Healthy Chicken 'n' Dumplings

All of this snow and cold weather is making me miss the south. While "home" is only a four hour drive from DC, I feel like the weather is usually significantly different better. The sun always seems to shine, the temperature is always a good five or six degrees warmer, and there is hardly ever any snow or ice. should take lessons from the South. Work on this please.

Until DC revises the current weather conditions, I brought the south to my kitchen with this Healthy Chicken 'n' Dumplings recipe. I've recently been craving southern comfort foods (banana pudding and grilled pimento cheese sandwiches will be making an appearance on here soon enough!), so why not start off with making one of the most common and, in my opinion, one of the most delicious southern dinners. Chicken and dumplings can be made many ways, but the traditional way is to make homemade dumplings, which are similar to pasta. While biscuits are scrumptious in chicken and dumplings, they do not hold up as well for leftovers. Dumplings ensure that your dinner will be just as good the next day, if there is any left.

While most chicken and dumpling recipes aren't loaded with fat, I took a traditional recipe and lightened it up even more. I also tossed in a few vegetables for color and texture. Plus, I figure if I'm going to call a recipe healthy there needs to be a vegetable or two. If you find yourself craving warmth and southern comfort, try this recipe. Your stomach will thank you.

Healthy Chicken 'n' Dumplings (adapted from The Country Cook)
(4-6 servings)

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cooked and diced
2 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
1 cup skim milk
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
optional: 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Pour chicken broth into a large cooking pot. Add the celery, carrots, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a simmer. Add diced, cooked chicken to broth and simmer mixture over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut cold butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture is crumbly and butter is the size of peas. Add milk and mix to make a dough. If dough is too sticky, add a little flour at a time. The dough should be somewhat sticky, but not too sticky to roll out. Flour a large surface and place dough on flour. Sprinkle top of dough with a little more flour. Roll dough out with a rolling pin until it's 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough into squares--this is a rustic dish, so the dumplings don't have to be perfect. Add dumplings, one at a time, to simmering broth. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until dumplings are cooked all the way through. If you want to thicken the broth, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to broth and stir. Serve warm.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 357.4
Total Fat: 8.7 g
Cholesterol: 76.2 mg
Sodium: 391.4 mg
Total Carbs: 35.8 g
Fiber: 6.0 g
Sugars: 3.0 g
Protein: 34.9 g

-Delicious, southern dinner
-Great leftovers
-Healthy dish that is low in fat and full of protein
-Versatile-add your favorite vegetables to this recipe or just make it with chicken and dumplings (the traditional southern way)

-Time consuming to make homemade dumplings



  1. Oh my goodness Elaine! I feel like half of your recipes are reminiscent of my childhood, my mom "healthifying" my dad's North Cackalacky cravings.
    I am sending this to her right away, I cannot wait to try it!

    1. Haha I love it! That's exactly what I'm trying to do. I miss so much of the food from home, but Lord knows I don't need all of those calories. I love trying to make southern dishes that taste just as great but aren't quite so bad for you. I hope your Mom likes this recipe!

  2. i'm getting tired of this depressing weather. but a recipe like this would sure put a smile on my face. I love chicken and dumplings but definitely not the healthiest choice out there. This is my kind of version of it though Elaine! Comforting indeed. :)

    1. I haven't heard a single person talk about how much they love this weather. Spring, where are you? But making recipes like this and your puppy chow definitely help ease the depressing, cold, dreary days. :)

  3. another great classic soup for winter!! love!

    1. This is such a great wintertime meal. It's filling and comforting for sure!

  4. Healthy? I LOVE it. I need to eat healthier food these days. Great recipe Elaine!

    1. You and me both, Aimee! Good thing that this recipe doesn't taste the least bit healthy. Comforting, filling, delicious, and healthy--can't beat that!

  5. Nothing beats a bowl of chicken and dumplings.. This looks yummy!!

    1. There really isn't much better than chicken 'n' dumplings. Just talking about it is making me wish I had a bowl in front of me!

  6. I haven't had chicken and dumplings in so long. I love that you made it healthy too!!!

    1. I think it's about time you made some, Jocelyn. :) You are missing out! I just made this recipe the other week but am already thinking I'll make it again.

  7. Ohhh this looks so comforting! I haven't had anything with dumplings in a long time now but I want some now.. :) thanks!

    1. Haha no problem for spreading the cravings around. I'm definitely a sucker for dumplings. Sometimes they are much more satisfying than pasta or other starches.


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