Frugal Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Dumplings

I am usually not a fan of  recipes that require a can or two of cream-of-something soup, but I will make an exception for a couple of recipes, and this is one of them. Chicken and dumplings is comfort food at its best. I found this recipe several years ago in the reader recipe section of Cooking Light magazine, sent in by Charlene Hill, and it has become one of our all-time favorite fall and winter recipes. It’s especially delicious for some reason when it’s cold and rainy outside (which happens to be most of the winter here in western Oregon).

This Cooking Light version, as expected, is fairly low fat (373 calories per serving, 10.1 grams of fat), as long as you choose fat-free milk and reduced-fat cream of chicken soup (I usually always buy the store brand as it costs way less than Campbell’s). The recipe doesn’t specifiy what type of chicken pieces to use, but I usually use boneless, skinless thighs, just because we prefer the flavor and they’re inexpensive. Charlene says she often uses a whole chicken that she cuts up and skins herself, which would also help keep the cost down. However, I have found that around two pounds of boneless chicken thighs is plenty, even though the recipe calls for four pounds. And of course you can use homemade chicken stock instead of the store bought variety if you make your own. The chicken and dumplings in the photo includes carrots and celery – they are not in the recipe below but could be added for additional flavor and color.


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans of fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 can reduced fat, low sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 2-4 pounds chicken pieces, skinned
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch


  • 2 cups baking mix (like Bisquick)
  • 2/3 cup low fat or fat-free milk

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in sherry, salt, pepper, chicken broth and soup and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Turn the heat off; remove chicken pieces from the the cooking liquid. Place the chicken in a bowl and chill around 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from bones and cut meat into bite-sized pieces; discard the bones. Turn the heat back to medium, add the chicken back to the pan and stir in the peas.

Add the water gradually to the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a whisk until well-blended. Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and combine with the chicken stew.

To prepare the dumplings, combine the baking mix and the milk. Drop the dough into the chicken mixture to form 16 dumplings. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes, or until the dumplings are done. Serve piping hot in large bowls (serving size is 1 1/2 cups chicken stew and 2 dumplings).

(Photo credit: Revolution Lifestyle)

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Filed under Frugal Recipe of the Week

6 responses to “Frugal Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Dumplings

  1. I am excited to try this recipe! I love chicken and dumplings. My grandma use to make them all the time when I was little. I remember that they always smelled delicious!

  2. Kika

    Do you have any idea what could be used in place of sherry in this recipe?

    • Maybe apple cider?

      I think the little bit of sherry adds to the flavor, but I suppose you could just leave it out, or increase the chicken stock if you didn’t want to use it.

  3. This is my favorite dish from childhood, but I’ve never made it as an adult. But I just thawed one of our chickens, so I’m gonna do it this weekend! Sanks. :)

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