Vegan Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Close up overhead photo of creamy soy curl chicken stew with dumplings

You don’t have to miss out on your favorite childhood comfort food thanks to this hearty vegan chicken and dumplings recipe! It’s a creamy, dairy-free, veggie and soy curl stew topped with pillowy dumplings. Make this plant-based dinner when you really want to feel cozy!


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We’ve been making our vegan chicken stew for years, and so many of you have said you use it as a great recipe base for chicken and dumplings, aka “dumpling soup”.

I had never had chicken and dumplings, but I LOVE the idea of it. Creamy soup and fluffy dumplings… what’s not to love? So, I decided to give it a try for the first time myself and was really happy with the results! I was deliciously surprised and so was T, especially that the dumplings don’t just get all soggy. It’s like magic!

So many people grew up eating this dish, and have said it is up there with the ultimate comfort food. While I’ve only had it a handful of times now, I do hope this vegan version evokes those feelings of cozy childhood memories you love.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

  • It’s nostalgic – the flavor and texture of this vegan chicken soup and soft dumplings will take you back to childhood!
  • It’s cozy and comforting but is chock-full of healthy plant-based protein and even some hidden veggies!
  • The homemade dumplings are just simply divine! They cook up nice and easy, and they aren’t soggy (like I was worried they would be).
Overhead photo of all the ingredients you need to make soy curl chicken and dumplings

Ingredients in Our Vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

There are two parts to this recipe – the creamy stew / soup and the dumplings. Both use simple ingredients to create the ultimate vegan comfort food.

For the soup, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – I use fresh garlic, minced.
  • Yellow onions
  • Cauliflower – We’ll blend this up with the cashews to create a creamy base with hidden veggies!
  • Raw cashews – This is blended with the cauliflower to add the fat component to our creamy broth.
  • Butler soy curls – Measure dehydrated + break into small, bite-sized pieces. Butlers soy curls are our favorite vegan chicken replacement for soups and stews! You can find them at specialty / health food stores, but we mostly buy them in bulk on Amazon.
  • Carrot – Small diced
  • Potato – I highly suggest using russet potatoes, peeled and diced small.
  • Frozen corn and green peas
  • Seasonings: Nutritional yeast, vegan chicken bouillon powder, salt, dried thyme, ground black pepper

What are vegan dumplings made of?

The fluffy biscuit dumplings for chicken and dumplings are usually made of butter, flour, milk, and spices. We kept our dumpling recipe vegan by using vegan butter and a high-fat plant milk.

For the vegan dumpling dough recipe, you’ll need:

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour – Make sure you use “unbleached” (There’s a big difference between unbleached and bleached!)
  • Baking powdernot baking soda. Again, big difference.
  • Unsweetened cashew milk or almond milk – Or other high-fat plant-based milk. It’s vital you use a plant milk that is both plain and unsweetened. You also want something as neutral-tasting as possible. We love the unsweetened line of dairy-free milks from Elmhurst®.
  • Vegan butter – Melted. We really like the Plant Butter sticks from Country Crock.
  • Seasoning: Ground black pepper, fine sea salt, dried thyme
Overhead photo of a pan filled with vegan chicken and dumplings sprinkled with fresh green herbs

Substitution Options for Vegan Chicken and Dumplings with Soy Curls

If you don’t have or have a dietary requirement that excludes one of the ingredients in this recipe, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, this recipe is tested with the ingredients listed and substituting any of those ingredients may lead to a difference in the final product. Leave a comment if you try any subs and let us know how they work out for you!

For the olive oil: You can use any other neutral-flavored oil like avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, or even vegan butter here. You can also skip the oil in the stew and just saute the garlic and onion in some vegetable broth.

For the yellow onion: You can sub a white onion or shallots here if needed.

For the cauliflower: Starchy white potatoes could be a good sub. Drained and rinsed white beans could also work.

For the cashews: Sub sunflower seeds or hulled hemp seeds for the cashews in this recipe.

For the frozen corn and green peas: Canned versions will work also but you may need to cook them for less time.

Bouillon options: We like to make our own vegan poultry seasoning. You can use half as much bouillon paste or about 2 bouillon cubes.

For the dried thyme: Dried rosemary or parsley could be a delicious sub. Even some Italian seasoning could work in a pinch. You can also use double the amount of fresh thyme, de-stemmed of course.

Flour Options:

We have not tried this recipe with whole wheat flour or gluten free all-purpose flour. It could work, but the water content may need to be adjusted.

For the vegan butter in the dumplings:

Refined coconut oil or vegetable shortening could work for the dumplings, but we haven’t tried these. If you use coconut oil, use something labeled refined, so you don’t get a weird coconut taste.

Potato Options:

Feel free to skip the potatoes if you’d like. Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes could work, but remember different potatoes have different starchiness and will cook at different times.

How to Make Vegetable Soup with Dumplings

This recipe definitely takes a few steps, but I was surprised how quickly and easily it came together once I got going!

A grid of four photos showing the process of making the creamy base for vegan chicken and dumplings

Step 1: Saute the onion and garlic.

Add the olive oil to a large shallow pot (with the largest diameter you have!) and turn heat to medium. When hot, add the onion, garlic, and a large pinch of salt and saute for about 5 minutes or until fragrant.

Step 2: Cook the cauliflower.

Pour in 2 cups of the water along with the cauliflower and cashews. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.

A grid with 3 photos showing the process of making vegan drop dumpling dough

Step 3: Make the vegan drop dumplings.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper, salt ,and thyme. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients mixture and pour the plant milk and vegan butter into the center of it. Using a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula), stir together until a dough ball forms. If your dough seems too dry, you can add an extra Tbsp of plant milk. 

Step 4: Assemble the soup.

When the cauliflower is tender, add the contents of your pot to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Then, pour it back into your pot and add the remainder of your stew ingredients (including the remaining 2-3 cups of water). Stir to combine. Turn heat to medium high. Cover and bring to a low simmer.

A grid with three photos showing the process of cooking vegan chicken and dumplings in a pot

Step 5: Add the dumplings.

Stir again and, using a large cookie scoop (or just measure out and roll 1/4 cup of dough for each dumpling), scoop/roll dough and drop directly into the simmering soup. You should have 8-10 dumplings.

Vary the location of each dumpling, so they’re not all on top of each other. They will expand while cooking. Once you add all the dumplings, use the back of the wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently press any dumplings down so the soup just runs over the tops of them.

Step 6: Cover and cook.

Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. You want to keep the bottom of the pot from burning but still at a low simmer, so the dumplings cook. Cook like this for 15-20 min minutes. 

Step 7: Test and serve.

At 15 minutes, gently stir the soup/dumplings and remove one dumpling to make sure they’re cooked through. 

I do this by removing one dumpling and cutting it open to check. If the dumplings are indeed cooked through, serve immediately! If not and you still see raw flour, cook for an additional 5 minutes and check again.

How to Thicken Chicken and Dumplings

To thicken your chicken and dumplings, you could add a couple tablespoons of flour, blend in some more cauliflower / cashews, or just cook it a little longer to let more of the liquid evaporate from it. Take the dumplings out to thicken the dish if needed.

Close up overhead photo of a bowl of vegan chicken stew with two drop dumplings on top

What to Eat with Chicken and Dumplings

This vegan chicken and dumplings recipe is the perfect meal served all on its own or as part of a larger meal with:

How to Store Soy Curl Chicken and Dumplings

I was a little nervous to see how this vegan chicken and dumplings would store for leftovers, but I was happily surprised they make great leftovers! I would store the dumplings and stew separately for best results.

How long does chicken and dumplings last in the fridge?

This soy curl chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container (dumplings and stew stored separately) for 3-5 days in the fridge.

Overhead close up photo of a pot of vegetarian and dairy-free chicken and dumplings

How to Freeze Chicken and Dumplings

Can you freeze chicken and dumplings? You can totally freeze this vegan chicken and dumplings recipe!

Wait for the stew to cool completely before freezing. I suggest separating the dumplings and stew and freezing separately in air-tight bags or containers for 3-4 months. For best results, allow the soup and dumplings to thaw in the fridge fully before reheating.

Reheating Instructions

For best results, reheat leftover stew over medium low heat on the stove, stirring frequently until warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave. I’d start at 80% power for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir every minute or so until your desired temperature is reached.

You can reheat the dumplings in either the microwave or in a preheated oven and place 1-2 of them in the reheated bowl of soup when ready to serve.

Overhead photo of a round white bowl with creamy vegan stew and two dumplings on top

I hope you can find some time to cuddle up with a bowl of this vegan chicken and dumplings very soon. Or better yet, send this recipe to a friend, partner, or family member you want to make it for you!

When you make it, or have someone make it for you, don’t forget to leave a comment with a star rating below. This helps more people find our vegan recipes, and we love hearing from you!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings

Close up overhead photo of creamy soy curl chicken stew with dumplings

You don’t have to miss out on your favorite childhood comfort food thanks to this hearty vegan chicken and dumplings recipe! It’s a creamy, dairy-free, veggie and soy curl stew topped with pillowy dumplings. Make this plant-based dinner when you really want to feel cozy!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the soup:

For the dumplings:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk, almond milk, or other high-fat plant milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion and garlic: Add the olive oil to a large shallow pot (with the largest diameter you have!) and turn heat to medium. When hot, add the onion, garlic, and a large pinch of salt and saute for about 5 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Cook the cauliflower: Pour in 2 cups of the water along with the cauliflower and cashews. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
  3. Whilst the cauliflower cooks, make the dumplings: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and thyme. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the plant milk and vegan butter into the center of it. Using a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula), stir together until a dough ball forms. If your dough seems too dry, you can add an extra Tbsp of plant milk. 
  4. Assemble the soup: When the cauliflower is tender, add the contents of your pot to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Then, pour it back into your pot and add the remainder of your stew ingredients (including the remaining 2-3 cups of water). Stir to combine. Turn heat to medium high. Cover and bring to a low simmer
  5. Add the dumplings: Stir again and, using a large cookie scoop (or just measure out and roll 1/4 cup of dough for each dumpling), scoop/roll dough and drop directly into the simmering soup.* Vary the location of each dumpling, so they’re not all on top of each other. They will expand while cooking. Once you add all the dumplings, use the back of the wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently press any dumplings down so the soup just runs over the tops of them. 
  6. Cook the dish: Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. You want to keep the bottom of the pot from burning but still at a low simmer, so the dumplings cook. Cook like this for 15-20 min minutes. 
  7. Test the dumplings and serve: At 15 minutes, gently stir the soup/dumplings and remove one dumpling to make sure they’re cooked through. I do this by removing one and cutting it open to check. If the dumplings are indeed cooked through, serve immediately! If not, cook for an additional 5 minutes and check again. 

Notes

*The dumpling dough will make about 8 - 10 dumplings.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6 the recipe

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1199mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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