Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings is a dish that evokes the comfort and warmth of traditional Southern cooking, bringing a taste of home-style cuisine right to your kitchen. This recipe captures the essence of what makes this dish so beloved: tender dumplings and juicy chicken pieces bathed in a savory broth. Having made this recipe myself, I can attest to its simplicity and heartiness, making it a perfect meal for any day of the week. The process of making the dumplings from scratch, rolling them out, and cutting them into squares, adds a personal touch that elevates the dish, ensuring it’s not just delicious but also filled with care and attention.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked chicken


  1. Prepare the Dumpling Dough: Start by mixing flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Form the Dough: Gradually stir in the milk, mixing until the dough forms a cohesive ball.
  3. Roll and Cut Dumplings: On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thin sheet with a rolling pin. With a pizza cutter or knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into 2×2 inch squares.
  4. Flour the Dumplings: Use a floured spatula to transfer the cut dumplings to a floured plate, layering flour between each to prevent sticking.
  5. Cook the Dumplings: Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Gently drop the dumplings into the boiling broth one at a time, stirring to prevent them from sticking. The flour from the dumplings will help thicken the broth as they cook.
  6. Simmer: Cook the dumplings for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are no longer doughy in the middle.
  7. Add Chicken: Stir in the cooked chicken, heating through.
  8. Serve: Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls, ensuring each serving is packed with dumplings and chicken.

Recipe Tips

  • Stirring Dumplings: Stir the dumplings gently when adding them to the broth to keep them from sticking together.
  • Flavor Enhancements: For added flavor, sprinkle in some freshly chopped parsley or a dash of black pepper before serving.
  • Chicken Preparation: For convenience, use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken. If cooking chicken specifically for this recipe, seasoning it well with herbs and spices before cooking adds more depth to the dish.
  • Serving Suggestion: This dish is hearty enough to stand alone but can be paired with a simple green salad or crusty bread for a fuller meal.

FAQ Section

  1. Can I use store-bought chicken broth?
    • Absolutely! Store-bought chicken broth works well and saves time.
  2. What if my dumplings are too soft or fall apart?
    • Ensure the dough isn’t too wet before rolling it out. If it’s sticky, add a bit more flour to achieve a manageable consistency.
  3. Can I make the dumplings ahead of time?
    • While best when fresh, you can prepare the dumplings up to the point of boiling and store them in the refrigerator on a floured plate, covered, for a few hours before cooking.
  4. How can I thicken the broth if it’s too thin?
    • A mixture of flour and water, or a cornstarch slurry, can be stirred into the broth to thicken it up. Add this mixture gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Is it possible to freeze leftovers?
    • Yes, this dish freezes well. Cool completely before freezing in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove, adding a little extra broth if necessary.

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings is not just a meal; it’s comfort in a bowl, designed to satisfy and warm the soul. Whether you’re gathering around the dinner table with family or enjoying a cozy meal on your own, this recipe is sure to bring a taste of Southern comfort to your dining experience.