This slow cooker chicken and dumplings recipe is warm, hearty and oh so comforting. The flavorful chicken stew and the tender dumplings on top create a delicious and hands off meal the whole family will love.
Something about the holiday season and the cooler temperatures just ushers in a need for comfort food.
Previously, I’ve also shared my easy chicken and dumplings that are just so flavorful and comforting.
And today, I’m so happy to be giving them a little bit of a twist and making slow cooker chicken and dumplings.
All the classic flavor, all the hearty goodness, but completely hands off!
Well, you’ve got to get it prepped and in the slow cooker, which takes about 20 minutes, but then it’s a set-it-and-forget-it type of meal.
Gosh, I sure love those, especially during these busy days of December.
It’s warm, creamy, so well flavored and has those delightful fluffy dumplings on top that will have you digging in.
And if you’re like me and wondering, wait a minute, can the dumplings possibly cook properly in the slow cooker?
I know, I was worried, too.
But they do! They’re just 5 ingredients and come together quickly in a bowl - not fussy here - and then they get plopped right on top of the chicken and veggie mixture in the slow cooker.
Keeping the slow cooker covered actually helps make sure they cook properly, at at the right temperature, so they cook through and don’t end up gooey.
They will spread out and cover the whole stew, but I mean, that’s just perfect for serving if you ask me!
OK, let’s get cooking so you can dig in, too.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up on how to make chicken and dumplings in the crock pot. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making slow cooker chicken and dumplings:
- Chicken: I use and recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the best flavor, especially since this is a slow cooker recipe. You could use a mix of thighs and breasts if you want.
- Sautéeing: You do need to sauté the veggies before you add them to the slow cooker. You’re also helping to thicken the liquid mixture during this step, so don’t skip it.
- Mushrooms: I love adding sliced white button mushrooms to my chicken and dumplings, but you can skip this if you’d like.
- Milk: For the dumplings, you can use whole milk, 2% or even skim milk. Any of them will work fine.
The cook time on this is something you’ll need to watch the first time you make it so you can figure out how your slow cooker does.
The chicken, because it’s already cut, will definitely be cooked through in 5 hours, but it’s the dumplings that need to finish cooking.
If your slow cooker runs hot/fast, like mine does, check yours at 5 ½ hours. Mine are ready then. Or if it runs cool/slow, wait and check at 6 ½ hours. Add more time if needed.
You don’t want to take the lid off until you think they might be almost done because that can drop the temperature in the slow cooker, which can lead to gooey dumplings.
Use the toothpick test to determine when the dumplings are done. If it comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a dumpling, they’re ready to go.
As for serving, this really is an all-in-one sort of meal. We don’t really need anything to go along with it.
You can certainly add some fresh chopped parsley if you want an herby, fresh finish.
Got extras? Here’s the best way to store them.
How to store leftovers:
- Leftover chicken and dumplings can be stored, in a covered container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Try to transfer it so the dumplings stay floated on top of the chicken stew while in the refrigerator and while reheating.
- To reheat, simply transfer the chicken stew to a medium pot, with the dumplings still nestled on top. Warm over medium low heat, with the lid on, for 5-10 minutes, carefully stirring on occasion to get everything evenly warmed through.
- You can also microwave a small serving if you prefer.
I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers. The dumplings won’t hold up well to the freezing and thawing process.
I hope your upcoming holidays are safe and happy, and I hope your winter is full of delicious comfort foods like this slow cooker chicken and dumplings.
For the chicken stew:
- 2 ½ to 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
For the dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk (whole, 2% or skim are all fine)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper on all sides. Add to the slow cooker insert.
- Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the broth, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
- Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and dried thyme. Transfer the veggie mixture to the slow cooker and pour over the chicken. Add the remaining 2 cups of the chicken broth to the slow cooker.
- Make the dumplings. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk and butter to form a thick batter.
- Dollop the dumplings dough on top of the chicken mixture in the slow cooker, in about ¼ cup mounds.
- Cover and cook the chicken and dumplings in the slow cooker on low for 5 ½ to 7 ½ hours, until the dumplings are set. (A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean). Serve warm and enjoy!
Chicken: I use and recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the best flavor, especially since this is a slow cooker recipe. You could use a mix of thighs and breasts if you want.
Sautéeing: You do need to sauté the veggies before you add them to the slow cooker. You’re also helping to thicken the liquid mixture during this step, so don’t skip it.
Mushrooms: I love adding sliced white button mushrooms to my chicken and dumplings, but you can skip this if you’d like.
Milk: For the dumplings, you can use whole milk, 2% or even skim milk. Any of them will work fine.
Leftovers: Leftover chicken and dumplings can be stored, in a covered container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Try to transfer it so the dumplings stay floated on top of the chicken stew while in the refrigerator and while reheating.
To reheat: Transfer the chicken stew to a medium pot, with the dumplings still nestled on top. Warm over medium low heat, with the lid on, for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to get everything evenly warmed through. You can also microwave a small serving if you prefer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 689Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 452mgSodium: 1006mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 61g