Is there anything more comforting than Southern-style chicken and dumplings? There’s something about the way those light, pillowy dumplings float in that rich and creamy chicken broth. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, eating this dish will cheer me up every time! We wanted to give you a bowl of comfort without all the excess calories by creating a skinnied-up version of your favorite dishes. Our Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings don’t taste healthy, but it certainly is: only 300 calories per serving? Yes, please!
We start by making a bowl of fantastic chicken soup. It’s filled with lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and tons of herbs and spices. After you let that cook in the slow cooker for hours, you’re ready to drop in the dumplings! Turn the heat up to High and add your dough a tablespoon at a time. It’s an easy and effective way to make healthy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings that will rival your Grandmother’s recipe!
The Secret to the Best Soup Dumplings Ever
Dumplings are super simple to make: they’re just butter, flour, baking powder, and seasonings. Mix ’em together and drop them into simmering broth and you’ll have fluffy, air-filled dumplings in no time. There is a tiny secret to making them as great as Grandma’s, though.
Like most doughs, you want to mix the wet and dry ingredients just enough for the batter to come together. Mix it too much, and the dough will become dense (especially when using whole-wheat flour). Not enough and there will be dry chunks of flour in the mix! After some practice, you’ll know exactly what we mean by just enough, and you’ll be a dumpling-making expert.
We also like to make our dumpling batter a bit earlier than we need it. That allows the baking powder time to produce gas bubbles, something that gives those dumplings their perfect texture. You wouldn’t want to make it in the morning when you start the slow cooker, but five to ten minutes before dropping them into the soup should be perfect.
Self-Rising Flour Versus Whole-Wheat Flour
Many traditional dumpling recipes call for self-rising flour, but we like using whole-wheat flour for our Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings. Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour which has been pre-mixed with baking powder and salt. That’s great if you want to make quick-and-easy biscuits or dumplings, but we don’t find it too difficult to add the baking powder in ourselves. Plus, it allows you to use a better quality flour.
By cooking with whole-wheat flour, you’ll benefit from a ton of added nutrients. White flour has little to no nutritional content since it only contains the endosperm. The bran and the germ are where all the protein and fiber are found, so using whole-wheat flour is better for your overall health.
We can’t wait to hear what you thought of our makeover healthy Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings! Drop us a line in the comments.
Yield: 6 servings | Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups | Calories: 297 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 3 g | Protein: 20 g | Cholesterol: 32 mg | Sodium: 194 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup peas (frozen is best)
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 1/2 cup celery, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme (not ground)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground dried sage
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/3 cup skim milk (more if needed)
- Place the chicken broth, chicken breast, peas, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, basil, and sage in slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
- If you have been cooking the soup on low, change the temperature of the slow cooker to high. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Gradually add the skim milk until a thick (and slightly sticky) batter forms. Note: the entire amount of milk might not be used or more could be needed.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred. Return it to the slow cooker and stir. Drop the batter unto the hot soup by the spoon full, about 1 tablespoon of batter per dumpling. Do not make the dumplings too small or they will dissolve into the soup. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.
We took your favorite comfort classics and made them healthier. Check them out on Pinterest or Instagram. And, as always, you can subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you the latest recipes as soon as they’re published!