Easy Drop Dumplings for Soups and Stews

Dumplings and Soup
The Spruce
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Dumplings are a Southern specialty and the quintessential comfort food.​ The simple dumpling dough recipe is similar to a biscuit, but the batter is dropped directly into a hot liquid instead of rolled, cut out, and baked. The dumplings are then steamed or boiled directly in the stew or soup in which it will be served, such as in the classic recipe for chicken and dumplings.

According to some sources, the word "dumpling" goes back to Norfolk, in eastern England, circa 1600. Although the actual origin of dumplings is unknown, it is noted that dumplings were first used as sustenance when meat was scarce. Nowadays, dumplings are a comforting addition to a wholesome chicken or beef stew or soup, and are easy to make, calling for just four ingredients. Feel free to add parsley or chives to the mixture if you like.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk or water
  • Stew or soup for cooking and serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

  3. Add the milk or water and mix. The batter should be thick enough to be scooped and dropped from a spoon. Let it rest for a moment.

  4. Once the boiling stew or soup is nearly done, drop spoonfuls of the batter on top. Be sure that there is plenty of liquid in the pot, but try to keep the dumplings on top of the vegetables and meat or both.

  5. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the dumplings. Do not remove the lid until it is time to check the dumplings; when ready, a toothpick inserted into one of the dumplings should come out clean.

  6. Once done, spoon the stew or soup with the dumplings into a bowl and enjoy.


  • Give the dumpling batter time to rest before dropping spoonfuls into the stew or soup. This will allow the baking powder time to activate and will result in a fluffier dumpling.
  • If you don't have baking powder in your pantry, you can make your own. To get 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix together 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch.