side view close up of chicken and dumplings soup in a large dutch garnished with rosemary

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Why I love this chicken and dumplings soup recipe

This warm and comforting apple rosemary chicken and dumplings recipe is the perfect meal to make for a cozy Sunday evening this fall.

Happy first day of September! It’s a beautiful fall day here, and I’ve been celebrating all day. This morning I actually put on a sweater and drove to my doctor appointment with the windows down and cinnamon coffee in had.

Now, I’m sharing one of my favorite fall recipes – apple rosemary chicken and dumplings. It’s warm, comforting and laced with autumn flavors. I know you’ve been craving fall, too, so you’re welcome.

This recipe is everything I remember of dumplings from when I was a kid, but with a grown up addition of sweetness and herbaceous rosemary.

This pimped out soup is topped with fluffy, moist dumplings that plump as they simmer away in the heat of the Dutch oven. Dumplings are always the best part of chicken and dumplings, right?

overhead view of chicken and dumpling soup in a large dutch oven a table top

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Ingredients note: I made the recipe dairy free by swapping full-fat coconut milk for what would normally be heavy cream, but I’ve also made them with plain, unsweetened almond milk and they’ve turned out just fine, so feel free to substitute as long as it’s unsweetened.

This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breast, but you can definitely speed things up by using cut up rotisserie chicken meat. If you do, you’ll just need to simmer the soup long enough to soften the veggies.

close up of a dumpling on a spoon over a dutch oven full of chicken and dumplings

How to make chicken and dumplings without cream

Sauté the vegetables. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven to medium high heat. Add the olive oil, chopped veggies and a pinch of salt. Let them cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Simmer the chicken. Place the chicken into the pot and add the liquids, herbs and salt. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer, letting the chicken cook thoroughly.

Once the chicken is cooked, take out out and either shred or chop it. Then return it to the pot.

Make the dumplings. In a small bowl, whisk the dry dumpling ingredients together. The stir in the coconut milk and water. Mix them until smooth.

Scoop the dumplings into the hot soup – you should make about 8 – 9 dumplings – and cover the pot. Let the dumplings steam in the soup for about 15 minutes, or until they’ve puffed up and are fully cooked through.

overhead view of chicken and dumpling soup in a  small bowl

FAQS and tips for making chicken and dumpling soup

Should you cover dumplings when cooking?

Yes. You need the steam that is created while the soup cooks with the lid on to cook the dumplings. Think of it as “baking” and “steaming” the dumplings at the same time.

Why are my dumplings not rising?

The most likely answer is that your baking powder is no longer active. You can test this by adding a bit of vinegar with your baking powder (in a separate bowl). If it starts to fizz, then it’s still active. If not, you need to replace it.

Can you overcook dumplings?

Yes. You can overcook your dumplings, but it’s not that easy to over cook them. If you follow the recipe, you should be fine.

side view close up of chicken and dumpling soup garnished with rosemary

More apple recipes:

More soup recipes you’ll love:


Chicken and Dumplings Soup

This warm and comforting chicken and dumpling soup recipe is made with a hint of apple cider and fresh rosemary. They’re the perfect meal to make for a cozy Sunday evening this fall.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x



For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup water (optional)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

For the dumplings:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/21 tablespoon water


  1. Whisk together dry dumpling ingredients. Add coconut milk, stir to combine.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium-high. Brown chicken until it easily releases from pan,  about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add remaining oil, onion, celery and carrot. Add a pinch of salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to release brown bits from pan.
  4. Return chicken to pan. Add apple juice, chicken broth, water, rosemary and salt & pepper. Cover pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and shred chicken. (Reduce heat to low and cover while doing this to prevent liquid loss).
  5. Return chicken to pot and drop dumpling mixture in 2 tablespoon scoops. Increase heat to medium, cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked.


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 263
  • Sugar: 8.3 g
  • Sodium: 970.9 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.2 mg

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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Recipe rating


  1. The flavor of this was fantastic! I loved the rosemary with the apple juice. I did however have a question about whether or not you use the 1 cup of water, since it’s listed in the ingredients but not the instructions. I went ahead and added it in with the chicken stock and apple juice, but the liquid did seem pretty soupy compared to what I am used to for chicken and dumplings. But that could simply be because my mom’s not-quite-as-heathy version may have flour mixed in with the liquids to thicken it up some. 😉 Thank you!

    1. Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I usually like my chicken and dumplings to be a little bit like a soup, but you could totally leave the water out next time if you like it thicker. It’s really a personal preference (and I added that it’s optional to the recipe). I’m glad you liked it though! 🙂

  2. I made this for dinner the other day and it was so good!! It was so comforting and perfect for chilly day! We’ll definitely be making this again!