A comforting recipe for Chicken and Dumplings made in the slow cooker. Make this satisfying Southern classic with effortless prep by using frozen dumplings and purchased chicken broth. Your family will love it!
On my list of the Very Best Comfort Foods Ever, chicken and dumplings are definitely near the tip-top. And although I do really enjoy making my from scratch recipe, I sometimes just need a fuss-free way to get it done.
This delicious shortcut recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings is one of the best I’ve had. I use purchased broth and frozen dumplings and I never get any complaints. If you didn’t know it wasn’t made from scratch, you probably couldn’t even tell.
Now, in the South, we make our dumplings by rolling them thinly and cutting them into strips rather than the dropped ones that cook up into little balls of dough. And we’re very lucky to be able to buy them in the frozen foods section of almost any grocery store.
Those frozen dumplings are what I used in this recipe. You could also use frozen egg noodles and make this recipe into Chicken and Noodles. It would be just as fantastic!
❤️ Why We Love This Recipe
- It’s pure comfort food – There’s not much that’s more comforting when you have the sniffles, when you’re homesick, or after a bad day at work.
- An all-in-one meal – Loaded with both protein and starch, no sides are really necessary unless you just want to add them.
- It uses some great shortcuts – Using frozen dumplings instead of making and rolling out your own saves a huge amount of time; purchased broth saves the time of cooking and deboning a chicken.
- Most of the ingredients are staple pantry items – You probably already have everything except the dumplings on hand to make this recipe right now.
🛒 Ingredient Notes
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- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – or use a combination of breasts and thighs.
- Seasoning salt – your choice of either Lawry’s or Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt.
- Cream of chicken soup – for the creamy base of the recipe.
- Chicken broth – use purchased for convenience; homemade if you have it.
- Pepper, butter, and parsley – staple flavorings and seasonings from your pantry.
- Chicken bouillon cube – for added richness and enhanced flavor.
- Frozen homestyle dumplings – the greatest invention since paper napkins- my recommendations for frozen dumpling brands are in the FAQs below.
🔪 How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
Cook the Chicken
Step 1. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with seasoning salt and place them in the bottom of a slow cooker.
Step 2. Add the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, black pepper, and butter.
Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
Shred the Chicken and Add Dumplings
Step 3. Remove the cooked chicken breasts. Use two forks to pull the chicken breasts into shreds.
Step 4. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
Step 5. Add the parsley, bouillon, broth, and frozen dumplings.
Step 6. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 hours or until the dumplings are tender. Stir several times during the final cooking period to prevent the dumplings from sticking together. (Note: the dumplings will absorb quite a bit of liquid while cooking. If the mixture becomes too thick, add water or additional broth as needed.)
👉 PRO TIP: Note that because slow cookers have no standard temperature settings, you may need to cook for more or less time. Use your own judgment as to when the dumplings are cooked.
Crockpot chicken and dumplings with frozen dumplings.
🔀 Recipe Variations
- Substitute leftover baked ham to make ham and dumplings.
- Any cuts of chicken will work in this recipe. A mix of boneless, skinless thighs and breasts is very nice.
- Traditional southern chicken and dumplings do not contain any vegetables at all, but you may add a cup of frozen mixed vegetables if you insist.
- Add one-half cup of cream or half and half for a very rich finish to your recipe.
❗ Recipe Success Tips
- I rarely find that I need to thicken this recipe (all that flour from the dumplings thickens things up pretty nicely). However, if you feel yours is a bit on the thin side, you can thicken it by taking out about a ½ cup of the liquid and whisking it together with two teaspoons of cornstarch. Slowly stir the mixture back into the cooker.
- Test to make sure the dumplings are cooked through before serving. The best way to test? Just take a spoonful out and taste it :-) If it’s tender all the way through, it’s done.
❓ Questions About Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. Let the chicken and dumplings cool completely. Then transfer to any freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for up to 5 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. Note: you may need to add a little water or broth as you’re reheating.
There’s no need to thaw the dumplings before adding them to the slow cooker. In fact, it’s better not to, as they’ll stick together if they thaw. Just remove them from the package, break them into roughly 2″ pieces (no need to be too accurate with the sizing), and add them to the cooker.
If you’re looking for frozen dumplings, I can only speak to what’s available in the South. Almost all Kroger, Publix, and Walmart grocery stores carry frozen dumplings. There are three brands that I’m aware of — Mary Hill, Mary B’s, and Anne’s. My preferred brand is Mary Hill, but the others are acceptable, too.
If you can’t find frozen dumplings, you can actually substitute canned biscuits for the dumplings. Use two cans of “southern style” refrigerated biscuits and cut each biscuit into 5 or 6 pieces. Drop the pieces into the hot chicken mixture. Continue cooking as directed in the recipe. Your recipe won’t be quite the same, and the taste will be a little different but still delicious!
More Questions? I’m happy to help!
If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (Lawry's or Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt)
- 10 ½ ounces cream of chicken soup
- 10 ½ ounces chicken broth (measure in the empty soup can)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 2 cups chicken broth (may need more, up to 3 cups)
- 12 ounces frozen homestyle dumplings
- Sprinkle chicken breasts with seasoning salt and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add cream of chicken soup, the soup can of chicken broth, black pepper, and butter.
- Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
- Remove chicken breasts. Use two forks to pull the chicken breasts into shreds. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
- Add the parsley, bouillon, broth, and dumplings. Cook for an additional 2-3 hours or until dumplings are tender. Stir several times during the final cooking period to prevent dumplings from sticking together.
- (Note: the dumplings will absorb quite a bit of liquid while cooking. If the mixture becomes too thick, add water or additional broth as needed.)
- To thicken the finished recipe, remove about ½ cup of the liquid and whisk it together with two teaspoons of cornstarch. Slowly stir the mixture back into the cooker.
- Test to make sure the dumplings are cooked through before serving. If not, let it cook for another 30 minutes and test again.
- To make ahead and freeze — Let the chicken and dumplings cool completely. Then transfer to a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for up to 5 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. May need to add a little water or broth as you’re reheating.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on October 11, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.