Healthy Irish Chicken and Dumpling Soup Recipe
You’ll feel lucky you found this healthier version of Irish chicken and dumpling soup – it’s so hearty and delicious! We added extra veggies, cut out unnecessary fat, and made our dumplings out of whole wheat.
I first made Irish chicken and dumpling soup in college. I hosted a group of friends for dinner on St. Patrick’s day – and it was a hit!
Since then I’ve made healthier changes here and there, and each has only made me like it more! I’ve omitted canned cream of chicken soup or cream and made dumplings out of whole wheat instead of Bisquick. I’ve added extra veggies too, of course.
What we love about healthy chicken and dumplings
Of course we love the veggies! A few stalks of celery, a handful of carrots, a cup of peas, and a couple of potatoes. Boil this all up with some chicken breast and whole wheat dumplings and you have quite a well-rounded meal.
The soup base is simply low-sodium chicken broth. I worried we might miss the creaminess of adding condensed soup, but I don’t miss it one bit. The dumplings let off extra flour that helps to thicken the soup really nicely.
Whole wheat dumplings really help make this a filling and healthy meal too. They are definitely distinctly whole wheat, so if your family prefers regular flour that also works. Whole white wheat would be ideal if you want top nutrition with less wheat-ness. Olive oil was a great alternative to butter that is used in some dumplings, and they still turned out fluffy and well-cooked.
Making Irish Chicken and Dumplings
First chop your carrots, celery, onion, and potato. Potatoes took the longest to cook for me, so I recommend cutting them on the small side. Also slice up the chicken breasts into thin, small strips. You’re welcome to use thighs if you prefer – I have heard they work wonderfully.
Dump all veggies, onion, and chicken into a large pot. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and low sodium chicken broth. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring occasionally. Then cover and turn down the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix up the dumpling dough. In a small mixing bowl, add flour, salt, and garlic powder. Add milk and oil and mix until combined.
Once the pot has simmered for 10 minutes, bring the heat back up to medium-high and add a cup of frozen peas. At a rolling boil, drop teaspoonfuls of dumpling dough into the bubbling pot. Once all the dough has been dropped in, cover the pot once more.
Keep the pot covered for 15 minutes and reduce heat only enough to keep the pot from boiling over. You need to keep a boil going but don’t want a mess. Do not remove the lid during this time, since the dumplings are not only boiling but steaming.
Check your veggies and chicken to make sure they are cooked through (they should be). And that’s it!
How to Make a Perfect Dumpling
Here are my tips on helping your dumplings come cooked, fluffy, and not gooey.
- When mixing the dough, you want it to be wet but not drippy. Mix until well combined but don’t mix more than you have to.
- Make fairly small and consistently-sized dumplings. Dumplings will expand, so unless you like them the size of biscuits I recommend making them about teaspoon-sized. This also allows kids to fit them in their small mouths!
- Don’t drop dumplings in the soup until it is at a rolling boil. They need to be dropped in while it’s really hot!
- Cover the pot once all the dumplings are in and do not remove the lid until cooking time is over! For small dumplings I covered the pot for 15 minutes without even a peek (larger would need maybe 5 or so more minutes). They need the steaming and boiling to cook thoroughly.
- Dumplings will cover the top and may look like they blend together, but don’t worry. They will all be distinct and separate in the end.
Sometimes making dumplings takes a little trial and error, so don’t be discouraged! It’s pretty fun to make and eat them once you get the hang of it.
Enjoy this hearty soup with a side of Irish soda bread!
Healthy Irish Chicken and Dumpling Soup
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 medium carrot
- 2 stalk celery
- 1 medium russet potato
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 5 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1 cup green peas, frozen
- 1 cup flour, whole wheat
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Cut chicken breast into thin, bite-sized slices. Peel and slice carrot. Chop celery and potato into small pieces. Finely dice onion.
- In a large pot, add chicken, veggies, broth, and seasonings and bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the dumpling dough. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder. Then add milk and olive oil and mix until combined.
- After ten minutes, add 1 cup of frozen peas and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Once at a rolling boil, drop teaspoonfuls of dumpling dough into the boiling water until all dough is used.
- Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium, keeping it at a boil without bubbling over. Keep closed for 15 minutes while dumplings cook/steam.
- After 15 minutes, remove lid and check to make sure veggies, chicken and dumplings are cooked. Dumplings should be cooked in the center rather than doughy. If needed, keep the pot boiling for a few more minutes until all parts are cooked to your liking.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Could you adapt this to be made in the crockpot? Also any suggestions on gluten free dumplings? Thanks I love all your recipes!!
Thanks Sara! Yes, I’ve done it in a crockpot… it’s just been a while. I believe I cooked it on high for about 4 hours and just added the dumplings for about the last 30 minutes or so, keeping the lid on so they cooked. I haven’t tried gluten free, but it looks like there are recipes out there using gluten free flour and they seem to work. Let us know if you try it!
I like the recipe! awesome!!
Giving this a try tonight. CANNOT wait! We were supposed to have it for dinner on Friday (St. Patrick’s Day) but time ran away on us and we didn’t have time, so we had leftovers LOL! My husband and son are waiting patiently for their dinner. 15 more minutes! YAY!
Too funny! I think it’s a great soup to have any day, so I am in support 🙂 I hope you liked it!
Turned out better and easier to make than I expected. Thanks for introducing us to this irish dish!:)
This recipe is sooo good. I used half a chicken and removed the skin. I did add garlic and adjusted the amounts of the ingredients according to the size of the chicken. I added the potatoes later during the cooking process. I also made the dumplings- delicious. (Denser than dumplings made with white flour)
I made it a second time, but this time I am making mini cornbread muffins.
This is one of the greatesf things I’ve ever made. EVER. The only thing I tweaked was to add just a tad bit more salt. It’s pretty perfect as-is and super easy too!
Can u tell me the sodium per serving?
Hi Kathy, We’re working on getting nutrition facts on all our recipes, but we actually don’t calculate sodium yet. You can calculate it yourself here: https://nutritiondata.self.com/
What is the sodium in this recipe?
Hi Kathy, we’re working on getting nutrition data for all our recipes. We haven’t gotten to this one yet, but you can calculate it yourself here: https://nutritiondata.self.com/
I can’t wait to make this on my day off. Chicken and Dumplings is my favor. I could not find one that was healthy. Thank God I found you!
Delicious!! My husband Loved it too!
It tasted yummy. However, my dumplings seem to have dissolved into the broth? I dropped them in at a high boil and the pot looked full. Then when I checked on them, the soup had thickened nicely and looked as though most of my dumplings were gone. Where did I go wrong? I’m sure my 1.5yo and 4.5yo wont notice the difference, but I was really looking forward to dumplings.
Hi Sam! I’m glad your soup turned out yummy, and I’m not sure how that happened with the dumplings… perhaps next time try compressing them a bit so they’re less likely to fall apart. I hope your kiddos liked the soup anyway!
Not for me. The family didn’t like it. Dumplings were like lumps of brown bread.
Used all-purpose gluten free flour for the dumplings. I liked them. Kids didn’t like the garlic in the dumplings.
Been making this for years now and just now figured I should leave a review. It’s one of our favorite recipes ever and we make it every few weeks!
Thanks so much!! I’m so happy to hear that it’s a favorite! We love it too. 🙂