Homemade comfort food is like a warm hug for the soul, and a few dishes embody this as well as chicken and dumpling casserole. This hearty and classic dish is replete with tender chicken, savory gravy, and fluffy dumplings. It's the perfect choice for a cozy family dinner or a potluck with friends. This instructional post will guide you through the creation of a chicken and dumpling casserole, ensuring that every step is clear and easy to follow, so you can savor the nostalgic flavors of this beloved comfort food.

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

Ingredients for the Casserole

Before you begin, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. You'll need the following for the casserole:

  • 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (you can use rotisserie for convenience)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots (or mixed vegetables of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme, dried or fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Chicken and Filling

  1. Cook and Shred the Chicken: If you're not using pre-cooked chicken, start by seasoning and cooking the chicken breasts in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fully cooked. Then, shred the chicken with two forks.
  2. Cook the Vegetables: In the same skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the diced onion, celery, garlic, and thyme. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Create the Roux: Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the vegetables and mix well to create a roux, cooking for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  4. Combine the Filling: Slowly add the chicken broth and milk to the roux, whisking constantly until smooth. This will create a thick sauce. Add the cooked chicken, and frozen vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and bubbly.

Making the Dumpling Batter

  1. Prepare the Dumpling Batter: In a bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the melted butter and mix until the dough is smooth.
  2. Form the Dumplings: Use a spoon to drop the dumpling batter onto the filling in the casserole dish. The batter should make about 6-8 dumplings.

Baking the Casserole

  1. Bake: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Transfer the casserole to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and golden on top.

Serving and Enjoying

The chicken and dumpling casserole is best served hot. Spoon the casserole onto plates or into bowls, making sure each serving includes a dumpling or two.

Tips for Flavorful Success

  • For the most robust flavor, consider using homemade chicken broth. If using store-bought, try to find a low-sodium variety so you can control the saltiness of your dish.
  • Use fresh herbs when possible. Fresh thyme will give a brighter, more pronounced flavor compared to dried thyme.
  • Adjust the seasoning as you go. Taste the filling before adding the chicken and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference.
  • Ensure the dumplings are submerged in the filling before baking to cook them properly. This will also help them soak up some of the delicious flavors from the filling.

Sides to Complement Your Casserole

To round out your meal, consider serving the casserole with a light salad, steamed broccoli, or a side of buttery mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Insight

While this dish is rich and comforting, it's also substantial in its nutritional content. Chicken provides a lean source of protein and an array of vitamins and minerals, while vegetables and milk add fiber and calcium. Just be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you're watching caloric intake.


This tried-and-true chicken and dumpling casserole recipe is bound to become a staple in your home. The warm allure of this dish is not just in the flavor, but also in the memories it can create around the dinner table. Experiment with different vegetables or herbs to personalize it to your taste. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a hearty meal to gather around, this casserole is one your family and friends will love.

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