Recipe Box

Super Simple Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is the Southern equivalent to chicken noodle soup. When you are sick or don’t feel good, nothing else will do.
Recipe Box
Chef Ryan Callahan
Author of Cooking for Chemo...and After! and Cooking for Kids with Cancer

Ease of Preparation: Beginner


  • 2 lbs. chicken, shredded (breasts or thighs, depending on preference)
  • 1 pack frozen dumplings (or you can make from scratch)
  • 1 bag frozen stew vegetables
  • 1 c. cream (optional)
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 large can chicken stock
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ c. flour

Flavor Balancers

  • ½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar


  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. sage

Dish Description

Chicken and dumplings is the Southern equivalent to chicken noodle soup. When you are sick or don’t feel good, nothing else will do. And nobody will ever make it better than your mom or grandma. But here is how I made it for my mom when she went through chemotherapy.

Tasting Guidelines

  • This dish should taste savory and aromatic
  • The weight of this dish is medium, but can be balanced with vinegar
  • The texture of this dish is soft
  • This dish is good for people with low-to-moderate treatment-related side effects
  • This dish gives an emotional response of a full belly and home-cooked love
  • This dish is best categorized as Southern American

Recipe Directions

In a large spaghetti pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add stew vegetables and cook until tender. Stir in flour to absorb extra butter. Mix in additional ingredients and seasonings, except dumplings. Allow to simmer 5 minutes to check the seasoning level. When proper seasoning level has been reached, break and add frozen dumplings, slowly mixing to avoid sticking. Transfer to a slow cooker, set on low heat, and allow it to work until the dumplings begin to fall apart (about 2 hours). Change to the warm setting to avoid burning. Serve with cheddar cheese.

Chef Tips

The key that made my mom go back for seconds and thirds was adding the red wine vinegar to remove the weight from the dish. There are 2 forms of chicken and dumplings. The thin version that is similar to chicken noodle soup, and the heavier cream sauce version provided here. When you are choosing which type of chicken you want to use, keep in mind that chicken breast is light in weight and will be easier to consume and keep down when receiving chemotherapy. Although thigh (dark meat) is delicious, it is also naturally greasy and is heavier in weight, which may make it harder to keep down.

For more information about Chef Ryan and Cooking for Chemo, visit

Share this:

Recommended For You
Recipe Box
Summer Smoothie Selections
By Chef Ryan Callahan
These four easy-to-prepare smoothie recipes serve nourishment and summer’s fruitiest flavors for patients with cancer.
Recipe Box
By Chef Ryan Callahan
This recipe is an Americanized version of the classic Mediterranean side dish, substituting couscous for the wheat, but it still maintains its texture, palate-cleansing effects, and pop of freshness.
Recipe Box
By Chef Ryan Callahan
Pitas are good with everything. Pitas are good by themselves. They are very easy to make, but they require some practice. Pro tip: Timing is the key in making the pitas poof!
Recipe Box
By Chef Ryan Callahan
Beans are rich in protein and iron, making falafel an excellent substitute for meat. Done correctly, falafel is dense and heavily spiced. Try this recipe for a savory and aromatic treat!
Last modified: May 8, 2018

Subscribe to CONQUER: the patient voice magazine

Receive timely cancer news & updates, patient stories, and more.

Race or Ethnicity
Profession or Role
Primary Interest