Dairy-Free Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings
wsmahar / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
599 Calories
32g Fat
37g Carbs
43g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 599
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 1039mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 245mg 19%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 754mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken and dumplings is a warming, comforting classic that usually contains butter and milk in the broth and batter, thus making it impossible to eat for people with dietary restrictions. Our version is every bit as soothing, and without the lactose will put this homey meal back on your table.

If you need a vegan or vegetarian variation, simply omit the egg white and replace the chicken with a dairy-free vegetarian meat substitute, tofu, or seitan. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 4 medium carrots, cut into strips

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon soymilk powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy margarine, or vegetable shortening

  • 1 cup soymilk

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten, optional

  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium-to-large heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and thyme and stir occasionally. Cook until the onions are fragrant and translucent, or about 4 to 6 minutes.

  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly until well combined. Cook until the flour smells slightly toasted, for about 30 to 45 seconds.

  4. Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to medium-low. Add the chicken and cook covered for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

  5. While the chicken cooks, make the dumpling batter. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soymilk powder, and salt until just combined. Using a pastry blender or a knife, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, sift the dry ingredients into a food processor, add the cold margarine, and pulse a few times until it resembles crumbs.

  6. In another bowl, whisk together the egg white (if using) with the soymilk and gradually stir into the flour mixture until just combined.

  7. While the broth is simmering, drop in about 2 tablespoons of batter at a time and cover.

  8. Add fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until chicken and dumplings are cooked through, for about 20 to 25 minutes.

  9. Serve hot, and enjoy.

Vegetarian Variation

For vegetarian and vegan versions, skip the egg, use vegetable broth and:

  • Follow the Steps 1 to 4, but cook the liquid for only 10 minutes and reserve.
  • Depending on the meat substitute you are using, the cooking times can vary, but if you're making something similar to vegan meatballs, prepare them in a separate pan and add them at the end to warm up with the sauce and dumplings.
  • For tofu, tempeh or seitan, add it cubed to the last 10 minutes of the dumpling cooking time to warm up and let the sauce coat the pieces.
  • Alternatively, you can add a can of chickpeas to add texture, protein, and fiber.