Get the best of both worlds with slow cooker chicken and dumplings! This recipe makes tender, moist chicken and small dumplings that are perfect.
Chicken and Dumplings in the Slow Cooker
This slow cooker chicken and dumplings is a completely homemade version of a classic recipe. So many classic chicken and dumpling recipes are made with cream of chicken soup and canned dumpling dough. Not his recipe!
We make homemade dumplings and a delicious thick and creamy base. You won’t ever go back to a semi-homemade version of chicken and dumplings again.
our favorite things about this recipe
- Everything cooks in a slow cooker to enhance flavor and gives you hands off cooking!
- This makes a great weeknight meal or a delicious meal to serve a crowd.
- It is the perfect comfort meal.
- You can add lots of different vegetables and ingredients to this recipe to make it your own.
Ingredients You Need
Though this recipe is completely homemade, we use very basic ingredients to create a delicious slow cooker chicken and dumplings recipe.
- Chicken thighs- we used bone in chicken thighs in this recipe to add flavor and depth. You can also use other types of chicken for this recipe since you shred it anyway. Feel free to use boneless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- Kosher salt and pepper- don’t skip the kosher salt and pepper. You use them to season the chicken thighs.
- Spices (garlic powder, pepper, ground cloves, bay leaves) – the depth of flavor in this recipe comes from a mixture of spices.
- Yellow onions– onion adds to the delicious flavor in the broth. Don’t skip!
- Garlic cloves– if you are one of those people who double the garlic in recipes, go for it.
- Chicken broth– use your favorite chicken broth in this recipe.
- Fresh herbs (thyme + rosemary)– create a bundle of thyme and rosemary. Be sure you tie them together tightly so you don’t have to fish out herb stems when you’re ready to eat the chicken and dumplings.
- Carrots– chopped raw carrots add color, Vitamin A, and delicious flavor.
- Mushrooms– another veggie add to this recipe are mushrooms. We used bella mushrooms, but you can use any type of mushrooms that you would like.
- English peas– our favorite peas to use in this recipe are raw english peas. If you can’t get your hands on raw english peas you can use frozen peas.
- Heavy cream– using a bit of heavy cream adds richness and thick texture to this chicken and dumplings recipe.
- Salt– don’t skip the salt in this recipe, it only enhances all of the flavors in this recipe.
- All purpose flour– to end up with doughy and fluffy dumplings, use all purpose flour.
- Baking powder– you need a bit of baking powder so you don’t end up with flat and hard dumplings.
- Eggs- eggs add richness and moisture to your homemade dumplings.
- Water– don’t skip the water when making dumplings, you’ll need the water to bind all the ingredients together and to add some moisture.
Before You Start: All Your Questions Answered
The dumplings will take about an hour to cook in the slow cooker. You add homemade raw dumpling dough to the slow cooker and need them to cook all the way through.
Yes, you can overcook dumplings. They will start to disintegrate if they are being overcooked, it does take a while.
Yes, you can put raw chicken into the slow cooker. It will cook throughout the cooking time to perfection.
Your dumplings may be chewy if you have added too much fat to the dumplings or if you have overworked them.
You will know when the dumplings are done if they float to the top of the slow cooker.
This slow cooker chicken and dumplings is thickened by adding a bit of flour to hot chicken broth creating a slurry. Once a slurry is made you add it to the slow cooker which will then thicken the chicken and dumpling sauce.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken + Dumplings
- Season the chicken. Before you place ingredients into the slow cooker, season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Add ingredients to the slow cooker. Place the chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Then, place the onion, garlic, broth, bay leaves, cloves, carrots, herb bundle, and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3 hours.
- Prepare the dumplings. At about 2.5 hours through the cook time, prepare the dumplings (see more instructions below).
- Shred chicken. After everything has cooked for 3 hours remove the chicken thighs and shred the chicken with two forks and set the chicken aside.
- Thicken the sauce. It’s time to thicken the broth. To do this you scoop 2 cups of hot broth from the slow cooker and add flour to the broth. Vigorously whisk the 2 ingredients together until smooth and thick. Pour the flour mixture back into the slow cooker and mix.
- Add dumplings to the slow cooker. Finally, add the chicken back to the slow cooker along with the heavy cream. Mix together. Then, take a teaspoon scoop and scoop a heaping sticky dumpling dough and plop it into the slow cooker until all of the dough has been scooped.
- Final hour of cooking. Cover the slow cooker and let the dumplings sit in the hot broth for another hour. The broth will thicken, the dumplings will begin to float, and thats when you’ll know the dumplings are ready.
Be sure to use a teaspoon scoop
You may thing that a teaspoon scoop is too small for dumplings, but these dumplings expand. If you make your dumplings too big you will end up with a dry center!
How to Make Homemade Dumplings
Making homemade dumplings is a lot easier than you think. We use drop dumplings in this recipe which means there is no rolling or kneading necessary.
This dumpling recipe is a family recipe and has been made countless times. It is a simple dumpling dough made of all purpose flour, egg, water, baking powder, and salt. You combine all the ingredients together until a dough forms. To keep the dough moist until you drop the dumplings into the slow cooker you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
The key is to combine the ingredients together until the they are combined and sticky. Don’t overthink it!
We combined our favorite ingredients for this version of chicken and dumplings. You can follow our recipe exactly or make some of the ingredient substitutions below.
Protein – like we said above, you can use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs in the place of bone-in thighs.
Vegetables- there are many recipes that you could add to this recipe. Any of the veggies below would be delicious.
- chopped white potatoes
- frozen corn
- chopped broccoli
Homemade dumplings- if you don’t have time to make your own homemade dumplings you can use a pre-made biscuit. People like to use pillsbury biscuit dough! You can find the pre made biscuits in the refrigerator or freezer section of the grocery store. Just be sure the frozen biscuits are thawed before placing them in the slow cooker.
Let these chicken and dumplings cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. Place them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
We suggest reheating any leftover chicken and dumplings in a saucepan on the stove rather than the slow cooker. You will most likely need to add a bit of broth to the saucepan as the chicken and dumplings will have thickened. in the fridge.
Heat on medium/low for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches your desired temperature.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- 2 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs that was 4 large chicken thighs from Trader Joes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium yellow onions diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 6 cups warm chicken broth
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 4 cups carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
- 8 oz. button mushrooms
- 1 cup uncooked english peas
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- Remove the chicken thighs from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pat the spices into the chicken thighs.
- Place the chicken thighs into the slow cooker.
- Tie the fresh rosemary and fresh thyme into an herb bundle with bakers twine and add it to the slow cooker.
- Add the onion, garlic, broth, bay leaves, cloves, carrots, and mushrooms to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare the dumpling batter. Begin prepping the dumpling batter at about 2 ½ hours through the cook time.
- Add the flour, salt and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Crack two eggs into the bowl, whisk the eggs, and then mix the eggs with the flour mixture.
- Finally, add the water to the bowl and mix. The batter should be sticky. Set aside.
- After 3 hours, remove the chicken thighs from the slow cooker, shred, and set aside.
- Also remove 2 cups of the cooking broth from the slow cooker and add ½ cup of flour to the hot broth. Whisk the two ingredients together. It will thicken quickly.
- Add the thick flour and broth mixture back into the slow cooker and whisk. This will thicken the soup.
- Next, Add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker along with 1 teaspoon of salt, english peas, and heavy cream.
- Using a teaspoon scoop, begin scooping the dumpling batter with the teaspoon scoop. Add a heaping scoop of the dumpling batter into the slow cooker. Repeat until all the batter has been added to the slow cooker.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook the dumplings with the other ingredients for an additional 1 hour or until the dumplings begin to float to the top of the slow cooker.
- Uncover the slow cooker and make sure the soup is thick and creamy.
- Remove the herb bundle from the slow cooker, stir, and serve.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.