Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings is the ultimate comfort food meal. Recreate this restaurant favorite with simple, fresh ingredients!

Homemade strips of dough and tender bites of meat are simmered together in a delicious broth for a dinner the whole family will enjoy.

If you love easy chicken and dumplings, try this slow cooker version made with Bisquick! Get everything going first thing in the morning and drop in the dough during the last hour or so.

Craving more Cracker Barrel? Here’s a homemade version of their famous meatloaf, plus a hash brown casserole that’s ready in a snap!

While you’re here, look through all of my other copycat recipes to find even more of your favorite dishes.

 cracker barrel chicken and dumplings in a white bowl

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings - Tips and Tricks

  • Use pre-cooked chicken. I love making a big batch in the crockpot for recipes like this, but leftovers or a rotisserie bird from the store works just as well.
  • Skip the straining. Simmering the meat with broth and sauteed vegetables gives it a great boost of flavor. If you don’t mind having vegetables in the finished dish, feel free to leave them in the pot.
  • Ran out of buttermilk? Make your own by combining 1 cup of regular milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit until thickened and curdled, then use as directed.
  • Prevent sticking. The dumpling dough is quite sticky until added to the broth, so it helps to sprinkle it heavily with flour. Also, cut them on a floured surface and avoid stacking them if you can.
  • Don’t overwork the dough! Otherwise, they will come out tough and dry. Stir it just until everything is combined, then handle it gently and as little as possible.

chicken and dumplings recipe ingredients

Serving Suggestions

This easy chicken and dumplings recipe is a complete meal all on its own!

If you want a side dish to lighten things up, try a simple green salad or some crispy brussels sprouts with garlic.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Dutch Oven - This set is perfect for roasts, one-pot meals, and (obviously) Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings!
  • Mixing Bowls - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • Pastry Wheel - This helps make clean, even strips of dough but a pizza cutter or sharp knife will work in a pinch.

cooking onions, carrots and celery in a dutch oven

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

What’s so special about this chicken and dumplings recipe?

The size of the dumpling will affect the overall cooking time, and homemade versions are often quite thick.

Since the thin, square ones used in this recipe don’t take as long to cook up, you can get dinner on the table even faster!

easy chicken and dumplings rolled out and cut

Is there a simpler way to prepare this dish?

Yes, there are a few shortcuts you can take if needed. I still recommend simmering the broth with some veggies if you can - it really boosts the flavor - but you can save plenty of time by using premade stock and pre-cooked meat.

Simply make the dumplings, bring the broth to a simmer, and cook. Then, toss in the chicken and continue simmering until it is heated through.

cracker barrel chicken and dumplings in a dutch oven

What’s the best way to reheat Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings?

Reheat this dish on the stovetop or in the microwave just until it is warmed through.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container, and be sure to use them within 3 to 4 days.


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cracker barrel chicken and dumplings with parsley on top

cracker barrel chicken and dumplings, chicken and dumplings recipe, easy chicken and dumplings
Yield: 6
Author: Donna Elick
Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings is the ultimate comfort food meal. Recreate this restaurant favorite with simple, fresh ingredients!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 35 MinInactive time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 19 M


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ cup diced carrot, celery, and onion
  • Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins (thawed)
  • 5 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules, divided (or you can use chicken base)
  • 4 ½ cups water, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley (for garnish)


  1. In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced vegetables and a sprinkle of parsley to the butter and saute until vegetables are softened and onion is translucent (about 4-5 minutes)..
  2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and ½ cup water to the saucepan.
  3. Add chicken to the pan and bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer until meat is cooked through.
  4. While chicken is simmering, prepare the dumpling dough. Combine flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. Add buttermilk and stir the dough until it comes together (dough will be shaggy.)
  6. Heavily dust your work surface with flour. Scrape the dough onto the work surface and pat or roll out into a rectangle that is about ¼” thick.
  7. Use a pizza cutter or knife to slice the dough into 1” x 1” squares (or slightly larger rectangles). Dust the pieces with more flour and set aside.
  8. When chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the broth and set aside.
  9. Strain the vegetables from the broth and return the broth to the saucepan.
  10. Add remaining 4 cups of water, 4 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, and a ½ teaspoon pepper to the strained broth.
  11. Bring full broth mixture to a low boil.
  12. Add dumplings to the boiling broth - drop dumplings into the broth separately to prevent them from sticking together.
  13. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the dumplings, uncovered, until done (about 10-15 minutes). Dumplings are done when they are soft and doughy like a noodle, all the way through.
  14. Meanwhile, chop or shred chicken into bite sized pieces.
  15. When dumplings are done, add the chicken back into the saucepan. Stir and cook the mixture a few minutes longer to heat the chicken through and thicken the broth with the starches from the dough.
  16. Stir in a drizzle of heavy cream, if desired, to add some creaminess to the dish. Serve with freshly cracked pepper and a bit of chopped parsley.
  1. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave just until warmed through.
  2. Simmering the chicken with broth and the sauteed vegetables gives it a great boost of flavor and also gives some great flavor to the broth in return. If you don’t mind a little vegetables in the finished dish, straining them is not necessary.
  3. You can use pre-cooked chicken, leftover chicken, or rotisserie chicken. I would still recommend simmering the broth with some veggies to boost the flavor, but you can pull this dish together extra quickly using premade stock and pre-cooked chicken.
  4. Simply make the dumplings, bring the broth to a simmer, and cook. Toss is the chicken and cook until heated through.
  5. The thickness of the dumplings will affect the cook time. These thin, square dumpling don’t take long to cook up.
  6. The dumplings are quite sticky until they are added to the simmering broth. Sprinkle heavily with flour. Try to avoid stacking them together if you can - cut them on a floured cutting board to easily move them around without causing them to stick together. Work the dough as little as possible to prevent tough dumplings.

cracker barrel chicken and dumplings close up

Originally published July 2021

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1 comment:

  1. I really don't understand why Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings are so highly praised. As far as I'm concerned they don't have much flavor. I will on occasion get dumplings as a side dish from Cracker Barrel but I much prefer my mom's recipe it has tons of flavor. But that's just my opinion


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