Easy Drop Dumplings for Soups and Stews

Drop dumplings in clear soup with dinner spoon

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
130 Calories
1g Fat
26g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 523mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 177mg 14%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 77mg 2%
*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.)

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

The word dumpling can refer to a myriad of related dishes from all over the world, from har gow to kopytka to gyoza. Although the actual origin of this style of homey dumpling is unknown, it is noted that dumplings were first used as sustenance when meat was scarce. Drop dumplings are a comforting addition to a wholesome chicken or beef stew or soup and are easy to make.

This recipe creates fluffy, hearty dumplings with just four ingredients. Feel free to add parsley or chives to the mixture for some color. They're an easy way to bulk out and add comfort to a dish; try adding dumplings to chicken soup, beef stew, and more.


Click Play to See This Easy Drop Dumpling Recipe Come Together


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • Stew or soup, for cooking and serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy drop dumplings recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Flour, baking powder, and salt sifted in glass bowl with wire mesh sifter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Milk added to flour mixture and stirred with spoon to a thick consistency

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Spoonful of thick batter scooped out from a bowl and dropped into hot clear soup in pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Cooked, puffed up dumplings floating on soup in pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Dumplings in clear soup in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • 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.
  • The dumplings will soak up a lot of broth as they cook and the flour will thicken the liquid slightly. Make your soup with a little extra liquid to ensure a soupy consistency.
  • When using a large dinner spoon and a heaping amount of batter, the recipe makes about 12 big dumplings that cover the top of a Dutch oven. Make smaller dumplings if you like.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftover dumpling soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, just until everything is warm. You may notice that the dumplings break down a little more, but they generally stay intact.
  • Though best when made as needed, drop dumplings can be made in big batches and frozen for future use. Divide the batter up into individual dumpling portions and quick freeze on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin. Once frozen, wrap each dumpling in plastic and place them in a freezer bag. Thaw for at least 30 minutes before dropping the dumplings into a soup. Many soups and stews with dumplings can also be frozen; be sure to chill it first.

Is It Possible to Overcook Dumplings?

If you add the dumplings too early and they cook much longer than 15 minutes, they will begin to break down. To ensure well-cooked dumplings, set a timer and don't peek under the lid. The soup should remain covered so steam can build up and cook the top of the dumplings while the simmering liquid cooks the bottom.

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