Chicken soup like your mom used to make. Literally, your mom. At my house growing up, chicken soup came from a red and white Campbell’s soup can. I remember the first time I had homemade chicken soup and truly, it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten. It was comfort in a bowl. And it can’t be replicated, no matter how hard Progresso tries.

Now…living in the South, the idea is that chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup MUST be made from scratch with the whole chicken and homemade broth. Let me fill you in on a little secret. I’ve been assured time and time again from cookbooks and the Food Network that homemade chicken broth is incomparable to the stuff you can buy in the store. I have tried to make homemade broth a number of times, and, quite honestly, I find it to be a great deal of work and I can’t taste enough of a difference to make it worth my time. The other thing is that if you’re making soup that involves hours and hours of work, you’re not going to make it a lot. And this soup is too good not to make a lot. So don’t listen to those ninnies who would have you believe that you’re less of a person for using bouillon cubes or canned chicken broth and welcome them to the 21st century. And reality.
One more thing–I really, really like dumplings in this soup. A lot. I love the texture and how they thicken up the soup just right. However, if you’re not a dumpling fan, you can use noodles. I strongly recommend that you get Kluski noodles like these ones:

They taste homemade without actually having to make homemade noodles. That way, everybody wins… :)

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50comments

  1. 1
    Erin says:

    My husband had a horrible experience on his mission with dumplings that weren't cooked enough, and he had to eat them anyway. He begged me years ago to never make chicken and dumplings. I wonder if he has forgotten by now?

    Homemade mac & cheese – my comfort food!

  2. 2
    Adrienne says:

    my ultimate comfort food…other than chicken and dumplings….is homemade mac and cheese.(erin and I must be related!) Though I haven’t found the perfect recipe…ya got one?

  3. 3
    The Mitchell Family says:

    Chocolate chip cookies and a coke are my comfort food, it may sound strange but it’s a great combination and always makes me happy!

  4. 4
    Sara says:

    We made your chicken and dumplings last fall for the first time and loved it. So yummy! Perfect fall food.

    I have so many comfort foods. Many of them are things my Mom used to make growing up. But also black beans, homemade ice cream, fresh bread…

    adrienne- I have a good mac and cheese, but it’s not really the “classic” type. It’s more Italian. And it’s horrible for you, lol. But unlike *caugh* Kate, I actually like homemade mac n’ cheese, so maybe I can come up with a fantastic one!

  5. 5
    Kate says:

    Adrienne, Sara's partially right–it's not that I don't like homemade mac and cheese, it's just that I haven't found a recipe that I love. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the macaroni and cheese from Noodles & Co. and I've tried many times (unsuccessfully) to replicate it. Homemade mac and cheese always comes out gritty and/or too heavy for me. And I don't like baked mac and cheese. I'm kind of starting to give up; I know this gal who's a fabulous cook and she's spent years perfecting her mac and cheese, and I don't like hers, either. Sigh. Maybe someday…

  6. 6
    D.I.M. Incorporated says:

    My mom makes this homemade chicken noodle soup that I “need” when I’m sick! Yes, I have the recipe, no it’s not the same when I make it!

  7. 7
    Nurse Heidi says:

    Bread. Always bread. I’d love to figure out sourdough, so if you girlies have loads of time on your hands…feel free to indulge me : ).

    Of course, with said bread, soup is the perfect pairing.

  8. 8
    Kara says:

    I am so excited to have this!! So excited to try it! Looks so yummy.

  9. 9
    Kara says:

    I’ll add mine, I just wasn’t thinking well. I LOVE Kate’s Choc. chip cookies, I make them all the time. Until I found them, my mom’s Choc. Chip cookies were totally one of my comfort foods. I love soups too. So yummy. My mom never ever made them though, lol

  10. 10
    Lisa says:

    Kate, this looks so delicious it is hard for me to not lick the screen! Yum!!!!

  11. 11
    Wendy says:

    “Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie”… oh, I guess you have to have seen that episode of ‘Just Shoot Me’ to find that funny. Really though, chicken pot pie is the ultimate of comfort foods for me, I love how it’s a perfect combo of vegi’s, crust, and soupy gravy that makes me want to lick the bowl.

  12. 12
    Emily says:

    A hundred reasons why I love this blog – but I’ll just name one.

    YOU ARE SO PRACTICAL! I loved your chicken broth explanation. Homemade chicken broth etc. is the very thing that scares me out of the kitchen!

    I also love that you suggest the *best* product brands – it always gives me a heads-up while shopping at the grocery store (where I am also totally incompetent)

  13. 13
    Emily says:

    Oh, I guess that was two reasons.

    And my comfort food? Chips and fresh salsa. Or chocolate.

  14. 14
    becca says:

    I saw this recipe while at work yesterday morning. I went home and made it at lunch then ate the leftovers for dinner. It was a horrible windy/rainy/stormy day and it just hit the spot! Oh how I wish I wasn’t avoiding carbs- I had to leave out what is probably the best part- the dumplings :(

  15. 15
    Jen says:

    This is very timely. I had just put chicken and dumplings on the meal list for this week, and was debating whether it was worth it to make the homemade stock or not. You’ve convinced me not to :)

  16. 16
    camille says:

    I made this for dinner tonight, and all I can say is YUMMY! it it the spot and was just pretty darn close to perfect.

    I ended up using pop biscuits instead of bisquick stuff – it worked great.

  17. 17
    Sabrina says:

    I don’t know if I’m just crazy, but the dumpling recipe isn’t on the back of the bisquick box anymore. So if anyone is looking for it…
    * 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
    * 2/3 cup milk
    mix until soft dough ball forms
    drop into stew or soup

    Wish me luck, I’m attempting this tonight!

  18. 18
    Big Jay says:

    I was looking for a recipe for good macaroni and cheese and I want you to know that I came here first, and searched for it.

    I want your mac and cheese recipe Sara!

    Thanks for this awesome blog, you obviously work hard on it. It's really awesome.

  19. 19
    Miss L says:

    We have some folks who already have colds this season, so I made this tonight. I used Costco's Kirkland canned Chicken Breast and had to make my "Bisquick" from scratch, and it still was De-Licious. This one is a keeper. Thanks!

  20. 20
    Pam says:

    I made this for my family the other night and everyone loved it. My ussual atempt at homemade chicken noodle soup is not well received. I'm happy that I will be making this one again! Thanks.

  21. 21
    Heather says:

    Those are the best noodles ever. I buy 3-5 bags at a time because I am afraid they will not be available any more! A friend made me some homemade chicken noodle soup after I had one of my babies and I thought they were homemade. And Kate- if you ever figure out that Noodles Mac & cheese recipe, I would love it!

  22. 22
    Rachel Porter says:

    first time to post on the BLOG. I LOVE this recipe, but have always had a problem cooking my bisquick dumplings all the way through. suggestions? They are always doughy/floury in the middle. This recipe only calls them to cook for 5 minutes and i can cook mine for 20 and they're still not done. suggestions??

  23. 23
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    Hi, Rachel! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! You know…you could try just making smaller dumplings, like maybe just teaspoon-sized, you know? Also, you could try popping the pot under the broiler for a few minutes to try and brown things up a little and maybe cook them a bit more.

    Hope that helps!

  24. 24
    Erika says:

    Lost my go to recipe so I made yours tonight…yumm. Thanks.

  25. 25
    Mary says:

    Kate-

    Re: homemade mac-n-cheese. Do you like the box kind? I do, but am anti-artificial food coloring so I won't give it to my kids (at least at my house – I try not to be a freak about it at other people's houses and/or school). Sooo, since my kids liked it (before I discovered it's dirty little secret), I've spent some time trying to replicate it. As best as I can, I just boil a half a box of elbow macaroni. I add a half a stick of butter, milk (don't measure, sorry) and Kraft deluxe american cheese (not cheese product, but the real stuff), and a dash of salt. I add 5-6 slices of cheese, to taste. It's pretty close to the box of kraft w/o the food coloring :). Have I mentioned how much I HATE, HATE, HATE artificial food coloring?? LOL

  26. 26
    Kayla says:

    The only thing I wish your blog had are the cook times…. I suck at just watching/waiting/guessing haha. I am going to attempt this tonight though I have never even had chicken and dumplings before *fingers crossed*

  27. 27
    E.S.Lehr says:

    RE: Homemade mac and cheese. Use two table spoons of butter to every cup of milk and 1/4 cup of flour. Double or triple depending on the amount. And 6-8 ounces(or more or less)of shredded cheese. Start by melting the butter, then slowly add milk until it begins to boil gradually stir in flour. Continuously stir until it thickens to preferred consistency then sprinkle in cheese while continuing stirring until all the cheese is added and melted. Poor over a cup of cooked macaroni noodles and bake in 350 oven uncovered for 30 minutes, salt and pepper to taste.

  28. 28
    Mardee Rae says:

    Last night as my family was enjoying this comfy cozy meal in the middle of a bout of the flu, I told my husband that, again, I'd gotten this recipe from you ladies. And it hit me, YOU HAVE NEVER STEARED ME WRONG! (Steared looks weird there, hmmm, spelling?)
    Anyway, thanks. We all felt better after eating this, and it was way yummier than the last recipe for ck dumplings I tried. Thank you thank you!

  29. 29
    BabelGirl says:

    I made it! Added a pinch of black pepper and homemade italian tagliolini, cream instead of evaporated milk. Delicious! Thanks ;***

  30. 30
    Mj says:

    Looks declicious, just wondering if you know of any recipes for homemade dumplings rather than useing Bisquik?

  31. 31
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    Mj–you could just use your favorite biscuit recipe (if you have one). I don't have one that I love, or else I'd share it with you! :)

  32. 32

    Instead of trying to separate the cooked noodles from the soup (to keep them from soaking up all of the liquids when stored in the fridge), you could just separate all of the solids from the broth. I’ve done this with other soups with good results.

  33. 33
    Amanda says:

    This is one of my favorite meals. I make it often in the Fall. Thanks Kate!

  34. 34
    Jaymie says:

    Hi- I was wondering when cooking it in the crock pot when do you add the evaporated milk ? I made it tonight and forgot about it. Whoops. It was still delicious though. I couldn’t find the answer in the cookbook. Thanks

  35. 35
    Diane Wright says:

    Am just eating this now. Excellent flavor! 5 stars in my book!! I used heavy cream instead of evaporated milk. The dumplings take 10 mins uncovered and 10 mins covered. They’re delish!! One thing you forgot to add to recipe…don’t forget to REMOVE the bay leaf before serving? Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be making again SOON!! <3!

  36. 36
    Charity says:

    This is one of our family’s favorite recipes!!! LOVE it!!! I pinned it on Pinterest just to share the love! =)

  37. 37
    Kami says:

    I found a good recipe for mac and cheese, you should try it! It’s from Katie Brown, and it’s the best I’ve found. And I’ve tried quite a few. I made a few changes to suite my tastes, ie medium cheddar–and about half of what she calls for. I’ve found that her idea of boiling the macaroni in half chicken broth, half water is a brilliant idea. I also really like the addition of cream cheese for a smooth texture. Here’s the link, she calls it Zebra Mac and Cheese. You have to scroll a little..
    http://www.katiebrown.com/kbep3.cfm?seasonid=3&episodeid=26&cat=cook

  38. 38
    Tamara says:

    Made this tonight. So delish, the perfect meal for an autumn evening. Thanks for the recipe!

  39. 39
    Holly says:

    I made this yesterday with noodles instead of dumplings. I wasn’t sure if I would like it because I don’t like celery and carrots, but this was great!! Although I didn’t put quite as much in as the recipe called for lol. Thanks for another great recipe! It was perfect on these cold days!

  40. 40
    Amy Forsyth says:

    My soup was a disaster! :( I guess you weren’t kidding about the noodles absorbing the broth. I made it in the crock pot early in the day but waited to add evap milk and noodles. I put them in about an hr before we ate and the broth was gone! The noodles were mush! So sad! I’ve got a rotten cold and have been looking forward to this all day. Luckily my (your recipe) breadsticks turned out awesome. Better luck next time I hope.

  41. 41
    Janet says:

    sooo…it says this is a crockpot meal, buuuut there aren’t any crockpot directions. Help, please?

  42. 42
    Heidi says:

    I’ve made the stove top directions and LOVE this soup, but I would really like to make it in a crockpot. Instructions, please?

    • 42.1

      Honestly, I don’t know if the crockpot would cook the dumplings fast enough. One thing you could do is pop everything into the crockpot (except the dumplings, obviously) first thing in the morning and then transfer it to the stovetop when you’re ready to eat and cook the dumplings that way. Or you could live on the edge and add the dumpling dough about an hour before dinner, turn it on high, and pray for the best. :)

  43. 43
    Sunny says:

    I found out the hard way many years ago with cooking the noodles in the soup. I now pre cook the noodles and then add. They don’t soak up nearly all the broth.

  44. 44
    Bernice Vanover says:

    I make homemade mac and cheese and this is my recipe. 1 pound of noodles. Cook by directions to Al-dente. In a 2 cup measure cup put in about 1 1/2c. of cubed Velveeta cheese,add 1/2 c. of milk, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. pepper, microwave until melted.Stir,should make 2 cups if not add more milk. When noodles are done drain water, add cheese mixture and stir. Ready to serve. Easy and good. my son no longer likes the boxed stuff he says it’s too plain. There is no flavor. :)

  45. 45
    Jamie says:

    great recipe, didnt have canned milk but used whole milk very good and hearty, just what we needed? thanks planning on making your orange beef recipe tomorrow… cant wait, love your site!

  46. 46

    […] ever. And really, I’m in it for the noodles just as much as anything else. My go-to recipe is this recipe from the darkest corners of the OBB archives. Up until about a year ago, I always used packaged […]

  47. 47
    Ed says:

    Homemade Chicken stock *is* a lot better – and it is so easy in a slow cooker –
    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/11/perfect-uncluttered-chicken-stock/

    3 lbs chicken wings , 1 onion , i clove garlic and some salt. And time. That’s all– my slow cooker is too small so I put it in a covered pot overnight in the oven at 225. Or all day at work. Then strain it. That’s all. Because the wing meat is so stringy you can pitch it in the trash without remorse.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT feed the waterlogged chicken meat to your dogs unless you really want to spend a number of gross hours with a wet vac and then pay to have your carpets cleaned. DO throw that waterlogged stringy chicken away.

    That said, if you have a lot of *other* stuff ( like lots of vegetables, cream and dumplings ) going on in your soup – you can really safely use the box/can stuff.

    But don’t hate on homemade stock. It is easy and delicious. But you are 100% correct it is not needed for chicken and dumplings.

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