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Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe – Copycat

This easy copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe is about to become one of your favorite weekday meals. It’s so easy to make, it’s hearty and filling, and it’s a copycat recipe that your whole family will love.

This is the ultimate comfort food recipe and one of the best recipes we’ve found to perfectly mimic what is served at Cracker Barrel restaurants.

Homemade chicken and dumplings in a bowl with salt and pepper

If you’re dying to make homemade dumplings, but you have dietary restrictions, I have you covered.

Dairy Free Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Copycat Recipe

​Gluten Free Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Copycat Recipe

And don’t miss this: Our Favorite Cracker Barrel Copycat Recipes

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INGREDIENTS

Ingredients to make Chicken and Dumplings, chicken, celery, onion, flour, chicken broth, baking powder, salt and milk
  • Chicken Broth
  • Celery Ribs
  • Onion
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – You can also use a whole chicken, leftover chicken, or a rotisserie chicken. 
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings step by step - boil chicken broth, celery, onion and chicken.

Step 1: In a large pot or dutch oven, bring the chicken stock or broth, celery and onion to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

step by step chicken and dumplings - mixing dry and wet ingredients

Step 2: While the chicken is cooking, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly cut in the milk using a pastry cutter or whisk.

step by step chicken and dumplings - rolled out and cut

Step 3: Using a rolling pin, roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a pizza cutter to cut it into 1-2 inch rectangles.

Dairy Free Chicken and Dumplings Step by Step - boil in chicken broth

Step 4: Remove the chicken, celery and onion from the chicken broth and slowly add in the dumplings. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the dumplings to cook and the broth to thicken to a gravy-like consistency.

Step 5: While the dumplings are simmering, discard the celery and onion and shred the chicken. Add the chicken back into the broth with the dumplings. As the broth thickens and the noodles get soft, dish it up and add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade chicken and dumplings on a fork with salt and pepper

Step 6: Enjoy!

HINT: These are flat dumplings and are not the same as a thick, biscuit style dumpling.

VARIATIONS + SHORT CUTS

Homemade chicken and dumplings in a bowl with salt and pepper

USE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

There is no need to cook and shred your chicken if you are using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Simply remove the chicken from the bones and add it to the dumplings about 5 minutes before serving. You can also purchase the pre-shredded rotisserie chicken.

MAKE IT DAIRY FREE

Click here for a dairy-free version of this recipe.

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE

Click here for a gluten-free version of this recipe.

HOW TO MAKE EASY SHREDDED CHICKEN

We love to use a hand mixer or Kitchenaid Mixer for the easiest shredded chicken ever!

Watch the video below or click here for the full details.

STORAGE + FREEZING

REFRIGERATOR

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The sauce will thicken over time, so you may need to add additional chicken broth when you reheat.

FREEZER

Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and slowly heat in a saucepan. Add chicken broth as needed as the sauce will have thickened.

Homemade chicken and dumplings with salt and pepper

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can I serve with Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings?

A common side dish for this main course includes green beans, mashed potatoes, or a simple salad. Cornbread is also a popular choice.

How do I make the dish less salty?

If the dish turns out too salty, you can dilute the saltiness by adding more unsalted broth or water.

Can I use self rising flour?

Yes, but you will need to omit the salt and baking powder. 

Can I make this a crockpot chicken and dumplings recipe? 

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Cook the chicken and broth on low for 6-8 hours, then add the dumplings and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

What’s the difference between dumplings and biscuits?

Dumplings are typically softer and doughier than biscuits. The dumpling dough is dropped onto the simmering broth and cooked in the steam, absorbing the flavor of the broth. This produces tender dumplings every time.

How do I make the dish creamier?

If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add a splash of heavy cream or whole milk to the broth before adding the dumplings.

How can I make the dumplings fluffier?

To make fluffy dumplings, handle the dough as little as possible and make sure not to overmix it. Rather than rolling and cutting the dough, drop a spoonful or ball of dough onto the simmering broth without pressing it down.

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken and broth ahead of time and refrigerate it. Add the dumplings just before serving to ensure they are fresh and don’t become too soggy.

How can I add vegetables to the dish?

Feel free to add vegetables like carrots, celery, or peas to the broth for added flavor and nutrition. Dice the vegetables and add them when you start simmering the broth.

What should I do if my dumplings are too doughy?

If your dumplings turn out too doughy, try rolling the dough thinner before dropping it into the simmering broth. Additionally, ensure the broth is simmering gently, not boiling.

Can I make this recipe in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe for a pressure cooker. Cook the chicken on high pressure for about 20-25 minutes, then add the dumplings and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Print

📖 Recipe

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Homemade dumpling on a fork over a bowl with drippings.

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe – Copycat

This easy copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe is about to become one of your favorite weekday meals. It’s so easy to make, it’s hearty and filling, and it’s a copycat recipe that your whole family will love. 

  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 1/2 medium onion (do not dice or slice)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut in half
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, add broth, celery, onion, and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil.

PREPARE THE DUMPLINGS

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk just until combined. You can use a pastry cutter, a fork or the whisk. 
  2. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface – to about ¼ inch thickness.
  3. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips or squares about 1 to 2 inches in size.

SHRED THE CHICKEN

  1. Once the chicken is cooked through remove it from the broth and place it in a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or Kitchenaid Mixer to shred. (Follow these instructions).

COOK THE DUMPLINGS

  1. Add the dumplings to the simmering broth and simmer for about 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the dumplings to cook and the broth to thicken to a gravy-like consistency. You may need to add additional chicken broth if the dumplings absorb too much.
  2. Return shredded chicken to the pot with 10 minutes left to simmer. 
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.
  • Author: Anna Luther

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One Comment

  1. This was so delicious. I think I like the dairy free version I made at home even better than what I remember Cracker Barrel’s tasting like.

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