Easy Drop Dumplings for Stew

Easy drop dumplings placed over a hearty stew
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
74 Calories
4g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 306mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 110mg 8%
*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.)

These drop dumplings are the perfect finishing touch for a hearty chicken or beef stew. While it may seem daunting to make dumplings from scratch, it only requires a few ingredients and is just as easy as using biscuit mix. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, so there's no need to have self-rising flour on hand. Self-rising flour is just all-purpose flour with leavening added, so including some baking powder will yield fluffy, tender dumplings.

The dumplings cook to biscuit-like perfection on a pot of bubbling stew. They're relatively light, too. The only fat is 1 tablespoon of butter plus enough milk to moisten the dough. They're a nice alternative to baked biscuits or yeast rolls, and they take just a few minutes of preparation. Just mix the ingredients and drop them onto the bubbling stew.

You can add a teaspoon or two of fresh chopped parsley or chives to the dough for a little color and fresh flavor. Your stew with drop biscuits is a one-pot meal but serve with a nice, crisp salad on the side for a feast.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (to moisten)
  • Beef or chicken stew

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making easy drop dumplings for a stew
     The Spruce
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

    Flour for the dumplings
    The Spruce
  3. Cut in the butter and parsley (if using) until blended using a fork.

    The butter is cut into flour with a fork
    The Spruce
  4. Stir in the milk to form a wet dough. It should be a thick dough but thin enough to drop from a wet spoon.

    The milk is stirred into the flour with a fork
    The Spruce
  5. Heat the stew until it is simmering. Drop spoonfuls of the soft dough onto the simmering stew. Try to drop the dumplings on top of the vegetables so they won't sink too far into the liquid.

    Ready to drop the dumpling dough from a spoon onto the vegetables in the stew
    The Spruce
  6. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes and then cover the pan tightly and cook for about 10 minutes longer (20 minutes total). Stir a few times to keep the stew from scorching.

    Easy drop dumplings placed over a hearty stew
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Cheddar dumplings: Add about 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the dumpling mixture before you add the milk.
  • Old-fashioned fruit dumplings: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the dumpling mixture. If desired, add about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Drop onto boiling fruit in syrup. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes longer.
  • Cobbler topping: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and about 1/3 cup of chopped pecans, if desired. Drop onto a fruit cobbler filling and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake as directed, or until the cobbler is bubbling and the topping has browned. 

Troubleshooting

  • How do you tell if the dumplings are done? The dumplings are done cooking when they are puffed and risen. If you slice into one, it should be cooked all the way through with no liquid batter left.
  • Why didn't my dumplings rise? Double-check that you added the correct amount of baking powder and that your baking powder is not out of date. If the dumplings don't have room to grow in the pan, they may not rise properly. Make sure to drop them spaced apart and on top of meat and vegetables so that they aren't submerged into the stew. Lastly, don't forget to put the lid on for the last 10 minutes of cooking so that the dumplings can properly steam and puff up.
  • Why are my dumplings chewy? Make sure you use the right proportion of ingredients and don't overmix the batter. Overcooking can also make dumplings chewy, so just cook them until they are puffed and cooked through and then remove from the heat and serve.