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Fluffy Gluten-Free Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."


Delicious Gluten Free Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

My friend Karen and I married men who are foodies. More often than not, their cravings lean toward dishes that are warm, comforting and satisfying. We spent countless evenings in Karen's dining room, sipping gin & tonic and filling our bellies with her signature dishes, many of which hark back to gentler times.

I missed Karen terribly when she and her husband moved far away. And craving her home cooked meals, especially mouthwatering chicken and dumplings, made the distance separating us seem even wider. But how could my chicken and dumplings ever compare to hers? Instead of trying to copy her recipe, I went another route. After reading about the controversy surrounding gluten, I decided to develop a recipe for gluten-free dumplings.

My husband, uneducated in the virtues of a gluten-free diet, was doubtful. Gluten-free dumplings would surely be dry, crumbly and bland. And so the gauntlet was thrown down. There was no turning back! To up the ante, I proposed a blind taste test. If my hubby failed to identify the gluten-free dumpling, he'd wash dishes for a whole week. It was a chicken & dumpling throwndown!

One of my challenges: ingredients such as xantham gum aren't available in Peru. A plant-based binding agent, it's an important addition to gluten-free baked goods. What about mashed potatoes? They add both texture and volume to bread. But would they do the same for dumplings?

Then I experimented with thickening the stock. Rice flour produced a dense and gritty stew. But the stock became thick and silky with a cornstarch slurry. Now it was time for the final test. I whipped up a batch each of traditional and gluten-free dumplings.

What was the verdict? After tasting both dumplings, my husband actually preferred gluten-free! Fluffy and moist, they practically melt in the mouth.

Who knows what other gluten-free goodies are on the horizon? In the meanwhile, we hope you enjoy this savory tribute to my friend Karen as much as we do. I've included both recipes so you can have your own chicken & dumpling throwdown. Please tell us about your findings in the comments section at the end of this page.

More Gluten-Free Recipes:

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  • To make sour milk: combine one teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar with room temperature milk. Let it rest while measuring other ingredients. Add two tablespoons of sour milk to make a dough and, if you need more to bind the ingredients together, slowly add it by the tablespoon.
  • Although Authentic Foods brand flours are expensive, they are the best on the market for gluten-free baking. If you choose not to purchase Authentic Foods brand, look for superfine white rice flour and garbanzo (dahl) flour.
  • For the mashed potatoes: Boil a medium Russet potato (peeled & chopped) until tender. Whip with a little milk until light and fluffy.
  • For the slurry: Combine cornstarch with milk and whisk with a fork until smooth. Slowly add slurry to simmering broth a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, to thicken the stock.
  • The potatoes are important in this recipe as they help thicken the soup.
  • If you'd like to save time, purchase good quality chicken broth at the grocery store instead of making the stock.
  • The key to fluffy dumplings: don't overfill the pot or crowd the dumplings. You'll need a couple inches of head room so the dumplings can rise and expand.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

1 hour

2 hours

6 servings

Chicken & Dumplings: Traditional & Gluten Free

For Chicken Stock:

  • 3 1/2-4 pound (2 kilos) chicken, cut up
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 whole onion, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium Russet potato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon each paprika and cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk (for slurry)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (for slurry)

Gluten Free Dumplings:

  • 1 cup Authentic Foods superfine white rice flour
  • 1 cup Authentic Foods Garfava flour
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes made with Russet potato (see tips)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder, gluten free
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 Tablespoons sour milk (see tips)
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Traditional Dumplings:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour milk (see tips)
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Brown the chicken in oil

Brown the chicken in oil

Simmer the stock

Simmer the stock



Chop the veggies

Chop the veggies

Remove chicken from bone and chop

Remove chicken from bone and chop

Thicken & season the stock

Thicken & season the stock

Add the dumplings

Add the dumplings


  1. For the stock: Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add rinsed and dried chicken pieces, without crowding the pot, and let them brown. If you'd rather remove the chicken skin, skip this step and continue to step 2.
  2. Add water, bay leaves, garlic, onion and salt to stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken and reserve in medium bowl, allowing it to cool. Strain the stock to remove bay leaves and cooked vegetables. Add enough water to equal 10 cups of stock. Return stock to the pot.
  4. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add to stockpot along with carrots, celery, potatoes, salt, pepper and the herbs and spices.
  5. Simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings.
  6. For the dumplings: Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, melted butter and about 2 Tablespoons of sour milk. Slowly stir the egg mixture into dry ingredients, adding more sour milk as needed until a thick, sticky dough forms. Set aside.
  7. After making the dumplings, stir leftover mashed potatoes into the chicken stew to thicken it slightly.
  8. For the slurry: whisk milk and cornstarch with a fork until combined. When the vegetables are tender, slowly add slurry to the simmering stock, a tablespoon at a time. Whisk thoroughly after each addition. Continue adding slurry until stock has thickened.
  9. Add chopped chicken to the stew and stir. Using your fingers or two spoons, form dumplings into biscuit-sized balls. Carefully drop them into the simmering soup, leaving space between the dumplings so they don't touch. You should have six large dumplings. Cover chicken and dumplings with a lid and allow the dumplings to steam for 15 minutes. Don't peek! With a fork, prick a dumpling to check for doneness. If still doughy, cover with lid and steam for 5 minutes more.
  10. Ladle chicken and dumplings into shallow bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and black pepper. Enjoy!


  • Chicken & Dumplings with Wild Mushrooms & Peas: Soak 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups warm water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and chop them. Proceed with the recipe. Add mushrooms, vegetables and one cup of peas to the soup in step 4 of the "instructions" section.
  • Asian Chicken & Dumplings: Sauté one tablespoon of grated fresh ginger root along with the onion and garlic in step 4 of instructions. Add to the soup along with the vegetables.
  • Southern Chicken & Dumplings: Follow the recipe, replacing the butter in step 4 with four slices of bacon, sliced in small pieces. Cook over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Brown onions and garlic in bacon fat. Add the vegetables to the pan as directed, along with the crisp bacon and 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn.
  • Turkey & Dumplings: Make turkey broth from a leftover turkey carcass. Substitute chopped turkey meat for the chicken.

Try This Easy Gluten-Free Dessert:

Dark Chocolate Bark with Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt

Can you tell which dumpling is gluten free?

Can you tell which dumpling is gluten free?


Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 26, 2013:

Lydia Sweatt, I'm glad you're going to try these delicious gluten-free dumplings. It's comfort food without all the guilt. Thanks for coming by!

Lydia Sweatt from Dallas, TX on May 26, 2013:

I can't wait to try this but I'm voting up before I even do because it sounds so promising lol. Great information.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on February 12, 2013:

Au fait, thanks for the stars and comment! The dumplings really are yummy and I hope you have a chance to try them sometime.

C E Clark from North Texas on February 12, 2013:

Your gluten free recipe does look scrumptious. I love that it contains carrots, celery, onions (my fav veggie) and even potatoes! Gave you 5 more stars. Your photo looks yummy too!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 21, 2013:

PoeticVine, enjoy! We always make gluten-free dumplings now. I look forward to hearing from you again and thanks for your comment.

Leanna Stead from North Carolina, United States on January 20, 2013:

I am SO looking forward to trying it! I'll let you know how it turns out! :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 20, 2013:

PoeticVine, I'm glad you enjoyed this article and recipe. I hope you have a chance to try this sometime. It's the ultimate comfort food!

Leanna Stead from North Carolina, United States on January 20, 2013:

Now I'm hungry.... Well-written, engaging, and informative with just the right touch of humor! I love the layout, too -- the photographs add so much! Voted up!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 11, 2013:

Thanks for the vote, moonlake! We just had chicken and dumplings yesterday. I used leftover turkey bones to make the stock and it was yummy!

moonlake from America on January 10, 2013:

This looks good I love chicken and dumplings. Your recipe looks so good. Voted up.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 08, 2013:

Rtalloni, Karen will be glad. : ) I just made these yesterday with a leftover turkey carcass. They're the ultimate comfort food, and we still prefer the gluten-free dumplings. I hope you have a chance to try them someday. Thank you for your comment!

RTalloni on January 07, 2013:

Thanks for sharing your experiment with gluten free dumplings as well as the recipes and also the variations! This hub offers a lot to anyone looking for chicken and dumpling recipes. Oh--tell Karen thanks too! :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 24, 2012:

Bifaerie, the density of your dumplings concerns me. I revised the information about the type of potato to purchase and making the mashed potatoes that go into the dumplings. I hope the dumplings are even more delicious and lighter next time! Thanks again for coming by.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 24, 2012:

bifaerie, thank you for your review! I'm sorry the gluten-free dumplings were grainy. I do believe the best gluten-free flour on the market is made by Authentic Foods, even though it's a little pricey. I'm glad your daughter enjoyed the second attempt. : ) I really appreciate the comment.

bifaerie79 on December 24, 2012:

I made this tonight and, while the chicken "soup" or "stew" or whatever you call it was very delicious, the dumplings were quite grainy in texture, I think it's because I used 1/2 white and 1/2 brown rice flour (yucky, grainy, brown rice flour: boooo!). So I threw the dumplings out and tried again with the chicken-y goodness; the second time I used 1 1/2 cups of Bob's Red Mill biscuit mix and the rest of the ingredients normal. They were pretty good! A little dense, but everyone (even my VERY picky daughter) l-o-v-e-d them. Thanks so much for the great recipes. I'll be coming back to look for more great gluten free recipes!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 21, 2012:

Rajan Jolly, it really is easy to make and so delicious and comforting. I hope you and your wife enjoy it! Thank you for paying me a visit.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 21, 2012:

Very innovative and the chicken and dumplings look very tempting. Bookmarked and voted up and interesting. Would definitely ask my wife to try this amazing variation.

Shared on G+1.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 24, 2012:

Peggy W, thank you for your kind comments. I do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and this was a fun project. I haven't had the time/energy lately but need to get inspired and back in there! Yes, my hubby is always willing to try my adventures in cooking. : ) Thanks for the comment, vote and tweet.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 24, 2012:

This sounds amazing! I also like your alternative suggestions for the gluten free chicken and dumplings. Nice that you have the regular recipes alongside the gluten free ones. Thanks for your hard work and experimenting in writing down this recipe. And thank your hubby for being a willing guinea pig in trying them out and rating them. Ha! Voted up and useful. Tweeting.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 09, 2012:

Thanks, Mama Kim!

Aloe Kim on September 09, 2012:

I just published it ^_^ Your link is near the end next to the "conclusion" hope you like, let me know if you want it worded differently ^_^ have a great day Vespa!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 09, 2012:

MamaKim8, yes please do link and let me know when you've published it so I can read as well. Of course, I'll be heading over to read your latest hubs but I want to make sure not to miss it. Thanks so much!

Aloe Kim on September 09, 2012:

If you don't mind I'd like to link to this hub in an upcoming bread pudding hub I'm writing. ^_^ It's a competition hub as well.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 09, 2012:

LetitiaFT, that's my viewpoint as well. I'll eat gluten-free dumplings and save my gluten indulgences for croissants, cake and English muffins! : ) It is the perfect cold-weather food. I wonder what your French husband will think of this dish? Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

LetitiaFT from Paris via California on September 09, 2012:

Even without marked gluten intolerance, there's no reason to "burden the donkey" as the French would say with something we're beginning to realize we eat way too much of. Especially when there are such fabulous substitutes as this. Who would have thought gluten-free dumplings could even exist? For once, I can hardly wait for the cool weather to return!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 01, 2012:

DeborahNeyens, I understand you've had your own cooking challenges! I look forward to reading about it. Thanks for taking the time to come over and visit.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on September 01, 2012:

This looks really good. I haven't really done any gluten free cooking myself, but this recipe intrigues me, especially how you grind your own rice flour. Also, I love a good cooking challenge myself so I think it's great that you did a gluten vs. gluten-free throw down! I'm going to pin this for future reference.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 22, 2012:

MargaritaEden, thanks for the comment and share! It was fun to test these recipes and we were surprised by the results. I hope you enjoy the dumplings. : )

MargaritaEden from Oregon on August 22, 2012:

Looks very delicious, I am glad that you are giving a gluten-free option, there a a few people I know that are allergic to gluten, sharing your hub!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 20, 2012:

Alocsin, a blind taste test would give you an excuse to eat them all! Thanks for the vote and comment.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on August 19, 2012:

Both versions sound delicious -- but the only way I can tell it to actually do a blind taste test on them. Voting this Up and Useful.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 19, 2012:

Great! I love your Asian food recipes. I'm going to head over to pay you a visit right now!

Aloe Kim on August 19, 2012:

Oh I will! I actually have two kinds of rice flour in the pantry. Regular and glutinous.. at least I know which to use ^_^ A perk of having Asian in-laws!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 19, 2012:

That's a great idea. : ) Be sure and use finely ground rice flour. He'll think they're the best dumplings ever. Please let me know how it goes, MamaKim8!

Aloe Kim on August 18, 2012:

Hehe.. I'm not going to tell him until after he cleans his bowl and goes on and on about how delicious it was.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

Rebeccamealey, I think we consume too much gluten and diary in the traditional American diet. It surely won't hurt to cut down on it, anyway. Thanks so much for the comment and share!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

MamaKim8, you can have your own throwdown...or maybe it would be better to keep it to yourself. He'll never know the dumplings are gluten free! Thanks so much for the vote and share.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 18, 2012:

This is an awesome and appreciated new insight on an old stand-by. I have been seriously going gluten-free, although I don't have Celiac. I just think it might make a difference in digestion. Thanks. I say, useful and sharing!

Aloe Kim on August 18, 2012:

This sounds fabulous! I suspect my husband has a gluten intolerance but he's not willing to change his diet... maybe if I feed him these dumplings he'll give it a shot ^_^ thank you! voted up and sharing.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

It's like modernized comfort food. The spices make the house smell so wonderful while it's cooking, too. Thanks for coming by, AudreyHowitt!

Audrey Howitt from California on August 18, 2012:

This sounds wonderful!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

Hi Jackie Lynnley! I myself was surprised how delicious the dumplings are. I won't make them the traditional way with flour anymore. I'm sure you could cut back on the butter if you wanted, as well, for lower fat. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 18, 2012:

If I wait til cold weather I will forget about it, I have to try it soon and want to! It sounds and looks delicious and thanks for the idea to make our own flour too, I am sure that would be better for us and I have a kitchen full of appliances I never touch, it will be so much fun! Thank you, I love chicken and dumplings but try to stay away from them, yum I can't wait! Up and shared!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

IndieJoe, I'm glad you enjoyed the throwdown! Of course, Karen's chicken and dumplings will always be the best. : )

IndieJoe on August 18, 2012:

Who doesn't love a good throw down?! If ever there was a time to test taste gluten free - this would be the recipe to do it with. Thanks for posting. 5 stars!!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

GlimmerTwinFan, it is a great cold weather recipe. Thanks so much for coming by!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

GoodLady, thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you found the recipe interesting and useful. I was surprised how tasty gluten-free items can be. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 18, 2012:

Mhatter99, nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comment!

Claudia Porter on August 18, 2012:

This looks really good, especially with cooler weather on the horizon.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on August 17, 2012:

What a thoroughly fascinating, interesting DELICIOUS hub. I'm bookmarking it so when winter comes I can try these variations - see which ones I prefer. You have made 'gluten free' interesting and possible, even for those of us who live in countries where this is not a normal. Thanks! Wonderful. So pleased to have found you.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 17, 2012:

Great recipe idea. Thanks.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 17, 2012:

Kelleyward, I hope you have a chance to try them. There are so many gluten-free recipes that are just as delicious or more so than the traditional way. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

kelleyward on August 17, 2012:

Oh wow this looks amazing!!! What a great idea to use mashed potatoes! 5 stars and voted way up!!! Kelley

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