipe scrolling through Pinterest and just had to stop by and comment. I’ve noticed that most dumplin’ recipes that I have ran across online look nothing like what I have been accustomed to. In my small section of the rural south the creamy, white, rolled out dumplin’s are more common and are right on spot for me. Although this recipe isn’t the same as mine, the method is very much the same. I think this is a more traditional recipe that has been handed down by our ancestors. Awesome recipe!

  12. The secret is serving them in a McCarty bowl! LOL

  13. This is my second time making your recipie, OMG YUM! Thank you for sharing, we love it. I will say it does taste better the next day after the chicken broth has been soaked up by all the goodness. The first time I made it for my brother and his family fighting a cold and my brother said it was one of the best meals I’ve ever made. I will continue to make this, thank you again!

  14. Erika Goodwin says:

    This is so good!! I make this every Sunday for my husband and I, and we can take it for lunch all week (Usually it doesn’t make it past Tuesday). I put it on a bed of mashed potatoes.. DELISH!! Thanks for sharing Nikki!!

  15. My mother always made the best chicken and dumplings and I’ve never been able to make them as good as her. I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic. It was a big hit and my family said it was as good as my mom used to make! Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Espy Richard says:

    WOWWWW! I have tried many recipes and non of them been good, I made this yesterday and OMG I thought my mother in-law made the best dumplings (she is the expert) but I have to say mine are way better! Thanks to this recipe so THANK YOU!
    I made the dumplings with 1/4 cup canola oil instead of the butter and I used Whole milk.
    Trust me this is the recipe that you need for the best chicken and dumplings. Thanks again!

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