Gluten free chicken and dumplings is a savory blend of aromatic vegetables, chicken, a simple white sauce and just the right spices. Learn to make it in 4 unique ways for a simple, hearty meal any day of the week.
I put gluten free chicken and dumplings dinners into a very important category. No matter which way I make it, everyone in my family loves it because it hits all the right notes. It’s hearty, flavorful, and filling, and just smells like home.
There are, indeed, a few steps to getting it done. Chicken needs to be cooked and diced or shredded, vegetables cooked, and dumplings made. But most of those steps can be made or shortcut even days ahead of time.
You can make biscuit dough, cut it into rounds and store them in your freezer. The chicken can be made a couple days ahead, and refrigerated (or even replaced with a GF rotisserie chicken). The vegetables can even be cooked and refrigerated for a couple days.
Then all that’s left is to make the super simple roux-based soup, mix up the easy dumpling batter and bake. If I make the chicken and veg ahead of time, this is actually a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Over the years, I’ve made so many varieties of this meal and kept them separated here on the blog. But I use these methods in a mix-and-match way in my own kitchen.
I thought you might like to see everything together in one place, with varying levels of ease and difficulty. Mix and match at will!
Classic Chicken and Dumplings Casserole (finished in the oven)
To make the most classic variety of chicken and dumplings, the dumplings are fluffy, airy rounds that are soft to the center. They’re simple to mix up and place on top of the aromatic filling that’s made on the stovetop.
The raw dumpling mixture is scooped on top of the cooked filling and then finished in the oven. The soup starts with a mirepoix, or a sauteed mixture of diced aromatic vegetables like carrots, celery, and onion cooked in some sort of fat.
The chicken in this recipe is cooked separately, but of course, it can be made ahead of time. I have also made this dish with gluten free rotisserie chicken and I thought it was delicious. My very spoiled children thought I was committing some sort of mortal sin.
Tater Tot Chicken and Dumplings Casserole
If you love the idea of making a chicken and dumplings casserole but are tight on time or just want a fun twist, replace the dumplings with tater tots.
Like in all of the varieties except the slow cooker recipe, we use olive oil to cook the vegetables to help them release and develop their flavor. You really could use any sort of fat you like, though.
Olive oil is a healthy fat, and I always have it on hand. But of course, if you wanted to be truly decadent, you could saute some pancetta or bacon and then cook the vegetables in the rendered fat. *swoon*
There’s no need to defrost the tater tots. Just arrange them on top in a single layer on top of the filling, and bake until the tots are crispy and golden, and the filling is bubbling.
Quick Stovetop Chicken and Dumplings
If you want to get a jump on chicken and dumplings, the quickest way is to make and freeze gluten free biscuits. If you have another favorite gluten free biscuit recipe from this site, like maybe my vegan gluten free biscuits, use that.
The other shortcut I recommend is making your own condensed cream of chicken soup. They even sell gluten free condensed soups now, too (Pacific brand is gluten free). If you have frozen biscuit rounds and GF condensed cream of chicken soup on hand, plus some chicken stock, you are so close to making chicken and dumplings.
You’ll still need to cook the chicken separately according to the recipe instructions below, but that takes mere minutes and can also be made ahead of time. Simply cook the chicken, shred or chop it, and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
This version encourages make-ahead, of course, since you’ll need frozen biscuit dough. But you could also make it with the same dumplings from the casserole recipe.
The method is the same as using the biscuit dough, but you’ll need to make sure you’re using a large enough saucepan. Dumplings expand quite a bit when they cook in liquid.
Just cover the pan to retain enough heat in the pan, but lift the cover occasionally to stir the mixture gently. The same steps are necessary when using biscuit dough, but the biscuits won’t expand as much.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
The final method is in the slow cooker, and it’s the easiest yet especially since you cook the chicken right along with the vegetables in the liquid.
You’ll have to switch up a few ingredients, but it’s all explained below. Like the quick variety above, you can also replace the biscuit dough with the same dumplings mixture as the classic casserole.
Ingredients and substitutions
The main additional allergens in these recipes are dairy in the form of milk, butter and cream, and eggs (in the dumplings). I haven’t tried making chicken and dumplings with any of these substitutions, but here are my best guesses for how to make it happen.
For an egg-free variety, instead of dumplings or the biscuit recipe I have linked below, use my vegan gluten free biscuits. They’re light and flaky and they’ll work great. In fact, that’s the best way to make the dumplings dairy-free as well. You could also try the tater tot variety for a dairy-free “dumpling.”
Making the soup portions dairy-free requires a bit more finesse. In place of butter to make the roux that mixes with flour for the casserole varieties, try using Earth Balance buttery sticks or Melt brand vegan butter.
You can buy dairy-free evaporated milk these days. I imagine it works quite well, although if it’s coconut milk-based, it may add some coconut flavor.
I haven’t made my homemade cream of chicken soup dairy-free, but that is only required for the slow cooker variety. A recipe like this has so many available modifications built right in, so there’s definitely a way!