Slow cooker chicken and dumplings is a classic family meal with tender chicken and fluffy, delicious dumplings in a comforting creamy gravy. Make this simple shortcut recipe for an easy warm and hearty meal.
Today we’re making some slow cooker chicken and dumplings – an easy take on the family-favorite recipe of classic chicken and dumplings. While a lot of my recipes are usually made from scratch, I’m not above taking shortcuts when needed to effortlessly get dinner on the table. This recipe is for hectic days when you don’t have a lot of time to make dinner but still want the flavors of a good home-cooked meal. It tastes like a chicken pot pie, but with dumplings instead of a pie crust.
We use shortcut dumplings and chicken soup to make this crockpot chicken and dumplings meal effortless. Chicken breasts are slow-cooked in seasonings and soups until fork-tender and juicy then shredded into bite-sized pieces. Add some peas, carrots and canned biscuits to complete the meal for delicious dumplings simmered in a rich and thick gravy.
For more easy slow cooker recipes, try some delicious Mississippi pot roast, chicken and gravy, Italian beef sandwiches, or this brown sugar garlic chicken. Or if you’re in the mood for more comfort food, try out this baked mac and cheese, Salisbury steak, chili mac and cheese, or some chicken and gnocchi soup.
How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings (1 Min Video)
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS RECIPE TIPS
- Chicken breasts – This recipe shreds the chicken breasts after it slow cooks but if you want to skip this step, you can cut the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces instead. You can also substitute chicken breasts with chicken thighs or use another shortcut with rotisserie chicken. Add rotisserie chicken at the same time as the dumplings since the chicken is already cooked and you just need to warm it up.
- Onions and garlic – Using fresh onions and garlic is always the best but you can substitute them with onion and garlic powder in a pinch.
- Butter – I like using Land O Lakes half butter sticks which measure out the tablespoons for you. Simply slice out each tablespoon from the stick and skip washing a measuring spoon! Adding a bit of butter gives the gravy more richness and flavor.
- Canned soup – The recipe uses one can each of cream of celery and chicken soup but you can use two cans of chicken soup instead for more chicken flavor. If you go this route, substitute the lack of celery by adding fresh sliced celery with the chicken before slow cooking or adding 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed. Celery enhances the taste of chicken and should not be left out.
- Poultry seasoning – Poultry seasoning is usually a blend of spices like thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. If you don’t have any on hand, substitute it with any of those spices you have at home or try some Italian seasoning, which is close enough. Add a pinch of nutmeg to bring out and enhance the cream sauce.
- Water or chicken broth – The recipe uses water since there’s a lot of sodium in the canned cream soups and the assumption when making them is to usually just add some water. If you really want a stronger chicken flavor though, you can substitute water with low-sodium chicken broth.
- Salt – There’s no need to add salt to the recipe because the salt from the canned cream soups is more than enough to flavor everything.
- Veggies – Frozen peas and carrots are easier to use but you can also use the canned versions. If using fresh carrots, add them in at the beginning of the slow cooking since they take some time to cook. You will still only add the peas at the end because they are too delicate to cook for extended periods of time.
- Biscuits – I used refrigerated buttermilk biscuits which come with 8 biscuits in a can. Let the biscuits sit on the counter and bring them to room temperature before adding them to the slow cooker – it should help them cook faster. Quarter each biscuit which is more than enough for a generous-sized dumpling.
They will look compact and dense when raw but will puff up and expand after cooking. For the best flavor, submerge the biscuit quarters in the gravy and spoon some gravy over them before cooking.
I ended up cooking my biscuits for about 1 1/2 hours but not all slow cookers cook the same so check for doneness on your biscuits at the 1-hour mark and increase the time from there. If cooked for up to 2 hours, the tops of the biscuits should start turning golden brown.
- Steaming the dumplings – Try not to lift the lid after adding in the dumplings as they need to steam to cook fully and fluff up. Cooking time will increase each time you lift the lid.
- Leftovers and reheating – This will keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave until warm. You can add a splash of milk or chicken broth and mix it up before reheating to loosen up the gravy again.
- Stovetop method – In a Dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in the butter until fragrant. Add all the other ingredients except for the biscuits and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and fork-tender. Shred chicken and return to pot. Add quartered biscuits, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the dumplings are done.
How To Tell When The Dumplings are Done
The dumplings are cooked and ready to eat when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Can You Make Your Own Dumplings?
Absolutely. This recipe uses a shortcut method with refrigerated biscuits as drop dumplings. If you have a go-to recipe for dumplings, feel free to use that instead of the refrigerated biscuits. The cooking time should remain the same.
- Add more veggies – Add more veggies like celery or mushrooms.
And that’s about it. Let me know how you enjoyed the meal, what substitutions you made, or what you paired it with in the comments below!
MORE COMFORT FOOD CLASSICS TO TRY
- Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Beef Stroganoff
- Salisbury Steak
- Mac and Cheese
- Sour Cream Beef Noodle Casserole