Homemade Chicken & Dumplings is definitely a favorite when it comes to comfort foods and this recipe does not disappoint! It's easy. It's homemade. It's delicious!
When I told my husband I was going to start testing a recipe for chicken & dumplings, he was less than thrilled. He loves all the ingredients, but like me, he doesn't like big (or small) dough balls in a soup or stew. I told him not to worry, I would make sure every bite was delicious -- including the dumplings!
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I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish this, but I knew I had to. For him. For me. For YOU! Since you are reading this, I did it! I made the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious dumpling recipe and now you can make them easily at home too!
What type of chicken can I use for Chicken & Dumplings?
The best type of chicken to use for chicken & dumplings is anything you have on hand! Seriously, though, leftover chicken, frozen chicken, fresh chicken, it is all fine to use.
My favorite type of chicken to use is leftover rotisserie or pressure cooker chicken because it is packed with flavor and reduces the amount of seasonings you need to use. If you want to make a whole chicken in the Ninja Foodi, you can follow my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken and you don't have to make any changes.
You can use a combination of chicken breast, thighs, wings, legs or you can choose a single cut of the chicken. It is completely up to you and your preferences.
If you have uncooked chicken that you want to use, you can do that too. Small pieces of chicken will cook in the 2 minute pressure cooking time in this recipe, so just cut it up into ½" cubes and you will be fine. I do recommend seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper, and some dried thyme leaves.
You can even throw frozen chicken in with the stock and pressure cook for about 10-15 minutes, with an immediate release. Just make sure the chicken is covered with broth or it may dry out. Remove the chicken and broth and proceed with sautéing the vegetables.
Different Types of Dumplings used in Chicken & Dumplings
There are two main type of dumplings used in Chicken & Dumplings, the drop dumpling and noodle (also called rolled or cut) dumplings. Everyone seems to have a favorite and I'm sure some people like both.
Usually, similar ingredients are used for both types of dumplings, but the process of making them is a little different. A basic recipe for either type of dumpling would be; flour, egg, milk, butter, and salt.
For drop dumplings you combine the ingredients, form a dough and separate into equal size balls, and then "drop" them in the boiling stock.
For noodle dumplings you combine the ingredients, form a dough and roll the dough out to a flat sheet. The thickness is up to you. The dough is then cut into desired size of the "noodle" and dropped into the boiling stock to cook.
I prefer drop dumplings, but if you like the noodle kind you can still use my dumpling recipe. I would add 1 egg to the other ingredients, then just roll and cut.
Tips for Making the PERFECT Dumplings
Don't overwork the dough. This goes for both types of dumplings. If you overwork the dough your dumpling will become tough. You only want to mix it long enough for it to come together in a dough.
When making drop dumplings, don't stir until the dough has a chance to puff up and cook a minute or two or they may fall apart.
Make sure your broth is at a rapid simmer or low boil before adding in the dumplings. They need to start cooking as soon as they hit the broth.
Don't be afraid to add a little more half-and-half if your dough is too crumbly, but do it in small increments so the dough does not become too wet.
Don't overthink it. They don't have to be perfect to be delicious!
How to Make Homemade Cream of Celery Soup
You'll be shocked at how easy it is to make your own cream of celery soup and it so much better than the canned variety! Another great bonus, it's a great way to use up that celery in the fridge that is wilting and as seen better days. In fact, that is how I developed this recipe.
I do not like to waste food and celery is one of those items that I don't use as often as other produce, so I usually end up putting a good bit of it in the compost bin.
While cleaning out the fridge, I saw this bunch of limp celery and thought, why not make a cream of celery soup in the Ninja Foodi! It was so good and so EASY, I will be making it often! It freezes great, too! In fact, you can make this Chicken and Dumpling recipe with frozen cream of celery soup.
Here is how you make it:
4 cups of celery cut into large pieces
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 onion cut in large pieces
1 Tbsp of vegetable base. I use the vegetable base from Minor's and it is the BEST. You can also use a chicken base if you prefer.
1 cup of water
¼ cup of salted butter
¼ cup 0f flour
12 oz can of evaporated milk
Add celery, garlic, onion, vegetable base, and water to the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the Ninja Foodi for high pressure for 10 minutes. When the time is up, do an immediate release. Transfer the contents of the inner pot into a blender and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Puree the ingredients in the blender. I absolutely LOVE my Ninja Blender! I have had it for years and it works perfectly. You can find one similar to the one I use right here ⇒ Ninja Mega Kitchen System
Make the roux by adding ¼ cup of butter to the inner pot and turning on the sear/sauté to high. Add the flour and stir to combine. Continue to cook the flour mixture for two minutes while constantly stirring.
Add in the celery mixture and the evaporated milk and stir to combine. Continue to cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Turn the Ninja Foodi off and let the cream of celery soup cool.
If you aren't going to use it in a recipe within a couple of days, I suggest measuring it out into 1 ⅓ cups and freezing. 1 ⅓ cups is equivalent to 1 10.5 oz can of store-bought cream of celery soup. Enjoy!
Alrighty then... Let's get to making this delicious Chicken & Dumplings in the Ninja Foodi!
You can also watch me make this recipe with step-by-step instructions right here: Chicken & Dumplings in the Ninja Foodi
The first thing you want to do is prep the ingredients. This recipe is super quick to throw together and the prep takes no time at all. If you are making your own cream of celery soup, do that first. If you need to cook your chicken, do that now as well.
Cut the carrots and celery into ¼" slices. Dice the onion into ¼" dice. Tear or dice the chicken.
Turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/saute and add ¼ cup of butter. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion. Saute on high for a few minutes and add the chicken.
Add in salt and pepper. The recipe calls for a very small amount of seasoning because the bone broth I am using and recommend has a ton of flavor. If you are using a regular chicken broth or stock, you may want to increase the seasonings some and even add it a little dried thyme.
Pour in the bone broth and stir.
Add in the cream of celery soup and DO NOT STIR. If you make up the cream of celery soup in advance and freeze it, you can add it in frozen right on top. You can also use store-bought cream of celery, but because of the salt content I would skip the salt called for above. If you don't want leftover canned cream of celery, it is fine to add in 2 full cans instead of 2 cups.
Put the pressure lid on the Ninja Foodi, make sure the black valve is to the seal position and set the pressure to high for 2 minutes. When the time is up do an immediate release. Turn the Ninja Food on sear/saute on medium heat until you are ready to put in the dumplings.
How to Make the Drop Dumplings
While the chicken and broth is pressure cooking is a great time to make the dumpling dough. Trust me on this one... you want to make these dumplings!
Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the freezer. Starting with cold butter will help.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. This will aerate the flour, remove any clumps and keep your dumplings nice and light. The best tool I've found to sift flour is a fine sieve strainer. You can find them in any kitchen store or right here: 6" Fine Mesh Strainer
Add in the salt and the baking powder. Stir to combine.
Cut in the butter using two forks or as I prefer, use a pastry cutter or pastry blender. The one I have is from Pampered Chef and it has lasted me for years! If you want to pick one up, you can do that right here: Pastry Blender by Pampered Chef The flour and butter mixture should resemble course crumbles.
Remove the thyme from the stems and add into the flour. Stir to combine and make a well in the center.
Add in sour cream and half and half. I like to use a fork to combine the liquid ingredients with the dry. The dough should start to come together, but should not be a wet dough. If it is too crumbly, add in a tsp of half and half at a time until it comes together to form a loose dough.
Transfer to a clean work surface and fold the loose dough towards you bringing in any loose flour. Press down slightly, but do not knead. Turn the dough 90° and repeat until all the loose flour is incorporated. If you have to add a tad more half and half, go ahead.
Roll the dough into a log.
Completing the Chicken and Dumplings
The chicken, vegetables and broth should be at a rapid simmer or low boil. If not, adjust the temp of the Ninja Foodi to medium high and allow to come to a low boil. You don't want the heat so high that it is at a rapid boil or your dumplings may fall apart.
Pinch off dime size pieces from the log of dough and throw into the broth. You don't have to use all the dough if you want less dumplings.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste a dumpling and make sure that they are cooked all the way through. If they taste floury or doughy, cook a minute or two longer.
Reduce the heat or turn the Ninja Foodi off. Stir. Serve & Enjoy!
Chicken & Dumplings in the Ninja Foodi
- Instant Pot
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup celery about 2 stalks
- 1 cup carrots about 2 carrots
- 1 onion sweet or vidalia
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper course ground or fresh cracked
- 3 cups chicken cooked, any type of chicken is fine
- 8 cups chicken bone broth
- 2 cups cream of celery soup recipe is in the post
For the Homemade dumplings
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup butter cut into small pieces and frozen
- 1 Tbsp Thyme leaves fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- ¼ cup half and half
- Cut the celery into ½" pieces. Slice the Carrots into ½" slices. Dice the onion into ½" dice
- Turn the NInja Foodi on high sear/saute. Add butter, onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of cut up chicken. Saute for 1-2 minutes and add in chicken bone broth
- Add in cream of celery soup and do not stir. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure and turn the Ninja Foodi to sear/saute on medium.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and baking powder. Stir to combine
- Cut in the small pieces of butter with a pastry cutter until the flour mixture resembles course crumbles.
- Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and add into the flour mixture.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add sour cream and half and half. Stir just until the liquid combines with the flour mixture and forms a loose dough. If it is dry and really crumbly, add 1 tsp of half and half at a time until it comes together and is no longer crumbly.
- Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and fold the dough until all loose crumbs are incorporated, you don't want to knead it.
- Fold the dough towards you and turn 90° and fold again towards you. Do this until the dough is combined. Roll into a log.
- Break off dime size pieces and add to rapidly simmering broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. Take one out and give it a taste, if it tastes floury or doughy, let simmer another few minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Ninja Foodi Fresh & Healthy Meals
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
So... After nine years together he asked me what would make me agree to finally marry him and make things official. I said if he could make me a pot of chicken and dumplings as good as my granny made I'd definitely agree to make things official. Well tonight,
(Valentine's Day, no less) he came home from work and ran to the grocery store for the ingredients for your recipe. I guess I'm going to be getting married now. Who could ever resist a man who cooks a pot of chicken and dumplings this good? Lol. Thanks!!!
OH MY GOODNESS! This is so incredible, it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing and let me know when you set the date!
I hope you don't mind me sharing this on my FB page, it's just too good not to share!
Mine came out too watery
I'm not sure why, but you can thicken with a cornstarch slurry.
Oh Louise, you've done it again!! This is the fourth recipe of yours that I've made (counting the Cream of Celery Soup as a separate recipe) and my husband and I have loved all of them. He keeps saying, "This is really good, honey!" and then after another bite, repeats himself. I haven't made chicken and dumplings for 20 years, and these turned out better than I ever remember. You've added another recipe to our growing lexicon of Ninja Foodi recipes. In face I've bought a 2" binder notebook to hold them because they are all keepers. Every time I look at your site I see more that I want to make. I love my Ninja Foodi (6.5 quart) and I love you for all you've done to make it fun and easy to use. Thank you!!
That's great! I'm thrilled you are enjoying the recipes and the Foodi!
Can I use the hot cold blender to make the Celery soup instead?
Yes, that would work fine I think.
I don’t have ingredients to make the celery soup called for - can I use a can of cream of celery ?
Certainly, I think the suggestions for that are in the post.