What could be better than a cozy chicken soup? How 'bout a cozy chicken soup with ricotta dumplings? Rich, veggie-laden chicken broth is blessed with fluffy light cheesy ricotta dumplings. Meet the ultimate chicken and dumpling soup!
Growing up in SoCal, we went to Marie Callender's. It was one of my favorite restaurants because of their Fettuccine with Butter and Cream Sauce. If I didn't order that, I ordered their famous Chicken Pot Pie. In case you couldn't tell....I pretty much love everything related to bread, pasta..oh —and cheese. This Chicken and Ricotta Dumpling Soup blends all those things together into one big ole comfort food recipe.
Settle in, my bread and cheese loving friend.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
I already mentioned the whole bread and cheese reason but in case they're not enough...here are some more:
- Fresh cozy comfort. This is comfort in a bowl. Take a batch to a friend. Make it for the best Sunday supper or for The Big Game (you know what that is, right?)
- Easy to make ahead. Mix the uber easy dumpling recipe up in the morning to use later in the day. And make the broth, freeze it and thaw for dinner. Using a rotisserie chicken, you can have a warming soup on the table on a Wednesday in 30 minutes!
- Something different. Sometimes "something different" is enough, right?
Ingredients You'll Need
There are several ways you can make this soup. I'm giving you the 100% homemade version that's still super easy and the 75% homemade version that is just as good!
- Chicken. This is where the 75% or 100% choice comes in.
- You cook the chicken using my 100% Foolproof Chicken Breast recipe and reserve the broth to add to the soup
- You use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for the 75% version. You'll lose a little on flavor but you'll save 20 minutes in time.
- Veggies and Herbs. Carrots, celery, onions, thyme.
- Dumpling Ingredients. A super creamy ricotta (see below), parmesan (because two cheeses always are better than one), a tich of flour, along with some fresh parsley.
What is ricotta con latte?
These easy soup dumplings aren't a traditional bread dumpling in that their primary ingredient is ricotta. We are using an extra rich ricotta called ricotta con latte which essentially means "ricotta with milk". A more crumbly ricotta typically just has whey in it and it's the variety with milk that helps create a creamy smooth texture.
If you can't find it near you, don't worry! Use what you have and can find but if you can..by all means, pick it up!
How to Make the Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Alright - there are three layers to this soup:
Making the broth base
- Saute the chopped celery, carrots and onion in some butter with some salt until softened, about 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and fresh thyme for about 30 seconds until you can smell it.
- Add some flour to make a roux and cook for about 2 minutes to cook off the flour taste.
- Pour in the broth along with the broth base and stir until incorporated. Cook for 15 minutes until slightly thickened and add apple cider vinegar.
Here is where you can have some flexibility. You can cook the chicken using my Foolproof Chicken method or you can debone a rotisserie chicken. Your call!
Either way, shred the cooked chicken and stir into the soup.
Broth Flavor Booster
Add the extra liquid created from using my Foolproof Chicken Method to the stockpot to zhush up the flavor!-Josie + Nina
Make the Dumplings
Now for the really fun and easy part! How to make ricotta dumplings!
Get yourself a medium sized mixing bowl and add:
- With a whisk, beat the egg.
- Whisk in the ricotta and parmesan cheese until creamy
- Add the flour, baking powder, and parsley and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
- Drop the dumplings into the simmering stock and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or so!
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don't fake it - only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Lettuce - instead of ice berg lettuce, you can use romaine lettuce or spinach
- Bun - use gluten free buns instead of white bread buns to make this gluten free
- Vegetarian - the beef hamburger can be replaced with a plant-based burger to make this vegetarian
Even if your reader doesn't follow a specific diet (eg. gluten free), they may have friends or family that they're cooking for that could use this. This is also a great idea to link out to another blogger with a similar recipe that fits a different diet.
One of my favorite things about recipes like this is they are "from the fridge" or pantry recipes. Go for it and clean out that fridge and pantry and feel free to add:
- Spinach and ricotta dumplings. Add a little chopped spinach to the ricotta mix (you can even forego the parsley if you want).
- Sausage. Some cooked ground Italian sausage can be added to the soup if you have some taking up space in the freezer.
- Creamy chicken and dumplings. A little half-and-half takes this chicken dumpling soup recipe from dreamy to creamy.
You betchya! If the dough ends up too thick, add a tablespoon of milk or water (or the liquid in the ricotta container!)
Yes! Mix them and spoon them on to a parchment covered baking sheet. Freeze until set and them remove to a freezer safe bag or container. Use within two months. Add to soup frozen and proceed to cook per the recipe. They may need a couple of extra minutes to cook.
Nope! Not needed! They will steam right in the pot so make sure your lid is nice and tight😊
Whatever you do, don't adjust the ratio of flour to baking powder. Trust me - I actually misread my own recipe by using too much baking powder 🤷🏻♀️ and my dumplings weren't fluffy and wouldn't cook properly. Shining moment for this food blogger!
You'll need a minimum of a wide 6 quart dutch oven or stock pot with a lid so that the dumplings have enough room to cook. My favorite is anything that is heavy duty stainless steel or enameled cast iron is great!
Serving & Storage
- Serve. Make a meal of it with a fresh green salad like Italian Arugula.
- Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
The broth/base can be made up to 1 day ahead and then the dumplings cooked in it the day you plan to serve.
Make the dumplings ahead and par-freeze on parchment lined baking sheet for 1 hour. Then move to a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Cook the dumplings from frozen in the broth per the recipe. They might need a couple of extra minutes to cook.
Reheat on the stove in a saucepan until warmed through. You can also heat covered in a bowl/container in the microwave as well.
Allow to defrost before heating.
Freeze any leftovers in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
Before you go....
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Chicken and Ricotta Dumpling Soup
- 4 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded, using Foolproof Chicken method ; alternatively, shred a rotisserie chicken
- 4 Tablespoon butter
- ½ onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 2 stalks celery, diced, about 1 cup
- 10 - 15 baby carrots , diced; or 2 large, peeled and diced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons flour, all purpose
- 2 quart chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons chicken soup base, like Better Than Bouillon
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup ricotta con latte
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- fresh grated parmesan, for serving
For the Soup Base
- In a 6-8 quart stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and add onions, carrots,and celery and salt. Saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are translucent. Add the garlic and thyme followed by the flour. Stir for 2 minutes to cook out the flour.
- Pour in the chicken stock and using a whisk stir in the chicken base. Stir with a wooden spoon until the base is mixed in and there aren't any lumps. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.
- Taste the broth for seasoning. Adjust to your taste.
For the Dumplings
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add in the ricotta and parmesan cheese. Whisk until smooth.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and parsley and mix until combined.
- The dough will be thick. Don't worry!
- Using a large spoon, form a large, round of dumpling dough and release into the broth. Repeat until all the dough is used. You should get approximately 12-14 dumplings.
- Cover the soup with a tight fitting lid and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through.
- Ladle the soup and approximately 2 dumplings into each bowl. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.