This Southern Style Dairy-Free Chicken and Dumplings recipe is one of my favorite meals. Scott’s grandmother knew I liked it and made it one time when we came to visit. Unfortunately, we’d stopped for brunch on the way to her house. What were we thinking? She used to add a bit of yellow food coloring to make the chicken and dumplings more visually appealing. I use turmeric instead, but you can leave it out if you don’t have any.
Grandma’s Dairy-Free Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
When I suggested writing about my grandmother-in-law’s chicken and dumplings, of course I didn’t realize we would all be sheltering at home again. I think this is a good quarantine and winter storm recipe, though. It uses very few ingredients, is very easy to make, and is so warming. Not to mention, our whole family loves it.
Even when flour and bread supplies are low at the store, I’ve been able to find a good supply of refrigerator biscuits. Many varieties are dairy-free, and they’re so convenient. We use store-bought biscuits in this chicken and dumplings recipe because homemade biscuit dough tends to puff up too much. These dumplings are flat and more noodle-like.
This recipe is heavy on the dumplings and light on the broth. If you would like more of a dairy-free chicken and dumplings soup, you can reduce the amount of biscuits you add and/or add more water towards the end of cooking.
Kids Can Cook Tips
This is an easy kids can cook recipe, especially if the chicken is cooked ahead of time for them. They can have fun shredding the chicken and flattening and cutting the biscuits, as well as (carefully) dropping the biscuit pieces into the broth. Older kids and teens can make the entire recipe by themselves. Cooking dinner gives them something to do during these long days. And what is more comforting than chicken and dumplings?
Special Diet Notes: Chicken and Dumplings
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and optionally soy-free (a lot of refrigerator biscuits are made with soy oil).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 to 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 12 cups chicken broth, or water plus dairy-free bouillon, a combination of broth and water, or just water + 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 to 4 (7.5-ounce) cans dairy-free refrigerator biscuits (We used Great Value brand)
- Sauté the chicken breasts in the olive oil until cooked through. Remove from the pan and let cool for a few minutes.
- When the chicken has cooled slightly, shred it into bite-size pieces. I like to use my mixer for this. You can also shred it by hand with two forks.
- Bring the broth to a boil in a large soup pot.
- Meanwhile, open the biscuits and lay them out in a single layer on a large cutting board. Flatten them slightly by hand, and cut each biscuit into six sections.
- Add the turmeric (if using), black pepper, and chicken to the boiling broth. Stir.
- Drop half of the biscuit pieces into the broth one or two at a time.
- Let the biscuits cook for 3 minutes, then stir the soup.
- Add the remaining biscuit pieces one or two at a time.
- Let the remaining biscuit pieces cook for three minutes, then stir them into the soup.
- Turn the heat to medium low, and let the soup simmer for at least 5 to 10 more minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through.
- Add more water for a thinner broth, if desired.
- Serve the soup, and refrigerate any leftovers.