Cozy, creamy, and delicious, this Vegan Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect easy to make comfort food. Ready in just 30 minutes, this stew is loaded with giant fluffy dumplings, tender vegan chicken, veggies, and a delicious broth to satisfy your taste buds and your tummy.
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Hey Internet, I know winter is over, but where I am it rains A LOT in April. And… we’ve had snow like three times this month and it’s only the 11th. Yeesh.
So I’m still craving soups and stews. This soup is a lot like my vegan stew with dumplings although this one is a creamy vegan chicken soup type deal with huge fluffy dumplings and lots of protein-packed vegan chicken.
This stew features the BEST and EASIEST vegan soup dumplings.
Literally you spend a few minutes throwing together a dough and then use a large cookie scoop to drop them into the soup. Then you ladle some broth on top, cover with a lid, and cook until fluffy.
There is a little trick to making these dumplings super fluffy: baking powder! This makes them puff up and get fluffy.
You have to also cook them for the right amount of time, and the dough itself needs a slight bit of fat to be really perfect.
This delicious soup is perfect for rainy days, cold days, or when you just need a bowl of comforting and satisfying food.
What You’ll Need:
For the soup:
- Soy curls: The “chicken” in my vegan chicken and dumplings is soy curl based because it’s simple and delicious. Butler soy curls can be purchased online through an online retailer or Butler’s website, and sometimes you can find them locally at a health foods store or in that section of your grocery store--but I like to buy them in bulk online. Soy curls are a dehydrated meat alternative useful for all sorts of recipes. They’re made from whole soybeans. If you’d like to substitute another protein, you could use seitan chicken chunks, chickpeas or butter beans, young jackfruit (try my vegan shredded chicken recipe for an easy method to cook jackfruit to taste like chicken) or a store-bought vegan chicken alternative like Gardein or Lightlife. Baked tofu will also work.
- Vegan chicken broth: I like to rehydrate my soy curls in vegan chicken broth--I also use this broth in the rest of the soup. I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water (I do a lower paste to water ratio than the jar suggests to reduce the sodium content) as it’s economical and it stores well. You could also buy prepared Imitation Chicken Broth though I generally feel this needs a little salt added but you can taste test and season to your preference. Any other brand of vegan chicken bouillon will work well, or of course you can also use vegetable broth. If you go the vegetable broth route, I’d throw in a little poultry seasoning which is just herbs and is easy to find in most grocery stores--it will help the soup taste chicken-y.
- Vegan butter: This stew is thick, so I use vegan butter and flour (later on) base with my mirepoix (the onion, celery, and carrots). The soup is extra delicious this way, however you can also use olive oil OR just broth if you are oil-free.
- Onion: Yellow or sweet onions are best for this recipe, but white will work too (it just has a bit more of a bite to it). I used a medium onion, but small is OK.
- Carrots and celery
- Garlic: Fresh minced cloves of garlic are so much better than jarred for this recipe (and honestly I feel they’re just much better tasting overall. If that makes me a garlic snob then so be it).
- Flour: All purpose flour is what I used in this recipe. It works well for thickening the soup later. However, if you are gluten-free, try using rice flour or a one to one GF flour such as King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour.
- Dried thyme and black pepper: You can use whatever you like to season this soup. I added some dried thyme and black pepper because that’s what I like.
- Coconut milk: I used canned full fat coconut milk to make the soup nice and creamy at the end. It’s totally optional. You can substitute cashew cream (blend raw cashews and water), sunflower seed cream (blend raw sunflower seeds and water), or a thick non-dairy milk. But I really don’t think you can taste the coconut if that’s what you’re worried about. Get an unsweetened good quality canned coconut milk (like Thai Kitchen, Nature’s Harvest, etc.).
For the Vegan Dumplings
- All purpose flour: I just used regular all purpose flour (I buy unbleached) for this recipe. Whole wheat flour may work--but I haven’t tried it. If you are gluten-free, try using rice flour or a one to one GF flour such as King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour. I can’t guarantee it will work but I’d love to hear your results if you try it!
- Baking powder: The baking powder helps make the dumplings fluffy. It also works with baking soda (slightly less), but it’s not as good and fluffy. Whatever you do make sure you get aluminum free, as otherwise there’s enough in this recipe that you may get a metallic taste and that’s not fun.
- Salt: I used iodized salt in this recipe. If you’re using sea salt, use a bit more as it is less finely ground as iodized table salt.
- Dried thyme and black pepper: I used the same spices in my dumplings as in the soup. Again, use whatever you like.
- Room temperature or warm water
- Canned full fat coconut milk or cream: I use canned coconut milk (the thick part in the can, coconut cream is also fine) in two places in this recipe: in the dumplings themselves and in the soup. Coconut milk is my favorite creamy friend to add in cooking and baking recipes. In the dumplings, you can use melted vegan butter or a neutral flavored oil instead.
How to Make Vegan Chicken and Dumplings
- Start by rehydrating the soy curls. Add the soy curls to a large bowl, discarding the powder at the bottom of the package. You can keep this powder to throw in pasta sauce or chili, but I don’t prefer it to stay in this recipe. Now pour the vegan chicken broth on top of the soy curls and press them down with the back of a spoon or a spatula so they all get coated. Add a bit of water if there isn’t enough liquid but this always seems to be enough liquid for me when I use a whole 8 ounce bag of soy curls. Let the soy curls sit until we’re ready to add them to the soup.
- Melt the vegan butter (if using) in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. I prefer to use a very wide dutch oven so I can fit all the dumplings. If not using vegan butter, you can do olive oil, avocado oil, or another oil OR if you’re oil-free, keep adding broth or water a tablespoon at a time while you cook the veggies and stir constantly to keep from burning or sticking.
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and stir frequently for 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Now sprinkle in the flour (if using), and stir constantly for 30-40 seconds until the powder has absorbed and your vegetables look like they’re coated in wet flour. Trust the process--I know this part is a little strange if you haven’t tried it before!
- Add in the spices and the broth now. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- While it comes to a boil, make the dough. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, dried thyme, and black pepper to a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Make a well in the center with the back of a strong wooden spoon or spatula. Pour the water and coconut milk/cream (or melted vegan butter/oil) into the center of the well and mix until a cohesive dough forms. If it’s really sloshy and wet, sprinkle in a bit more flour. This is a pretty forgiving dough. When it’s thick not really dry but also not really sticky, it’s ready. Cover with a kitchen towel until ready to add to the soup.
- Now you can add the rehydrated soy curls--and add any remaining broth from the bowl too. Stir them in.
- Turn the heat down to medium low--we basically want to keep the pot at a strong simmer (with small bubbles).
- Using a large cookie scoop (or whatever size you want, just try to make them all about the same size and note that smaller dumplings will cook faster!), scoop out around 8 balls of dough and drop them one at a time into the pot. Keep in mind they will puff up so try to give each a bit of breathing room in the pot. It's OK if they touch after 30 seconds or so, but in that initial dunk they can stick a little, so just give them a little time.
- Ladle some of the broth over them (you can add a bit more if you need to) and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, removing the lid every so often to ladle more broth over the tops so they don’t dry out. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch. You can remove one and cut it open to test if it’s done--it won’t be gummy inside, instead it would look kind of like a baked biscuit. Try not to overcook your dumplings, as they may become hard.
- When they’re done, turn off your stove burner and stir in the canned coconut milk (or substitute). Serve and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover vegan chicken and dumplings for up to 3-4 days. I recommend storing dumplings separately. When you reheat, you can combine them in your bowl and microwave them or heat in a small saucepan on the stovetop (on medium low) until desired temperature is reached.
More Cozy Vegan Soup Recipes
In the colder months, I can’t get enough soup. It fills me up, soothes a sore throat, and makes me feel all cozy and warm.
If you like my vegan chicken and dumplings, I’m sure you’ll love some of the following:
- Vegan Beef Stew
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Jackfruit Stew
- Vegan Tom Kha
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Corn Chowder (stovetop instructions also included)
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Potato and Leek Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup (stovetop instructions also included)
- Vegan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
- Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. Even my non-vegan brother enjoyed it!
This vegan chicken and dumplings is:
- And perfect for a cozy dinner or a holiday meal. It’s a crowd pleaser!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!