Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings is the ultimate comfort food meal. Recreate this restaurant favorite with simple, fresh ingredients!
Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
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 with Bisquick dumplings! Get everything going first thing in the morning and drop in the dough during the last hour or so.
Or, if you have a pressure cooker, I also have a recipe for Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings!
Recipe 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 sautéed 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.
- No buttermilk in the house? 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.
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.
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Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings FAQ
What’s so special about this chicken and dumplings recipe?
The size of dumplings affects the overall cooking time, and homemade versions are often quite thick.
Since Cracker Barrel dumplings are smaller, they don’t take as long to cook up. This means you can get dinner on the table even faster!
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.
What’s the best way to reheat Cracker Barrel 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.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
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OTHER CRACKER BARREL RECIPES
Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings + Video
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup diced carrots, 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
- 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)..
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and ½ cup water to the saucepan.
- 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.
- While chicken is simmering, prepare the dumpling dough. Combine flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Add buttermilk and stir the dough until it comes together (dough will be shaggy.)
- 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.
- 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.
- When chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the broth and set aside.
- Strain the vegetables from the broth and return the broth to the saucepan.
- Add remaining 4 cups of water, 4 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, and a ½ teaspoon pepper to the strained broth.
- Bring full broth mixture to a low boil.
- Add dumplings to the boiling broth – drop dumplings into the broth separately to prevent them from sticking together.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, chop or shred chicken into bite sized pieces.
- 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.
- 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.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published July 2021
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