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Better than Cracker Barrel® Chicken 'n Dumplings

Rated as 4.41 out of 5 Stars

"My Grandma grew up on a farm and this was her recipe - no shortcuts but still pretty easy. For best results you must use a whole chicken and flour. You can also use some chicken stock for added flavor. The trick is the lemon which makes the chicken tender and adds flavor to the soup. Leftovers won't last very long with this."
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2 h 10 m servings 384
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Place chicken and 1 pinch salt in a large pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum off the surface with a slotted spoon. Add lemon, celery, onion, and carrots. Simmer broth over medium heat until chicken starts to fall off the bone, about 1 hour.
  2. Discard lemon. Remove chicken from the pot; let cool.
  3. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Ladle in 2 to 3 scoops of hot broth. Mix in flour with a spoon until dough comes together into a ball.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead carefully until smooth. Roll out into a large rectangle; cut into small rectangular dumplings.
  5. Drop dumplings one at a time into the simmering broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Bone chicken and chop into pieces. Add to the pot; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Substitute a handful of baby carrots for the carrots if desired.
  • This is a great base for chicken soup too - just use noodles instead of making dumplings. Cook the noodles right in the soup for added flavor and add some peas!

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 384 calories; 15.2 35.3 25.7 61 128 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 18
  1. 22 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

I am the author of this recipe and I want to add a couple notes. Generally I make 2-3 batches of dumplings for each whole chicken. If you like more dumplings than chicken, boneless is probab...

Most helpful critical review

I gave it 3 stars because it wasn't awful, but my family didn't care for it. The general comment was that it tasted like chicken pot pie filling. They aren't fans of that either.

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I am the author of this recipe and I want to add a couple notes. Generally I make 2-3 batches of dumplings for each whole chicken. If you like more dumplings than chicken, boneless is probab...

Love love love this recipe! This is where my heart is! With so many people trying to recreate the wheel, this was a comfort recipe and a comfort food. Love this technique, I love using the brot...

I made this for my mom on her 69th birthday. I added fresh peas and sliced carrots. She said that it was just like her grandma used to make for her birthday when she was a child.

Perfect comfort food and my kids said it was just like Cracker Barrel but better! I’d never made dumplings and they were easy and came out perfectly using this recipe. Even my mom (who is an inc...

Have made this a few times... absolutely delicious. It is better than Cracker Barrel. I however did not add the lemon and added some frozen peas.

Made it just as the recipe called for was verry good will be making again

Loved the dumplings this way! I did use boneless chicken breasts and cooked them in the crockpot with broth and the lemon, then I continued the dinner on the stove and added more broth and vegg...

This recipe is very similar to the one my grandma taught me. The broth makes it the best. Season your broth because that is what your dumplings will taste like. My recipe uses an egg in the ...

This recipe is the way I make my chicken and dumplings, it's no fail, and delicious. The only thing I'd add is to be sure to let the dumpling dough rest for about 20 min or so, the dumplings wi...